September 20, 2015 • Life for Leaders
O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?
Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart;”
Psalm 15 begins with the question of who may “abide” in God’s tent. To put it more prosaically, “Who can worship in God’s sanctuary?” The answer: “Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right” (15:2). Then the psalm lists examples of the kind of righteous living that should characterize those who worship God, beginning with “speak the truth from their heart.”
If we were to read this psalm out of context, we might be put off. Surely we do not walk blamelessly. Surely we don’t always speak the truth. Does this mean we cannot worship God? Should we stop going to church because we’re aware of our sins? Should we even refrain from worshiping God in our personal devotions?
No. Psalm 15 is not an invitation to stop worshiping. But it is an invitation to worship God more completely, to worship God everyday, through everything we do.
Because of what Christ has done for us on the cross, we do not need to live blamelessly in order to approach God in worship. We come before him in the freedom of divine mercy, knowing that we are forgiven because of Christ’s death for us. However, this does not mean our daily lives are irrelevant to our worship. On the contrary, we who worship God in our “sanctuary” are also called to worship him in our everyday actions. As we present ourselves to God when we are gathered together as the people of God, we are preparing our hearts to worship him when we are scattered throughout the world. Thus our worship on Sunday inspires our worship on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We honor God by the way we act among our families, friends, and colleagues. We worship him through offering each and every action to him. So, for example, we worship God by being people who speak the truth.
Surely it’s easier to think of worship as something we do for an hour a week in church. The idea of worshiping God throughout the week can feel intimidating. But it can also transform our lives, giving new purpose and meaning to even the humdrum demands of daily life.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Do you think of worship as something you can do each and every day? Why or why not?
What helps you to think of your daily life as a context for worshiping God?
Dear Lord, first of all, I thank you for the fact that I don’t have to live blamelessly in order to worship you. How grateful I am for the forgiveness you offer through Christ. How good it is to know that I can approach you, not in my own righteousness, but in the righteousness of the One who died for me.
In response to the grace you have poured out upon me, I owe you worship. Not just the worship of the “sanctuary,” but the worship of everyday life. O Lord, may I learn to worship you each moment of each day. Teach me to see my whole life as one great worship service, in which I honor you through every word, every thought, every deed. By your grace, may I learn to present my body to you as a living sacrifice, so that you might be glorified in every part of my life.
I pray in the name of Jesus my Savior, Amen.
P.S. An earlier version of this devotion appeared on The High Calling, and is used with permission through a Creative Commons license.
Image: Piet Mondrian’s Village Church [Public Domain] via WikiArt.
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.