(This is an edited version of a recent Family Service talk at the Parish Church of the Ascension, Oughtibridge)
What a wonderful future we learn about in John’s book of Revelation. It was an angel of God who showed the Apostle John what was going to happen when the Lord Jesus Christ comes again and brings about the new world in which God’s Christian people will live for ever enjoying God’s perfect love.
In Revelation chapter 22v8-9, John wrote: ‘I, John, am the one who heard and saw these things. And when I had heard and seen them, I fell down to worship at the feet of the angel who had been showing them to me. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow-servant with you and with your brothers the prophets and of all who keep the words of this book. Worship God.” ’ (NIV)
So John was about to worship the angel, but the angel told him to worship God. Good on him.
What does it mean to worship God? What are we doing when we are worshipping God? We are worshipping God when we are giving him the honour that he deserves, when we are treating him as our Lord and God, when we are loving him and obeying him in our lives day by day.
Where do we learn about what it means to love and obey God day by day? In the Bible. We learn what it means to worship God in God’s true Word written down, the Bible.
The angel who told John not to worship him but to worship God was actually talking about the Bible when he mentioned the prophets because the prophets were the men God spoke to, who then wrote down what they had heard from God in books which have become part of the Bible. The angel also mentioned ‘the words of this book’. That’s talking about the book of Revelation, which is also in the Bible.
The Bible tells us what it means to worship God, what it means to love and obey God across the whole of our lives day by day. The Bible tells us to put our trust in God’s one and only Son the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.
So the Bible, God’s Word written down, is at the heart of our worship as Christian peoole. When our minds and hearts are open to the Bible, we are worshipping God. When our minds and hearts are closed to the Bible, we are not worshipping God.
That’s why it’s really important to meet together with God’s Christian people as regularly as we can so that we can listen to God’s Word as God’s people and spur each other on to obey God’s Word day by day.
That’s why it really important to think about what we’ve learned from the Bible during the week and to ask God to enable us to do what the Bible says.
To sum up what we’ve learned this morning, what are we doing when we are worshipping God? We are worshipping God when we are loving him and obeying him day by day across the whole of life. Where do we learn what it means to love and obey God in our lives? In the Bible, which is why the Bible is at the heart of our worship as Christian people.