FOUNDATIONS OF WORSHIP
"You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were made and have their being."
This is one of my favorite verses because it is a final summation of the church's worship of God. It is a scene in which the twenty-four elders, who represent the believers of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, follow the heavenly creatures in honoring God in His heavenly sanctuary. They begin by humbling themselves and bowing down. Then they all take off their crowns - the crowns of life (James 1:12) and righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8) and glory (1 Peter 5:4) - and they say "YOU are worthy . . .” and so it is. "Not to us, O Lord, not to us but to your name be glory, because of your love and faithfulness" (Ps. 115:1). Friends, here is one thing we know for sure: apart from the grace and mercy and love of Christ there would be no crown for these elders nor for those they represent.
And then they declare why He is worthy because He made all things according to His divine purpose. Listen, we exist because God wants us to exist. We live because God wants us to have life. We are saved because of His mercy, and we are safe because we are covered by the blood of the Lamb of God.
As we begin to grasp the idea that God, who is able to do anything He desires, chose to create this world and then created us to live upon it; that it was the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world who put our names in His Book of Life; that He knew us and called us and recorded our life before we ever lived even one day; that He sent His Holy Spirit to draw us to Him and give us faith so that we might believe; and that, through His righteous life and sacrificial death He purchased for us a crown of life, righteousness, and glory . . . as we grasp that all of this is the product of His will and purpose; we just have to join in, bow down, and worship Him. He IS WORTHY to receive whatever glory and honor and praise we have to offer. He is more than deserving of the total outpouring of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Never forget, church, that "You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, SO THAT you may DECLARE the PRAISES of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9).
Pastor Keith Andrews