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Lessons from Anna II: The Heart of Worship

• Greg Boyd

Worship is the essence of the Christian life. Anna, an example for us today, lived a life that was characterized by worship. She worshipped God night and day. To worship God is to simply behold and express the beauty of Jesus Christ, and to be transformed by this beauty. God’s love was expressed most clearly at Calvary, when he gave his Son as a ransom for our sins, so that we could be free and have a relationship with him. Worship is speaking, singing and living in this reality and then being transformed by it.

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Worship is the essence of the Christian life. Anna, an example for us today, lived a life that was characterized by worship. She worshipped God night and day. To worship God is to simply behold and express the beauty of Jesus Christ, and to be transformed by this beauty.

God is the essence and author of all that is good. “God is love” (I John 4:4). His love was expressed most clearly at Calvary, when he gave his Son as a ransom for our sins, so that we could be free and have a relationship with him. Worship is speaking, singing and living in this reality and then being transformed by it.

Scripture promises that one-day we will see God face to face.

“And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:14-18)

As we begin to worship God, we begin to see him more clearly. He begins to transform who we are. We then begin to reflect God’s character as we focus on him.

We are all at different levels in our capacity to see and reflect God’s love. The first step for each person is to ascribe worth to God as an act of faith. As you worship him and draw closer, you’ll see and reflect God more clearly. We cannot reflect God’s love on our own. It is only as a result of our ongoing, daily relationship with him. This relationship is characterized by our attitude towards God as we live our lives and worship him.

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Topics: Transformation, Worship


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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 2:36-39

    There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then had been a widow for eighty-four years. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

    When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth.

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