Beyond Adorable

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Yesterday, our Awana Club (Christian Education for children) had their annual Christmas party. One little girl showed up with self-applied makeup and her own attempt at a party hair-do. Her Mom looked a little embarrassed as she informed me, “This was her choice.” I thought she was simply adorable. Part of Awana includes earning “Awana Bucks” that are spent in a ‘store’ that is set up twice a year. Last night the kids got to do some shopping. It was hilarious, sweet, and yes – adorable.

One of my favorite Christmas carols invites us to adoration. As you sing, “O, come let us adore Him,” I hope the mental image is not the same as the one formed in that opening paragraph. Adore comes from a word that means to ‘offer worshipful prayer!’   Now we use it as a synonym for love and affection. To adore someone signifies that you regard that person with the utmost esteem, love, and respect; that you will choose honor, admire, to be devoted to that one.

I adore Jesus.  My love for the Lord is strong, enduring, life-defining.  But, adoration for Him goes beyond affection. I offer Him worship in my words and actions. He holds the primary place in my life, all others choices secondary to His claim. Now, before you canonize me, I want to follow up that statement with the confession that I don’t always get the order right, that my intentions do not always translate into action.

Our adoration of Christ Jesus is diminished if other loves – for our reputation, our job, our money, our house – crowd Him out of our life.  If we stop worshiping whole-heartedly there will be an inevitable cooling off.

Adoration will disappear,
replaced by affection, which
will become token appreciation.

Jesus tells us that we must “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” (Matthew 22:37, NIV)   In the book of the Revelation, Jesus speaks the church in Ephesus. They broke His heart by allowing their adoration slip away.  He says to them, “You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.” (Revelation 2:3-5, NIV) Jesus urged the Ephesians to remember their first love and to renew it.

This Advent Season when you hear that carol, “O Come, All Ye Faithful,”  let it stir a renewed adoration! Sing and speak of His goodness. A word of caution is in order here. IF you don’t adore Him, then don’t try to convince yourself or someone else that you do with empty words or borrowed words! Love can be made new. Do you know that love is first a choice, and second an emotion? Jesus warned that  “Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.”  (Matthew 24:12) If that’s describing you, turn back to God.  Find a place alone with Him and confess that you have given yourself to another lover.  Turn back, renew your commitment to Him.

Our word from the Word is a prayer. “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it. Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19, NLT)

_________________

O Come All Ye Faithful

 O come all ye faithful,
joyful and triumphant,
O come ye,
O come ye to Bethlehem.
Come and behold Him,
born the King of angels.

 O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him
O come let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

 Sing choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation,
O sing all ye bright hosts of heav’n above.
Glory to God,
All glory in the highest.

 O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

 Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
born this happy morning;
Jesus to Thee be all glory giv’n.
Word of the Father now in flesh appearing.

 O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

John Wade © Public Domain

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