I have begun reading a book entitled “Rhythms of Grace” by Mike Cosper. Mike is one of the founding pastors of Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Kentucky, where he serves as the pastor of worship & arts. He is also the founder of Sojourn Music and contributes regularly to the Gospel Coalition blog.
Mike’s purpose of writing this book is to “show the gospel is all about worship and worship is all about the gospel”.
In the first few chapters, Mike takes us back to the very beginning of time to start this journey. He explains how worship existed between a Triune God even before God spoke and the earth was formed. He takes us into the Garden of Eden and ultimately into the exile of the Garden and into the wilderness.
One of the overall themes that has been prevalent in the first few chapters is the story of worship: God creates, sin corrupts, but Christ redeems.
Mike goes on to talk about the holiness of God and makes the following statement:
God is holy, and Israel was not. They needed to shed blood for sins both great and small so that God could dwell in their midst. Sin demands death, and Israel couldn’t love in community with God without a clear, violent, and ever-present reminder of the cost of their sins.
He goes on to say,
Nothing required God to provide a way for redeeming fallen man. He had every right to simply allow us to suffer the deadly consequences of our actions, but He didn’t. He never abandoned us. He stepped into our world and made a way for us to know Him.
Mike points out in this chapter that in today’s world we have a tainted view of the holiness of God.
The boiling, fiery, deadly presence of God is the natural reaction of holiness in the presence of sin. We misunderstand the wrath of God if we think it’s only emotional rage, like an angry, frustrated parent. It’s not; it’s a rage made of a pure, perfect, and holy hatred of sin and evil. On the flip side, it’s a rage built upon the deepest love of what is good, pure and perfect.
Mike points out that just as we underestimate God’s holiness, we underestimate how deeply sinful we are. He says,
We think of ourselves as good enough, smart enough, and likeable enough to deserve forgiveness from God.
God redeemed us because He loves us – “For God so LOVED the world…”. When we think of how holy God is and the price that was paid for our sins, our response to Him should be nothing short of worship!
Points to Ponder:
- Do you realize how much God loves you?
- Do you see just how holy God is and just how much we need a Savior?