Having a Heart Just Like Jesus (6) – A Worship-Hungry Heart
“Six days later, Jesus took Peter, James, and John, the brother of James, up on a high mountain by themselves. 2 While they watched, Jesus’ appearance was changed; his face became bright like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 Then Moses and Elijah[a] appeared to them, talking with Jesus. 4 Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you want, I will put up three tents here—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. 5 While Peter was talking, a bright cloud covered them. A voice came from the cloud and said, “This is my Son, whom I love, and I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:1-5 )
Do you come to church with a “worship-hungry” heart? Jesus did!
This study is about having what Max Lucado calls a Worship-Hungry Heart. In his book Just Like Jesus, Lucado says that We are on a journey, some of us are satisfied with a “predictable experience” but some of us want more than that from life and from worship. He contends that We should come to worship with a child-like enthusiasm, that we must prepare for worship - not just wake up and show up.
Some things that we should do to prepare for worship are: collect our thoughts, think about the questions and requests that we have for God, pray before we come, get plenty of rest the night before, read the Word before we come. Then when we come, we should come hungry, come willingly, come expecting God to speak, and come asking “Can I see the pilot today?”
If my worship is what it ought to be and if I have prepared for it, it will change my face. Worry, shame and doubt, tension, anger, exhaustion that may have been reflected in my face, should all melt away. In keeping with the definition of worship, we magnify God, we enlarge our vision of Him, and we come to understand that he is able to handle all of the BIG issues of life. This change in our appearance is something that God does for us, not something that we do.
When we have a worship-hungry heart, other people see that reflected in our countenance and the way that we act and they want to become part of it. This is particularly true of children observing their parent’s worship.
In the personal Bible study, that I have alluded to in this series of articles, in which we used this book as a discussion guide, we discussed several aspects of our worship. I will address each of these in turn in the sections that follow, hoping that you might benefit from them.
How Important Is Worship To You Today?
Is Worship More or Less Important to You Today Than When You First Obeyed the Gospel?
Human beings have a tendency to become complacent with those activities that they do repeatedly over a long period of time. Think of the attention you give to driving a car now, compared with the thought you focused on the activity when you were just starting out! Think about the passion you had for a field of study or for the effort you gave to learning to play a musical instrument. I think about the great desire my sons, Ryan and Tyler, had that their mother teach them to play the piano. They were excited about all that came with that. But after a period of time, the practice and the constant focus to posture and discipline required to become “good,” they became weary. Now, they view playing with about the same enthusiasm that they approach eating their vegetables at supper time!
As a Christian, your worship must be a constant focus of your life. It is not something you do just on Sunday morning when we are assembled together. But neither should our assembling together become that which we do without thinking. As I pointed out in a recent sermon, we must be constantly concerned with “why we do … what we do.” “Worship-hungry” is a good way to describe the type of heart that God expects from his children. God told the Children of Israel on numerous occasions that He would teach the nations around them to respect Him and to “know that I am God.” (see
Also, as you examine the life of Jesus, you see a worship hungry heart demonstrated through constant prayer and communion with the Father. Jesus affirmed that he did nothing of His own will but only that which the Father desired. Is that our attitude? Do we ask, as we contemplate decisions and courses of action, “Is this God’s will or mine?”
Matthew 17:1-5 is indicative of the preparations Jesus made when He was to stand in the presence of God. He took companions with Him and went up on a high mountain so they could be alone with God. Jesus’ appearance changed, his face becoming bright like the sun and his clothes became white.
Does Your Face Reflect Your Heart?
When you come to worship God, do you do so with reverence and awe to be in the presence of the mighty creator of all things who stands above all the limits of time and power? Paul writes, “We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him.” (2 Cor. 3:18 ). Does your face reflect God’s glory?
What Happens to Your Face as You Leave the Service and Head to Work Each Week?
Do You Take That Look With You?
Would Anyone Know by Looking at You on Tuesday That You’d Been With the Master on Sunday? How?
Are You Presenting a Veiled Face to Others?
As you reflect upon 2Cor 3:12-18, do you sometimes present “veiled faces” or hearts as you worship? Why do you do this? How can you best “reflect God’s glory” this week? At home? At work? With friends?
I like the point that Lucado makes in a section that he calls “becoming the hands of Jesus” in the study guide. He suggests that, “Whether you’re the “official greeter” at church or not, consider making that one of your “mission opportunities.” Instead of waiting for visitors to make themselves known, put God’s smile on your face, and purposefully seek them out.”
May I urge you to be just like Jesus? Prepare your heart for worship. Let God change your face through worship!