Thursday, January 12, 2023
By Hannah Schiel, Journey High School Student
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in Spirit and in truth.” – John 4:23-24
When I was a child, a typical Sunday with my family looked like going to church in the morning, family time in the evening, and finishing the day by saying prayers before going to bed. For as long as I can remember this was our routine every week. Church on Sundays was amazing! I felt connected to God when I was in the building, but then I went home and didn’t praise Jesus at all throughout the week. This was where my spiritual connection with the Father seemingly stopped. I thought it was only acceptable to pray and worship God in the church building or right before I went to bed.
The thought of there only being one right place to worship overwhelmed my thoughts. There was no way to grow in my relationship with God when I thought I had to be in a church. I think a lot of us get stuck in that loop of going to church on Sundays, but then not worshiping God throughout the week because we think it isn’t possible. John 4 proves that statement is wrong, because when Jesus entered the world our “place” of worship would change forever. Verse 21 brings this idea to light.
“Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.”
God doesn’t want our place of worship to be restricted to a mountain top or an enclosed building. He wants us to be able to expand to new horizons and praise Him no matter where we are or when it is. We don’t need a live worship band, nor do we need to be surrounded by other Christians. We can worship anywhere. This is possible because Jesus came down to our broken world and said these words in verses 23 and 24:
“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in Spirit and in truth.”
God seeks after us when we worship him in Spirit and in truth. I remember when I first read this. I was amazed at the fact that I didn’t have to be in a church building to worship. God just wanted my heart no matter where I was.
John 4 reminds us that God is always seeking us out no matter what we think or how far away we have fallen. I challenge you today to worship God, wherever you are and however that looks for you, and just lay everything at the Lord’s feet because He just wants you!
“Lord, I thank you for coming down to our earth and opening new opportunities for us, like allowing us to worship you anywhere. I pray that you give me confidence to worship you no matter where I am because I know I don’t have to be in a certain place to experience your glory. Help me to seek after you during my worship time and praise you through it all. Amen.”
Get to a place where you can focus and read the daily Scripture passage several times. From the passage of Scripture you read, highlight one or two verses that stick out. Write them down, and even consider rewriting the verse(s) in your own words.
Make some basic observations about the scripture you just read by asking these questions:
- Why was this written?
- To whom was it originally written?
- What is the author trying to communicate?
- What does the Scripture passage teach me about God and humanity?
After taking some time explaining the highlighted scriptures, begin to think about how they apply to your life. Ask yourself these questions and spend some time writing down your thoughts:
- What do these verses mean today?
- What does this verse(s) mean for my life?
- How does this verse challenge my thinking and actions?
- What changes do I need to make in my life as a result of this passage of Scripture?
Your response to the passage may take on many forms. You may write a call to action. You may describe how you will be different because of what God has said to you through the Bible verses. You may indicate what you are going to do because of what you learned. You may respond by writing out a prayer to God. For example, you may ask God to help you to be more loving, or to give you a desire to be more generous in your giving. Keep in mind that this is your response to what you have just read.