The lobby of the Des Moines Holiday Inn conference center is quiet now, seemingly for the first time in five days. The conferees and exhibitors are long gone, and off in the distance I can see the Regular Baptist Ministries’ rented truck, heavy-laden with displays and equipment, as it heads back home to Chicago.
As I glance over the empty exhibit tables and the vacant meeting rooms, my mind returns to the messages preached and modules conducted this week. I trust that, unlike those tables and meeting rooms, the hearts of those who attended this year’s conference are full and vibrant. More than that, I trust they are engaged in worshiping Christ our King.
Worship, we learned this week, is “adoring God and submitting to Him in response to Who He is and what He’s done.” If that’s true, then how can we help but worship? Our God is the Creator of Heaven and earth, the One Who speaks and it is done, and He Who sustains all things by the word of His power. Moreover, He is a gracious God Who delights to do great things for those He loves. He Who by divine fiat suspended the sun in space is the same One Who freely gave His Son so we might live, suspending Him upon a cruel Roman cross between Heaven and earth. And in so doing, He reconciled Heaven and earth, “making peace by the blood of His cross” (Col. 1:20, ESV) and making it possible for us to offer acceptable worship to God.
Since these things are true, the only rational response is to offer ourselves fully and unreservedly to the One Who loved us and gave Himself for us (Gal. 2:20); to strive each day—imperfectly but sincerely—to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength (Matt. 22:37); and to yield our wills to the will of our thrice-holy God so that we might glorify Him in thought, word, and deed (1 Cor. 10:31). This, in a nutshell, is the essence of worship.
David Gunn is director of Regular Baptist Press.