Father, it is the condition of my heart that You are concerned with. Through Zechariah, You told the people of Bethel that it was not simply the observance of anniversaries, holy festivals, feasts and fasting, which pleased You. It is true that those things can be done as acts of worship to honor You, the Lord Almighty. But they can also be done for the sake of the activity. You alone know the hearts of the people involved; whether they participate to please themselves or to extol You.
Doing these things with the wrong motives does not please You. You would rather see Your people: “Judge fairly, and show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners or the poor. Do not plot evil against one another.”
Father, today, I examine myself. I will search my own heart, look at my motives, and see where I have fallen short. Father, do not let me simply ‘go through the motions’. But inspire my spirit! When I praise You, I will do it with a full and sincere heart. When I give money or time or energy, I will do it gladly as an act of worship. When I read Your Word, I will do it with an open mind and spirit to hear and receive what You have to say to me. When I feast or fast, I will do it not for the recognition of others, but for an audience of One – You. And whether I celebrate Passover or Christmas, I will do it with sensitivity to the spiritual meaning, not just what history or the world has made it to be.
Father, I love that someone put a melody to the song of Moses and of the Lamb. It has assisted me in memorizing that verse, and allowed me to use it to give You praise the way it is done in heaven. But rather than just singing a song, I want to paraphrase to see the meaning so I can understand and agree with each part:
All that You do is great and marvelous! Amen!
Your character is just and true. Absolutely!
Every living being on the earth should be in reverent awe of and honor You!
Only You are truly holy
When the time comes that all You have done is revealed, every nation will bow down before You and worship You!
Father, I say an emphatic Amen after each of these statements! I acknowledge and thank You for Your deeds. I celebrate and trust the way You do things. I don’t always understand, because Your ways are not my ways – but I trust them. And I cannot wait until every knee bows to You, and every tongue confesses that You, indeed, are Lord! Amen!