The Right Response
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 99:1-9 | Ecclesiastes 7:1 — 9:18 | 2 Corinthians 7:8-16 | Proverbs 22:17-19
Today’s Scripture Focus: 2 Corinthians 7
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. (2 Corinthians 7:10 NIV)
How do you respond to your pastor’s message? It’s an important question. When God speaks to you through his word—and especially through the preaching of his word—how do you respond? Unless you respond—and respond rightly—you’ve missed out on a vital part of your worship experience.
Worship is our response to God’s glory. He is always the audience in worship. It’s easy to see how that works through singing. We sing to Him; praising for who he is and thanking him for what he has done. But the whole worship service is a response to God as he reveals himself to us. Even the message—or sermon—or whatever your pastor calls that time when he talks and you doze in and out (I’m teasing, I hope). But worship isn’t really happening through the preaching of the word until we respond.
As scripture is read and explained and applied through preaching, God speaks to us. His word to us requires a response. That response is an important part of our worship.
Paul was encouraged by the way the Corinthians had responded to his earlier letter. He had to say some tough things—and he hoped they would receive his words in the right spirit. More importantly, he hoped that they would hear and respond rightly.
Their godly sorrow is the evidence that they had heard and responded to the message they received. The Holy Spirit brought conviction. They knew what Paul was saying was true. The words cut like a sword and they had to respond. Godly sorrow led to repentance: A total change of mind about sin—a determination to turn in the other direction.
Each week, we come expecting God to confront us with his truth, and to point us to some needed changes. Godly sorrow leading to repentance is always evidenced by obedience to the truth revealed.
Worship doesn’t happen by just sitting in a pew; it doesn’t happen only through the singing. An important and often neglected part of the worship service takes place as we hear and respond to the Word of God as it is read and expounded—such a response is a pleasing sacrifice of worship that is sure to bring God delight.