Reciprocate and Adore

Reciprocation – a mutual giving and receiving

Adoration – act of paying honor, as to a divine being; worship

Maturation in my Christian faith has caused me to hear scripture differently. I do not mean that what I hear needs modification, revisions, additions, or deletions. Quite the opposite. In fact, the relevancy and application of God’s Word speak to me more authentically than ever before. God’s gifts of unconditional love, grace, and redemption come as whispers to my soul. They resonate with my life circumstances. They follow me in my daily life. They bring me comfort and peace; and sometimes they clamor for my attention. New discoveries flourish and fulfill me… always.

For example, although God’s gifts are singular and wrapped in specificity, the particulars woven into the broader spectrum reveal God’s character. God’s gifts define themselves in an expansive way through his covenants. Furthermore, each covenant calls for a response. Some refer to covenant responses as contractual obligations. Others find emotional contentment through his or her mind’s eye as the best response. However, I do not feel an obligatory response nor do I feel my mind’s eye is capable of intentional and reasoned responses. I should never judge another by his or her emotional contentment. Nevertheless, emotional contentment does not satisfy my yearnings for a Christ centered life.  

My relationship with Christ craves betrothal.  I want to commune and bond with my Maker. I want to presume that my relationship with Christ supports reciprocal giving, receiving, and giving back. Accordingly, as a child of God, I freely accept certain responsibilities based on the context of God’s great and wonderful promises.  

A reciprocal relationship, one in which “mutual giving and receiving” is presumed, brings genuine enjoyment of fellowship with God, the desire for more than just a decent human standard for living. It fosters the desire to live in a God-like fashion more each day.  As I confront worldliness and my own sinfulness, the phrase “reciprocation through adoration” reminds me that the biblical metaphor for the marriage relationship exists in scripture for good reasons. It establishes the infrastructure for one’s eternity in spite of circumstances.   

We receive God’s covenant gifts with grateful, reverent hearts rather than selfish, unrepentant hearts that take it all for granted.  The mutual giving (God gives) and receiving (we receive) is accepted and treasured as gifts. We honor and respect these gifts through undivided adoration of the Giver, the divine worship given back pays honor and respect to the One we trust, while reality brings authenticity into the relationship. 

For example, as I look at I John 1:5-10, my eyes are now opened to seeing it differently, seeing it through the eyes of reciprocal relationship.  As I examine the word “if” it becomes a response…

5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 Ifwe claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”

Some folks may feel the ifs become rules that we must obey, taking our God-given free will out of the equation. Not so. The truth of God’s inspired written words takes us to a higher place; a place where we are free to live our lives for Christ authentically.  

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