Come, Now is the Time to Worship
w/m - Brian Robert Doerksen, 2nd Verse - Bill Itzel
Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart
Come, just as you are to worship
Come, just as you are before your God
One day every tongue will confess You are God
One day every knee will bow
Still the greatest treasure remains for those
Who gladly choose You now
Boldly we approach the throne of grace
Humbly our knees to bow
Before the Sovereign One who first chose those
Who gladly choose Him now
This is a simple little call to worship that we have sung a number of times. Come, now is the time to worship. Truly, it is never time NOT to worship, but this is usually speaking of a corporate worship setting. Come, now is the time to give your heart. 2 Corinthians 6:2 says that “Now is the day of salvation”. This seems to be a call to anyone who hasn’t fully obeyed the words of Jesus in Luke 14:33 (So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple), to do so and trust Him with their whole heart.
Come, just as you are to worship. Lines like this are tricky. Yes, we don’t need to “clean ourselves up” before we come to Christ. We come to Him in repentance and He cleans us up; however, it has become a popular teaching by many in evangelicalism that coming to Christ does not require any change. Repentance, by its very nature, is a 180 degree turn in the opposite direction. We can’t continue in our sin AND be ready to worship. Sin puts a barrier in our fellowship with God. 1 Corinthians 11 speaks of an act of worship called the Lord’s Supper in which Paul warns, “Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty concerning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died.” This is a pretty strong warning that worship of God is not a trivial thing. We can't change ourselves, but we do need to BE changed in order to worship rightly.
Come, just as you are before your God. Anytime in the Old Testament, when one came near God’s presence, it invoked a sense of awe. People would fall prostrate on the ground as dead men. They understood their unworthiness. We should too. In the New Testament, God took on flesh and was surrounded by people, both full of faith and the faithless, but the ones who truly worshiped, were the ones who had the sense of awe for being in the presence of the Son of God.
One day every tongue will confess You are God. One day every knee will bow. Still the greatest treasure remains for those who gladly choose You now. There is a line in our song, “Last man Standing” that says, “Some will bow in faithfulness, and others will in fear.” Yes, every knee will bow, but only those who have turned and trusted in Jesus, and have persevered until the end (Matthew 24:13), will receive the eternal reward.
Since this song only had one verse and 1 chorus, it seemed a bit repetitive to keep repeating the same 8 lines for 4 minutes, so I wrote a second verse: Boldly we approach the throne of grace. Humbly our knees to bow. I meant to show the two sides of our relationship with the Father in using the words “Boldly” and “Humbly”. Both are true. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Yet, James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” God is our Father, and yet, God is also the Creator of the universe. He deserves all the glory and honor, but He loves His children and wants them to come into His presence.
Before the Sovereign One who first chose those who gladly choose Him now. We choose God. There is no doubt about that in scripture. If we are to be saved from our sin, we must, in faith, “Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead.” Even John 3:16, the most popular verse in the Bible, says that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. This is clear in scripture. We exercise the gift of faith at the point of our salvation. No one is saved apart from faith. However, the Bible is also clear that, long before we came along and exercised faith, “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” Ephesians 1. 2 Thessalonians 2:13 says, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.” Ephesians 2:8 tells us that faith is a gift of God. So, as the familiar song says, “Oh, how I love Jesus, because He first loved me.” It is because He loved us, and saved us out of our sin, that we come to worship Him.
Bill Itzel has been a worship leader and singer/songwriter for over 30 years and is based in Westminster, MD. His family tours and leads worship around the country. Bill and his family attend Belcroft Bible Church in Bowie, MD. This is a blog about congregational worship and the latest news in the The Itzel's ministry.