Before I knew Jesus and his character, I thought the kind of worship he demanded was like what I saw on an old Popeye cartoon. The evil dictator demanded submission from his subjects. He was so insecure that Popeye and the others had to kneel before the despot and were forced to say he was great.
The real Jesus is the absolute opposite of that. Jesus doesn’t demand that I tell him he is great because of insecurities. The real Jesus doesn’t demand. He simply loves me with all that he is and I come to know that he willingly took my punishment because he wanted to be with me forever. I come to realize that he is good, his plans are to benefit me, he is completely secure, and I come to love who He is. Knowing Him is freedom. With my sin gone I am free to receive His love and give it back to Him and others. Then His joy of loving and being loved is experienced by me as I know His joy of receiving and giving His love. Worship then is not forced but rather a natural response of appreciation for His character. I say to Him, because I want to say to Him, thank you for having the character of love, humility, sacrifice, and service for me and everyone else.
I do not cringe in fear before Him but can genuinely say to Him, “My Daddy!”