True Worship

“Among the greatest privileges afforded to man is the opportunity to worship the Creator–to bow down before him in reverent acknowledgment of Who He is, to thank Him for His goodness, and to offer Him our praise,” wrote Dan Petty in the introduction of the 2005 Florida College Lectures, “True Worship.

“Worship,” Dan wrote, “gives meaning to a life devoted to serving God.”

Dan Petty’s words reminds us that Lord’s Day worship is not to be regarded as a weekly ritual in which we follow a traditional routine without thought, feeling or involvement.

Jesus’s words to the Samaritan woman emphasize the elements of the Scriptural worship.

But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (Jn, 4:23-24).

Three important thoughts from this passage merit our consideration.

#1 Worship is absolute.

The word “worship” literally means “to kiss the hand towards.” It has to do with awe, homage and adoration.

The old English word was actually spoken as “worth-ship.” It expressed the idea of one’s worth. God is worthy of our worship.

The worship assembly is not to showcase the oratory skills of the preacher, the musical ability song leader or the eloquence of the one leading in prayer. Worship is God-directed.

In the Old Testament God demand absolute reverence when He commanded “You shall have no other gods before me.” He expects no less today.

#2 Worship must be accurate.

From the early worship of Cain and Abel, to the worship of Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu to the idol worship during the Judges, Scripture impresses us that God wants us to worship as He authorized.

God cares about correctness. Truth. Accuracy. And worshiping Him as He directs us in his Word.

The book of Acts along with the Epistles reveal that New Testament Christians engaged in communion each first day of the week, praised God in song, offered their heart-felt prayers, financially contributed to support the Lord’s work and listened to the Word of God proclaimed.

Call it tradition, if you want, but it’s an inspired apostolic tradition.

#3 Worship must be Authentic.

Accuracy is not enough. Worship that is spiritless, without passion, and devoid of any feeling is not authentic worship. Christianity is a heart felt religion.

Worshiping God ought to evoke feeling. Joy. Thankfulness. Appreciation, Affection. Awe. And love are all emotions that should stir us in our worship to God.

We ought echo the attitude of the Psalmist who exclaimed, “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.”

“If we want to worship in spirit and in truth,” wrote David Jeremiah, “we need to rediscover the capacity to wonder that God placed within each of us.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

Worship God Only

James 4:4-8 You are as wives and husbands who are not faithful in marriage and do sex sins. Do you not know that to love the sinful things of the world and to be a friend to them is to be against God? Yes, I say it again, if you are a friend of the world, you are against God. Do you think the Holy Writings mean nothing when they said, “The Holy Spirit Whom God has given to live in us has a strong desire for us to be faithful to Him”?

But He gives us more loving-favor. For the Holy Writings say, “God works against the proud but gives loving-favor to those who have no pride.” So give yourselves to God. Stand against the devil and he will run away from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners. Clean up your hearts, you who want to follow the sinful ways of the world and God at the same time.

When reading in the Old Testament, we might not understand why people would bow down before idols they had made. But we make a similar mistake, placing too high a value on things like money, relationships, appearance, and power. Though not bad in themselves, these can become objects of worship if we prioritize them above God. That’s why He is jealous for our heart.

There are two reasons the Lord doesn’t let His children’s devotion stay out of balance. First, He deserves the glory, and second, He loves us and wants the best for us. Praising God above all else is actually in our own best interest, so when our heart does not belong solely to Christ, He disciplines us. This might mean He allows challenges to remind us who is the one and only God. Hardships are not pleasant, but we can be encouraged that God is making us complete in Him.

This week, notice where you spend your time and money and what dominates your thoughts. Even if your pursuits seem good on the surface, ask the Lord to reveal whatever has become an idol in your life. Confess any misplaced affection, and ask for help in making God the object of your devotion.

Don’t Worship Wrongly!

David Jeremiah
Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels.
Colossians 2:18

What would you do if you encountered an angel from heaven? One would not be blamed for falling down, prostrate, before such a magnificent being. If one fell down out of fear, that would be understandable. But if one fell down in worship, that would not be appropriate. The apostle John discovered that when he bowed down to worship an angel in heaven and was reprimanded—twice.

John had seen a lot of “falling down” in heaven, specifically the four living creatures and the 24 elders worshiping before the throne of God. So when John himself encountered a mighty angel, he fell down at the angel’s feet to worship (Revelation 19:10; 22:8-9). But in both cases, the angel told John to stand up because “I am your fellow servant….Worship God.” This testimony could not be clearer: Angels are worshipers, like us. Multitudes of them circle around the throne of God and worship Him (Revelation 5:11-12). Angels are not to be worshiped.

All of creation—in heaven and on earth—bows a knee before Jesus Christ and Him alone (Philippians 2:10).

What or whom we worship determines our behavior.
John Murray

10 Thoughts About Worship I Wish I’d Known Earlier

http://chucklawless.com/2021/06/10-thoughts-about-worship-i-wish-id-known-earlier/

Why Does God Require our Love, Worship, and Praise? Is God Insecure?

https://leewoof.org/2016/02/23/why-does-god-require-our-love-worship-and-praise-is-god-insecure/

10 Thoughts About Worship I Wish I’d Known Earlier

Chuck Lawless

 

As I reflect on my early years as a believer and a young pastor, I realize now how little I knew about worship. I think my worship would have been more focused and powerful had I known some of these things back then:

  1. Corporate worship really matters. COVID has reminded us of what we had taken for granted. The combined praises of God’s people are powerful, especially when we listen to each other worship.
  2. We waste a lot of time in worship services. The time-wasters, in fact, are numerous. Making churchwide announcements that apply to only one group. Preaching disorganized, rambling sermons. Talking too much between songs. I could go on and on. . . .
  3. Many hymns have great theology. As a younger leader, I grew weary with many hymns—but I judged them then more on their sing-ability than on their theology.
  4. Many praise choruses are straight from the Bible. I didn’t always recognize that fact, though, so I missed out on the connection with the Word.
  5. We who were raised on the repetition of “Do Lord, oh do Lord, oh do remember me” probably shouldn’t get stressed about repetitive choruses today. I’m not arguing for weak choruses; I’m simply saying that we’ve dealt with similar issues in the past.
  6. It’s okay to raise your hands to praise God in worship. I realize others may differ with me here, but I’ve grown comfortable with worshiping physically and publicly while also praying I not draw attention to myself (I trust).
  7. The worship event ought to be the culmination of our turning our heart to God—not the first step in that direction. If we wait until the worship service to get right with God, we’ll miss much of the point of worship: simply honoring Him as holy. Worship ought to be ongoing even before we gather with believers.

Te rest is at: http://chucklawless.com/2021/06/10-thoughts-about-worship-i-wish-id-known-earlier/

Stars and Space

“When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4)

 

Stars have a way of creating a subtle yet grand sense of space and the infinite. They make you realize that creation is so much bigger than the planet you’re confined to, and that your life is much more sweeping than your current situation. They can take a predicament, something so familiar as everyday life, pull away the dross and amplify its glory.

Read the rest: https://www.relevantmagazine.com/faith/deeper-walk/1243-stars-and-space/

The resurrection

Worshiping with other believers helps you view all of life from the vantage point of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

It’s not just the most important miracle ever. It’s not just the most astounding event in the life of the Messiah. It’s not just an essential item in your theological outline. It’s not just the reason for the most important celebratory season of the church. It’s not just your hope for the future. No, the resurrection is all that and more. It is also meant to be the window through which you view all of life. Second Corinthians 4:13–15 captures this truth very well: “[We know] that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.” But what does it look like to look at life through the window of the resurrection? As I assess my life right here, right now, what about the resurrection must I remember? Let me suggest five things. 

The resurrection of Jesus guarantees your resurrection too. Life is not a constantly repeating cycle of the same old same old. No, under God’s rule this world is marching toward a conclusion. Your life is being carried to a glorious end. There will be a moment when God will raise you out of this broken world, and sin and suffering will be no more. 

The resurrection tells you what Jesus is now doing. Jesus now reigns. First Corinthians 15 says that he will continue to reign until the final enemy is under his feet. You see, your world is not out of control, but under the careful control of One who is still doing his sin-defeating work. 

The resurrection promises you all the grace you need between Jesus’s resurrection and yours. If your end has already been guaranteed, then all the grace you need along the way has been guaranteed as well, or you would never make it to your appointed end. Future grace always carries with it the promise of present grace. 

The resurrection of Jesus motivates you to do what is right, no matter what you are facing. The resurrection tells you that God will win. His truth will reign. His plan will be accomplished. Sin will be defeated. Righteousness will overcome evil. This means that everything you do in God’s name is worth it, no matter what the cost. 

The resurrection tells you that you always have reason for thanks. Quite apart from anything you have earned, you have been welcomed into the most exciting story ever and have been granted a future of joy and peace forever.

Tripp, Paul David. New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional . Crossway. Kindle Edition. ( I read a age frin this book everyday. I have gone through it for several years now and it is always a thoughtful part of my devotions.)

Inspiring Quotes on Worship

1. The whole person, with all his senses, with both mind and body, needs to be involved in genuine worship. By Jerry Kerns

2. When God’s people begin to praise and worship Him using the Biblical methods He gives, the Power of His presence comes among His people in an even greater measure. By Graham Truscott

3. God is to be praised with the voice, and the heart should go therewith in holy exultation. By Charles H. Spurgeon

4. Worship is an it-is-well-with-my-soul experience. By Robert Webber

5. Without worship, we go about miserable. By A. W. Tozer

6 A glimpse of God will save you. To gaze at Him will sanctify you. By Manley Beasley

7.If we are going to worship in Spirit, we must develop a spirit of worship. By Michael Catt

8. As worship begins in holy expectancy, it ends in holy obedience. Holy obedience saves worship from becoming an opiate, an escape from the pressing needs of modern life. By Richard Foster

9. Worship changes the worshiper into the image of the One worshiped. By Jack Hayford

10. Worship must be – Christ centered, Holy Spirit led, a Response to the Father, about Intimacy and Service and always lead to Transformation! By Tim Hughes

11. We must bear in mind, true worship is a matter of the heart and of genuine devotion to God. By Vivien Hibbert

12. Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are – mind, emotions, will, body – to what God is and says and does. By Warren Wiersbe

Scriptural Worship

I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb. To great sections of the church, the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the ‘program.’ This word has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the public service which now passes for worship among us.
—A.W. Tozer (April 21, 1897 – May 12, 1963)