“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