Thursday, February 12, 2015

Worship

Worship is fundamental to New Testament Christianity. Since worship in any religion directs attention toward the deity (or other object) revered and since those actions demonstrate the depth of intellectual, emotional, and spiritual devotion, then worship itself demonstrates our understanding of the character of deity. Worship is a statement about who God is. As Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24 NKJV).


Worship is the boldest expression of our faith. It is through worship that we acknowledge the basis for our reverence and adoration. It is through worship that we openly declare how seriously we take divine authority. What happens in worship and as worship reveals what motivates and unifies people. Therefore, worship also tells others much about who we are as a people. “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him” (Jn. 4:23).


Most Christians take it for granted that there are five acts of worship that should be fulfilled on a specific day. They assemble on the first day of the week: they partake of the Lord’s Supper, they give, they pray, they sing, and they listen to a sermon. We can readily concede that the New Testament gives an example of Christians assembling to partake of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7). In this same text Luke mentions that Paul preached. But was Paul’s preaching required by God on that day or just expedient? The apostle also told the Corinthians to give on the first day of the week (1 Cor. 16:1-2). While not specific to a particular day, the New Testament mentions prayer and singing as acceptable and required spiritual actions (Phil. 4:6; Col. 3:16). But what makes all of this worship? This is not an incidental matter, nor is it a question of semantics. If these actions are worship, are they worship only when we gather together in an assembly or is it worship at any time? What makes something worship?


Worshipping our God should mean much to us considering all that He has done on our behalf. It should never become meaningless or boring. Indeed, it should become a major part of our lives, a reflection of our greatest aspirations. Our worship either acknowledges the existence of a unique, perfect God or reflects a casual, imperfect god that is a sad imitation.We should contemplate God’s majesty regularly and be eager to acknowledge His grandeur in our worship to Him. Sadly, some use worship as an attempt to make up for the rest of their lives; however, this hypocrisy is not what God intended nor something He accepts. Worship should express sincerity and submission, devotion and direction. “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Ps. 29:2).


Kevin Rhodes