Worship 27

John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Isaiah 57:15 For thus says the high and exalted One Who lives forever, whose name is Holy, “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit In order to revive the spirit of the lowly And to revive the heart of the contrite.

Amos 5:21 “I hate, I reject your festivals, Nor do I delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 “Even though you offer up to Me burnt offerings and your grain offerings, I will not accept them; And I will not even look at the peace offerings of your fatlings. 23 “Take away from Me the noise of your songs; I will not even listen to the sound of your harps.

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; Matthew 15:8 ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME 9 ‘BUT IN VAIN DO THEY WORSHIP ME, TEACHING AS DOCTRINES THE PRECEPTS OF MEN.'”

Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 1 Corinthians 13:1 If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

Politicians speak words without substance and without truth. They can get people fired up over empty platitudes and meaningless rhetoric. It seems that many operate on words that they change the meaning and leave the people deceived. They can attack the other candidates on what they say and yet be far apart from what the others mean by what they say. We should not deceive our own hearts in that way and think that because we do things that are part of an external worship that we therefore truly worship.

We must be careful that we are not content with orthodoxy in our words and yet not have love and truth in our hearts. In other words, we must not be like politicians (analogically speaking) in our worship. While people may be deceived and we may deceive ourselves with external worship and with hearts that delight in our external worship or even with the idea of worship rather than with God Himself, God is not deceived. The politicians speak with smiles on their faces and with promises and positive words, but their hearts are all about themselves and their own gain. So much outward worship seems to follow the things of self rather than the things of God.

Phil 2:20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus

True worship cannot be like the heart of the self-serving politician, but instead it must be a heart that truly loves God for who God is and not just out of the love of self. Even Paul had trouble finding ministers to send because he wanted those who would be concerned for the sake of the people and the things of Christ rather than seeking after the interests of self. Worship is that way as well. Worship must not be about the things of self, but instead it must be about the things of God. Worship is to adore and love the living God in truth as opposed to loving things because they benefit us and our flesh.

What a difference our time of worship would be when the local church comes together if the people longed for God and longed to love Him in the time of worship. While it is not possible to love God apart from truth, it is possible to have some aspects of truth without love for God. We can even think we love God when we love certain things about God, or at least we think we love certain things about God, but our love for God must come from God and be a type of joining Him in love of Himself. We must love God in our thinking and we must love God with our desires and affections.

Jonathan Edward wrote about God communicating Himself to our understanding and our affections. When we have true and delightful thoughts of God, He has communicated Himself to us. When we have exalted thoughts of God because of who He is apart from what benefits we think we may have, then God is communicating Himself to us. True worship is when God communicates Himself to His people and they delight in Him for who He is. In that the glory of God shines.

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