Worship 29

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.

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.

Mat 28:16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

We hear people plugging and planning out the Great Commission as they call it, which is to say that this is used for great plans for evangelism. Congregations are sent out to evangelize and people come together for conferences on evangelism. Books are written about the methodology of it and seminary classes are taught on it. However, it appears that the vast majority of these are man-centered and man-focused. A true evangelism must always be centered upon and be consistent with the character of God. The same is true of worship. A true evangelism must be done with a focus and love on and for God, but the same thing is true of worship.

If we look at I Corinthians 13:1-2, we can see for certain that the practice of evangelism apart from love for God is really nothing. It is not that the practice of what is called evangelism is love for God, but we must love God and from that love evangelize (whatever that may be in biblical terms). It is also not the practice of what we call or think of as worship that is worship, but instead we must love in order that what we do actually be true worship. There is such a parallel between evangelism and worship that it should not be ignored, but perhaps light can be shown on one by the other.

There is so much focus on the planning and acts of evangelism today that it appears that God has been forgotten. The same is true of worship. The practice of worship in our day is really nothing more than music that is used to raise the feelings and words that make people who love themselves think that God loves them too. Evangelism and “worship” practiced in a man-centered way are very effective means of deceiving people. We get them in the door and to make some form of commitment out of self-love and then we keep them coming with music and words that do nothing but strengthen their self-love. In this people are not truly converted from self to God and they do not truly worship the true God but instead worship self. These two things are used to gain great numbers in the buildings of professing churches but do nothing but deceive people.

John 13:34-35 tells us with great clarity, and that in the words that Jesus spoke to His disciples, that they were to love each other as He had loved them and that all men would know that they were disciples of Christ by their love for one another. One can be an unbeliever and still evangelize in some way. One can be an unbeliever and do the externals of worship and that includes great delight in the music along with the false thoughts of a god that the person thinks is the true God. But one cannot worship the true God without true love and that love for others will be and can be seen in true worship.

When a person is granted repentance from self and false idols by the power of the Spirit of love one can love others and loving God in true worship is a biblical way to love others. When people are joined together by the Spirit of love to worship the living God in and through Christ they will have love for each other. It cannot be that Christ would be among His people and His Spirit would not give them love for each other. Christ loved His people and made the Father known to them, so His followers will make the Father known through Christ to each other in worship, teaching, and in fellowship. Worship in love is a high form of fellowship in the love of Christ.

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