Friday, March 7, 2014
“Worship is God’s”
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It’s Friday, March 7, 2014. I’m Robert Hatfield and this program delivers daily thoughts for new Christians. This is THE NEW YOU!
The setting: Jacob’s well in Sychar, a city in Samaria. Jesus stopped there to rest as He traveled to Galilee. A Samaritan woman approached the well and a spiritual conversation ensued. The topic of worship arose and Jesus proclaimed this truth:
“God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:24).
What we’re preparing to do day after tomorrow, on the Lord’s day, is no insignificant matter. Worship is important. From the verse before us, John 4:24, we see three components of true worship: the right object, the right attitude, and the right actions. Today, I want us to talk about the object of our worship.
Look carefully at what Jesus said: “God is Spirit, and those who worship … must worship Him.” My point is this: God is the object of our worship. Or, to say it in different terms, worship is about God. In the account of Christ’s temptation, Satan said, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” Jesus’ response: “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve’” (Mat. 4:9-10).
Since worship belongs to God and not to us and since it is directed at God and not to us, it follows that God alone has the right to define and regulate worship. The Psalmist says, “God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, And to be held in reverence by all those around Him” (Psa. 89:7). The angel told John in Revelation, “Worship God” (Rev. 22:9).
God has, in fact, given us the regulations for our worship to Him. Perhaps those regulations are not in line with what we would choose if it were up to us to regulate worship. But that’s just it: it isn’t up to us.
So, when someone attempts to excuse himself from the command to sing in worship by saying something like, “I can’t sing. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket!” What that person fails to realize is this: it’s not about what you think about your singing voice. It’s about expressing that worship to God.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” the old saying goes. And the same can be said by our Father in heaven as we worship Him. As God looks upon the worship assemblies of His saints, I do not believe that He is concerned with the stained glass windows, state-of-the-art technology, or even the color of the carpet. God is interested in the hearts of the worshippers.
This point is seen all the way back in the Old Testament book of Isaiah, chapter one. Here, God rebukes the people as they offer their sacrifices that were commanded by the Old Testament law. God referred to their sacrifices as “futile,” “an abomination,” and “iniquity” – and that’s just in Isa. 1:13! Why is God displeased here? The people are offering sacrifices! At least they’re acknowledging Him, right? Wrong. Later, in Isaiah 29:13, we read this: “These people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me.”
God is still interested in your heart. It is to be directed toward Him, and, when it is, your actions will be acceptable to God, also.
Let’s wrap it up: As you prepare to assemble with the saints this Lord’s day, take a moment to meditate on the idea of what you’re about to do. You’re about to offer sacrifices from your heart expressed through your actions of song, prayer, meditation on the Lord’s Supper, attention to God’s Word, and cheerful giving of your financial blessings. All of this is directed toward God in heaven. He is the receiver of your worship.
That being the case, don’t go to the worship assembly with the “What-am-I-going-to-get-out-of-this” mentality. It’s not about you. Approach the worship ready to employ all of yourself in praising and worshipping the God who loves you and who has adopted you into His family through Jesus Christ.
Memory Verse: This week’s memory verse has been carefully selected. If you’ll keep the Word of God in your heart, then the new you will really begin to shine through. For the final time this week, let’s remind ourselves of the verse:
Psalm 119:11: “Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You.” (Repeat once)
Over the weekend: Be sure to catch our very first Q & A Saturday episode tomorrow! We have some great questions lined up. I’m excited to discuss them with you. Also, be sure to worship on the Lord’s day! Can I help you find a place to worship on Sunday? I’d love to help any way that I can. I’ve put a link in our show notes today that has a map of congregations. You can search for your area and I’m sure you’ll find a nearby congregation with which to worship.
Thanks for joining today me on The New You. You can contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 903-265-4448. Archives of this program and more Christian podcasts can be found online at thelightnetwork.tv.
I’ll meet you tomorrow for the Q & A Saturday edition of The New You!
Use this weekend to let your light shine, serve Jesus, and glorify God! Have a great one!