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Worship...Not Just a State of MindMonday, April 24, 2023
Is worship just a state of mind? Is it a special feeling that lets you know you are properly connected to God? Is it a great swelling in your chest or a fire in your bones?
Some Pictures of Worship in the Old Testament
Genesis 24.26, 48, and 47.31 reference the action of bowing low in worship, and that wording is found all over the Old Testament.
We often find Service together with worship (i.e., Deut. 29.26; 30.17).
Nehemiah brought true worship back to Israel:
On that day men were also appointed over the chambers for the stores, the contributions, the first fruits and the tithes, to gather into them from the fields of the cities the portions required by the law for the priests and Levites; for Judah rejoiced over the priests and Levites who served. For they performed the worship of their God and the service of purification, together with the singers and the gatekeepers in accordance with the command of David and of his son Solomon. For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God. (Neh. 12.44-46)
It is said "they performed the worship," which again couples the concepts of worship and service, specifically temple service, in this case.
In Psalm 66.4, God is worshiped through songs of praises:
“All the earth will worship You,
And will sing praises to You;
They will sing praises to Your name.”
Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
Worship the LORD in holy attire;
Tremble before Him, all the earth.
This does not mean we should dress in our finest clothing; some who would impress their brothers and sisters by outward dress do not dress themselves in holiness. This has to do with the heart's attire, an attitude of holiness before YHWH.
Some Pictures of Worship in the New Testament
In the New Testament, worship often involves some physical posturing or activity of service.
The wise men "fell to the ground and worshiped" the Holy Child (Matt. 2.11). Satan demanded Jesus "fall down and worship me" (Matt. 4.9). Jesus speaks of worship with service in His answer to Satan: "You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only" (Matt. 4.10). Towards the end of Jesus' ministry, the disciples "took hold of His feet and worshiped Him" (Matt. 28.9).
In the early church, Paul writes of an unbeliever who "will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you" (1 Cor. 14.25), and in the Apocalypse "the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne..." (Rev. 4.10).
How Do We Worship?
Does our worship look like how the Hebrews worshipped? Does it look like how the New Testament disciples worshipped? When was the last time you fell on your face or knelt in worship?
But it's not really about the posture; it's about the heart, isn’t it?
It certainly is about the heart...but the heart should drive us to actively serve the Lord. Although the word worship is never directly associated with singing, praying, or preaching in the New Testament, we understand those activities to be spiritual services of worship. In those activities, you might fall prostrate before Him, reflecting on how great, glorious, and magnificent God is. You might kneel and bow your head, dwelling on His majesty and holiness.
Worship is a state of mind, but not just a state of mind. In worship, we actively and intentionally diminish ourselves and magnify God.
Worship is not just a good mood we get when we hear religious music. Many Christians today think only of music ministry when they think of worship. For them worship is when the people on stage play music and get the crowd all worked up. When they cry, laugh, or feel a great swelling in their chests, they feel they have worshiped. Those feelings may (and should) result from true worship, but it's the God-praising, God-glorifying, God-magnifying activities we do which are the actual worship—not the feelings which result from worship.
The best thing we can do is look in God's word to see how He desires to be worshiped. Then do those things with all our might!
Teach me to do Your will,
For You are my God;
Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143.10)
YHWH be praised!
Happy Thanksgiving!Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Blessing and glory and wisdom
and honor and power and might
be to our God forever and ever! Amen.
Doors have always opened for me, and I praise God for that. I am not the kind of guy who grabs life by the throat and forges my own way through life, though I’ve often wished I were. Rather, I tend to plod along my path until a different one opens. Sometimes I take the new path, and sometimes I don’t. There have been times in my life where I wondered if another door would ever open. But God has created a world full of opportunity and good things to fiddle with.
You can probably look back on your life and trace the bends and forks in the road. Perhaps you thought you had hit a dead end from time to time, but those always turned out to be stop signs or U-turns. There was always more road to travel.
Some of us lost close loved ones along the way, and we had to ride some bumpy roads. Some of us are hitting bumps right now, and they hurt. Yet, even with the bumps in the road, we see God’s blessing and favor towards us.
Thanksgiving Day is upon us, coming up this Thursday. No matter what our current situation, we always have a stack of blessings to count and a multitude of reasons to thank God.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4.4–7)
Thank God for your salvation:
But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness (Rom. 6.17–18)
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Cor. 15.57)
But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere (2 Cor. 2.14)
I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service (1 Tim. 1.12)
Thank God for all people:
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (1 Tim. 2.1–2)
Thank God for your brethren:
I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers (Eph. 1.16)
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you (Phil. 1.3)
We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints (Col. 1.3–4)
We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers, (1 Thes. 1.2)
For what thanksgiving can we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, as we pray most earnestly night and day that we may see you face to face and supply what is lacking in your faith? (1 Thes. 3.9–10)
We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing (2 Thes. 1.3)
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth (2 Thes. 2.13)
I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. (2 Tim. 1.3)
I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints (Philemon 4–5)
Thank God for everything:
…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Eph. 5.20)
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. (Col. 2.6–7)
And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Col. 3.15–17)
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (Col. 4.2)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thes. 5.16–18)
Thank God for your food:
The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. (Rom. 14.6)
For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer (1 Tim. 4.4–5)