Lawful worship consists in obedience alone.
It is easy to praise the Lord from the heights of His love, but it is rich to worship Him from the depths of His love. If you are in a time of testing or trial may I encourage you today to stop and worship the Lord. Find comfort in His word and in the obedience that comes from surrendering our will and rights to Him. Job prayed in the course of his trials, "Though He may slay me, I will hope in Him." Our Lord is sovereign – He is in control of all things. There is mercy in the wilderness dear friend. Come to Christ Jesus today, worship Him in spirit and truth, and drink of His mercy as He molds you to Himself.
Regardless of the reaction of others, one thing is certain: True worship and devotion will make our lives fragrant and will perfume the environment around us. Our homes, our churches, even our places of work will bear the sweet scent of our devotion. Most important, the Lord Jesus will be pleased. And ultimately that is all that really matters.
As secret worship is better the more secret it is, so public worship is better the more public it is.
We must, during all our labour and in all else we do, even in our reading and writing, holy though both may be – I say more, even during our formal devotions and spoken prayers – pause for some short moment, as often indeed as we can, to worship God in the depth of our heart, to savour Him, though it be but in passing, and as it were by stealth. Since you are not unaware that God is present before you whatever you are doing, that he is at the depth and centre of your soul, why not then pause from time to time at least from that which occupies you outwardly, even from your spoken prayers, to worship Him inwardly, to praise him, petition him, to offer him your heart and thank him? What can God have that gives Him greater satisfaction than that a thousand times a day all His creatures should thus pause to withdraw and worship him in the heart?
If we haven’t learned to be worshippers it doesn’t really matter how well we do anything else. Worship changes us or it has not been worship. To stand before the Holy One of eternity is to change. Worship begins in holy expectancy, it ends in holy obedience.
The Father and Son have sought to redeem us that we may become worshipers. Jesus said that the Son of Man came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). In John 4 he reveals the purpose for His seeking: “For such people the Father seeks to be His worshiper” (vs. 23). The Father sent Christ to seek and save for the specific purpose of producing worshiping people.
Every believer is a living, breathing temple in which God dwells. That means believers can worship anywhere, at any time – God goes with them in an abiding presence. A Christian can worship Him at the beach, in the mountains, driving down the road, sitting under a tree, walking in the woods, running in the country, sitting in the living room, in a church building, or anywhere under any kind of circumstance or condition. The sphere of worship is unlimited.
The supreme act of worship is not giving money, attending church or singing hymns, but giving oneself (Rom. 12:1-2). As a “holy priesthood,” believers are “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Pet. 2:5), the most important of which is themselves. Only when it is from a devout life, given to Christ wholly, does financial giving become an acceptable act of worship.
Fruitful and acceptable worship begins before it begins.
[After] worshiping God as a way of life the previous six days in both private and family worship…public worship will be a natural outflow.
The lifelessness experienced in so many churches in our day can be traced directly to the multitudes of families in those churches which contain Sunday-morning Christians only. It is plain to see the cause for such deadness when such individuals are not consistently worshiping God in private. Statistics reveal that only 11 percent of all professing Christians in America read their Bible or some portion of it once a day. If so few professing Christians are spending time alone with God, it should not be surprising that family worship as a practice among professing Christian families is practically nonexistent.
We are a singing people. And there is a reason for this. The reality of God and Christ and creation and salvation and heaven and hell are simply too great for mere speaking; they must also be sung. This means that the reality of God and his work is so great that we are not merely to think truly about it, but also feel duly about it. Think truly and feel duly – that is, feel with the kind and depth and intensity of emotion that is appropriate to the reality that is truly known.
God seeks and values the gifts we bring Him – gifts of praise, thanksgiving, service, and material offerings. In all such giving at the altar we enter into the highest experiences of fellowship. But the gift is acceptable to God in the measure to which the one who offers it is in fellowship with Him in character and conduct; and the test of this is in our relationships with our fellow men. We are thus charged to postpone giving to God until right relationships are established with others. Could the neglect of this be the explanation of the barrenness of our worship? (Matt. 5:24)
So you can see what is happening in the New Testament. Worship is being significantly deinstitutionalized, delocalized, de-externalized. The whole thrust is being taken off of ceremony and seasons and places and forms and is being shifted to what is happening in the heart – not just on Sunday but every day and all the time in all of life.
We all are created to be worshipers. We will all worship something. Apart from the worship of God, the worship of all other objects is dangerous.
Folks, I’m not aware of any pictures of heaven that we have from Revelation where anyone other than the Triune God receives worship. Is there evidence your heart is being prepared for that eternal existence?
We are told men ought not to preach without preparation. Granted. But, we add, men ought not to hear without preparation. Which, do you think, needs the most preparation, the sower or the ground? I would have the sower come with clean hands, but I would have the ground well-plowed and harrowed, well-turned over, and the clods broken before the seed comes in. It seems to me that there is more preparation needed by the ground than by the sower, more by the hearer than by the preacher.
Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So one hundred worshipers [meeting] together, each one looking away to Christ, are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be, were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship. Social religion is perfected when private religion is purified.
I can safely say, on the authority of all that is revealed in the Word of God, that any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.
From a heart overflowing with gratitude, we will want to honor and glorify God by gratefully offering back to Him the many good gifts He has bestowed on us. We will not go to church to be entertained, to see "what we can get out of it" for our own private gratification, but rather to praise and worship the triune God of grace and glory
Describing modern man, one has written, “Modern man worships his work, works at his play, and plays at his worship.”
Worship is a response to greatness. A man does not become a worshipper merely by saying, “Now I shall become a worshipper.” That is impossible. That cannot be done. A man becomes a worshipper when he sees something great that calls forth his admiration or his worship. That is the only way worshippers are made. Worship answers to greatness.
Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.
All of life for the Christian is to be viewed as worship (Rom 12:1), not just the Sunday morning service. In fact, the level of Christian maturity can be gauged by how much worship takes place outside of the Sunday morning worship service.
Without exception, the men and women I have known who make the most rapid, consistent, and evident growth in Christlikeness have been those who develop a daily time of being alone with God. This time of outward silence is the time of daily Bible intake and prayer. In this solitude is the occasion for private worship.
Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, 1991, p. 195, Used by permission of NavPress – www.navpress.com, All rights reserved. For more information please see the website www.BibicalSpirituality.org. Get this book!
How is it possible to worship God publicly once each week when we do not worship Him privately throughout the week? Can we expect the flames of our worship of God to burn brightly in public on the Lord’s Day when they barely flicker for Him in secret on other days? Isn’t it because we do not worship well in private that our corporate worship experience often dissatisfies us?
We minimize our joy when we neglect the daily worship of God in private. It is one of the great blessings of life that God does not limit our access to Him and enjoyment of His presence to one day per week! Daily strength, guidance, and encouragement are available to us. An invitation to grow in intimacy with Jesus Christ Himself is open every day. Think of it: The Lord Jesus Christ is willing to meet with you privately for as long as you want, and He is willing- even eager- to meet with you every day!