We are sometimes accused of not practicing "heart-felt" religion because we don't clap our hands, stamp our feet, wave our arms, or make some outward display when we worship God. Jesus said, "God is spirit and all who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." That is, we must worship him inwardly and outwardly. "In spirit" has to do with the inner man, the mind, sincere hearts and "in truth" has to do with doing what God has instructed us to do.
For instance, we have to been command to assemble, but we must assemble for the right purpose. We come together strictly for the purpose of worshiping God, not to be entertained by a paid choir or soloist or quartet, nor because of a free meal or because some prominent character will be there, nor for the social aspect of the assembly, etc. The people in Corinth had actually come together to take the Lord's Supper but they had an ulterior motive in mind (heart) therefore it was not possible for them to take the "Supper" in a worthy manner thus they "ate and drank damnation to themselves." Our hearts (minds) must be centered on the death of Christ. He said "do this in remembrance of me."
We may contribute huge sums of money but unless we have the right attitude (heart) our money becomes an abomination in God's sight. We must have a "willing" mind (heart) and give cheerfully.
And, of course, we know that a sincere and contrite heart must accompany our prayers, whether public or private. Whether leading or following, they must not be hypocritical. (Read Matthew 6:5-7)
Our music must be the kind that pleases God. There are only two kinds of music; vocal and instrumental. God authorizes vocal music that comes from the heart of man. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord" (Colossians 3:16).
What our critics need to be aware of is the fact that we do believe that the heart is the central part of our worship. But most of them believe that the heart part (sincerity) is all that is needed. They think and teach that it makes no difference what you believe or practice so long as one is sincere in that belief or practice. They need to be aware of the fact that there are two components that make our worship acceptable; "in spirt (with a true heart) and the right act (in truth), This is what constitutes "heart-felt" religion, not the clapping of hands, nor stamping of feet, or waving of arms.
After all, I see people do those things on the "The Price Is Right" when the announcement goes out to "come on down."
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