Did you hear and understand the question for our consideration?
It appears that the attitude of some who wear the name Christian is that worship places an undue burden on them. Therefore they find any excuse as a reason to forsake the assemblies.
These same excuses however do not prevent them from going to work, school or to some social function or activity. When it comes to worship, there are two words that come to mind: attitude and priority.
Priority is defined as: “Listing items in order of their importance.” God teaches where our priorities begin. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33). The things added are all of the other important matters in life. The things people too often put “before” the Lord and His kingdom.
Attitude is defined as: “State of mind, behavior, or conduct regarding some matter, as indicating opinion or purpose.” It is well described in the song we sing, “Is Your Heart Right With God.” Attitude proceeds actions. Bad attitudes result in bad behavior and produce bad results.
Good attitudes produce good conduct. David expressed his attitude toward the assembly in his day. “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psa. 122:1).
Do I look forward to attending the worship services and to the association with fellow Christians or do I see it as a chore? If we are not glad to attend the assemblies and worship God, is it because he has failed to bless us? Are we truly grateful for the blessing we have received and enjoy from the Lord? Do we realize that every good and perfect gift has come down from above (James 1:17)? Must we loose our blessings before we appreciate them?
Do we understand and mean it when we sing “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, Count your many blessings see what the God hath done.”
WHAT IS GOD’S ATTITUDE TOWARD OUR WORSHIP?
Did you ever stop and consider this question? Do we know what God requires
of mankind by way of worship?
When Jesus met the woman in Samaria at Jacob’s well, He spoke these words. “Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, where the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:21-24).
The hour has come when our worship is a must. Christians “must worship God.” Christians must worship God “in spirit.” Since we learn that God is a Spiritual Being and since we also have a spirit within our physical bodies, it is not the flesh that worships God but the spirit within our bodies. As living beings however, our spirits are carried about by our bodies and God has instructed us to assemble at specified times to worship.
It is equally important that our worship be “in truth.” This means we may not invent our own items of worship, but must employ what the Lord has authorized. This is reason enough not to add instruments of music to worshiping God. They simply are not authorized. Cain learned this lesson when he substituted his item of worship for what God authorized. It was rejected and God called it “sin” (Gen. 4:7).
According to Jesus, who Himself worshiped the Father, the Father not only deserves to be worshiped but he demands it to be so. Jesus said the Father seeks those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth (cf. John 4:23).
It is in the nature of man to worship. Throughout the ages mankind has worshiped someone or something, tragically in most cases, to false gods and according to human creeds (Matt. 15:9).
What a blessing it is to come to know the true and living God, to know how this world came into existence, how life began, and to come to realize that we have an immortal, living soul. It is a blessing to know that death is not the end of our existence but that there is a place of eternal love, peace and joy where there is no sickness, pain or sorrow. Praise the Lord!
TRUE WORSHIP GIVES US PERSPECTIVE
Perspective: “The relative importance of facts or matters from any special
point of view.”
What is important in life? What will endure? There are many things that we rightfully seek after in life. We seek good health, a good education, earning a living, marriage, having a family, a proper amount of recreation. But when we learn that which He has revealed to us through His Holy word, we realize that there is more to our existence than these material pursuits. Jesus asked the question: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul” (Matt. 16:26)?
Abraham is called “the father of the faithful” because of his total trust in God. God promised Abraham and his seed a land that flowed with milk and honey. But the fact is, Abraham was seeking a city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God (Heb. 11:10). Even though Abraham was promised great material prosperity, he was looking for an eternal city whose maker and builder was God. That’s perspective!
GOD REWARDS TRUE WORSHIPERS
The ones who were privileged to hear the first Gospel sermon ever preached
were described as devout men. They had come to Jerusalem to worship the true
and living God. Even though they were mistaken concerning who Christ was and
made a grievous mistake in seeking his crucifixion, their motive had been to
come to Jerusalem to worship God. The result was that many heard the Gospel
and had their sins forgiven; and subsequently, they carried the Gospel back
to their home countries (Acts 2). One has to believe that the God they came
to worship had mercy on them and granted them the right to hear the saving Gospel.
The same was true of Saul of Tarsus who became the great apostle Paul.
The Ethiopian eunuch had been to Jerusalem to worship God and was returning home riding in a chariot through a deserted area. He was searching the scriptures with a desire to understand them when God sent Philip to teach him the Gospel. It saved his soul.
Cornelius, the first gentile convert, was a man who prayed to God always (Acts 10:2) as he was instructed to do under the law given to the Patriarchs. An angel of God told him to send for Peter who would tell him what to do.
In Acts 16 we read about a business woman named Lydia who worshiped God and was the first convert on European soil (Acts 16:14).
As we read these and other Biblical accounts of those who desired to worship God, we find that some traveled great distances to do so, some at great personal expense, some at loss of friendship. But God rewarded all those who placed the Lord as their first priority and who faithfully worshiped God.
Luke records the faithfulness of Mary and Joseph as they traveled to Jerusalem on a regular and faithful basis. The scripture records that it was their “custom” to do so. In other words, their decision had been made long ago to be faithful to God in every service. It did not require discussion.
May each one of us examine what our attitude and our priority is toward worship. When we give liberally of our self we are told that God loves a cheerful giver. God has always rewarded those who are faithful. He has done so much more for us than we will ever do for Him.
What is YOUR attitude toward worship? Assembling for worship is not an option for Christians, it is a command. But it is a command which we should not find to be grievous, but to be a great joy and privilege (Heb. 10:25).
We should be reminded that God knows our attitude.
By Lloyd Gale
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