Turning Stumbling Blocks Into Stepping Stones
Our Purpose is to learn what the stumbling blocks are and break them down so that we can Learn How To Worship God Acceptably.

It has always been the will of God that all mankind worship Him because we need to recognize and acknowledge Him as our Creator and Sustainer.
It was even prophesied in the Old Testament that during the Messianic age people from all over the earth would come to worship the one true God.
In the Lord’s church, we’ve generally placed great emphasis upon worshipping God according to the New Testament pattern by engaging only in those things which are authorized in God’s word.
This is right and should continue.
However, we may occasionally overlook some other aspects of worship that are also important.
Therefore, we need to turn to the scriptures and look at some important principles that will help us in worshipping God acceptably.
Let us start by examining some stumbling blocks to meaningful worship, then see the stepping stones to get into the habit of worshipping God acceptably and we will offer some suggestions.

Stumbling Blocks We Must OVERCOME
The biggest stumbling block to meaningful worship is sin:
Isaiah 1:10-17.
God would no longer accept their worship because their hearts were not proper even though they went through the proper motions.
Of course, none of us is perfect and without sin—we all sin (Romans 3:23).
But there’s a difference between sinning in moments of weakness
and asking God’s forgiveness and continuing to live in sin (Hebrews 10:26), because sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2).
Another stumbling block is ritualism.
Worship that just goes through the motions in a cold, formal, mechanical, or ceremonial way:
Malachi 1:7-13.
We must be careful that we don’t fall into a rut by allowing our worship to become a mere routine each Sunday.

Still another is traditionalism:
Matthew 15:1-9, Jesus warns of following human tradition.
Paul would speak of some of their traditions as something to continue in
(2 Thessalonians 2:15) .
If our tradition is to follow God’s word, then we should by all means keep that tradition.
If it is following the doctrines and precepts of men, we should abandon such tradition.
Most of the examples cited come from the time when the Old Testament law was in effect.
But these things were written for our learning (Romans 15:4), and they remind us that just as there were stumbling blocks to worship among the Israelites, there are stumbling blocks to worship which we need to remove.
It’s important that in our zeal to please the Lord we don’t add all kinds of human demands in worship that, while they may not be sinful of themselves, they are simply not requirements of the Lord. They are not authorized specifically or by suggestion.
These are what will make worship vain.

Stepping Stones Toward Meaningful Worship
An awareness of God:
Do we ever seriously consider who God is and what He is?
Isaiah 6:1-5.
We won’t be given a vision of God as Isaiah was, but we need to see God as He’s pictured in the scriptures, so that we might be more motivated to bow down before Him reverently in worship (Hebrews 12:28)

Thoughtful preparation
Exodus 16:22-24.
The Jews had a day of preparation for the Sabbath that enabled them to be ready for the Lord’s bidding and facilitated their obedience to His commands.
God hasn’t commanded such a day for us, but the more we’re prepared for our worship ahead of time, the more meaningful it will be to us.
Our preparation for our next assembly begins the moment we walk out these doors.
We should work to see that nothing will impede our meeting that goal.

Self examination
1 Corinthians 11:27-30.
While this passage is dealing specifically with the Lord’s supper, the principle is true for other acts of worship too, that we should examine ourselves as we sing, pray, study, and even give to make sure that we’re exhibiting the proper attitude so as to make sure that we’re truly praising God.
In our daily life, we must always examine ourselves to determine if we are being faithful to the Lord (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Hebrews 13:15
We must not only be against additions to worship, we need to be for the right attitudes and actions in worship, and then strive to do those things that will help us to make our worship more meaningful.
We must learn the lesson that worship is not about me, but about Him.

Practical suggestions for meaningful worship
Take up the cross and live for Christ daily:
Luke. 9:23.
Those who strive to do Christ’s will every single day will be much more likely to be in tune with the Lord when they come before Him in worship.
And we do not become this way overnight.
It takes a lifetime of service to God.

Spend a few minutes with God each day in prayer:
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Daily prayer will draw us closer to God and help to make us more aware of who it is before whom we’re coming to worship.
As Paul stated we must be in a state of mind that prayer is the first and most important thing we do daily.
This keeps us connected to God more closely than anything else.
Enter into worship with the whole heart, soul, mind, and strength to come boldly before God’s throne:
Hebrews 4:16.
“Boldly” doesn’t mean irreverently or flippantly, but assuredly with the knowledge that as children of God we have a right to approach His throne in worship and should do so with humble and sincere hearts.

We need to put our whole being into our worship and not allow distractions of this life to hinder our worship.
Hopefully, following these suggestions will help us to avoid allowing our worship to turn into a mere meaningless habit where we go through the motions but fail to offer God our very best.

Focus upon spiritual thoughts.
Colossians 3:1-2.
Let’s approach our worship with the attitude which the Psalmist exhorts us to have:
Ps. 95:1-6.

Worship is a deep and special privilege that all Christians should enjoy and benefit from.
But it will be even more special to us if we’ll make the effort to enter into it with the right motivation and attitude.
So please consider your approach to worship and look to see how you can improve it.
Breakdown the stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

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