Worship: What it is all about

As Jesus is teaching the people, He is taking to task the way the Pharisees and scribes have been enforcing man-made rules in the life of believers. He has discussed the ceremonial hand washing and the given of all possessions to God, just to keep everything to ourselves. Now He adds some depth to His lesson as He adds in the prophecy of Isaiah 29:13~The Lord says: These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they’ve been taught. (NIV) Matthew 15:8~You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men. (ESV) Who among us is able to carry the weight of salvation, of living before God

What Isaiah said about people of his own day applies to hypocrites of Jesus’ day, and ours as well. Remember the Greek word (ὑποκριτής hypokritēs) rendered hypocrites originally meant actors or people who hide behind masks. When we claim to honor God but our hearts are far from Him we are hypocrites. There’s nothing Christ Jesus despises more than people hiding in plain sight. His harshest words are always directed toward hypocrites. Many today are like the Pharisees and scribes, they knew a lot about God, even quote His Word, but they don’t know God in a personal way. They’ve never truly lived exposed before Him. Thus, they worship Him in vain. Matthew 15:9~and he said to them, You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! (ESV) 

Christ Jesus describes the only way God wants to be worshipped in John4:24~ God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth. (NIV) Every believer ought to commit that to memory. Because worshipping God in spirit means that worship is not external, rather it is an internal act with outward manifestation. It is to begin in our hearts and radiate out of our lives. Worship’s neither ceremony nor rituals adapted over time. It does not begin at 11 AM or end at 12 noon. 

Of the Psalms, only Psalm 90 claims Ole Mo’s pen, though tradition gives him credit for 11 Psalms, 90-100. and its Psalm 100 that helps us formulate a method of worship. Psalm 100~Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. (NIV) Worshiping God in truth is to worship Him in a way that is consistent with His Word, which is truth. John 17:17~Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. (NIV) Traditions are not necessarily bad. But, when traditions are honored above the Word of God, they are an offense to God, a barrier to worship and fellowship with God, and they hinder our spiritual growth in Christ our Lord. Can you carry your weight? 

Perhaps today is a day of release, where you take time to release to God what seems to weigh you down as you exchange it for the garment of praise. Isaiah 61:3~To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. (KJ21) You, my friend, are a tree of righteousness, sure you may feel, at times, like a little sapling, but you are still a tree. Take time to give God the praise He deserves, worship Him today and joy will flood and fill your life. Try it for yourself!

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