This is an excellent post by a friend, Pastor Jack Hilton of the Evangelical Methodist Church, Lancaster, PA–
John 4:23-24 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers 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 him in spirit and in truth.”
Ps. 96:8 “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts. O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.”
Ps. 100:4 “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”
From the very beginning of time man has worshipped God or gods whom he deemed supreme and worthy of honor and worship. All of the more than 3,000 noted religions exist because of faith in some deity or prophet of a deity. Every religion has some standard or formula of worship which it’s constituents are expected to follow.
Worship (worth ship: showing value) should signify some knowledge and appreciation of the god that is being honored. Man has developed all sorts of programs and awards ceremonies through which he depicts value and honor to those who have made great achievements.
The Scriptural definition and intention of worship is to bring men before the God of the Bible, in order for them to give honor, praise, glory and thanksgiving to God. Through worship man honors God and awaits God’s working within his soul to bring necessary change to his character, attitude and actions. As the Holy Spirit changes the heart and soul through applying the Word of God, the person’s Faith, Hope, thoughts, attitude, words and actions are molded by the Word of God.
A study of Worship in the Scriptures reveals the necessity of “Spiritual Life” for those who would worship God. God is Spirit and demands that man worship from his spirit through the working of the Holy Spirit. Man’s Worship is to be based on God’s Absolute “Truth”.
Men should worship God:
1. Privately and Personally: God has commanded every individual to bow and worship God. It is the duty of man to honor, glorify and give praise unto God. Since the relationship with God is on a personal level, so the worship of God must be on a personal level. The person who regularly practices private personal worship will have no problem joining in family or corporate worship.
2. Family: God has placed the Father and Mother at the head of the home in order for them to nurture and train the children to properly worship and serve God. Every family should have times of worship together. In fact this should be one of the highlights of each day.
3. Corporate or Public: Public places set aside for the worship of God, have been a part of life since the beginning. The Scriptures provide numerous examples of families joining together for worship. During this present Age of the Church, God has clearly established the concept of public worship by a unified body of believers called the church.
The worship service has been changed drastically within the past 100 years. The focus has been moved from Jesus Christ to the people. The intent has been changed from honoring God to satisfying the people. The modern service is designed to stir the emotions and move the thinking to some sort of positive decision. The intent of the service is to satisfy the physical and emotional needs of the crowd. The spiritual has been replaced with the physical and emotional.
NOTE: MUCH OF THE ACTIVITY IN A MODERN WORSHIP SERVICE HAS LITTLE OR NOTHING TO DO WITH ACTUALLY WORSHIPPING AND HONORING GOD!!!
NOTE: THE MESSAGE IS TO SHOW ALL THE POSITIVE THINGS GOD MUST DO FOR THE CHRISTIAN!!! IF THE CROWD LIKES WHAT THEY HEAR THEY WILL GIVE GOD A ROUND OF APPLAUSE!!!
An article in “Vision” Magazine (Volume 4 Issue 1) concerning one of the fastest growing Mega churches in America, gives a fair assessment of the modern Evangelical church philosophy today. The pastor says he and the key people who helped found and establish this church intentionally set it and run it as a business. They do not use the words Pastor, Associate Pastor, Deacon, etc.
Instead they use business names such as director, supervisor, etc. The entire church is established on successful business principles such as Chick-Fil-A’s marketing and advertising principles. The leaders proudly proclaim their growth from 1,000 to 11,000 in less than 10 years as proof enough that they are doing right. While they talk much of prayer and trusting God, their entire business is based on man made principles and theories.
NOTE: WORSHIP (HONOR AND PRAISE) MUST STEM FROM A PROPER KNOWLEDGE OF WHO GOD IS; WHAT GOD HAS DONE, IS DOING AND WILL DO IN THE FUTURE!!! WORSHIP (THANKFULNESS) MUST BE A NATURAL OUTFLOW OF GRATITUDE GENERATED FROM A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF BLESSINGS AND BENEFITS RECEIVED FROM GOD!!!