“You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.” (Deuteronomy 12:31)
Imagine our look into others in the hope of finding how we can better worship God.
“They have great buildings; so should we “, we might think.
“They dress in expensive attires; so should we”, we may think again.
“They have many programs; so should we.”
“They have a big budget; so should we.”
“They put a lot of hours for God; so should we.”
The list goes on and on.
“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
Worship is not to be our love for God at play, but the love of God in motion.
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:23-24)
Worship is not to be the registering of our sacrifices and offerings, but the recalling of God’s sacrifice and offering, Christ Jesus for our sins.
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.” (Hebrews 10:5-6)
Worship is not to be our testimony of what we believe has been done by God for us, but God’s testimony of what he has done for the whole human race.
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise.” (Isaiah 43:18-21)
Worship is not to be the celebration of our love for God, but the celebration of God’s love for the whole world.
“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)
“He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:2)
Worship is not to be a show-off of talents that come and go, but the remembrance of God’s talent to us who came and stayed in our hearts by His Spirit: Christ Jesus.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Worship is not about we did or can do, but what God has done in Christ in the last days: the new covenant.
“Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second.” (Hebrews 10:9)
Worship is to be by God in His people to His glory in Christ Jesus for the imperishable thing that He has done.
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)
After all is said and done, the conclusion is that God loves us. And He came in the person of Christ Jesus to tell us, show us and convince us of such.
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1)
“The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
“(John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.” (John 1:9-18)