Worship: Reverence and Thanksgiving

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Man has an innate desire to be a worshipful creature. There is a void in the human soul that can be filled only by heartfelt worship offered to the Creator. Only God is deserving of our worship, only God is awesome. All worship offered to anything or anyone else is idolatry. We rejoice that God has given us a pattern whereby we may approach him in acceptable worship.

Jesus said: “Those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). According to Jesus, then, our worship must be heartfelt and sincere (“in spirit”), and it must be according to the pattern revealed in the New Testament (“in truth”).

When we approach God, we are to do so with the utmost reverence (Leviticus 10:3) and with an attitude of thankfulness for the many undeserved blessings we receive from him (Ephesians 5:20). All men are recipients of his constant supply of physical blessings that sustain life on a daily basis (Matthew 5:45; Acts 14:17). Christians receive all these plus the fullness of the spiritual blessings that are found in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3). For these reasons, our worship of God should be driven by the heart-felt gratitude and the true sincerity that characterize one who recognizes his dependence on the Creator. This is worship “in spirit.”

God has never allowed his creatures to determine the ways and means of worship. Man assuming the prerogative of establishing his own manner of worship is called “will worship,” or “self-imposed religion” (Colossians 2:23). Concerning those involved in manmade religious activity, Jesus declared: “in vain they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Mark 7:7). As in the days of Moses (Hebrews 8:5), God has revealed to us a pattern for approaching him in service and worship. This pattern is found in the pages of the New Testament and must be followed if our worship is to be acceptable to God.