Worship God

Revelation 14:7

He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

In the end, it all comes down to worship.  It is one of the purposes of our life.  We have so many reasons to worship and our life is just one.

To fear God doesn’t mean to be scared of Him although that is probably applicable for those who are going to endure His judgment.  Instead, fearing God means that we show reverence to Him.  We respect what He can do.

People fall into idolatry because they place too much significance on an object and put it in the place of God.  We can appreciate creation when we recognize its creator.

What should we do with our worship?  We should share it.  The book of Revelation closes with an admonition to share the prophecy and for those who are doing good to continue doing good.  22:11 says “…let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy.”

We should continue in our worship of God until the day comes that we see Him face to face.  Then we will worship with full understanding and complete awe of our mighty creator.

No Repentance

Revelation 9:20

The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.

The book of Revelation offers a scary picture for those who will live through the Tribulation.  Christians should not live in fear of it because we will not be subject to the wrath of God.  What is astonishing is the reaction of people who do experience it.

The people who experience the plagues of Revelation and live through it do not turn from their idols and do not seek repentance.  Whether these are literal idols or modern, manmade ones such as television or camping doesn’t really matter in this case.  Incredible events should grab the attention of everyone but no one seems to question it.

We’ve witnessed similar reactions to catastrophes today.  Whether the events are signs of Christ’s return is up for debate.  We must remember that every generation has had people who declared that Christ was returning in their lifetime.  The only thing we do know is that we are one day closer today than yesterday.

Regardless what the intention of the disasters is – and I believe it is unfair to call them God’s punishment for sin because we don’t know the mind of God in regard to any disaster – it should serve as a wakeup call.  Survivors should lift up their heads, look around, and realize that they could be next.  And what would their destiny be if they perished?  Disasters should turn people’s eyes to God and repentance.  Unfortunately the future won’t differ from today when hearts will grow harder instead.

Orderly Worship

1 Corinthians 14:26

What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church.

There is order to our world.  Everything from the movement of galaxies in space to the circling of electrons around protons in every element has an order.  It should come as no surprise then that God calls for order in worship as well.

Imagine the chaos if when it came time to sing everybody decided to sing their favorite song instead of the one that was chosen to sing together.  This wouldn’t happen but the point is that we shouldn’t decide how we are going to worship.

There are different worship styles that are better suited for different cultures and personalities.  This is fine and we should accept that people worship in different ways.  What we do need to be aware of though is that we do not remove parts of worship that we don’t enjoy.  Just because we don’t enjoy the sermon doesn’t mean that it should be done away with!

There is a growing trend, particularly by younger people, to move away from the church.  These people still believe in God but are tired of the politics and garbage that comes with a church structure.  But we are told not to give up meeting together.  It is important for our Christian walk to have fellowship with other Christians.

We can’t pick and choose what parts of worship we want to accept any more than we can sing different songs at the same time.  All parts of worship are valuable to us and they should be done in an orderly manner according to God’s Word.

Spiritual Act of Worship

Romans 12:1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

Sacrifice is difficult, that’s why it is sacrifice.  We can’t sacrifice something that is easy to give up.  When God called upon Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, this was asking Abraham to place the greatest amount of faith Him.

When we are living sacrifices we obviously aren’t offering ourselves to be put to death.  But we do put to death our own desires.  We determine that nothing matters except the will of God in our lives.  Our sinful desires are suppressed.  Our desire to go our own way (also sinful but I’m separating it for matter of example) is sacrificed.

A few years back WWJD or What Would Jesus Do? was a popular slogan.  Similarly to this, we should be asking ourselves what God would have us to do.  This means sacrificing our time, our money, and using the abilities that God has given us for His glory.

We are instructed to take up our cross daily.  A living sacrifice is a constant thing.  It is not a onetime decision.  We live our lives for the glory of God.

Keep in mind that a living sacrifice does not mean that we must be miserable.  Yes it means sacrificing what we want in place of what God wants.  But God also gave us our lives to live and to enjoy.  An important part of evangelism is showing others the joy of your salvation and the difference that Christ makes in your life.  No one would want to be a part of a religion that has an overbearing God who doesn’t want His followers to enjoy life.

When we live our lives as a sacrifice, we honor God with our decisions and our joy of living.

Created in Place of the Creator

Romans 1:25

They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Idolatry is nothing more than worshipping something that is not God.  God is the only being to have no creator and thus anything aside from Him is created.  Any person, thing, or idea that takes priority over God in our lives is an idol.  We don’t need to bow down to it in order to worship it.

If you search for the word worship in the Bible, a large portion of the verses pertain to idol worship.  This is probably indicative of the state of humanity.  We get it wrong more often than we get it right.

We can even turn good objects into idols.  We claim ownership of our churches.  Everything about it should be according to the way we believe it should be.  Pastors who help a church go through a building project often don’t last long after the project is complete.  Why?  There are divisions over the color the carpet should be and whether the church hired the best contractor.

The same battles take place regarding our order of service and what does and doesn’t take place during church.  Things that should cause us to focus on God instead become our focus.

When God created, He declared all things to be good.  We are the ones who determine whether they will be used for good or not.  We are also the ones who determine what place they have in our life.  We should use the created in worship of the creator.