His Worshipfulness

Our Sunday night service at the new building are really improving. Wish I could say my preaching was. I feel a little like my Chinese level is plateauing – I’ll have to work on that. Plus the number of ‘overlappers’ is growing – students that come to both Saturday and Sunday services. They come because they want to be involved in anything our church is doing, but it’s hard for them not to be bored hearing the same sermon two nights in a row. But having them around in the post-service time is really valuable.


Went to the second message in this series last night – talked about worship as it relates to the life of our church. Worship being a hard term to define, since it seems to include so many different parts of the Christian life – including submission of the will, prayers thanksgiving, songs of praise, even meditation. The key, in my opinion, is the motivation. The Psalms continually point to God’s character and His works as the reason for our worship. Worship, then, is a response to an accurate understanding of who God is and what He has done. Check the biblical encounters – when people are struck with deeper, more complete revelations of God’s person and works, their instinctive response is worship.


Important to grasp this – because we all have a tendency to compartmentalize life.  Break out the house of our life into a bunch of rooms, and consign worship to some remote quarter. We invite Jesus in, show Him to His room, and He’s unsatisfied. The truth is, Jesus isn’t such a good guest. But He’s the best master. Unfortunately, He demands that no man serve two. There will be no division of power. When we turn over our keys to Him, realizing that all of our life is rightfully His – we then find the peace that Jesus promises. Worship, this response to Jesus, must flow out of every part – mind, emotions, and will.


Not to be odds with Luther, who would say that “all of life is repentance,” I think it’s worth noticing that usually, in the Bible, worship and repentance are two sides of the same coin. You don’t often have one without the other. Peter falls before Jesus in worship and says, “Depart from me; I am a sinful man.” Why? Because to have an increasingly accurate view of God is to have an increasingly accurate view of self. The more we understand the holiness of God, the more we understand the depravity of man. So, while worship is a response to a more accurate view of God, repentance is a response to a more accurate view of self.


And not to be at odds with the Bible – it’s worth investigating the connection between worship and sacrifice. No one dares to step into the presence of God without a sacrifice, even to worship. Enter Jesus, perfect sacrifice, by means of whose blood we can eternally stand in the presence of God. He was the perfect response to God’s holiness – completely justifies us from our incomplete and misplaced worship.

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