Worship – What is it?

Daily Reading: Psalm 95


“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. ”

Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)
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Common Definition of Worship

I’m sure that we have all at one time or another heard the common definition for the word worship. It is “worth-ship” or ascribing worth or reverence due to God. I recently read another one line definition for the word worship, that defines this word from another perspective, which I thought was rather interesting. It stated that worship was “self- forgetfulness”. I believe that both have merit as to the definition of true worship. We are to ascribe worth to God, as He is the one true God that can reconcile us back to Himself, something we cannot do on our own. We are to be filled up with Him. However, I believe that there needs to be a balance between that definition and the definition of self-forgetfulness. I would tend to believe that the more we healthfully remember where we were or even where we are now (conditionally), it causes our hearts to praise and worship Him all the more, because we see Him at work in the seemingly unchangeable. We can look back at the past and see His hand and expectantly and worship-fully look to the future. We then begin to see that worship is more than just us singing praises to Him on a Sunday morning; it encompasses our entire lives and everything we do.

A Woman Seeking

John 4:1-26 is a very well known section of the Bible. It is a brief interaction between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well. This meeting was a “God-incidence” not coincidence. Jesus had gone out of the way while traveling, to meet this woman. But how does this narrative relate to worship? We see that the foundation is in Jesus Christ (v10-15), that a person who is seeking and has an open heart to God and the truth will discern godly truth and will grow in his/her worship of God, as he/she sees who God truly is (v16-22) and deepen that relationship and he/she will, in turn, go and tell others about this new found life. We see the Samaritan woman leaving her water pot with no hesitation, to go to the city to tell of this man she’d encountered (v28-30).

True Worship

In John 4:23-24, we see that Jesus states that “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” We can start to grasp the very essence of true worship from these two verses, which is a “right thinking”. Worshiping in the spirit and in the body are not contrasted here. Worshiping in spirit is put alongside worshiping in truth. When we know the truth of the Word, of His character and our standing, only then can we develop this “right thinking”. Our external means of worship reflect the true, internal “right thinking”, which should also mimic the Fruit of the Spirit. When these come together in our hearts and minds, and it becomes a lifestyle of worship. We are then worshiping in truth in everything we say and do.

Consider

Do you have a “right thinking” about God and the truth of His Word that causes you to worship Him with your entire lifestyle, not just on a Sunday morning?

Matthew Elroy

Disciple of Jesus, Husband, Father & pastor.