Thursday, August 30, 2018

Worship With Integrity

Chuckle: He: "I got this great new hearing aid." She: "Are you wearing it now?" He: "Yes. Cost me four thousand dollars, but it's top of the line." She: "What kind is it?" He: "Twelve Thirty."
Quote: "The blessed and inviting truth is that God is the most winsome of all beings and in our worship of Him we should find unspeakable pleasure." --A. W. Tozer

"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Mark 7:6 NIV).
Our Lord is not interested in ritualistic worship that does not come from a pure heart. When we worship, it should be a time of personal encounter with our Heavenly Father -- a time when we pour out our hearts to Him in love, thanksgiving, and praise with an attitude of repentance and contrition for our sins. We should worship with excitement at the prospect of hearing God's voice as he speaks to us and directs us toward a more perfect relationship with Him. When we leave a worship service, our lives should be forever changed by what has happened there. It is impossible to sincerely enter God's presence in worship without being drawn closer to Him and becoming more like Jesus.
Hypocrisy is pretending to be something you are not. In our passage, Jesus called the Pharisees hypocrites because their worship was not genuine. They were not motivated by love in their worship but by a desire to attain profit, to appear to others as holy, and enhance their personal status. You may attend church because your spouse nagged you into going, or you may go in order to be seen and improve your image in your community, while, at the same time, down deep in your heart, you would rather be somewhere else. When our hearts are right with our Lord, our motives for worship will be pure and our worship will be a result of genuine love for Christ and the excitement about the opportunity to let him shape our lives. We will worship with integrity.
Luther Dorr shares about worshiping with integrity: "The Lord brought home the need for me to worship with integrity in an experience I had as a faculty member of a Baptist Seminary. I had rushed to chapel services from the class I had been teaching. The first hymn was already being sung. I found the page in the hymnal and joined in the singing.
However, my mind was still on some discussions we had in the class previous to chapel. I had sung three stanzas before I realized I had been singing the words from memory, not conscious of what I was singing, while my heart and mind were doing something else. I was participating in a worship activity, but I was not worshiping the Lord consciously through the words of the hymn. The Lord seemed to call me to get my whole self into chapel and to come to Him in worship with my mind and heart as well as with my physical presence and voice. I still have to do the same thing today."
Going through the motions of worship without a change of heart is useless in God's eyes. Above all, He wants a genuine love relationship with each of us. So, He gave us the Great Commandment telling us to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. God wants our worship to burst forth from our hearts out of love for Him.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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