Nothing Casual about Worship

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Jesus (Matthew 22:37 NIV)

We attended the Worship Matters conference in Lansing, Michigan this past weekend.

Bob Kauflin included a session teaching us the importance of truly worshiping with our minds, our souls, and our bodies.

Many Christians – and non-Christians – focus on the intellectual aspect of learning. Yes, 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (ESV). In the King James Version, it says, “Study to shew yourself approved…”

However, our faith can’t end with an intellectual understanding of truth. That isn’t sufficient for the faith that truly pleases God Almighty.

We must “be doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22 ESV). Otherwise, the verse goes on to say, we deceive ourselves. After all, “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?” (James 2:14 ESV) No, our works do not save us, but genuine faith will be exemplified by good works.

If the truth we’ve learned sinks into our souls, it will change us. It will result in a change of attitude and actions.

Living out our faith is not the only way we express our worship of the One True God. The Scriptures overflow with physical responses to encounters with the Lord. People responded in a variety of ways. They sang. They knelt down. They lifted their hands. They clapped. They shouted. They played instruments. They danced. They stood unmoving in awe.

As denominations, as individuals, we are more comfortable with some of these expressions of worship than with others. But it’s not about our comfort. It’s about honouring God, about worshiping Him with everything we are.

It is for Him. Plus, it is for others. If they see that we internalize what we claim to believe, that it affects our attitude and behaviour, they will realize it’s real. If they see us bowing down in reverence and reaching up to the Father we so desperately need on Sunday and then living out our faith Monday through Saturday, they will realize our faith is more than a list of doctrinal statements.

It isn’t about choosing one over the other, but prayerfully tending to all three areas.

What will I do this week to increase my knowledge of God and His Word? What will you do?

What will I do to live out what I learn? And you?

And lastly, how will others who look on know that I serve the God of the Bible? How about you?

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