Looking For What's New or True?
Tis’ the season to be jollily inundated with Christmas-themed commercials, pushing products and services that will no doubt make our lives better, easier, happier, etc. But what if you heard a commercial that simply said, “It’s the same old thing”? Not a very strong sales pitch. Thanks to the English language, we can spruce it up with words like classic, vintage, or rustic. It’s all in how you present it.
Many in the religious world have taken this same approach. Try as various churches might to give worship or the “church experience” a facelift, it’s like the wise writer said in Ecclesiastes 1:9, “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.” That’s not to say there were smoke machines and electric guitars back in Bible-time worship, but the same heart conditions certainly existed then as they do today.
Speaking of the heart, let’s just get to the heart of the matter. Is your mindset regarding worship focused on what’s going to be most appealing to you or to God? Who do we gather to worship – God or self? We know the obvious answer.
Jesus said in John 4:23–24, “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” Based on just these two verses, we see there’s a difference in worship. There’s a right and wrong way…a true and false worship.
We can’t debate Jesus or negotiate on what we wantto be appropriate worship. The Bible doesn’t change it’s message, but mankind sure tries hard to change it. The simple and critical question is whether we’re true worshipers or not. Do we worship in spirit andtruth? Do we know what true worship involves?
Once the church was established in Acts 2, we begin to see what’s involved in a worship setting. We can discuss these different acts of worship in future articles, but for the sake of space, take a look at the verses associated with each act:
- Lord’s Supper (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:8ff)
- Singing (Eph. 5:19-20; Col. 3:16-17)
- Prayer (Acts 2:42; 4:23-24, 31)
- Offering/Contribution (1 Cor. 16:1-2; 2 Cor. 9:6-7)
- Teaching & Learning (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor. 14; Col. 3:16; 4:16; 1 Tim. 4:13)
God’s desire for worship must take top priority. What He wants is what’s truth, not our own revised version. Let’s be sure we’re worshiping Him His way!