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(013) What is Worship?

Worship is about recognition, motives, and intention. We do, however, need to take the time to consider the nuances of each and not just "Rush the Field."

It is quite possible for us to recognize without a connection to God. An example in its simplest form … How often have we seen a beautiful sunrise, acknowledged, even in our subconscious, that it is beautiful, and yet failed to associate the beauty with God and be thankful for the associated blessing it provides?

Our motives are also crucial with regard to Worship. Motives flow from our hearts (1 Cor 4:5, Rom 2:15, Heb 10:22, Prov 23:7 KJV, Matt 13:15) and scripture judges our hearts (Heb 4:12). In the Scriptures our hearts can be troubled, wounded, pierced, grieved, and broken. They can also be cheerful, glad, merry, and joyful. And, they can be wise or foolish, steadfast or faint, true or cowardly, upright and stout or melt like wax, and, valiant or frightened.

The REALLY good news is that, in the midst of this turmoil, Christ transforms us (2 Cor 5:17, Rom 5:12,19, 6:17). Our hearts, the core of our being, the place where our convictions lie, and the place where we make our decisions are made new in Christ (Rom 5:5, 5:17). Jesus came for this (Matt 20:28); that we might be transformed in him (Rom 2:28-29, Col 2:11, Rom 6:4 & 11, 1 Cor 3:16). We must not simply believe ... we must also desire.

So, what are we to do with these new hearts of ours? Proverbs 4:23 tells us. We must be active, we must choose (be intentional about) the change and lean into the desire with our will; as Hamlet, said “To be or not to be. That is the question.” Jesus said it is possible (Luke 6:44-45, Luke 8:15). Other scripture confirms that we must actively make a choice (Eph 5:19, 6:6, 1 Pet 1:22). You must choose to live from your redeemed heart … or not. Jesus has opened the door. We have to choose to go to the party!

So, back to worship and what it looks like day to day. It could be a demonstration of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) in our lives; an act of patience, kindness or love. It could be an appreciation of God’s generosity, mercy or grace. It could be confidence in the hope of the coming kingdom and the perseverance to rightly engage pain and sorrow in the here and now in light of what is to come. It could be facilitated by a sunrise or starry night; by the hug of a child or a kiss; a song or a story; a conversation with a friend or mercy to an enemy. What God wants worship to be is revealed in nothing less than the moment by moment choices, decisions and convictions of our renewed and redeemed hearts; to step into the freedom and life that the Jesus declared in John 10:10. That is truly how we worship in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

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