Summary: God is looking for and demanding true, sincere worship.

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Originally to worship meant simply to “attribute worth”; worship could be directed to God or to a person to whom honor and respect should be given. In classical Christian writings it referred primarily to our chief goal in life, that is, rendering grateful homage and dedicating our lives to God rather than to any other person or object. This included a person’s private religious devotions. The word has also been one of the main terms used for public religious services: many church notice boards list the hours for “divine worship.” In charismatic circles the word has mainly come to signify the time of extended praise in church, generally led by a “worship team.” In popular speech and song the word is frequently used of any extraordinary expression of devotion, for example, a person or group may “worship” a sports team or rock star, money or power. In some places the word is even used as a form of address, as to a judge in a law court or to an officeholder in a secret society. From a biblical point of view there are legitimate and illegitimate, acceptable and unacceptable, objects of worship (Genesis 4:3-7; Isaiah 1; Romans 14:17-18; Hebrews 12:28-29; Hebrews 13:16). Discernment is necessary to distinguish true from false objects of worship.

People’s feelings about what takes place in church services vary greatly. Some regard such corporate worship as primarily a duty; others as a delight. For some it is chiefly a matter of feeling inspired by or intimately connected to God, for others of being instructed or motivated to action. An increasing number of people today find traditional church services boring and irrelevant. This is particularly true of the younger baby-buster generation but also of many seekers, inquiring about or returning to church. Some find new styles of charismatic or contemporary worship appealing and uplifting. Disputes about appropriate and inappropriate styles of worship have divided many congregations, generally along age lines or according to different views of the Holy Spirit. Surveys of congregations across a wide denominational spectrum, such as those conducted by the Search Institute in Minneapolis some years ago, found that corporate worship is generally regarded as an oasis or refuge from workday demands, rather than as a base camp for equipping members to integrate faith and everyday life. This is why even many committed believers find churchgoing disappointing and un-empowering. Perhaps part of the problem is that our definition of worship is too narrow.

It is important that we keep the main thing, the main thing, and the main thing of the church is simply this, to glorify, or to worship God. Worship is important to God, so much so that out of the 10 commandments, the very first one deals with the subject of worship. Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. In Exodus chapter 34, the commandments are re-instated and God says in verse 14: Exodus 34:14 - “For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”. The insinuation here is that while we do not worship other gods, there is One God Who is to be worshipped. When you read the Old Testament, you can not help but see the importance of worship in the lives of the people of God. Abraham worshipped (Gen. 22:5), Jacob worshipped (Heb. 11:21), Moses worshipped (Exodus 34:8), Joshua worshipped (Joshua 5:14), and of course David the king worshipped (2 Samuel 12:20). Worship was an integral part of the lives of God’s people through out the Old Testament. Worship was so important that God Himself designed and established the very first worship center, set up exclusively for worship in the Garden of Eden.

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