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"Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD." Psalms 134:2
Grover Laird, Editor
7030 Dorsey-Evergreen Rd
Fulton, MS 38843
June 2020 Sermon
Worship That God Accepts
"... Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." (Matthew 4:10)
One of our greatest privileges, and one of our greatest duties, is to worship the Lord our God. But all that we call worship is not acceptable to Him.
The worship of the Corinthian Church was not always acceptable. When writing to them Paul once said that they had "come together not for the better, but for the worse." (1 Corinthians 11:17b)
David once decided that he should move the Ark of God from the house of Abinadad to a place that he had prepared for it in Jerusalem. It appeared that they were having a great worship service as they sang and rejoiced down the road toward Jerusalem. But this joy turned into sorrow when a young man lost his life and the Ark of God was carried aside to the house of Obededom for three months. (11 Chronicles 13)
They later remembered that they had carelessly ignored what the Lord said about who should move the Ark and how it was to be moved. When they decided the second time to move the Ark, David said unto the Levites that should move it, "For because ye did it not at the first, the LORD our God made a breach upon us, for that we sought him not after the due order." (1 Chronicles 15:13) While there may have been some parts of their worship good, in the main, it turned out to be unacceptable.
Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, died when they dealt with holy things in a way that was not acceptable. (Leviticus 10:1) Under the Old Covenant, the Priest wore a head piece that “Aaron may bear the iniquity of the holy things, which the children of Israel shall hallow in all their holy gifts....” (Exodus 28:38) We must therefore conclude that “any and every old way” is not acceptable to the Lord for true worship. There are some things that are needful if our worship is acceptable. Consider some of them.
1. We Must Prepare To Worship, if our worship is acceptable.
When the Priest went into the place of worship they must go by the Laver and wash their hands and feet “that they die not.” (Exodus 30:17-21) We may also need to be cleansed before we go to up to His house to worship. We can be cleansed from our sins before going to worship by a sincere confession of them to God– "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9) It would help our worship services if each family would spend some time together in prayer before going to church for worship.
2. Holiness Is Also Important, if our worship is acceptable. The Bible says, "O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth." (Psalms 96:9) This could be accomplished by living a separated life each day, and seeking forgiveness and cleansing before going to worship.
3. Sincerity Is Required, if God is pleased with our worship
The Bible says, "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth...." (Joshua 24:14) Many things in our worship services are in need of more sincerity.
4. The Joy Of The Lord Is Also Vital, if God is pleased with out worship.
The Bible says, “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms." (Psalms 95:1,2)
5. Giving Is Part Of A Good Worship Service.
Again The Bible says, “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts." (Psalms 96:8) However, this should be “as to the Lord, and not unto men.” (Colossians 3:23) In other words, we are told to “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:" (Proverbs 3:9)
Most of our worship services provide many opportunities for acceptable worship. The reading of God’s Word, the singing of hymns, the praying of prayers, the preaching of God’s
Word all provide opportunities for sincere, wholehearted worship. Yet many cold, indifferent hearts miss these opportunities, which greatly hinders what God does in our services.
The Bible records several worship services that surely were pleasing to the Lord. I will mention two in closing.
There was a worship service back in the days of Ezra when the Bible was distinctly read for hours. In the midst of this service the people worshiped and wept. (Nehemiah 8:1-10) All that we read about it suggest that it was a God-honoring worship service.
The next one I will mention is in the New Testament. After being in a service where about three thousand were saved, (Acts 2:41) and later five thousand, (Acts 4:4) Peter and John were threatened if they continued to preach Jesus. When the Church heard of it, they had a prayer meeting. At that service, the Church seemed to dedicate their all to Christ. That service became so Spiritual until “the place was shaken where they were assembled together.” (Acts 4:23-33) Imagine such a service.
Surely we would experience more Spiritual services today, with more conversions and rededications, if our worship services were more acceptable.
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