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Fort Gibson

July 29, 2013

FORT FAITH: Acceptable worship is more than following a checklist

— In our culture today, there are a lot of God worshippers. But if we are not careful, the worship we offer to God may not even be what He wants from us.

Last month, I introduced you to the first of a five-part series of lessons titled “Set Yourself Free.” The first lesson focused on freeing ourselves from negative peer pressure.

In this issue, I would like to briefly explore a topic I have titled “Set Yourself Free from Impure Worship Practices.”

Matthew 28:18-19 makes it clear that Jesus wants us to teach and obey ALL of God’s commands. And while Satan wants us to think this is an impossible task, we must remember that God’s word thoroughly equips us to be victorious in spiritual battle (ref: 2 Timothy 316).

For those who truly love God, the Bible says we will obey His commands (1 John 5:3 and John 14:15). God has made us the promise that if we are faithful to Him, he will be faithful to us. And in the end, those who have lived their lives in a way that exemplifies a longing for Him, we will receive a crown of righteousness (2 Tim. 4:8).

God expects us to seek him in all things, both inside and outside of the church building walls. But just as it can be challenging to live righteously in our everyday lives, it can be just as challenging to give God what he wants on the first day of the week.     

I will list three ways our worship can be wrong if we are not careful:

1. You can offer God something He doesn’t want, either because of plain and simple selfishness and a desire to please ourselves instead of God. Or, we can become so reliant on God’s grace that we really don’t think about what God wants. Either way is willful disobedience to the very One who offers salvation to all who believe in Jesus as God’s son, and obey his word.

2. Your attitude may not be right during worship. Jesus made mention of this in Matthew 15:8-9 when he quoted the prophet Isaiah, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”

3. Your life may not match what you profess in worship. Isaiah 1:10-17 and Amos 5:21 are haunting examples of how God feels about us when we act one way outside of the “corporate worship” while pretending to be someone else on Sunday mornings. God told his people, “Stop bringing meaningless offerings (Isaiah 1:13).”

Our challenge today is to take our worship seriously. Jesus’ followers in the first century went as far as to clasp his feet and worship him (ref: Matt. 28:9). Our attitude in worship as well as daily living should be the same as those who fell at Jesus’ feet.

Remember to honor God in all you do, and have a great week!

Reach Barrett Vanlandingham at the Fort Gibson Church of Christ at (918) 478-2222 or barrett@ ftgcc.org.

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