Let’s open the Word of God to John chapter 4, John chapter 4. We started talking about acceptable worship last Sunday morning, and I want to complete that this morning before we gather around the Lord’s Table, John chapter 4, and I just want to read from verses 20 through 24. This is a conversation Jesus is having with a Samaritan woman, and He confronts her with her sin, as you know.
They meet at a well. And she’s coming to get water, and He talks about the water of life, which will eliminate any spiritual thirst forever. And they’re having this conversation and it comes down to the fact that she is told by our Lord that she is living in sin. Without knowing her, He knows she’s had many husbands, and she’s now living in adultery with a man who’s not her husband. She is an outcast as a Samaritan, and she’s even more an outcast as a harlot. So he’s having this conversation with this woman, and He talks about living water and never thirsting spiritually again. Then she realizes that He knows about her sin, and she is convicted by that. Eventually, as you follow the story, she acknowledges Him as Messiah, goes and tells her village, and a marvelous act of evangelism is resulted in the salvation of Samaritans.
But we pick up the conversation in verse 20 where having had her sin exposed, she realizes she’s in trouble with God. And immediately she poses the question about how to make that right. And the language she uses is the language of worship. She says in verse 20, “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people” – the Jews – “say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
She understands what many people don’t understand, that being delivered from divine judgment requires worship. She knows that she is a sinner, she is unmasked she already knows that; and now she knows that a man who must be a prophet and may be the Messiah also knows that she is a sinful woman. How does she remedy that? By becoming a true worshiper. The conversation is about worship.
I don’t know whether evangelistic conversations, that we have typically, ever get around to talking about worship. But this one directly involved worship. In fact, eight times some form of the word “worship” appears in those very few verses that I read.
Now although this is a brief part of a conversation, it is intensely about worship. And in fact, it is a pretty comprehensive presentation of worship. It reveals to us the initiator of worship, the object of worship, the sphere or realm of worship, and even the nature of worship, all wrapped up in that very brief dialog.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 14, the apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthians about the services they were holding, the times they were coming together. And he says that there’s too much chaos, there’s too much disorder, and he says, “When people come and see the disorder,” – and all kinds of people speaking in tongues or speaking in other languages they don’t understand, verse 23 – “unbelievers are going to say, ‘You’re mad.’ But” – in verse 24 – “if all preach,” – the word “prophecy” means to preach, not predict the future – “if all preach, and an unbeliever” – or ungifted man, the same thing – “enters, he’s convicted by all. He is called to account by all.” In other words, if all are preaching, then all are going to bring the word preached to bear upon His heart, and he’s going to be convicted by the truth and called to account.
Verse 25, “The secrets of his heart are disclosed by that conviction,” – his sin is revealed – “he will fall on his face and worship God.” How about that? And unbeliever in a service sitting under preaching will fall on his face and worship God. That is just another way of talking about the conversion of someone, the Salvation of someone.
We don’t talk about it that way. But that is the language of the New Testament and that was the language of our Lord and the Samaritan woman. When you come to Christ, you bow down, you fall on your face, recognizing your sinfulness. You cry out for salvation in order that you may become a worshiper, a true worshiper of the one true and living, triune God. We’re all worshipers. That is what Christians are. We are those, Paul says in Philippians 3, who worship in the Spirit of God.
Not just collectively like this on a Sunday, but lifelong, we are worshipers. We bow to Christ. We bow to God the Father. We bow to God the Holy Spirit. We submit gladly, happily, joyfully, thankfully, with full satisfaction. We are worshipers. Everybody worships. Everybody worships. Everybody bows. Most people bow to themselves in some way, shape or form. And in bowing to themselves they bow to the kingdom of darkness. Believers worship the true and living God. So we are worshipers by definition, all the time. All the time, we are worshipers, lifting up praise and adoration to the One we worship.
But the Bible is very clear about how we are to worship, and that’s what I want to talk to you a little bit about as we think about this passage. In fact, the New Testament uses a word that I think is helpful for us. Look at Romans 12 for a moment, a very familiar opening two verses. Romans 12:1, “Therefore I urge you, brethren,” – or, I command you, brethren – “by the mercies of God,” – based upon all the salvation mercies that he’s been writing about for eleven chapters – “I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice,” – here’s the key word – “acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” The word “acceptable” is the important word. God wants acceptable worship.
Verse 2, “Do not be conformed to this world, be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Twice now we are told that we are to offer God acceptable worship.
In the fourteenth chapter of the book of Romans, down in verse 17, we read, “The kingdom of God is not eating or drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who in this way serves” – or worships – “Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.” Again, acceptable worship is what pleases God.
At the end of the great epistle to the Hebrews, as you come down to the close of chapter 12, verse 28, very important statement. Listen to it: “Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service” – or an acceptable worship – “with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.”
Again, seriousness of coming to God. He is a consuming fire. We come with reverence. We come with awe. We come with joy in the Holy Spirit, as we read in Romans. We come with our bodies and our minds prepared, as we read in Romans 12:1 and 2. And then in 1 Peter chapter 2, Peter describes believers as living stones – 1 Peter 2:5 – being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. We keep seeing this word “acceptable.” We are to offer acceptable worship.
Now that assumes that there is unacceptable worship. Let’s talk about that. Looking at Scripture, we are easily led to find out what unacceptable worship is.
First of all, unacceptable worship is the worship of any other god. There is no other true God. But all the gods of the nations are demons, as we read this morning in 1 Corinthians 10. There are plenty of demons who have designed gods and who have mimicked gods so that the world is full of false gods. Any worship of any other than the true God is unacceptable worship – the one true living God – we know that: “Shall have no other gods before Me. My glory will I not give to another.” The New Testament even closes in the book of Revelation, “Worship God.”
So we understand that. God makes literally an ultimate sin, a damning sin, an eternally damning sin out of worshiping any false god. In the Old Testament, capital punishment came along with worshiping a false god. So unacceptable worship would be to worship any other god than the triune God who is the true and living God as revealed in Scripture.
Secondly, unacceptable worship is worship of the true God in a false form, the true God in a false form. What would that be? Back in Exodus chapter 32 in a most bizarre expression of worship, the children of Israel made a molten calf. They melted down all their gold while Moses was up on the mountain getting the law, and they created a golden calf, and they worshiped that golden calf.
In chapter 32, you may think, “Well, they made an idol. They made a false god. They were worshiping another god.” That is not the case. In verse 8, the Lord speaks to Moses and says, “They have quickly turned aside from the way which I commanded them. They have made for themselves a molten calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!’” In that bizarre act they literally had reduced their God, the true and living God who brought them out of Egypt, to a golden calf. As a result of that, you will remember God slew three thousand of them on the spot. Unacceptable worship is to worship any other god than the true God. It is to worship the true God in some false form, redefined in any other way than the true revelation of God in Scripture.
There’s a third kind of unacceptable worship and that is the worship of the true God in a self-styled way. Now certainly what happened in Exodus 32 was self-styled. But let’s go beyond that for a moment.
What do you mean worshiping the true God in a self-styled way? That means not following the revealed prescriptions for worship. God gave the children of Israel very clear revelation as to how He would be worshiped, down to the details.
For example, in Leviticus 10 you have two priests, Nadab and Abihu, who come before the Lord and offer strange fire. What that means is that whatever they brought of fire to the altar was not according to the divine prescription. In the Old Testament God laid down very specific patterns for them to follow in worship. The point was to let everyone know that God cares about how He is worshiped down to the details. Nadab and Abihu showed up and offered some kind of strange fire, some kind of concoction of their own, and immediately were executed on the spot. They were worshiping the true God in a way that violated God’s own revealed prescription.
Then there was Saul, who because he felt sovereign and majestic and almighty as a king, according to 1 Samuel 13, took on the role of a priest and engaged in priestly activity, and God cursed his family. And then there was Uzzah, 2 Samuel chapter 6, who reached out to stop the ark of the covenant, which was being moved on a cart, from falling off, and he was executed by God on the spot. The ark of the covenant was to be carried, but it was to be carried by poles held by Levites, not thrown on a cart.
Violating any of God’s prescriptions for worship, even down to those kinds of details, resulted in death. When you bring that into the New Testament, you’d better be sure that you have examined carefully what the New Testament says about worship so that we do not worship God in some self-styled way. That is what led the Reformers to come up with what’s called the regulative principle. They regulated their worship according to what the Scripture says worship should be: the Lord’s Table, prayers, the reading of the Word, the preaching of the Word, and praise and adoration in song. That’s what Scripture says worship should be made of.
Now there’s a fourth suggestion that perhaps is the important one to transition us into our text. Unacceptable worship is worship of the true God in the proper form with a hypocritical heart, okay, worship of the true God even the proper form with an empty heart.
Matthew chapter 15, Jesus indicts the leaders of the nation Israel, the religious leaders of Israel – Pharisees and scribes to whom He was speaking. Jesus says, “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me. In vain do they worship Me.” You might be in the right place doing the right thing at the right time, but if your heart does not belong to the Lord it is worship in vain. In fact, that takes us back to last week, “You’re taking the Lord’s name in vain.”
Now this is exactly the kind of thing that dominated the people of Israel when our Lord arrived. Hypocritical worship was essentially what had developed so that true worship was not a part of the religious establishment. In fact, in the twenty-third chapter of Matthew, Jesus gives a diatribe against the religious leaders of Israel, and again and again He says, “You hypocrites. You hypocrites. You hypocrites.” He just keeps repeating it and repeating it and repeating it and pronounces doom on them. You may be in the right place, doing even the prescribed things; but if you don’t have a heart of love and devotion to God, you’re a hypocrite. You’re like a tomb painted white, Jesus said, but full of dead men’s bones.
This was the religion of Israel when Jesus arrived. And so He began His ministry with basically assaulting the hypocrisy of Israel’s worship. Turn to John chapter 2 for a moment, verse 13. John chapter 2, verse 13. “The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. And He found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves.” They were selling them at exorbitant prices. They were disqualifying the animals that people had brought so that they would have to purchase their animals. And the money changers, they were basically changing money at ridiculous prices. Again, this was a business that was making the Sadducees and those who ran the temple very wealthy.
“So He found those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. And He made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables; and to those who were selling the doves He said, ‘Take these things away; stop making My Father’s house a place of business,’ – or as is recorded in another gospel – ‘a den of robbers.’ His disciples remembered what was written in Psalm 69:9. ‘Zeal for Your house will consume me.’”
What did He found? He found hypocrisy. The worship of Israel was so hypocritical that Jesus began His public ministry by assaulting the temple. And three years later, the final week of His ministry, He did the same thing; He assaulted the temple again, and we read that was the same exact den of robbers it had been three years before. Three years of His ministry Israel’s religion was still hypocritical. But here He begins His ministry in John chapter 2 by attacking hypocritical religion, because it is unacceptable worship.
Unacceptable worship is to worship another god, or the true God in a false form, or the true God in a self-styled way, or the true God with a hypocritical heart that doesn’t really love Him. All of that is unacceptable, and that defined Israel’s hypocrisy. It was all unacceptable to Him, and He assaulted it.
Not long after that He left Jerusalem and He went through Samaria. Turn to chapter 4. And you know the story; He runs into this woman, this half-breed Samaritan harlot, and to her of all people He reveals the truth about worship, and He has a conversation with her that is evangelistic. And any evangelistic conversation is at its heart about worship. I don’t know that we think of evangelism that way. But as I read you in 1 Corinthians 14:25, what ideally would happen would be an unbeliever would come, hear the preaching of the Word, fall down on his face and worship God.
Listen to 2 Corinthians chapter 4 and verse 15 as Paul describes his ministry: “All things are for your sakes, so that the grace” – saving grace – “which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.” The goal of Paul’s evangelism was to spread saving grace to more and more people so that they would give thanks that would abound to the glory of God. That’s worship, right, giving thanks that abounds to the glory of God.
All evangelism has as its goal to bring people who have been sinners and under the judgment of God to bow the knee and acknowledge the true God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. The goal of all evangelism then is worshipers. So when we gather together on a Lord’s Day we are worshipers come together collectively to express our praise. It’s the whole purpose of redemption. If you want to know the whole purpose of redemption, all you have to do is look at the redeemed when they get to heaven.
Revelation chapter 4, here’s a glimpse into heaven. What are they doing there? Revelation chapter 4,verse 8, “Four living creatures who are angels do not cease to say,” – verse 8 – ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God.’” They do it all the time day and night, meaning they do it all the time. “They do not cease to say, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come.’ And when the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him who lives forever and ever, then the twenty-four elders” – who represent the redeemed – “will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will cast their crowns before the throne, saying, ‘Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.’”
And then John in chapter 5 gets another glimpse into heaven. In verse 8 he sees the four living creatures. Again, the angels, twenty-four elders, the redeemed. They fall down before the Lamb, and verse 9 says, “They sing a new song, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and break it seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign on the earth.’
“Then I looked, heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, and they’re all saying with a loud voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.’ And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, ‘To Him who sits on the throne, to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.’ And the four living creatures kept saying, ‘Amen.’ And the elders fell down and worshiped.” That’s heaven. That’s heaven.
So we need to understand that we are worshipers. This woman understood that, even as a pagan Samaritan. She understood that the issue was about worshiping God appropriately. If she was going to be delivered from judgment and from the consequence of her sin, she needed to become a true worshiper. And her immediate response to her dilemma is, “Where do I worship? Do I worship here in Mount Gerizim where we Samaritans worship, or do I go to Jerusalem and worship down there? Where do I go to worship? I need to come before God and bow.” And with that opening discussion of worship we look at the text of John 4, if briefly.
Who is the initiator of worship? It’s here. Who is the initiator of worship? Down in verse 23, the last line: “For such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.” The Father is the one who initiates worship. Luke 19:10 says, “The Son seeks to save those who are lost.” Here the Father seeks true worshipers. Jesus said in John 6:44, “No one comes unto Me unless the Father draws him.” The Father is the one who seeks, the Father is the one who draws.
And everything is bound up in His title “Father.” It doesn’t say the Creator seeks true worshipers; that would trim God down. Why does it have to be Father? Because Father speaks of relationship, right? That is to say that since God is by nature a Father, and Jesus referred to Him as Father every single time He spoke to Him, expect on the cross when He was separated and said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And what this tells us is that the essential reality of God is that He is a Father, and that is critical because it means He’s not alone. There is someone else in that eternal Trinity. There is a Son to the Father, and there is a Spirit who comes from the Father and Son. This is to say that the true and living God is a God of love. We know that because He is eternally in relationship with the Persons of the Trinity.
I said this a few weeks ago in a question and answer time. A single solo god would not, if such a god existed, would not have the attribute of love, because if he was eternally alone, there would be no part of his essential nature to attach love to, and therefore it wouldn’t be part of who he is. That’s a description of Allah. This is what Allah is. Listen to the words of Islam: “Allah is one. He begets not, nor is he begotten. A solo god, a single god cannot bear an attribute of love. Only a god who has eternally been in a relationship can be defined as a god of love.
This is the foundation of all truth regarding God, and this is the foundation of all gospel purpose. God loves. God loves His Son. God seeks a bride for His Son. God loves the world. He seeks to redeem sinners and bring them into relationship to Him. You might think that that’s a New Testament concept, something missing in the Old Testament, but you would be wrong.
Listen to Jeremiah the prophet, chapter 3, verse 19. And the Lord through Jeremiah gives these words: “Then I said,” verse 19, Jeremiah 3 – ‘How I would set you among My sons and give you a pleasant land, most beautiful inheritance of the nations!’ And I said, ‘You shall call Me, My Father, and not turn away from following Me.’ Surely as a woman treacherously departs from her lover, so you have dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,” declares the Lord. “A voice is heard on the bare heights, the weeping and the supplications of the sons of Israel; because they have perverted their way, they have forgotten the Lord their God.
“Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness. Behold, we come to You; for You are the Lord our God. Surely, the hills are a deception, a tumult on the mountains. Surely in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel.” God says to them, “You shall call Me, My Father.”
Backing from there to chapter 63 of Isaiah, we find very similar words, chapter 63, verse 16: “For You are our Father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not recognize us. You, O Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer from of old is Your name.”
God has always revealed Himself as a Father. And bound up in that essential nature of God is the reality that He was always a Father, always a Father, always with the Son, always with the Spirit; and therefore, love was at the heart of His nature. That is the Christian distinctive concerning the true God, and it sets God apart from all single solo false gods. That is why we read in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world.” That’s why we see God’s love expressed in Luke 15. When a coin is found and when a sheep is found and when a son is found, there’s a celebration in heaven, because God loves sinners.
In John 14, salvation is even described as being wrapped up in this incredible love of God. Listen to John 14:21. Well, verse 20, Jesus says, “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.” There we are wrapped up with the Father and the Son. And then verse 21, “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
Down in verse 23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.” Salvation is all about being wrapped up in the amazing love of God.
The seventeenth chapter of John, verse 23, Jesus is praying that they would, all believers, would be brought to glory. He says, “I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” Then verse 26, “I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them.”
When you see “Father” you know God is love, love for His Son and love for His redeemed. You also know He is one with His Son in nature and one with His Spirit. There’s no true worship apart from the full recognition of the triune God, the reality of His Son and Spirit being one in essence with Him. That is why Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and my God.”
This Father, this loving Father – go back to verse 23 – seeks worshipers, zēteō in the Greek, to crave. He craves objects to love, to strive after. And that, by the way, is the efficacious seeking as God craves the fellowship of redeemed humanity, not only for the fulfillment of His own love, but for the fulfillment of the love of His own Son. He gives each redeemed person to His Son as a love gift. He seeks worshipers. So we say the goal of salvation is worshipers, sought by God, because He loves.
The object of worship: the initiator is the Father, the object is also the Father. Verse 21, end of the verse, “You worship the Father.” Verse 23, “Worshipers will worship the Father.” Verse 24, “Worship Him.” Not only is He the initiator of worship, He is the object of worship.
This Father is also identified in verse 24 as Spirit. God is Spirit, or literally in the Greek, “Spirit the God.” God is equal to Spirit. He is the invisible God. Jeremiah 23, “Do not I fill heaven and earth.” He is Spirit. He is not confined to an idol, He’s not confined to a building.
In fact, Stephen in his sermon in Acts 7 quotes from Isaiah 66 and says, “The Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands; as the prophet said: ‘Heaven is My throne; the earth, the footstool of My feet; what kind of house will you build for Me?’ says the Lord, ‘Or what place is for My repose? Was it not My hand that made all things?’” End quote, from Isaiah 66. “Therefore I must be bigger than all I created; not less than, more than.”
So the God who seeks worshipers is a God who is Spirit. He is Spirit. By nature He is Spirit. Obviously He humbled Himself as the Son and came into the world confined to a human body for a lifespan. But the eternal God – Father, Son and Spirit – is Spirit. We worship then the God who is Father, who is that eternal Spirit who fills infinity with His presence.
That leads us to the third point here: the sphere of worship. The source is God, the object is God, the sphere – go back to verse 20: “Our fathers worshiped in this mountain,” – Mount Gerizim, the mount of blessing in Deuteronomy – “you people say in Jerusalem where men ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” That’s all coming to an end.
Even the tabernacle and the temple in the Old Testament did not confine God, they were merely symbols of His presence. But she’s associating God with a place. We say Mount Gerizim.” Their temple had been destroyed in 125 BC by John Hyrcanus, so there was only remnants left, but they were still worshiping there. The Jews were worshiping in Jerusalem. God was never confined to Jerusalem. And Jesus says here, “An hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” What is that hour? The hour of His cross, His resurrection, His ascension, the sending of the Holy Spirit, the birth of the church, and then 70 AD, the destruction of the temple. The Samaritan temple, already gone. The Jewish temple, about to go.
So where do you go to worship? God is Spirit, you worship Him anywhere and everywhere. He has a new temple. What is His new temple? We read that in 1 Corinthians 10: “We are the body of Christ.” Paul says to the Corinthians, “We are the temple of the Spirit of God.” God has taken up residence in us. The temple now, as Peter said, is living stones. We are the temple, built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, and we are the priests of that temple, offering up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. The Lord lives in His people; no more location. The church is not where God lives. Doesn’t live in buildings, lives in His people.
That leads us to a final thought: the nature of worship. “Jesus said to her,” – verse 22 – ‘You worship what you don’t know.’” What did He mean by that? The Samaritans only accepted the five books of Moses, not the rest. They rejected all the rest of the Old Testament. So out of thirty-seven books they accepted five and rejected thirty-two.
So Jesus is saying, “You don’t have the full revelation, so you worship in ignorance.” “We worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.” The full revelation, and with it, the knowledge of salvation came to the Jews. We were the repository. We have the full revelation, so we have the knowledge. You have the zeal and not the knowledge. We have the knowledge and not the zeal.
“But an hour is coming,” – He says – “when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth,” – that is with the zeal and according to the truth – “for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. Those who worship Him” – verse 24 – “must worship Him in Spirit” – that is from the heart with love – “and truth,” according to the Word of God. The knowledge of the holy is understanding. Psalm 47:7, “Sing praise with understanding.” You need to worship full knowledge of the truth and with a full heart. That’s worship.
You see a glimpse of that on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. Discouraged disciples are walking along the road. The Lord greets them after His resurrection, they don’t know who He is. He starts in the Old Testament and He unfolds the truth of the Old Testament concerning Himself. And when they finally realize what’s going on they make this comment, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He taught us the Scriptures?” That’s true worship, a burning heart based upon a knowledge of the truth. True worship: educated minds, burning hearts.
Father, we ask that You would grant to us that kind of worship, worship filled with reverence and awe and love and gratitude and holy fear, that our worship might be acceptable to You. Thank You for seeking us to be Your worshipers. May we be faithful, Lord, to worship You as You desire to be worshiped, from the heart with all our hearts, without hypocrisy, with an undivided devotion to You, and according to the truth of Your revelation; worship You for who You are, as revealed in Scripture, and to love You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s our prayer. Amen.
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