It was church leader William Temple who wrote, “Worship quickens the conscience by the holiness of God, feeds the mind with the truth of God, purges the imagination by the beauty of God, opens the heart to the love of God, and devotes the will to the purpose of God. Wow! I find those words so helpful as I consider the width and breadth of true worship.
In last week’s message, we considered the story of King Jeroboam who “devised a plan in his own heart” regarding worship. His plan, however, led him into false worship that greatly grieved God and led the entire nations astray. Through his wicked example, we identified five marks of false worship.
False worship hides behind religious activity.
False worship prioritizes personal benefits.
False worship focuses on the wrong object.
False worship prefers convenience over obedience.
False worship modifies God’s instructions.
This coming Sunday, we’ll turn our focus to the marks of true worship. Sunday’s text is from John 4:15-24 where Jesus converses with the woman at Jacob’s Well.
“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again, and I won’t have to come here to get water.” 16 “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her. 17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied. Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “you must be a prophet. 20 So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist that Jerusalem is the only place of worship, while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, where our ancestors worshiped?” 21 Jesus replied, “Believe me, dear woman, the time is coming when it will no longer matter whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans know very little about the one you worship, while we Jews know all about him, for salvation comes through the Jews. 23 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way. 24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”
I so desire to be the kind of worshipper God is seeking! A worshipper who worships in “spirit and in truth.” I hope you can be with us on Sunday as we continue our study of this incredibly important topic.