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Acceptable Worship

22 May

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in His word:

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:26-29)

We should indeed be thankful that we have an unshakable kingdom. – After all, Christ gave His life up as a sacrifice, so that we could have that kingdom (along with many other things). However, the bit after ‘let’s be thankful’ may seem a little confusing. “Let us offer to God acceptable worship”. At first glance, it’s really quite straightforward: we’re to offer up acceptable worship to God. Not much to it. Yet, we must ask, what is acceptable? What is the distinguishing mark between unacceptable, and acceptable worship? Is not all worship, worship? And as such, acceptable in any and every form which it comes in?

God doesn’t want just any kind of worship. He doesn’t want pagan forms of worship, in which He is put level with all the fake “gods”. He doesn’t want false worship, which is not worship at all. No, He wants worship which He can delight in; which He finds acceptable. So, again, what is acceptable?

Well, we know for a fact that Christ offered acceptable worship when He was crucified. – Jesus’ crucifixion was an act of worship, because there has never been, nor ever will be, a time which brought more glory to God. And bringing glory to God, is pretty much what worship is. – Otherwise God would’ve never raised Him from the dead. So let’s look to Him for an example. There are a couple of specific points about Christ’s worship to focus on:

  1. His act of worship involved sacrifice. Jesus’ type of sacrifice only had to be made once, and could only be made by Him. Thus, our sacrifices are on a far less dramatic scale. An acceptable act of worship now, would involve “sacrificing” time, money, or energy.
  2. His act of worship served others. As with His sacrifice, Jesus’ act of worship at the cross only needed to be made, and could only do what it did, one time. Thus, anything we do to serve others, can at most, involve Earthly things. Unlike Christ, who served others by giving up His very Spirit. But we are still to serve others, in whatever way which God calls us to.
  3. His act of worship spread the Gospel. Granted, Jesus’ act of worship was the Gospel, but, in that, it was also the greatest spreader of it. That aside though, any acceptable act of worship, spreads that which saves, and gives glory to God: the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

So then, the point is this: we are commanded to offer acceptable worship. Acceptable worship, is not comfortable worship (which is unacceptable). God wants us to grow up into Christ [Ephesians 4:15], and one way which we do that, is by offering worship like Christ’s. – Sacrificial service which spreads the Gospel (along with, no doubt, many other attributes).

You are Loved!

Joshua Cleveland

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6 responses to “Acceptable Worship

  1. granonine

    May 27, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Makes me think of I Sam. 15:22 which tells us that “to obey is better than sacrifice.” In this sense, obedience is worship, and is the most acceptable worship.

     
    • Joshua Cleveland

      May 29, 2012 at 1:46 PM

      I hadn’t even made the connection between 1 Samuel, thank you for pointing out the connection to me. Though I personally believe the sacrifice mentioned applies rather more to the Israelites, I do agree that obedience is acceptable worship. I was trying to look to Jesus as our example in the post, which is part of the reason why I didn’t exactly touch on obedience. But I think that Christ’s obedience to God, obedience even to death, does indeed give us a wonderful example of what acceptable worship is.

      Thank’s for stopping by and sharing your idea,

      Joshua

       
      • granonine

        May 29, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Yes, the obedience in I Samuel was taught to the Israelites; however, the principle is taught all through scripture, including the words of Jesus in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep My commandments.” Obedience to God is never limited to one nation, one time, or one place. Jesus, of course, is the perfect example of obedience.

         
      • Joshua Cleveland

        May 29, 2012 at 4:15 PM

        Oh yes, I agree completely. I’m sorry if it came off the wrong way. I meant that I personally believe that the particular passage referred more to the Israelite’s sacrifices than to whatever sacrifices of ourselves we may offer. Believe me, I have no arguments with the doctrine of obedience to God, and I agree 100% that it’s taught all through the Bible, though it can be hard at times to actually obey.

        When I talked about Jesus’ obedience, I was more writing my thoughts than anything, I already knew that you were aware that Jesus is our perfect example. Please don’t feel that I was talking down to you, it was purely accidental if I did.

        Thank you for your reply,

        Joshua

         
      • granonine

        May 29, 2012 at 4:38 PM

        Not in any way, Josh. Just a good conversation 🙂

         
      • Joshua Cleveland

        May 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

        Thank’s Linda 🙂

         

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