Characteristics Of Genuine Worship

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in holy array.
–Psalm 29:2

There are a lot of things in churches today that are passed off as worship that are not worship. What does it mean to truly worship God? Over the next couple of days, I want to share with you three characteristics of genuine worship.

First of all, genuine worship centers on God, not on us. Now, there are a lot of benefits that accrue to us when we worship God: an exhilaration of spirit, a regaining of our joy, a fresh perspective on our problems. Those are all benefits of worship, but they are not the purpose of worship. The purpose of genuine worship is to express to God how much we appreciate Him and how indebted we are to Him. It is expressing to Him our commitment to following Him. And that means every song, every message, every prayer that is uttered should magnify God, not the person delivering it. The psalmist said it this way in Psalm 29:2: “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in holy array.” To worship God is to ascribe to Him the glory that is truly due Him.

Second, genuine worship is corporate, not only individual. Sometimes people say to me, “I do not need a church to worship God. I can worship God in my car, or on the golf course, or in the shower.” That is true–we can worship God anywhere. But even though we worship God individually, there also needs to be a time when we come together and worship Him corporately.

Let me illustrate for you why corporate worship is so important. Think about what happens when a city’s professional sports team wins a championship. That city hosts a parade, right? Thousands and thousands of fans line the streets, cheering and applauding the team. Now, suppose that instead of attending the parade, all the fans just sent cards and emails to the team. Would that have the same effect? No. There is something powerful about all the fans coming together in one place to show their team how much they appreciate what the team has done. That is the value of corporate worship.

Somebody has said Christians are like a bunch of little lights scattered throughout the community, illuminating the gospel of Jesus Christ. But there comes a time when all the little lights need to come together to form one giant floodlight illuminating the greatness of our God. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “Let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together.” Worship can be done individually, but it should also be done together.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Up With Worship” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org.

 

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