Every six weeks or so I have the honor of giving the offering moment during the Sunday morning worship service at my church. A while back, I used this time to talk about proper worship. It led me to ask myself, “what is worship?”
Singing, Dancing, Clapping, Raising Hands, Playing Instruments, Kneeling, and Offering were all forms of worship which easily came to mind.
So when I looked up passages in the Bible about worship, one verse grabbed onto me and has been running through my head ever since.
The NIrV translation (The one I’ve used since my children’s ministry days because it is a “reader’s” version, and easier for us laymen to understand.) says in Hebrews 12:28:
“We are receiving a kingdom that can’t be shaken. So let us be thankful. Then we can worship God in a way that pleases him. We will worship him with deep respect and wonder.”
Let’s look at the first sentence: “We are receiving a kingdom that can’t be shaken.” This sentence alone should bring all believers to their knees. We will spend eternity with a King who will always reign, who will always remain the same, and whose kingdom can never be torn down. This is an amazing promise to us!
And because of this, the second sentence in the verse says, “So let us be thankful.” Because of our Almighty God, we should be walking around full to the brim with thankfulness to Him.
The verse goes on, “Then we can worship God in a way that pleases him.” I feel we often overlook one tiny word in this sentence, but it is the most important word of them all.
“Thenwe can worship God in a way that pleases Him.” We can sing, dance, kneel, and even give more than 10% for our earnings, but if we do not come before God with thankful hearts first, we have done it all (singing, kneeling, tithing…) for nothing.
Because it will be worship that has not pleased Him, worship that is not accepted by Him. (Hebrews 12:28 NIV)
But when we worship God with a thankful heart, we show Him the “deep respect and wonder” He deserves. We show Him the reverence and awe (Hebrews 12:28 NIV) He deserves.
God needed to point out that one word I was brushing over so quickly- THEN- During this time of year, I find myself glued to my to-do list: Buy a gazillion presents, decorate every square inch of the house, make goodies for all the kid’s teachers, plan Christmas Eve dinner for the masses, volunteer for the church Christmas gathering, clean the house for guests, send out the bazillion Christmas cards, and don’t forget you still have mounds of laundry to do and a writing career you’re trying to get off the ground!
And in the anxiety and stress of trying to accomplish the items on my to-do list, I forget to be thankful for them. I am striving to come before the Lord each and every day with a thankful heart. Thankful for the money to bless my loved ones with gifts this year, thankful for the decorations the kids love so much, thankful for my kids’ wonderful teachers, thankful I have so many family members to celebrate Jesus’ birth with, thankful for a house to clean, thankful for so many friends to send cards to, thankful for clothes to keep my family warm, and thankful for a budding writing career.
Because I want every song, prayer, praise, dance, and kneel to count as pleasing worship before my Almighty God. How are you doing with this? Are you showing God proper and pleasing worship by first coming before Him with a thankful heart?