Glorifying God by our worship
by Terry Broome
Through the ages, mankind has constantly sensed the existence of a supreme intelligence in our Universe. This realization has come in part from our physical surroundings. In the long ago, David said “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork” (Psa. 19:1).
We’re not surprised that men see the need to worship this Supreme Intelligent One, and we’re not surprised at the inventions of men to fulfill that need when they don’t know the message of the Bible. In most cultures people have sought to worship this Higher Being even when they didn’t know who this “Being” was. The Apostle Paul ran into a very religious people in Athens who illustrate just how far some will go to try worshipping a higher power. Their desire was coupled with a fear of leaving one out for lack of knowledge. Paul was eager to share this “unknown” God with them, the One who made heaven and earth and is Lord of all (Acts 17:22-31).
Friends, worship is as essential in order to accomplish God’s purposes in human life as is faith. John 4:23-24 suggests to us that “the Father seeketh such to worship Him.” God longs for the adoration and expressions of love and praise that come from honest and sincere hearts. As with Solomon in the long ago who said, “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways” (Prov 23:26), God wants our hearts!
Worship is a necessary means of giving God our hearts and of expressing the true feelings of one’s heart. It is the expression of love, gratitude, praise and adoration of the only and absolutely adorable God by a heart of faith, trust, penitence, submission, and humility. God was love before, but sending his Son was the manifestation or expression of it. Likewise, worship is our means of expressing the love that we feel in our hearts.
The word itself is from the Greek word “proskuneo”, which is defined as “to make obeisance, do reverence to.” Literally the Greek words are “pros”– towards; and “kuneo”– to kiss – that is to kiss toward God, or to pay tribute to God. This definition gives new feeling to passages such as:
Psa. 95:6 “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker.”
Psa. 96:9 “O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.”
This is contrary to the modern philosophy that everything we do is worship. It is true that everything we do should glorify God, but worship is a deliberate and carefully defined means of approaching God. In view of all the great enthusiasm that has been expended in worship to deity throughout the ages, it is regrettable that the great mass of such worship has been so conducted and directed as to be unacceptable in the eyes of God. For instance, Jesus stated in Matthew 15:9 (KJV) 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. The Apostle Paul wrote of people who made gods out of creatures: Romans 1:25 (KJV) 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
How grateful we should be that God has shown us how to express our worship in a way that He approves. One of our truly great needs is finding this Biblical expression of what is acceptable to God; and then, in spirit and in truth (John 4:23,24) worship Him who alone is worthy to receive our praise.
The author can be reached for comments at 256.574.2489.