"God Directed Worship"

A man, desiring to worship God, entered an elaborate church building. As a spectator, he was moved to tears by the beautiful harmony of the choir and his soul felt borne to heavenly heights as the organ breathed its soothing notes. He listened intently to a lesson on "Doing good to all men" and uttered a silent "amen" to a beautifully read prayer. He left the auditorium with a good feeling. SURELY GOD WAS PLEASED WITH SUCH WORSHIP! -- or was He?

Jesus reveals the practice of God directed worship by making three observations (John 4:21-24). First of all, the place of worship is of no significance, for Jesus said, ". . . the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father," (v.21). Men can worship God under a tree in Africa just as well as in a building in the US.

Then, Jesus said that we must worship God "in spirit," because "God is spirit." "In spirit" denotes worship that comes from the spirit of man, or that which is a product of his intellect, will and emotions. Such worship cannot be done without thought, intent and effort.

And, finally, Jesus said that worshippers must also worship "in truth." "In truth" means according to the revelation of God who is absolute truth. If the object of one's worship is truly worthy of that worship then that object surely has the right to say how He wants to be worshipped. A disrespect and disregard for His will leads men eventually to worship and serve the creature rather than the creator (Romans 1:25).

The feeling in a man's heart does not change erroneous worship into "in truth" worship. God does not change His requirements to suit the feelings of man. Pleasing worship to God is not done ignorantly nor accidentally -- it is done in spirit and in truth.

In Christian Love,        


  Neely's Bend Church of Christ
  1502 Neely's Bend
  Madison, Tennessee 37115
  Phone (615) 865-1836

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