“Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness.
Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God!
He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving;
go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good.
His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”
Psalm 100, NLT
Notes from the HelpFinder Bible
We do not think of ourselves as a worshiping culture, let alone an idolatrous culture, but our behavior suggests otherwise. Consider our weekly gatherings of up to one hundred thousand frenzied fans observing a ceremony of men dressed in strange garb acting out a violent drama of conquest. Others stay at home and join in by way of a small glowing shrine set up in the family room.
Fans of professional football are probably not even aware that their behavior could be described as worship. Or consider the way thousands of young people scream and throw themselves at the stage where their rock-star idols are performing. Human beings were created to worship. To worship is to ascribe ultimate value to an object, person, or God—and then to revere, adore, pay homage to, and obey by ordering the priorities of our lives around that which we worship. The Bible teaches that God alone is worthy of our worship. Worship, more than anything else, will connect us with God, our only source of lasting hope.
What is the ultimate purpose of my worship?
• 1 CHRONICLES 17:16-18 | “Who am I, O Lord God . . . that you have brought me this far?. . . You know what your servant is really like.”
• 1 CHRONICLES 29:10-13 | Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly: “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord. . . . We adore you as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength. O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name!”
• ISAIAH 6:3 | They were calling out to each other, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies! The whole earth is filled with his glory!”
• LEVITICUS 15:31 | “This is how you will guard the people of Israel from ceremonial uncleanness. Otherwise they would die, for their impurity would defile my Tabernacle that stands among them.”
Worship is the recognition of who God is and of who you are in relation to him. Ultimately, everything we do should be based on what we think of and how we worship the almighty God. If our actions don’t pay ultimate honor to him, then we are paying ultimate honor to someone or something else.
• PROVERBS 3:9 | Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.
• EXODUS 23:19 | “As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the Lord your God.”
Giving the firstfruits of your income to God honors him as your number one priority. Your offerings demonstrate that your work is for God and that his work is most important.
• REVELATION 4:9-11 | Whenever the living beings give glory and honor and thanks to the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever), the twenty-four elders fall down and worship the one sitting on the throne (the one who lives forever and ever). And they lay their crowns before the throne and say, “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
• REVELATION 5:11-12 | Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.”
Your worship of God is a foretaste of heaven.
• GENESIS 4:3-4 | When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock.
In the gifts of Abel and Cain we see that, from the very beginning, humans have an instinct for worship. We desire to offer thanks and honor to God by expressing our praise and bringing offerings from our work to God. Even if we fall short of the mark, as Cain did, the instinct is still there.