Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Worship the Lord your God and serve him only. Luke 4:8
We donít know if John was in the presence of God in (Revelation 22:9) but he fell down at the feet of the angel that was at his side to worship. The angel said ďdo not do it! I am a fellow servant Ė Worship God!" These passages of scripture appear to have the only fundamental rule for worship that God expects. He alone is to be worshiped.
In Luke 4 we learn that Satan was tempting Jesus to worship him. Jesus replied to Satan with no uncertain terms that the creator was the only person to be served. Jesus said man is not to pay homage to anyone other than our creator. In other words homage is to be given to a deity you consider to be sacred.
Worship has a common factor with the royal law of love and that is a priority of being determined to respect and honor God. The royal law of love is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your entire mind and with all your strength. It is a priority determined every bit of your love to your heavenly Father. The second royal law is to Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). This is a love of benevolence from God displayed towards one another.
According to Godís royal law all your worship is to be solely directed to the God that created all men to serve him. In other words God has exclusive rights to your worship and love. No other is to have the love and worship God desires from you. Our worship is to honor God with special recognition expressed through our humbling ourselves in reverent homage. It is written that every knee shall bow and every mouth shall confess Jesus is Lord. (Philippians 2:10-11). Letís consider that homage can be shown in many other ways
There is a specific manner in which Jesus demonstrated God love for mankind through his worship for the father. The bible says
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
Jesus set his face towards Jerusalem resolved to carry out Godís plan of Salvation. He was unyielding saying not my will but yours be done (Luke 22:42) but it was a humble way to say your need in more important than my life.
No one can say we earned Godís love when before we were born God demonstrated his desire to reconcile man to him through his son who paid the penalty for our sin. At the same time we do not deserve to be called sons of God for we are sinful by nature. We should recognize the love of God through our worship in the same manner that Jesus did. It is through the worship of God seen in Jesusís life that we understand greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). The bible says
We love because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19
Pure love is without selfish motives but God loved us while we were bound by slavery to sin and separated from the life God wanted all men to have. Beyond all doubt God loves the person enslaved by sin but hates the sin that has corrupted them. By the same token his love is freely given and does not want anything in return.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:24
Truth is always found in agreement and God is looking for the agreement between our heart; the words of our mouth and good deeds. In the same way we understand that worshipping God on Sunday and showing disdain in the workplace doesnít make a lot of sense because it shows conflicting beliefs. We cannot become like the Pharisee who tried to impress God with his words and what he did (Luke 18:11-12).
The love God extends toward man is constant and comes from his heart without any kind of motive. God simply recognizes every living being as a person deserving respect and dignity. By the same token our worship of God recognizes God as a sacred person, our creator who alone is worthy of respect and dignity.
True worship is to return the love we experience from God. To know God we must spend more time in his presence than focusing on doing things for God. Yet the bible says,
If you love me, you will obey what I command. John 14:15
Love is a compelling reason for obedience as it appears as we have a natural desire to please one another. We were created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). Our obedience shows our reliance and trust for our God in addition to honor him by our effort to please him. The bible says;
Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3
Knowing God is the key to worship. Romans 12:1-2 tells us to offer your bodies as living sacrifices which is your spiritual act of worship. This passage speaks of humbling by renewing of your mind. Spending time in Godís presence helps you to know his character which affects how you think and act.
When I was a child my parents told me bad character rubs off. What they meant was you learned the way they lived and their ways was not what my parents wanted me doing. However when you rub shoulders with God his character soon becomes yours. The reason is that you learn Godís ways are flawless and unquestionably right.
In judges a favorite saying was everyone did as he saw fit (Judges 21:25) rather than what is good and right in the eyes of the Lord your God (Deuteronomy 12:28). When you know God you will know the difference between good and evil giving you sound reasons to make the attempt to do what is right in the eyes of your God.
Knowing God gives you the knowledge of his worth and establishes the highest priority to honor him. God is life and he has given you the essence of life that you prize above everything but God. At the same time the heart is the core of mankind and where worship of God has its origin. The bible says the heart of man is deceitful meaning that what is treasured in the heart is the recipe for good and evil. Taking Godís word to heart changes the way you think because what comes out of the heart discloses the worth of your life.
The fear of the Lord ó that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding. Job 28:28
God treats you in the way he wants you to treat him. Knowing God establishes the highest priority to honor God by shunning evil which God detests. Our Holy God lives by the laws he gave you and is the example that shows you can live by his laws. The highest honor a son can pay his father is to be a mirror image that reflects his character. 2/26/2014