Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Marsha's Musings: What Is Acceptable Worship? (Hebrews 12:25-29 NKJV)

See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire. (Hebrews 12:25-29 NKJV)

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe,  (ESV)

We are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken!  What we have on this earth right now is a lot of shaking up, morally, spiritually, physcally and politically!  I'm so looking forward to that heavenly kingdom where we don't have to deal with all this stuff.

But in the mean time, we have an assignment.  We are to give God acceptable worship with a thankful heart and with reverence and godly fear, because our God is a consuming fire. 

What is acceptable worship?  How can we serve God acceptably?  This verse says acceptable worship is reverent and with godly fear or awe.   I dare say that much of what passes for worship in many Christian churches these days is far from reverent and lacks godly fear.  Much of it panders to the "felt needs" of the people and is nothing but entertainment  and feel good fluff with no real doctrinal content, no real reverence or godly fear.  It is strange fire.  

And Nadab and Abihu died, when they offered strange fire before the LORD. -Numbers 26:61

And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer, and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire before the LORD, which he commanded them not. -Leviticus 10:1

They are offering worship which God has not commanded and He is not pleased with it.  I've often heard people say, "Oh well, as long as your heart is in the right place or you have the right motive, God is pleased with it."   I don't think so.  Nadab and Abihu no doubt meant well and had right motives, when they offered worship that God had not commanded, but God was not pleased and He struck them dead.  

The question then is, while we live in this "kingdom" that is shaken with all these things mentioned above, what kind of worship are we offering God?  Is it acceptable to God or is it strange fire?  Has God commanded what we are offering or not?  Are we more concerned with drawing people in than we are with making sure our worship is what God commanded?  The church growth gurus have turned things upside down in this respect.  We need to get back to the basics of worship as God has commanded.

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