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Thursday, January 5, 2017

What Does God Require of Us in Worship?

What does God require of us in worship? Does He want great songs, talented vocalists and musicians? Does He want us to lift our hands, to sing, to shout, to dance, or wave banners? While all of these things are good and, I believe, pleasing to the Lord, they are only acceptable when our hearts are right and when what is inside of us lines up with His Word.

In Micah 6:6-8. the Word is very clear on this. God does not require outward acts but the proper inward attitudes. He requires that we do what is right to others, to act justly. He requires that we love mercy, that we love showing kindness and compassion to others. And, He requires that we walk humbly with Him, being obedient to His Word. These are all things that come naturally from a heart that is right with God.

In Matthew 23, Jesus makes it clear that outward signs of faith and outward signs of worship are important and necessary, but only when we attend to the inward attitudes of the heart, what He refers to as the weightier matters of the law--justice, mercy, and faith. Jesus rebukes the scribes and the Pharisees, referring to them as hypocrites because they spend all their time and energy making the outward things shine while ignoring the inward attitudes (Matthew 23:23, 27-28).

Our outward signs of worship, such as singing, dancing, lifting our hands, giving our tithes, are great and we should be doing them. But, they are only true worship that is acceptable to God when they come from a heart that acts justly, loves mercy, and walks humbly with Him. That is what God requires of us in worship.

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