TABLETALK DEVOTIONS WITH R.C. SPROUL


TABLETALK DEVOTIONS WITH R.C. SPROUL

How to
Worship
==============
John 4:1–45 “God is spirit, and those who worship
him must worship in spirit
and truth” (v. 24).

Worship is perhaps the
most comprehensive of all the means of grace our Father
has given to us. When
we come together to praise our sovereign Lord, we have
the privilege of
engaging in Bible study by hearing the preached Word of God,
praying as a
corporate body, exercising stewardship as we give our tithes and
offerings,
and meeting with Christ as we partake in the sacraments.

Regrettably, too
many churches today have forgotten the awesome privilege and
sacred duty of
worship, preferring to create “seeker-friendly” services that
often cater
more to our culture and its love of entertainment than to the
adoration of
our Creator. In the “seeker-sensitive” model, worship has become
a means to
attract the unchurched through the means of marketing with little
regard as
to whether such a model is proper for worshiping God. Yet Scripture
is clear
that the Lord does not view worship as something indifferent or
subject to
the fanciful whims of sinful men. God is the one who determines
proper
worship (Lev. 10:1–3). Our fallenness makes us all prone to idolatry
(Rom.
1:18–32), and none of us is above disobeying His commands against
worshiping
other gods and crafting false images of Him (Ex. 20:3–6). Most of
us do not
construct deities of wood and stone; our idolatry is much more
sophisticated.
We tend to make increasing the size of the congregation our
chief priority.
We like to proclaim to the world how “hip” and “with it” we
Christians really
are. We love to deny those attributes of God that make
us
uncomfortable.

Today’s passage tells us that our Father desires
those who will worship Him
“in spirit and truth” (John 4:24). Worship in
truth means worship that is
structured according to His Word. We must praise
the Lord revealed in
Scripture, who is the embodiment of holiness and justice
as well as love and
mercy. The whole counsel of God must guide our worship of
Him.

Worshiping the Lord in spirit means that we praise God with our
whole being,
taking delight in the opportunity to praise His name. Spending
time preparing
ourselves before we come to church will help us “enter his
gates with
thanksgiving” in our hearts and into “his courts with praise” (Ps.
100:4).

Coram deo: Living before the face of
God
========================================
Do you find Sunday morning
worship to be a delight or dull and dreary? Do you
spend the service thinking
about all the things you could be doing if you were
not at church? Take time
today to repent for those times you have not devoted
proper attention to the
Lord in worship. Remember that He is truly present
among us when we gather
together (Matt. 18:20) and let that be a compelling
motivation to delight in
Him in the presence of His people.

For further study:

Exodus
32

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