Daily Devotion Friday, January 24

Friday, January 24, 2014 – Psalm 130; Psalm 32; Genesis 11:27-12:8; Hebrews 7:1-17 and John 4:16-26

John 4:16-26 – 24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

What does it mean to you to worship God in spirit and truth?

Recently some colleagues of mine asked that question and here are some of their thoughts.

23-24 It’s who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That’s the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration.” (The Message)

I like this definition of worship. It reminds me that God does not expect me to be a different person when I worship. God desires that I am who I am when I come to him. Pretense is not fooling God.

Another said: When I pray with our lay leader each Sunday before entering the sanctuary for worship I often include a prayer that we, as leaders, might be used in a way that helps everyone present worship in spirit and in truth.    I don’t know how to put into words a definition of all that worshiping in spirit and in truth means or looks like.   For Peterson it apparently means being “simply and honestly” oneself in worship before God.  That’s helpful.   For Barclay it seems to mean that God as spirit is not confined to a particular place and that the “highest part of the human creature,” is one’s spirit.  When one’s spirit meets with God’s spirit, somehow this is what is meant by worship in spirit and in truth.

And another added:  I am also intrigued by verse 23 – “… when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.”  Am I a true worshiper and do I lead God’s people to be the true worshipers that the Father seeks?  What, exactly, does worshiping in spirit and truth mean?

Lord, help each of us to worship in spirit and truth and to be the leader you would have us be guiding your children to worship in spirit and truth.

Here’s what I had to say on the topic. Worship God in spirit and in truth. When leading worship, I find it hard to really worship. Too much is going on. I end up having too much on my mind. I worry about what’s coming next, the time, who will like or dislike a particular hymn, what the people might be feeling/thinking.  I end up not being able to worship. When the liturgist is leading, when communion has been served to me, these are times I can pause and worship.

The times I have been able to worship God in spirit and in truth, seems to be times when I’m alone with God and in the midst of God’s creation. These are the times I can simply pause and worship God.

Here’s my paraphrase of Psalm 150 and what I’d hope worshiping God in spirit and in truth would look like.

Let everything that breathes praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, morning, noon and night.
Praise the Lord with your words and deeds.
Praise the Lord in song and dance and quiet meditation.
Everyone, everything, always in everything, praise the Lord! Amen.

I believe worshiping God in spirit and truth is worshiping God with our whole being; heart, mind, soul and strength.

I hope our thoughts on the topic of worshiping God in spirit and truth helps you as you think about the question; What does it mean to you to worship God in spirit and truth?

Here’s some good news from the Psalms.

Psalm 130 – 3   If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
4   But there is forgiveness with you,
so that you may be revered.

Psalm 32 – 1   Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered.
2   Happy are those to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity,
and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

5   Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,”
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.   

Part of worshiping God in spirit and truth is admitting our sin before him and accepting the forgiveness he gives through His Son, Jesus Christ.

O God, as I worship you this day and even now prepare for Sunday’s worship help me worship you in spirit and truth for You are God. Help me be fully honest with You and fully open to Your word to me. Amen.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>