Thursday, March 12, 2009

Why We Worship – Part 1

Worship Is Important

First of all, we should understand just how important worship is to God. In the Book of Revelation, we get a peek at the worship in heaven, which is continuous. The reason we worship is stated by what the elders say when they lay their crowns before the Lord in passionate worship (Revelation 4:11, NLT):

“You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

1. History of Worship

Worship has been around since the beginning of the human race. The earliest act of worship we read about in the Bible is when Cain and Abel presented their offerings to the Lord, as we read in Genesis 4:3-5:

Later, Cain brought some food from the ground as a gift to God. Abel brought the best parts from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. So Cain became very angry and felt rejected. NCV

Apparently Cain wasn’t as conscientious about his offering as he should have been, so God rejected his offering. That should be a lesson to us that we should take worship seriously because it is very important to God. We should come to worship with the right attitude, and with the intention of encountering God. Throughout Genesis we see worship, usually involving the sacrifice of an animal, such as when Noah came off the Ark, as we read in Genesis 8:20:

Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. NRSV.

Archeological evidence has shown worship, especially sacrifice, to be common across many different cultures.

More about worship in a future post. Note that some thoughts in this post are based on the book Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Robert Schnase, Abingdon Press, Nashville, Tennessee. © 2007 Robert Schnase

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