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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Heart of Worship

2 Kings 18:4 (NIV)
4 He removed the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He broke into pieces the bronze snake Moses had made, for up to that time the Israelites had been burning incense to it. (It was called Nehushtan.)

It seems that every believer should know that he or she should not worship anything or anyone but the Lord God but that isn't the case. Objects in the church are often worshiped without believers knowing what they are doing. I have seen hymnals, organs, stained-glass windows, pulpits and choir robes given the veneration which should have been reserved for the Lord.

They didn't even know they were worshiping these "idols." In fact, they denied it when confronted. They said, "I'm not worshiping the (whatever), I just think that (whatever) enhances my worship." They do not see how closely they resemble the people during Hezekiah's day nor during Paul's. They can not see that they have divided their worship between the Creator and man-made creations.

What would happen if your church removed the items which have become a part of your worship? Let's say that next week the choir chairs or the organ is gone. The pulpit is no longer on the platform. The hymnals are not in sight. The drums are missing. The pastor doesn't wear a coat or tie. There is no instrumental music. The room is austere. It has no head banging music or organ playing before the service begins. You are asked to sing and learn the songs without hymnals or screens. You are asked to pray without someone leading you. You are asked to open your own Bible because there are none in the pews.

How many less people would be back next week? How many more people would get it? Would anyone? 

Exodus 20:3-6 (NIV)
3 "You shall have no other gods before me. 4 "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6  but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.

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