First Place

by The Doctor

What does the word “worship” mean to you? For some people it simply means singing songs in church. For others, the idea of worship represents something to be mocked and made fun of. For some, the worship refers to a kind of total lifestyle. For others the word worship means very little, if anything at all.

Since “worship” can mean different things to different people, let’s take a closer look at the Biblical idea of worship and get a better idea of what it really means.

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks” (John 4:23 NIV).

“Worship” is another one of those terms that Christians use a lot but no one ever seems to really define. So what exactly is worship and why is it important?

Well, the word “worship” as used in the Bible means to show exceptional reverence or honor towards someone. It refers to having an attitude of exceeding respect and high regard especially when used in relation to God. It’s interesting that part of the root of the word worship as used in the Bible means, “to kiss the hand” much like people do for royalty today.

“God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24 NIV).

This attitude of reverence and honor should identify anyone who claims to worship God. Worshiping God in “spirit and in truth” means living a lifestyle that demonstrates respect for God and showing high regard towards Him in your innermost thoughts.

It also means being serious about living the kind of lifestyle that honors God and being up front with Him about those areas where you may be falling short. Worshiping God in spirit and in truth is more than just singing songs that praise God- it means putting Jesus Christ first in every area of our lives.

“… The Scriptures say, ‘Worship only the Lord God. Obey only him'” (Matthew 4:10).

But worship isn’t only for people who believe in God. Everyone -whether they like to admit it or not- worships something. If that sounds a little strange then allow The Doctor to explain a little further.

You see, there are many people who live their lives as if God does not exist. Because such people don’t usually give much thought to God as they live their daily lives, they may be under the impression that they really don’t worship anything. This appears to be pretty reasonable at first glance but things may not always be as they appear.

You see, our modern word “worship” has developed from the ancient English word “worthship.” As this word implies, “worthship” means “to give worth to.” This is important because everyone, everywhere gives worth to something in greater or lesser degrees.

Even people who reject the existence of God must replace Him with something at the top of the priority scale of their lives. If God is not the priority in someone’s life, then people must replace Him with themselves or perhaps something else- a job, a car, a relationship or whatever. So if God doesn’t hold the highest position of worth-ship in someone’s life, then whatever God is replaced with is the thing that is ultimately worshiped.

So whatever has the most worth in your life is the thing you really worship. It could be a person, an idea, an object or anything else that is loved, respected or feared the most. If God doesn’t occupy the position of highest love and respect in someone’s life then whatever does occupy that position is that person’s object of worship. So everyone -whether they like to admit it or not- worships something.

“Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2 NKJ).

It’s right to worship God because He deserves our admiration, honor and respect. God is worthy of our worship because He is our Creator (see Genesis 1:27). God should be worshiped with honor, respect and admiration because He is absolutely good, loving and perfect (see Jeremiah 29:11, 1 John 4:8 and Psalm 18:30).

God is deserving of our worship because of the future that He has prepared for those who trust Him (see 1 Corinthians 2:9-10). Finally (and most importantly), God should be worshiped because Jesus gave Himself to save us from an eternity of pain and separation from God (see Romans 1:16 and 1 Corinthians 1:18).

So worshiping God is more than just saying nice things in prayer and singing songs that tell about how great God is. While these things are good and important, giving God first place in our lives is an even better form of worship. Worshiping God can take a number of forms and can include doing good and sharing what you have with others (Hebrews 13:16),  conducting yourself physically in a manner that is pleasing to God (Romans 12:1) and honoring God with your financial resources (Proverbs 3:9-10).

All of these things add up to the kind of total lifestyle that really worships God and shows Him the kind of reverence, respect and honor that He really deserves.

“Worship the Lord with the beauty of holy lives. Let the earth tremble before him” (Psalm 96:9).