You’re a worshiper. I’m a worshiper.
There’s no question about that. The questions are:
- What are we worshiping?
- What kind of worshipers are we?
- What worship matters to God?
TRUE WORSHIPERS MATTER
Bob Kauflin addresses these concerns in his new book, True Worshipers: Seeking What Matters to God.
“The worship of God matters. . . . There is nothing more foundational to our relationship with God and to our lives as Christians.”
I’ve been following Kauflin’s work for several years, so I know he’s the real deal. He’s a pastor, worship leader, blogger at WorshipMatters, and director of Sovereign Grace Music. And he’s now the author of two wonderful books.
I recommend his first book Worship Matters for growing in your personal worship of God.
And now I also recommend this second book, True Worshipers, where Kauflin lays out why our worship matters to God—and why it matters to us.
TRUE WORSHIPERS RECEIVE
Kauflin starts off strong: “It takes God to worship God.”
“Our first responsibility as Christians is not to give to God but to receive from him. . . .when it comes to being a true worshiper, receiving from God is our calling from first to last.”
God both invites us and enables us to worship him. Worship is our response to his initiative.
“We come to God by grace or we don’t come at all. We come by receiving a gift, not by doing a deed. We don’t create worship; we respond to what we’ve received in Jesus Christ—eternal life.”
TRUE WORSHIPERS EXALT
True worship requires humility on our part. Without it, our worship takes a wrong turn, exalting things other than God as we seek our own satisfaction elsewhere, i.e., idolatry
Exalting God shows that we remember he exists, and that we value him.
“When we love something, we attach worth to it. We’re saying to others, ‘This is worthy of my thoughts, time, labors, and affections.’ Loving God persuades others that God is desirable, good, and satisfying. Loving God is distinct from loving things about God. It’s the difference between Bible knowledge that leads to pride and that which leads to praise.”
TRUE WORSHIPERS GATHER
While, yes, we can (and should!) worship God when we’re home alone (and at work, at play), there’s something unique about gathering with family to worship God together.
Kauflin enumerates these benefits we receive when we worship in community:
- Remembering and rehearsing the gospel
- Receiving God’s Word together
- Mutual serving and caring
- A greater awareness of God’s presence
- Demonstrating our unity in the gospel
- Sharing the sacraments
- A greater display of God’s glory
Kauflin goes on to explain more actions that true worshipers do: They edify, sing, encounter God, and anticipate eternity. To be counted among the worshipers of God, “there can be no higher purpose . . . and there can be no greater joy.”
May we each be numbered among that group of true worshipers.
“The critical question is not Do I have a voice? but Do I have a song?”
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“Worship is a gift we receive before it’s a task we perform.”
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“It brings no glory to God if we claim deep affection for God while harboring ill will toward people.”
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“It should be clear by now that if we haven’t come to receive, we won’t have anything to give. This isn’t self-centered Christianity. It’s acknowledging that we have no resources in ourselves, and that from him, through him, and to him are all things (Rom. 11:35–36).”
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“We meet together as redeemed saints to remind each other whose we are, how we got here, and why it matters.”
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“There’s no context or group on earth quite like the gathering of God’s people. God has uniquely designed the church for true worshipers to experience, enjoy, and be edified by their common life in Christ. Every time we meet, God is eager and able to do more than we can ask or think according to the power at work within us (Eph. 3:20). There are no normal Sundays.”
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My thanks to Crossway
for the review copy of this book
- Links, books, and other things I love – November 2015
- Who are you avoiding?