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"Go To Bed Early On Saturday Nights"

Updated: Mar 12

Hebrews 12:28-29

By Drew Zuverink



"Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." (Hebrews 12:28-29)


Worship (λατρεύω) definition: to serve God, to render religious homage, to perform sacred services, to give, and to obey God. Worship is not limited to singing.


This past Sunday our pastor preached a sermon on these two verses. He drew our attention to the command to worship God "in an acceptable manner." Clearly if there are acceptable ways of worshiping God, by implication there must be unacceptable ways of doing so as well. This begs the question: is it possible that you and I have been offering God worship that he isn't pleased with? Before we jump to any conclusions lets look at some examples of both acceptable and unacceptable worship.


Acceptable

Just like our pastor said, God is holy (completely set apart and different from anything that has been created) and we must worship him as such. God is our friend (James 2:23), our father (John 1:12), our brother (Hebrews 2:11), our savior (1 John 4:14), and our Lord (Romans 10:13) - but in all of that he is still holy (Psalm 99:9). God is the creator, he knows all and sees all. He is unlimited in power, in knowledge, and in love. He is also perfect in mercy, in forgiveness, and in justice. He hates evil and will eventually pour out his wrath upon those who do it.


Who God is should remind us to approach him with reverence, respect, and with awe. In fact, in order for our worship to be acceptable in God's eyes, we must approach him with reverence and awe. This is something we do internally but it's also something we do in practice. For example:


  • Pastors must preach sermons that portray God as holy and they should certainly be faithful in preaching what God's word truly says. God's holiness should strike fear into any pastor who isn't careful with their messages. Pastors must also teach the totality of scripture, even the difficult parts, because we need them to understand the full picture of who God is.

  • Worship leaders must choose their songs carefully as well. They must also avoid any temptation to draw attention away from God and onto themselves.

  • Video, audio, and computer volunteers must show up on time, remain focused, and do their absolute best work because they are doing it for God (Col. 3:23). These roles might not feel important since most people could be trained to do it (as opposed to a lead singer who possesses a special gift) - but they are vitally important to God's worship services. If any of the pastors, musicians, or tech volunteers don't try hard - the service suffers. Make no mistake about it, volunteering in the audio and visual booth is a holy endeavor and taking your role seriously is an act of worship.

  • Congregants must do their part too. When God's word is opened it means that he will speak. It is the congregations duty to be ready to listen when he does. All distractions, obligations, and competing thoughts should be pushed aside so that they can be fully present. God's holiness deserves our respect and attention.


Unacceptable

Job approached God without reverence and he was quickly put in his place (Job 38). In our worship services, anytime we treat God casually, without respect, without honor, without the value that he deserves - it bothers God. In fact, it bothers him so much that it's even possible he won't accept our worship that day. What else could unacceptable mean? I don't know about you but I really don't want God to be offended by my worship, I want him to love it. So ask yourself these questions:


  • Do I casually approach worship services? Do I get enough sleep so I'm not dozing off when God is trying to speak to me? Do my Saturday night habits cause me to give God unacceptable worship on Sunday mornings?

  • Do I do anything to get my heart ready to receive the seeds the Holy Spirit is going to scatter? (Matt. 13). Do I come into the sanctuary late, thinking about other things, talking to other people, joking, laughing, and just overall distracted?

  • Am I eager to receive the treasures of God's word? If someone was giving a lecture that would give me the information to double my income in a year I'd probably show up with eager ears. Why? Because I'd view the lecture as extremely valuable. If I don't listen to God's word with any kind of eager excitement, do I really value it?

  • Do I come to church with a worshipful attitude, ready to give (remember this is a part of the definition of worship). From 9am - noon on Sundays, do I give God my service, my attention, my emotions, my obedience, my everything?

  • Do I do anything to intentionally and purposefully implement what God said into my daily life? If not, I am only a hearer of God's word and not a doer (James 1:22). God is not pleased with hearers.


For many of us, we've never even thought to ask ourselves these things - which further confirms our way too casual approach to Sunday services. Remember, above all else God is holy, and if we want him to be pleased with our worship we must always approach him with the value and respect that he deserves.


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Just like Sunday’s message this is right on point. As for me, it is my heart felt desire to go deeper and deeper in my relationship with the Lord. It’s nice knowing I’m in a God centered congregation.

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