Matthew 15:8-9a -- "This people draw nigh to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips: but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me."
Amos 5:21-24 -- "I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not savor your solemn assemblies. Though you offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them."
The above passages reveal God's extreme displeasure with insincere worship and empty ritual. The very essence of worship is to bow before God in genuine reverence and surrender. Yet, even many believers have forgotten the awesome holiness and majesty of our Creator. To some, it's as if God exists mostly to fulfill all our desires and needs. We seriously compromise with sin and yet still expect God to honor our prayers and receive our worship. It seems many have forgotten that willful, habitual sin is equal to "trampling underfoot the precious blood of Jesus" (Hebrews 10:29).
It is further disturbing to see how thoughtlessly many receive the Lord's Supper. The Lord's Supper is a moment of supreme holiness and personal examination. In 1 Corinthians 11:28-30, Paul even states that sickness and death can result from irreverence for Christ's sacrifice. Yet many approach this holy moment with absolutely no thought of confession or repentance. The fact that God could bring catastrophic judgment seems never to cross the minds of most modem saints.
Still others treat the Sabbath as just another day to work, shop or recreate. Even some who call themselves serious Christians completely forget to keep the day holy unto the Lord. We forget that deep reverence for the Lord's Day is one of God's ten basic commandments. Genuine reverence for God has been largely abandoned by many modem believers. Most are oblivious to just how far we have moved from a biblical reverence for God.
Questions for Reflection: In coming to worship, is your primary purpose to bow before God in utter repentance and obedience? Is your mind filled with holy fear and reverence for God? Do you really love and reverence God or mostly just seek His benefits? Do you set aside all of Sunday for God or merely tip your hat for an hour before doing your own thing? Have you taken the Lord's Supper without deep examination and personal repentance? Do you frequently sing the worship hymns without deeply reflecting on the words? Do you listen to sermons with little thought of immediate obedience to God's instructions? Insincere, ritualistic worship is one of the most serious sins a believer can commit! Do you need to confess a shallow reverence and worship of God? Immediately confess this most serious of sins. Trust God to grant you the spirit of genuine reverence and worship.
As we confess our failures in this matter of worship, let us confidently claim the forgiveness and empowerment of the covenant in Christ's blood. We are fully accepted and justified in Him!