The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

Worship is from the heart. Psalm 86: 11 Teach me your ways, O Lord, that I may live according to your truth! Grant me purity of heart so that I may honor you. 12 With all my heart, I will praise you, O Lord my God. I will give glory to your name forever, 13 for your love for me is very great. You have rescued me from the depths of death.[1]

The word “worship” in the Bible has connotations of bowing down. In the story of the wise men visiting Jesus, the word worship is used three times in twelve verses. Two of these uses refer to the wise men worshipping Jesus. When these Gentile Persians worshiped, they would fall to their knees and touch the ground with their forehead as an expression of profound reverence.[2] Their outward worship mirrored the inward worship of their hearts.

The Jews Ignored the Opportunity for Worship

Jewish scholars revealed that Bethlehem was where the Messiah was to be born. The wise men received this knowledge and acted on it. They traveled and worshipped Jesus. However, while the Jews knew where Messiah was to be born, they didn’t make an effort to join the wise men in worship. They lacked the desire even to check the story of the wise men and see Jesus themselves. There are only five miles between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, but the scholars couldn’t be bothered

Why would this happen? Isaiah 29:13 And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.[3] Religious rituals and head knowledge don’t make for worship from the heart. It was not the Jews but the pagan Gentiles who worshipped Jesus in the story of the wise men.

Worship for Us Today

Outward rituals may or may not mirror heart worship. 1 Chronicles 28:9 Worship and serve him (God) with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. [4] God desires us to worship Him with our whole hearts. We can worship Him with age-old traditions and with simple words in our homes. The beautiful thing is as we worship God, He blesses us.

“Worship is a meeting between God and His people when the worshiper is brought into personal contact with the one who gives meaning and purpose to life; from this encounter the worshiper receives strength and courage to live with hope in a fallen world.” Robert Webber[5]

To learn how worship is from the heart, listen here:

[1,3,4] Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188.

[2] Strong, J. (1995). In Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

[5] Barton, B. B. (1996). Matthew (p. 24). Tyndale House Publishers.

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