Characteristics of Acceptable Worship: The Spirit And Truth Way

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Worship is a lifestyle. It is not only limited to the traditional praise and worship songs we do per say in our churches. Although, it includes it, because the songs actually are medium through which we express our worship and admiration to God, but that is not all there is to worshipping the Father. Worship is what you do with your life, your body, your time, your finances and everything that has to do with you. This was what Apostle Paul was talking about in Romans 12:1. It says:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God….this is your true and proper worship (NIV)

When you examine the life of the patriarch, Abraham; you will discover that his whole life was a living worship unto God. In Genesis 22:5, we read the account of how Abraham was willing and ready to sacrifice his son Isaac on God’s instruction. Abraham didn’t see it as a punishment of some sort, considering what he went through before Isaac came. But he considered it an act of worship. He didn’t even see it as sacrifice, that implies something. Any act of sacrifice God requests from you is a first and foremost an act of worship. To you it may look like a sacrifice, but to God it is worship. Genesis 22:5, it says:

[5] And Abraham said to his servants, Settle down and stay here with the donkey, and I and the young man will go yonder and worship and come again to you.

In Acts 10, the bible recorded about Cornelius, it says his much alms and offerings had gone up to God for a memorial. In other words, his act of worship has been accepted before God. Acts 10:1-4, it says:

[1] NOW [living] at Caesarea there was a man whose name was Cornelius, a centurion (captain) of what was known as the Italian Regiment, [2] A devout man who venerated God and treated Him with reverential obedience, as did all his household; and he gave much alms to the people and prayed continually to God. [3] About the ninth hour (about 3:00 p.m.) of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God entering and saying to him, Cornelius! [4] And he, gazing intently at him, became frightened and said, What is it, Lord? And the angel said to him, Your prayers and your [generous] gifts to the poor have come up [as a sacrifice] to God and have been remembered by Him.

Worship could be done in vain if it is not done properly and in sincerity. As a matter of fact when it is vain, it becomes unacceptable. This is why the Holy Spirit is having us examine acceptable worship today. Acceptable worship is define as that type of worship that comes from the core of your being. It is borne from that understanding and conviction of knowing who God is and only Him deserving it all.

In Matthew 15:7-9. Jesus talks about certain people who worship in vain. It says: “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”

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Jesus in that Scripture was quoting the prophesy of Isaiah about peoples hypocrisy when it comes to the worship of God. He said the people do worship with their lips, but their hearts are far from the one they offer the worship to. That is to tell you that acceptable worship begins from the HEART, and not in the numerous activities. When the heart is right before God, then the worship becomes acceptable. In other words, we see from there that worship can be done in vain when the worship did not get to whom it is directed to, which is God.

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Isn’t it applicable even nowadays that people say they worship God, but their actions and ways of life says something different? Ezekiel 33:31b says “…….for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.” With their mouth they show that they love God, they worship Him, but their hearts are far from Him.

Haven then established that worship can be done in vain, what then are the characteristics of acceptable worship?

  1. It must be done in Spirit and in truth (John 4:20-25)

This means that the worship must emanate from the core of your being. It must be done wholeheartedly and not just lip-servicing God. Jesus began Himself to show us what characterizes acceptable worship through that Scripture. He was on his way to Judea, and passing through Samaria, He met a woman who needed to have a proper understanding of what worship entails. Isn’t if funny, that even at that time; people had a myopic understanding of worship? Her believe system before she met Jesus was that worship can only be done at certain places and location. But Jesus was able to clear her doubt.

The veil of religion covering what acceptable worship is was removed, and she got a proper understanding of what acceptable worship entails. Many people as well today believes worship can only be done in certain places, they have forgotten that what constitutes acceptable worship is for a man to present himself or herself as a living sacrifice unto God first, the same the Apostle Paul urged the Romans to do in Romans 12:1 that we read earlier.

  1. God alone deserves our worship (Deuteronomy 30:17)
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You cannot dedicate your life to God in worship and still have something by the corner as well that you think deserves your worship. The Bible says that our God is a jealous God. Exodus 34:14 makes it clear. It says: “You must worship no other gods, for the Lord, whose very name is Jealous, is a God who is jealous about his relationship with you” (NLT). God is not jealous simply because someone has something that He wants or needs. God is only jealous when you share with another person that which rightly belongs to Him.

When worship that rightly belongs to God is shared with lesser gods, then what you are doing is simply equating God with those gods and so, God is vexed. Someone may be wondering, why should God be vexed? The answer is because you are made in His very image and likeness, and the sole reason for Him making you that way is for worship. So, your worship, praise, honour, and adoration must belong to God alone, for only Him, is truly worthy of it. Acceptable worship then is, when our worship, praise, honour and adoration is directed towards God alone.


I believe you have been blessed.


Source: [CentreNDL]

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Obayomi Abiola Benjamin
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I am Abiola OBAYOMI Benjamin, a Writer by Grace, an Author: (Developing Yourself Spiritually), a Blogger (Fridayposts.Com) and a passionate Nigerian. I believe Nigeria will be great again, but the change we need in Nigeria begins with all of us doing things differently. Collectively, we can make Nigeria work.

Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

I am Abiola OBAYOMI Benjamin, a Writer by Grace, an Author: (Developing Yourself Spiritually), a Blogger (Fridayposts.Com) and a passionate Nigerian. I believe Nigeria will be great again, but the change we need in Nigeria begins with all of us doing things differently. Collectively, we can make Nigeria work.

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Characteristics of Acceptable Worship: The Spirit And Truth Way

by Obayomi Abiola Benjamin time to read: 5 min