“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (I Peter 1:3a)
There is a lot of confusion regarding the subject of praise. Confusion reigns regarding who we praise, how we praise, when we praise, where we praise and why we praise. Praise, from the Greek word εὐλογητός (eulogetos) from which we derive the word eulogy, means to bless, worship, honor and glorify.
There has been much discussion, or arguments, regarding the types of music with which believers praise: ranging from traditional, contemporary or blended. Everybody wants what they want and no one seems to be willing to compromise and understand the other person’s point of view.
Then there are the questions raised regarding traditional worship sanctuaries vs. multipurpose auditoriums. Pews vs. stackable, padded chairs. Communion every Sunday vs, only observing the ordinance occasionally. Don’t let me get started regarding fog machines.
What about worship service times? Is 8:00 am too early, 11:00 am too late? 10:30 am just right? Saturday evening instead of Sunday morning? After all, if you have an 11:00 am service, the critics say, Sundays are pretty well shot regarding anything else to do. Therefore, have a worship service on Saturday late afternoon and get it out of the way. Makes sense, right?
Lots of questions needing biblical answers. There is, however, one question which can be addressed here today. That is, who is to be praised? I Peter 1:3a, along with the rest of Scripture, leaves us with no confusion regarding this matter. The only object of our praise, worship, honor and glory is God.
Christians are called and commanded to only worship God. This does not mean God primarily, and entertainers, athletes, politicians and pastors secondarily. No! God and God alone is to be the object of our worship. Worship and praise is to be accomplished with our whole heart and according to Scripture (John 4:24).
This worship can only be accomplished through the person and work of Jesus Christ. It is through the imputed righteousness of Christ that believing sinners have the privilege and responsibility of worshiping the One, True God. That’s right! Worship and praise is a privilege and responsibility. Worship is not to be an afterthought, but our primary thought. Worship is not an intrusion into our schedules but rather the priority to our schedules. Worship is not just one day a week but everyday of the week.
Examine your thoughts and attitudes about worship today. Repent of any casualness or complacency towards approaching the One, True God of our salvation. Replace complacency with reverence and awe. God is worthy of our worship. Read John 4, Exodus 20 and Psalm 150.
Soli deo Gloria!