Dear church,

All of our worship is to be done in Christ. That is, it is to be done in honor and praise of Him. This is what Jesus meant when he said his followers were to worship “in spirit and truth” (John 4:23-24). These things – spirit and truth – are all about the One True God and all about Christ himself, who came full of the Spirit and who is the embodiment of truth (Luke 4:18; John 14:6).  

The Israelites knew what they must do when they entered the Promised Land. All the old places of worship were to be smashed. “You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars.” Nothing was to remain – no religious sites to lure the eye. 

A new place of worship would be established – “the place that the Lord your God will choose to put his name.” The Temple Mount in Jerusalem became the sacred heart of the nation of Israel and the place where the presence of God remained with his people. It was to that place the people were to approach God. It was there they were to bring their offerings. 

Do not think God is any less specific today, under the new covenant, about proper worship. To worship “in Christ” means no false gods or spiritual philosophies cut in front of Jesus. We must recognize this is our blessing and our refuge – to be “in Christ.” “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1).

We do not focus our worship on a place but a Person. Everything else must be put aside so we may focus our attention solely on the one who saved us and who has the power to give us so much more than we ever imagined. “For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (Galatians 3:26). 

Be ruthless when it comes to cutting out of your life the things that compete for your worship and devotion. Nothing compares to Jesus.

Chris

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