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How Do You Worship?

I’ve been thinking a lot about worship lately. There’s a fascinating story of Jesus’ seemingly chance encounter of ten lepers living on the border between Samaria and Galilee. The story is in Luke 17. Most of us recognize the story of the ten lepers and the one who came back to thank Jesus. Most of us have likely heard dozens of sermons on gratitude based on the one man who returned to give Jesus thanks. But I think this man returned to give Jesus a whole lot more than just thanks. Although it was that. But he could have as easily turned toward Jesus as he went his way to present himself to the priest along with the other nine. He could have yelled out to Jesus, “Hey, thanks, Man! This is great! Thanks for the healing!”

I believe this man wanted to give Jesus more than just heart-felt thanks. He realized what a great thing Jesus had done, but he also saw past the healing, to the healer. Who was this man who could preform such a miracle? I submit to you he wanted to know more about Jesus. I believe he was, in fact, overcome with worship and freely expressed it the only way he knew how. Verse 16 says, “ . . . he fell to the ground, threw himself at Jesus’ feet, and thanked him.” Now that may be thanksgiving, but, friends, that is worship. After all, isn’t all worship about being grateful?

What kind of worship do we offer the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit when we come into his presence each day? When we open our eyes first thing in the morning and realize God has granted us another day. What about on Sundays? Are we timid to freely worship in the presence of brothers and sisters who may worship differently?

What do you think the crowd that day thought of this man who came back to Jesus, literally threw himself down before Jesus and worshiped him with thanksgiving?

We all know what they said about Mary when she broke her alabaster jar and anointed Jesus with oil. That act of worship got her into a whole lot of trouble with a whole lot of people - everyone but Jesus. And if we’re actually worshiping JESUS, then we worship  the way JESUS receives our worship, not the way other people say we should.

Now those of you who know me, or have been reading my blog for very long, know that I can be pretty bold. So may I just say this: churches have worship wars over the stupidest things!

Let’s move past the stupid stuff, myself included. I get so uptight sometimes about what people will think if I worship like my heart really wants to. Let’s focus fully on Jesus, and give him the praise and worship that is due him. Because the point is not how you worship. The point is not how the person next to you worships. The point is, if Jesus said to you, “This is how I want you to worship,” would you worship him that way? And if you wouldn’t, who is really lord?


Father, forgive us when we hold back our praise. Help us to remember that someday we will worship you fully in spirit and in truth. Give us the freedom to start now. For your glory and in Jesus’ name we prayer. Amen.

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