What does the Bible say about worship?
Worship is a central part of Christianity because the Bible declares that we were created for the worship of God (ref. Isaiah 43:21). But what is worship? Is it a choir singing or a person playing guitar? Or is it much more than that?
Let’s explore what the Bible says about worship and why worship should be a lifestyle for the believer and not just a once a week tradition.
Christian quotes about worship
“God wants us to worship Him. He doesn’t need us, for He couldn’t be a self-sufficient God and need anything or anybody, but He wants us. When Adam sinned it was not He who cried, “God, where art Thou?” It was God who cried, “Adam, where art thou?” A. W. Tozer
“To worship God is to humble everything about ourselves and exalt everything about him.” Bob Kauflin
“The foundation of true holiness and true Christian worship is the doctrine of the gospel, what we are to believe. So when Christian doctrine is neglected, forsaken, or corrupted, true holiness and worship will also be neglected, forsaken, and corrupted.” John Owen
“Worship is not part of the Christian life, it is the Christian life.” Gerald Vann
“Any man or woman on this earth who is bored and turned off by worship is not ready for heaven.” A.W. Tozer
“The highest form of worship is the worship of unselfish Christian service. The greatest form of praise is the sound of consecrated feet seeking out the lost and helpless.” Billy Graham
“Worship changes the worshiper into the image of One worshiped.” Jack W. Hayford
What is worship in the Bible?
It is interesting to note that the first worship mentioned in the Bible came after the fall, and the incident happens to be an account of worship comparison: One worship was pleasing to God, and the other was not pleasing to God. The account was of the first children of Adam and Eve: Cain and Abel.
In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, 4 and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, 5 but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. 6 The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Genesis 4:3-7 ESV
In this first episode of worship, this tells us something about God, about worship and about humanity.
Starting with humanity, this passage tells us that worship is first and foremost an issue of trusting God. Sacrifice can take many forms, whether it is a sacrifice of crops or of livestock, as was later institutionalized in Jewish temple worship. Or sacrifice can mean an offering of our wealth, or a sacrifice of time by taking a day off for sabbath rest and joining with the people of God in worship. In every case, we display a trust on our part that God is faithful and His providence can be trusted. Why did God not have regard for Cain’s offering, yet He loved Abel’s? Is this favoritism on God’s part, or is there something more here?
Notice God’s words to Cain in verse 6. God is very kind and loving to Cain. Though He had no regard for Cain’s offering, He still loved Cain. He is instructing Cain, because Cain was misunderstanding what worship was to be all about. He had a misplaced worship. This has to do with something internal, not external. It is His heart attitude that God is addressing, not the external sacrifice itself. God knew what was in Cain’s heart. It was a heart motivated by distrust and jealousy. And that distrust of God and his jealousy of his brother would play out in the next paragraph in Cain’s unjust murder of Abel, inciting God’s anger and judgment against him.
What this tells us about worship is that worship is a sacrifice of what God has already given us. Note that in this passage, there is no demand of worship from God. It is a response on the part of humanity. Cain and Abel did it because they were created to do it. The propensity to worship someone or something was innate in them, as it is in all of us. We were created to worship.
Why did God accept one act of worship and not the other? Certainly, the heart motivation behind the worship is key, but how do we know this? Notice that Cain’s offering is described as simply the fruit of the ground. But Abel’s offering is described as the firstborn and the fat portions. It was the best of what Abel had and the most costly. Cain’s was not the best, and therefore demonstrated to God the condition of Cain’s heart.
Abel’s offering is pleasing to the Lord because it is showing God tangible evidence of Abel’s heart of trust and thankfulness. Worship is therefore a sacrifice to God of the best of what He has already given us, both looking back in thankfulness for His providence and also looking forward in complete trust of His providence.
This passage also teaches us that God is worthy to be worshiped because He is Creator and Provider. It teaches us that God is also more concerned about the heart condition of humanity than the worship itself, yet the worship can be indicative of the heart condition. Finally, it teaches us that when we fall short in our worship, God doesn’t condemn us, but is gentle with us with both encouragement and warning, desiring that we would not allow sin to be our master.
1. Psalm 95:6 “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”
2. Psalm 96:9 “Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth.”
3. Psalm 33:8 “Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere Him.”
4. Psalm 100:1 “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.”
5. Isaiah 25:1 “O LORD, I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them.”
6. Psalm 89:1 “I will sing of the loving devotion of the LORD forever; with my mouth I will proclaim Your faithfulness to all generations.”
7. Exodus 23:25 “Worship the Lord your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.”
8. 1 Chronicles 29:11(KJV) “Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.”
9. Psalm 75:1 “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.
10. Psalm 99:5 “Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His footstool; He is holy!”
11. Luke 4:8 ESV “And Jesus answered him, “It is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’”
What happens when we worship God?
As we learned from this passage, when we worship God, we are showing Him both thanksgiving and our trust. We are also aligning our hearts and minds with Him, showing Him our desire for His mastery over our lives, instead of the master of sin.
Let’s consider the following passage to understand again that worship is demonstrative trust in the Lord.
In Genesis 18 there is the account of God manifesting Himself in the form of three persons who visited Abraham. We read there:
He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth 3 and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Genesis 18:2-3 ESV
The word for “bowed himself to the earth” has been also translated as “prostrated himself”. In Hebrew, the word is shachah (shaw-khaw) and means to depress oneself down to the ground. The position is of a person laying completely flat upon the ground in front of another, their head and face in the dirt, their arms extended forward. It is a position of complete surrender. It tells the other person that you are completely entrusting them with your life, because the person who is prostrated on the ground has become defenseless. You cannot defend yourself from this position. The person whom is sovereign in this scenario could easily kill the one prostrated before them, or do them serious harm. When you prostrate yourself before someone else or in front of God, you are essentially saying, “My life is in your hands, do as you please.” Again, in this passage and many others, worship is shown to be an act of trust on the part of men and women in the Lord.
12. Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
13. Exodus 34:8-9 (NLT) “Moses immediately threw himself to the ground and worshiped. And he said, “O Lord, if it is true that I have found favor with you, then please travel with us. Yes, this is a stubborn and rebellious people, but please forgive our iniquity and our sins. Claim us as your own special possession.”
14. Colossians 3:2 “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.”
15. John 3:30 (NIV) “He must become greater; I must become less.”
16. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Why is worship important in Christianity?
Just as it was in the Old Testament, worship is central to the Christian faith, not just the singing of songs, or giving of the offering, but as a lifestyle of thankfulness and abiding in trust.
In the very first days of the church, we can see worship being an important and natural outflow of the people of God.
42 “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47 ESV
Here, worship can be seen in the submission to biblical teaching, to the congregation, and to praying/depending upon God. Their worship can also be seen in their generosity by giving with thankfulness/gladness, trusting the Lord to provide for every need and offering praises (songs and statements) to the Lord. So since the first days of Christianity, worship as a lifestyle and as acts within the church has been a hallmark of Christianity as the people of God depend upon Him and show Him thankfulness for all His providence, both in salvation and in material blessings.
17. Romans 12:1 (KJV) “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
18. Psalm 29:1–2 (ESV) “Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. 2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.”
19. Deuteronomy 10:21 “He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.”
20. Hebrews 12:28-29 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”
21. Acts 17:28(NASB) “for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His descendants.”
22. Revelation 4:11 (NLT) “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”
23. Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord.”
24. Isaiah 43:21 “This people I have formed for Myself; They shall declare My praise.”
25. 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
26. Psalm 79:13 “So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations.”
What does it mean to Worship God in spirit and truth?
In Jesus’ first year of ministry, He came upon a well that Jacob had dug and was thirsty. Here there was a Samaritan woman that came at the same time to draw water from the well. The Samaritan woman had a history of adulterous relationships and bad marriages. Jesus engages the Samaritan woman in dialogue, asking for water. After some back and forth, He gets to the heart of the matter and begins to address her sin. To steer away from the conversation, she attempts to distract Him by talking about the differences between where Samaritans and Jews believe they should worship God and she asks for his opinion. He replied:
“Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Jesus doesn’t mess around with her attempt to distract. He doesn’t engage in the political banter of the day. Instead, He prophesied what will eventually come to pass through the Church. That the act of worship, which was centralized in the temple for the Jews during the Old Testament days and debated amongst the half-Jews Samaritans, would become decentralized in the age to come and location did not matter as much as in the heart of the people.
Remember that the tabernacle and the temple worship were only teachers to point people to what should take place inside. They teach us about sacrifice and holiness, but they do not transform our inward beings into worshipful people. The only thing that can transform us from the inside out is the indwelling Holy Spirit in all believers. And only as He leads us in true and right worship, uniting our spirits with His, and as we worship according to the Word of God, only then will we worship as Jesus prophesied: In spirit and in truth. Therefore, only those who have heard the Gospel and have responded to the Gospel by faith can worship in spirit and truth.
27. John 4:23-24 (NASB) But a time is coming, and even now has arrived, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
28. Philippians 3:3 “For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”
29. Colossians 3:15-17 “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
The heart of worship
This statement is actually not in the Bible. A modern worship song by this same title has popularized the phrase. But it doesn’t necessarily mean it is wrong or inconsistent with the teaching of Scripture. What does it mean to have a heart of worship?
Two passages come to mind. First, the greatest commandment, where Jesus quotes the Deuteronomical Shema:
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37 ESV.
And also Jeremiah:
You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13 ESV
The Biblical heart refers to the center of all we are, the core of our emotions and will. It is what moves us in a certain direction. So when the Bible says to love God with all our heart, or to seek God with all our heart, it is saying to spend all our emotions and will in this pursuit. So when one says to have a heart of worship, it is to spend all your emotions and will in the pursuit of God through sacrifice.
31. Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
32. Matthew 22:37 “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
33. Psalm 51:6 You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.”
34. Psalm 40:8 “I delight to do your will, my God. Your Law is part of my inner being.”
Forms of worship in Christianity
The Bible employs many forms of worship. Note that all involve sacrifice either of Time, Monetary or Service. Here is a list with scriptural references:
Declarations of Praise – Psalm 103:1-2
Studying or Being Taught God’s Word – Nehemiah 8:8, Psalm 119, Acts 2:42-47
Songs/Music – Psalm 100
Dancing/Hands/Bowing/Kinetic – Exodus 15:20-21, Nehemiah 8:6
Observation of Feasts/Celebrations/Ordinances – Luke 22:14-20, Acts 2:42-47
Financial Giving – 1 Chronicles 29, Acts 2:42-47, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Serving Others – 1 Peter 4:10
Intellectually/Emotionally – Romans 12:1-2
35. Matthew 6:9-13 “This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation,[a] but deliver us from the evil one.”
36. Genesis 24:63 “He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.”
37. Nehemiah 8:6 “Ezra praised the Lord, the great God; and all the people lifted their hands and responded, “Amen! Amen!” Then they bowed down and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground.”
38. Psalm 103:1-2 “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”
39. 1 Peter 4:10 “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
40. Ephesians 4:7 “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
41. Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
42. Colossians 3:22-24 “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God; 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.”
43. Psalm 33:1-3 “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. 2 Praise the Lord with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. 3 Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.”
44. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
40. Psalm 111:1 “Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.”
45. Acts 16:25-26 “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.”
46. Hebrews 13:15 “Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.”
47. Acts 2:42-47 “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
48. Exodus 15:20-21 “Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.”
49. Nehemiah 8:8 “They read from the book, from the Law of God, translating to give the sense so that they understood the reading.”
Is there a right or a wrong way to worship?
If true worshipers worship in spirit and truth, then what would a wrong way be to worship? It would be, quite simply, to worship in the flesh and in falsehood, or in the power of the flesh and without the truth of the Bible guiding you.
This means that one cannot truly worship God unless they are born again in the Spirit. Unfortunately too, there are supposed Christians and sects of Christianity who worship in the power of the flesh and and without the truth of Scripture guiding them. Just because one calls themself a Christian does not mean that they have been born again and can truly worship.
Furthermore, God is also concerned that His people reflect His heart of justice when they worship. From Isaiah we read:
“When you come to appear before me,
who has required of you
this trampling of my courts?
13 Bring no more vain offerings;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations—
I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me;
I am weary of bearing them.
15 When you spread out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen;
your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
17 learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
Isaiah 1:12-17 ESV
From this passage we can discern that another wrong way to worship God would be to come to Him unexamined in our lives. If there is sin of commission (intentional sin) that we have not dealt with, or injustices that we have done, then we must confess these and make them right with God and with those whom we have committed them against if we want God to be pleased with our worship. The heart of God is revealed in verse 17: Good, just, and always bent toward the brokenhearted (Ps 27). The true worshiper’s heart and life, though not perfect in them, should be striving towards being reflective of these qualities.
50. Matthew 15:9 “They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules.”
51. Isaiah 29:13 “Therefore the Lord said: “These people draw near to Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is but rules taught by men.”
52. Genesis 4:3-5 “In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.”
53. Hebrews 12:28 “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
54. Exodus 32:8 “They have been quick to turn away from what I commanded them and have made themselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. They have bowed down to it and sacrificed to it and have said, ‘These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
55. Romans 1:25 “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
56. Acts 17:23-25 “For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. 24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.”
57. Acts 10:25-26 “As Peter entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. 26 But Peter made him get up. “Stand up,” he said, “I am only a man myself.”
58. 2 Corinthians 11:3 New International Version 3 But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
How is music related to worship?
Throughout the Old Testament, instrumental and vocal music was employed as vehicles for the worship of God. The Psalms are filled with these examples, as well as other places of Scripture.
While there are no examples in the New Testament of instruments being used in worship, there is no reason to not assume that this Jewish custom continued on in the first century. There is much freedom given through Scripture in how one worships God since God from the beginning was more concerned with the heart attitude behind worship than the act itself, as we can see in the Genesis 3 and Isaiah 1 passages above.
59. Psalm 98:5 “Make music to the LORD with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing.”
60. Psalm 105:2 “Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; tell of all His wonders.”
61. Psalm 81:1-2 “Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the timbrel, play the melodious harp and lyre.”
62. Isaiah 51:3 “For the LORD will comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; He will make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and melodious song.”
63. Psalm 71:22 “Then I will praise you with music on the harp, because you are faithful to your promises, O my God. I will sing praises to you with a lyre, O Holy One of Israel.”
64 .Ephesians 5:18-20 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
65. Psalm 33:2 “Praise the LORD with the lyre; make music to him with a ten-stringed harp.”
66. Psalm 144:9 “I will sing to You a new song, O God; on a harp of ten strings I will make music to You.”
67. Hebrews 2:12 “saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”
68. 2 Kings 3:15 “But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the Lord came upon him.”
What are the benefits of worshiping God?
Humanity was created to worship and enjoy God. When we glorify God in worship, we are doing what we were created to do and are more true to who we are. When we worship, we offer a sacrifice, whether it be financial, time or service. As we do such, we are placing our trust in the Lord to provide and adopting a mindset of gratitude for how He has provided. Both acts induce and employ positive benefits into our lives of hope and thankfulness, commonly seen throughout the Psalms (Psalm 103).
In private, or isolated, worship we elevate our thoughts and emotions to heaven (Col 3:1-4), depending upon God to lead us and provide for us in and through our current circumstances (Proverbs 3:5-6). In congregational worship, we unite our gifts and voices with one another to glorify God together and encourage one another to depend upon Him (Col 3:12-17).
69. Colossians 3:1-4 “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
70. John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”
71. Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
72. Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Examples of worship in the Bible
73. Genesis 24:48 “and I bowed down and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right road to get the granddaughter of my master’s brother for his son.”
74. Revelation 4:8-11 “Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” 9 Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: 11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
75. Matthew 28:16-17 “Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!”
76. Genesis 4:26 “To Seth also a son was born, and he called his name Enosh. At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.”
77. Mark 12:41-44 “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
78. 1 Kings 18:39 “When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD—he is God! The LORD—he is God!”
79. Luke 24:52 “And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”
80. Revelation 19:10 “At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers and sisters who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For it is the Spirit of prophecy who bears testimony to Jesus.”
81. 2 Kings 19:37 “One day, while he was worshiping in the temple of his god Nisrok, his sons Adrammelek and Sharezer killed him with the sword, and they escaped to the land of Ararat. And Esarhaddon his son succeeded him as king.”
82. John 4:21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.”
83. Genesis 24:48 “Then I bowed low and worshiped the LORD. I praised the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham, because he had led me straight to my master’s niece to be his son’s wife.”
84. Daniel 4:37 “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and glorify and honor the King of heaven. All his acts are just and true, and he is able to humble the proud.”
85. 2 Kings 21:3 “He rebuilt the pagan shrines his father, Hezekiah, had destroyed. He constructed altars for Baal and set up an Asherah pole, just as King Ahab of Israel had done. He also bowed before all the powers of the heavens and worshiped them.”
86. 2 Chronicles 32:12 “Did not Hezekiah himself remove this god’s high places and altars, saying to Judah and Jerusalem, ‘You must worship before one altar and burn sacrifices on it’?”
87. 2 Chronicles 29:28 “The whole assembly bowed in worship, while the musicians played and the trumpets sounded. All this continued until the sacrifice of the burnt offering was completed.”
88. 1 Samuel 1:19 “Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her.”
89. Job 1:20-21 “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship 21 and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”
90. 1 Samuel 2:1-2 “Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. 2 “There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.”
Worship is a central part of Christianity because all of humanity was created to worship God, and as children of God through Christ, our worship is an outflow of our thanksgiving and ongoing trust in God. In fact, the indwelling Spirit leads us to give glory to God as we submit to Him (ref John 16:13-14, Romans 8:14-16 and 1 Corinthians 2:12).
The act of worship is always a sacrifice on our part of either time, monetary or service. As we bring the sacrifice, we are saying to God that we are thankful for what He has given us, and that we are trusting Him to provide for us.
Therefore, our sacrifice should be our best, because God is worthy of our best. As Abel brought the firstborn and the fat poritions, we are to bring our best to the Lord, whether it be a skill, a financial gift or our time. But even when we fall short of bringing our best, or our best seems so little, we should know that the Lord does not condemn us or look down on us for the offering itself, for who is God that He should need anything from us (Acts 17:25)? No, it is not the offering itself that is most important in our worship, but it is the heart and person behind the offering that God is most concerned with. Is this truly an offering of thanksgiving (Heb 12:28)? Is this truly an offering given in trustful hope (Ps 28:7? And is this truly an offering given in love (Is 1:12-17)? This is what God cares most about in our worship.
So as you attend church on Sunday, or you open your Bible on Monday morning to read, ask yourself: Am I thankful? Am I trusting God? And am I loving God and loving my neighbor? This is the kind of worship God delights in.