Posted by: dhkrause | March 19, 2013

True Worshipers of God Alone

The first of the Ten Commandments is, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”  Jesus referred to this commandment in his final rebuff to the devil in the wilderness: “For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

Matthew 4 (NKJV)
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”
Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written:
‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and,
‘In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”
Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’”
Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”
10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”
11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

In his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus describes the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.

John 4 (NIV)
23 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Throughout the Bible, God’s consistent message to worshipers is, “Worship Me alone, or worship Me not at all.”  In Psalm 29 for example, David calls God’s people to give themselves completely to the Lord, and to “worship Him in the beauty of holiness.”  When we give Him our all, He blesses us with strength and “shalom” (peace and wholeness).

Psalm 29 (NKJV)
1 Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the Lord glory and strength.
Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

11 The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace [shalom].

If we allow unclean things to enter our minds and hearts, we are then worshiping and serving the god of this world rather than the true and living God.  A true worshiper is one who has “clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol”, as described by David in Psalm 24.

Psalm 24 (NKJV)
Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord?
Or who may stand in His holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol,
Nor sworn deceitfully.
He shall receive blessing from the Lord,
And righteousness from the God of his salvation.
This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face. Selah
Lift up your heads, O you gates!

Being a true worshiper therefore requires standing guard at the gates to our minds and souls, our eyes and ears, refusing entry to any unclean thing.  Along with this, Paul urges the brethren to make their requests known to God and to meditate on things which are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, and of praiseworthy virtue.  Then the God of peace will be with us.

Philippians 4 (NKJV)
1Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
Be anxious for nothing, 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 minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.

In John 8, Jesus uses an analogy to teach about living in freedom from sin.

John 8 (NKJV)
12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”

31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
33 They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”
34 Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. 36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

This is God’s heart for us, that we would be consistently true worshipers of Him alone, walking in the light as He is in the light.

1 John 1 (NKJV)
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, 3/16/13


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