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Joe McKeever: Worship is a Verb

worship is a verb

I once was asked to preach at a church in Southwest Mississippi. A few weeks ago when the pastor asked for my subject, I quickly said worship is a verb for a title of the message. Hardly without a thought. This is a big deal with me, I thought. God is working on this in me. I’ve preached and written on it before. I know some basic texts and have one huge burden on the subject, namely, that most Christians I know have it backward and think worship is all about “me.” Then, as often happens, when I began preparing and praying for the message, I realized just how little I actually know on the subject. God help me.

Worship Is a Verb

1) God wants His children to worship.

In fact, He wants “everything, everywhere” to worship Him. In Revelation, at the climax of all history, the praise chorus will include “every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea and everything in them” (Revelation 5:13). No wonder Scripture says, “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord” (Psalm 150:6).

2) Why God wants us to worship Him nags at a lot of people.

Not me personally, but it clearly does some people. C.S. Lewis used to struggle with the idea of an infinite God almost begging for worship from His subjects, like a puny potentate who needed the constant reinforcing of his subjects’ loyalty.

Eventually, Lewis came to see that God does not “need” anything from us, and our failure to worship Him takes nothing from Him. He would write, “A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”

3) Worship is a verb, but God does not need anything from me.

Poor God. Sitting up there in Heaven, wanting so desperately to have the adoration of puny earthlings and not getting it.

That is laughable. No wonder people reject that image; it is so skewed as to be ridiculous. God needs nothing from me.

“If I were hungry, I would not ask you. The cattle on a thousand hills is mine” (Psalm 50:10-12).

4) Worship is “unto the Lord.”

It’s not all about me.

“Give unto the Lord the glory due His name,” says the Word in I Chronicles 16:29 and Psalm 29:2.

And yet, listen to the average church-goer entering and exiting the house of worship.

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Joe McKeever has been a preacher for nearly 60 years, a pastor for 42 years, and a cartoonist/writer for Christian publications all his adult life. He lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi.