Over the last few years and decades, the purpose of worship and preaching has changed. Nowadays, folks come to the “worship” service to be entertained and expect the “preaching” to sound something more like a motivational speech at a pep rally. These attitudes, in some ways, have infected the Lord’s Church.
There are reminders in the Bible which should help us centralize, in some cases re-centralize our focus. Consider.
“Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein” (Jeremiah 6:16).
“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
“And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (I Corinthians 2:1-2).
“Ask for the old paths, where is the good way” is a principled reminder that God’s ways are ALWAYS better — they need no alteration or improvement, including the areas of worship and preaching.
“Must worship him in spirit and in truth” is a simple, yet significant reminder that worship offered to God must be conducted with the right attitude and in accordance with God’s law.
“Not with excellency of speech or of wisdom” is a sobering reminder to those who proclaim God’s Word — the folks are not there to hear your “vast vocabulary” or how “infinitely intelligent” you are. They came to hear the simple, Gospel message.
On this day, remember worship is for the purpose of praising God. It is not intended to entertain you — once folks stop looking to “get something” out of the worship service, they’ll begin to reap the benefits. Remember, too, preaching is not for the lauding and glorification of the preacher, but simply the mode of transportation through which God’s Word travels to man’s heart. May we do all things which are pleasing to the Almighty.