Archive for February 29th, 2008

When your worship becomes dole!

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Main Text: Isaiah 1:11-20; (If you do not have your Bible handy, scroll to the bottom of the page to find this reading in red print!)

References :Revelation 3:15-18, Rev, 3:19, John 12:46; 1Sam 16:7; Matt 6:1; 1 Pet 5:5; Rev 2:20; Luke 18:14

– A dole and dying relationship with God

Many of us are stack in a spiritual state, where our spiritual fervor is substituted with the consistency of our religious routines. But in reality we know we’ve lost our Passion some where. The indescribable joy that we had every time we prayed seems to not be there any longer. And yet we pray longer hours than ever before. Some even fast days and weeks. We sacrifice our time and money to ministry, but it seems like heaven grew quieter and quieter. Then we resolve ourselves to accept the mentality that says: we are “OK” as long as we do the “normal” things the Bible recommends that we do.

If we go that route, we can easily deceive ourselves and fall into the trap of religious lifestyle, and therefore miss the spiritual life full of power and influence that God intended for us. Didn’t Jesus say ” Anyone who has faith in me will do the things I have been doing. He will do greater things?” (John 14:12). Didn’t He say “You may ask me anything in my name and I will do it?”

We need to understands that there are certain things God loves, and there are some that He hates. Hate is sentiment highly rejected and cursed by religious people. Nevertheless the Bible says, “Hate what is evil and cling to what is good.” (Roman 12:9)

As a Christian, there are things we cannot tolerate. Things like unforgiveness, bitterness, rage, anger, pride… When these things settle in our lifestyle, our worship will get dole regardless of sacrifices and long prayers.

Like in the text God rejects the multiple sacrifices from the rebellious Israelites (Isaiah 1:11,) our worship can be dole, annoying and unbearable to God based upon the condition of our hearts. Unless we do things God’s way, we are wasting our time and sadly passing by the great love, grace and mercy that He so desire for us receive.

We might think that the Israelite at the time of Isaiah were rebels with bloody hands as the text describes, but in our own daily life we are not exempt from hate, which qualifies us as murderers according to Jesus’ standard. These people in the Old Testament had to go out of their ways to brings animals to the temple for sacrifices as well as pray as we do today. Nevertheless, God still says no to their corrupted way of worship.

Our own attitude will make our relationship with God dole. In the New testament we see God rejecting the Church of Laodicea because of her attitude (Rev:3:15-16). God also rules against Thyatira because of her tolerance of Jezebel. (Rev 2:20) We also read Jesus warning us in these terms: “Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you’ll have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matt 6:1) We also see Jesus favor the tax collector versus the pharisee (Luke18:14).

That leads us to the following question:

Under what circumstances Does God accept our worship?

We’ve learn from our text that, It’s not what we do? how much of it? How consistently we do it? I could list a number of things God’s expected out of His people in the past, but that will lead us to the same mistakes, and misconception the Israelite Isaiah is talking about in our main text. Nevertheless we should consider two crucial things:

  1. Repentance. The text says: “wash and make your self clean.” Two separates things emerge.

  2. The blood of Jesus has the power to wash us clean as snow.
    “Make yourself clean” compels us to make efforts to remain clean, not only through prayer, but willingness to leave the altar and go make things right with our brother who offended us if necessary.

    “stop doing wrong, learn to do right; seek justice, encourage the oppressed; defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow,” (Isaiah 1:16) What a contrast from our traditional understanding of worship

  3. Pure mitive. One of the things we lose sight of is the fact that “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Knowing that our motives needs to pure, and we need to watch the condition of our heart.

  4. Obedience. 

  5. Humility. This is an area where some of us stumble. Some even say that this is not a major “deal” as long as we are genuine in our faith and worship. But the Bible clearly states, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

In conclusion There is an open invitation from God to us. God so desire a relationship with us. A relationship introduces us to His immense love and grace. “Come, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:19)

The bottom line is this. Can we answer the following two questions?

1. Are you washed?

2. How is your attitude? Obedient, or disobedient?

Then and only then our worship will cut through the noises of loud and empty cymbals to be heard by God our father.

Stay blessed,

Patrice Kabore

Main Text.

“The multitude of your sacrifices—
what are they to me?” says the LORD.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
of rams and the fat of fattened animals;
I have no pleasure
in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats.

12 When you come to appear before me,
who has asked this of you,
this trampling of my courts?

13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings!
Your incense is detestable to me.
New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations—
I cannot bear your evil assemblies.

14 Your New Moon festivals 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 in prayer,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even if you offer many prayers,
I will not listen.
Your hands are full of blood;

16 wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds
out of my sight!
Stop doing wrong,

17 learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed. [a]
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.

18 “Come now, let us reason together,”
says the LORD.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

19 If you are willing and obedient,
you will eat the best from the land;