The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Sincere Worship

"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men" (Matt. 15: 8-9).

Here in the fifteenth chapter of Matthew, Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees once again. He calls them hypocrites. We have probably thrown this word around a time or two in our description of someone that we suppose to be insincere. The word translated from the Greek is an interesting one. It means a "play-actor." Matthew uses the word a lot. (13 times) In chapter six, Jesus calls them hypocrites because of the way that they give. They perceive their reward to be the adulation they receive for their gift. Today's verse is a quote by Jesus out of the Book of Isaiah. Jesus' accusation is that the worship of the Pharisees is a vain one. It is one that is wholly based on directives and completely lacking sincerity. They were relying strictly on traditions, in of themselves not always bad, but with no heart. Tradition tends to be external while God's truth is always internal.

God's choices about worship are always greatly superior to man's choices. Commandments made by men can never come close to those made by God. There is a question that we must ask ourselves about the sincerity of our worship. Who or what is it that dictates our worship? Is our worship by God's direction or by our own preferences or desires? Later in chapter fifteen Jesus said; "what comes out of a man's mouth, is that which makes him unclean" (V 11). It is clear to me in the way that Jesus explains it, how God wants us to worship. A term that I have heard thrown around a lot these days is, "keep it real!" Jesus is telling us to keep it real when it come to our worship...Keep it sincere...If our worship is to be acceptable to God, it must be characterized by genuineness and sincerity. This is what God deserves from us...Sincere worship!

Have a great day.... Make a difference... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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