Praise and Worship
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 - Psalm 24:3-5. Christians toss words around that others don't understand and that often we ourselves don't thoroughly comprehend. I recently Googled the words, "praise" and "worship." I want to be sure my efforts in these areas are what God desires from me. Here is what I found:
To say or write good things about. To express approval of. To express thanks to or love and respect for God. (Merriam Webster)
The offering of grateful homage in words or song, as an act of worship. A hymn of praise to God. (Dictionary.com)
Extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to. To show respect and love for God, especially by praying, having religious services, etc. (Merriam Webster)
Worship is to honor with extravagant love and extreme submission. (Webster's, 1828)
Worship is placing a high priority on God's presence in our lives. It is our love expressed to God through holiness. (From notes tacked on my bulletin board.)
Three things from the above definitions really spoke to me: First of all, I'm glad to learn that my writing falls into the category of praise. This new awareness explains why I feel the presence of God so strongly when I write. He is always drawn to our praise! (Please consider joining me in this venture of praise by submitting your own words as a Guest Writer.)
Secondly, "extravagant love and extreme submission" are exactly how Jesus worshiped. He displayed this perfectly on the cross. Our Lord set the bar extremely high for us. He wants His bride to be holy.
Finally, "love expressed through holiness" is an echo of something I heard almost 40 years ago in a young-adult Sunday school class. I was told that "obedience is an act of worship." God has not let me forget those words.