Praise and Practice

A truth that cannot be denied is that what humans worship affects their behavior.

If we worship power, we will seek to be powerful. People who are in awe of possessions are devoted to them.

The list of examples is endless that shows the connection between what humans worship and behavior.

Paul connected worship and behavior in his letter to Timothy.

I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame until the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

Which he will bring about at the right time—he who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 

It is he alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen. (1 Timothy 6.14-16).

The Object of Worship

The best choice a human can make is to be devoted to God. When we take our eyes off of the false gods of our culture and turn them to God, we will experience awe of the Greatest Being of All.

– He is the only Sovereign. 

Ask the question, “Who is in control here?” and the only correct answer will be, “God.”

There is no absolute king, but God. The same goes for lords. He is the Lord of all.

Paul understood the implications of God’s sovereignty. He wrote, “What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8.31).

With God as our protector, we are secure and safe. Nations may parade their military might. Money may seem scarce. When God is for us, we can rest in his provision.

Jesus spoke about worry over possessions and security when he delivered the Sermon on the Mount. His conclusion underscored the truth about worship and behavior.

He said, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6.33).

As we give devotion and obedience to the King of all kings, he will provide for us. With God on our side, we can be confident of his provision.

– God’s Dwelling Place

God “dwells in unapproachable light,” but can be known because of his abundant love and grace.

John wrote, “No one has ever seen God. It is the only Son, himself God, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” (John 1.18).

God, the Creator of the universe, is immensely powerful and holy. To see him in all of his glory would “blow the circuits” of mind and body.

God is wholly “other” than humans. He is not just a bigger version of a human. He is God, not a part of creations, but who stands outside of what he has created.

Even though God’s essential nature makes it impossible for humans to come into his presence, he comes to us. 

The Prologue of John’s Gospel states this about Jesus: “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth” (John 1.14).

It is the grace of God that allows us to approach God. We see his glory shielded by grace, so we can apprehend a portion of his majesty.

We can rejoice in the fact that God can be known, even though he dwells in unapproachable light.

Worship and Behavior

I began this article with the topic of worship, but Paul focused on behavior to begin with.

He wrote, “I charge you to keep the commandment without spot or blame” (verse 14).

Paul learned from Jesus that love, worship, and obedience go together.

Jesus taught, “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love” (John 15.10).

Daily worship will lead to daily good behavior and love will promote loving action.

We do well to make this our practice.

YouTube Video

Rudy Ross and I talk about this passage on YouTube today. It can be found on the Bob Spradling channel.

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