Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Religion, Faith and Worship - are they the same thing? Part II - Faith & Worship

Faith, true worship, and understanding who God can be to us have nothing to do with the outward trappings of man-made denominational “religion.” Faith and true worship must be in the heart. See Part I on Religion here.

About Faith
In arguing against God’s existence, people often say, “I only have faith in what I can see.” Yet, they’ve never seen the Big Bang happen, or seen an ape turn into a man.

In general, faith is believing in what we can’t see…no different for belief in God than the Big Bang.

Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Humans are spiritual seekers. From the beginning of time we’ve sought the comfort of spiritual beings or objects representing them. We see it in cave drawings, parchment writings, temple remains, and modern houses of worship.  Some rely on crystals or statues to find strength and inner peace. Improving “karma” is very popular right now. Some folks believe in multiple gods. And some pray to a single God that others say isn’t there. 
What triggers this or puts this craving inside us?  Is there really an “empty place” that can only be filled by a Divine Presence?
Sales of books like “The Purpose Driven Life” and the “Left Behind” series wouldn’t go through the roof if people weren’t searching for a spiritual center. Doctors say their religious patients are healthier. Even Good Housekeeping Magazine has cited that people who have spiritual beliefs experience less depression and anxiety, and those who pray are 50% more likely to live longer.
If a person trusts God, does that make them weak? What is faith if we don't believe in something by courage? We can’t see God like we can see houses or cars. But those things can be gone in a flash.

God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). This basic message, found many times in both the Old and New Testament, has lasted in peoples’ hearts through centuries, storms, fires, and wars. Unfettered by interpretations, denominations and regulations, faith can be our greatest hope.

About Worship
Many churchgoers think of “Worship” as only the music part of a church service. Worshipping God means everything we do for Him. Church attendance, listening to sermons, singing, praying, reading the Bible or scripture-guided books; giving our money or time to church, missions or charity work; visiting sick people, running errands for someone—these are all forms of “worship.”

What’s not worship? All the memorized prayers said at certain times of day, for certain events, or for supposed cleansing of sin, mean nothing to God if all they are is head-memorized and not heart-felt (see Part I).

We can speak to God without formalized, fancy words and without memorization. We can cry out to Him in our own words, whether in desperation or happiness. He wants that!

Jesus may not have meant for His example of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13 to be followed word-for-word, memorized to the point that we don’t think about what we’re saying.

He might have meant just to be sure we include all those steps:
-Praising (acknowledging) Him for who He is;
-Asking for what we need daily without greed;
-Praying that we are as forgiving to others as He is with us;
-Asking that He protect us from giving into sin;
-And lastly, acknowledging that all this is for His kingdom.

That’s what faith and worship are.

Did you know that you can be sure of going to Heaven?
Ask the Lord to come into your heart in a prayer similar to this: Lord, I’m a sinner who needs you. Come into my heart and help cleanse me. Give me the life You know is best for me. In Jesus name, Amen. 

This is partially excerpted from the book, What Every Christian Should Know about the Jewish People: Improving the Church’s Relationship with God’s Original Chosen Nation. See info in column at right, or Amazon link here.

Unless otherwise noted, all verses used herein are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.


Post a Comment

Ms. Young regrets she can no longer accept Anonymous comments at this blogsite, due to incidents of extreme spamming.

20-20 Faith Sight © 2009-2011 Sheryl Young. Template by, Optimized by, Concept and design by April Lorier.