Daily Devotion, July 6, 2020 - Worthless Worship

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Devotion: July 6, 2020
Reading: Isaiah 1:10-17
Worthless Worship

I was brought up to regularly attend worship several times a week. Growing up in a rather large church, I was exposed to a variety of styles of worship over the 20 years I spent in that church. At that time, worship to me consisted of going to church each Sunday, attending Sunday School before going into a one hour worship service consisting of a few songs, an offering, a sermon and an altar call. The sermon typically comprised about 50% of this time together. To be clear, there was nothing at all wrong with this type of worship…it is pretty typical of worship services today. But is this really what worship was meant to be in the eyes of God?

Isaiah warns the rulers and people of Sodom and Gomorrah that a huge part of worship is to hear and listen to the word and instruction of God and that all your acts of worship are meaningless to God if not evidenced by our actions. Your meaningless sacrifices of fattened animals and incense and monthly offering and your traditions of special Sundays and Days of Festival have wearied God. Your prayers are empty words and God is not listening. Isaiah goes on to share that the reason God is not impressed with the sacrifices and offerings of this group of people is because they are rendered with insincere hearts. If they are just acts of worship, why bother to go through the motions? God is not pleased with our empty, outward expressions of worship, if we are inwardly missing a true faith in God. “Learn to do right, defend the oppressed, take up the cause of the fatherless, and plead the case of the widow”, God says (v.17). In other words, rather than these empty acts of worship what God really desires of God’s people in this passage as well in the lives of today’s Christians, is a relationship with God that forms us as we truly hear, listen and live out our faith.

Today as we begin a new week, let us examine our time of worshipping God. Is it about empty rituals and traditions, entertainment and experiences that make us feel good for an hour or two each week? Are our outward expressions of faith empty or are they a manifestation of a genuine inward faith? What God genuinely wants from us is our love, our trust and our truly repentant hearts and then God will be pleased as we sacrifice our time, tithes, offering and service. Worship goes beyond showing up for church but is all about living out our faith in a real and tangible basis each and every day, throughout the day.

Dear God, thank you so much for the ways that you pour out your blessings upon us each day. Help us to genuinely give you thanks and praise throughout each and every day and to sacrifice our time, talents and treasures throughout the week as we share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ wherever we go. Help us to realize that worship is a daily act that occurs throughout each day and is more about living out our faith than bringing empty offerings and singing songs just because we like the music. It is about serving you, O God, by serving others. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

 
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