I teach a series entitled "Passion with a Purpose". In the second session I cover the subject of "Acceptable Worship". Let me say something we must all understand right at the beginning: The way we worship and approach God MATTERS to Him. God establishes the protocol for approaching Him and has laid it out in His Word.
From what I have experienced in worship there are two types of worship: Acceptable worship and token worship. What is token worship? Understanding that a token is a substitute for the genuine, token worship is something offered to God to please self alone. How does that happen? Some people do church to do their time. Who does that please? Themselves. Somewhere within there is a self-gratification that says "I have met the minimum requirement". But that is token worship. The same is true in group praise and worship in the church. Some endure the praise and worship (it's very obvious on their faces) thinking they are offering something to God. The truth is they are doing their time. They think this actually satisfies God too! The truth is God doesn't receive or accept token worship! Token worship (which pleases man) is pure religion!But then there is acceptable worship. This worship is accepted by God. Cain and Able are a very good example. (See Gen. 4) At harvest time Cain brings an offering to God from his crops. God doesn't accept Cain's offering. Cain is very upset! God says "Cain I'll accept you're offering if you respond to Me in the correct way!" Abel shows us the correct way. The Word says Abel brought several "choice" lambs from the "best" of his flock. The difference? Cain brought God a token offering. Abel brought an acceptable one! Cain brought God a little somethin' somethin'. Abel brought God the very best he had. Is your worship token or acceptable? Just asking.
The real lesson in this story is that when God accepts your offering, He accepts you! When He does not accept your offering (Cain) He doesn't accept you! Pay close attention to this scripture. "Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; bring an offering and come into His courts." If the worship we present to God (in group or individual worship) is acceptable to God - we get in! When we get in to His incredible Holy Place we are never the same! He eagerly waits for His folks to "enter in" to His presence...with acceptable worship. Remember, the way we approach God and what we offer to Him does really matter.
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