Easter is just a few days away, and as we begin to
contemplate the magnitude of Jesus' gift for us, we are brought
to our knees in worship.
But what kind of worship do we
bring to Him?
Last week, in WHAT KIND OF WORSHIPPER ARE
YOU, Part 1, we saw that there are three types of worshippers:
Those who worship God for personal gain, those who do so out of
fear, and those who worship God in Spirit and in Truth.
Today's lesson takes a look at the first type of worshiper:
Those who worship God for personal gain.
We are all
familiar with this kind of attitude. It characterizes the
culture of our society. It's all about, "What's in it for me?"
We see this on TV, we see this in our children, we see this in
our business transactions, in our banks, even in our credit card
Not convinced? Then why do so many stores in
North America offer you rewards for shopping there? Because they
know that if there's something in it for you, you will be much
more likely to buy from them!
And what about the credit
card companies who offer you back 1-2% of your purchases for
airmiles or free groceries or points to be used in their store?
And then there are the insurance companies who promise to pay
for disasters to our homes, cars, even lives, all for the tidy
yearly sum we pay them.
Let's get more personal. We often
do things to manipulate the actions of others for our personal
gain. You know what I mean. Its performance appraisal time, so
we go out of our way to be nice to the boss, and to make sure he
or she is aware of our hard work. Or you know that a manager is
angry at you, but you want him or her to approve of your newest
idea. So you have a co-worker approach the manager about it.
And what about in our church lives? We so often give of our
tithes and offerings for the personal gain that is promised to
us. Or we sing in choir because we have a nice singing voice and
we want the church to know it. Or we submit stories to the
church publications because we want to see our name in print.
But wait. We're talking about earthly things. This doesn't
include ALL worship!
Or does it?
Why is it that we turn so much quicker to God when we need
something than at any other time? If we completely and
thoroughly examine our prayers, we will find that they usually
are comprised of selfish requests: "God, keep me safe!" "God,
take away my nosy neighbor!" "God, give us a new position at
work so that I can be permanent full-time instead of casual!"
True, sometimes our prayers aren't quite THAT selfish.
Sometimes they go like this: "God, I'm so tired today, but I
have a 12 hour shift! Give me the strength and energy to go on!"
Or "God, I am very susceptible to that temptation! Give me
victory!" Or "God, I can't carry this burden anymore. I give it
"Wait a minute," you say. "You make it sound
like asking God for things is wrong! Doesn't the Bible tells us
to bring our petitions before Him?"
"you do not have because you do not ask." (James
But what is our motive for bringing our requests to God? Do
we ask Him out of love and worship? Or is there a small part of
us that does so for personal gain?
So many times I've had
people tell me that God has abandoned them because He hasn't yet
answered their prayers. Are we truly worshipping God with our
prayers, or do we see Him as a great, big Santa Claus?
Let's see what else James has to say about why our prayers
aren't always answered: "You ask and do not receive, because
you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures."
Friends, God delights in giving to us
because He loves us. Our motivation for worshipping God should
be for the same reason: Because He loves us! Not because of what
we can get out of it!
Take a moment now to contemplate
just how huge the Easter sacrifice is: Jesus suffered more than
we can possibly imagine.* Isn't that, in itself, worthy of our
praise? Shouldn't we worship Him simply because He is worthy of
With Easter just a few days away, let's take
a few moments to examine our worship. Let's ask God to reveal
our true motivation. If you find even the tiniest bit of
selfishness in your worship, would you join me today in
repenting of this, and in resolving to worship God for the only
reason that He is, oh, so worthy?
Join us next Thursday,
in WHAT KIND OF WORSHIPER ARE YOU, Part 3, for a look at another
false motivation for worship: Fear!
In His love,
Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Speech-Language Pathologist,
Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to
Christian devotionals and inspirational poems,
with Answers2Prayer Ministries,
(To access the entire "What Kind of a Worshiper are
You?" mini-series, click