Bible Study for Aug. 11: Worship continually

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2 Chron. 15:10-19
Blake Dodd, pastor
Young’s Grove Baptist Church, Cedartown

Don Carson said, “Worship is the proper response of all moral, sentient beings to God, ascribing all honor and worth to their Creator-God precisely because he is worthy, delightfully so.” Worship is when we become so consumed with a love and adoration for God that everything else is reduced to nothing.

As G.K. Chesterton so eloquently put it, “We fail to worship God because of lack of wonder, not because of lack of wonders.” Believers everywhere must return to a life of perpetual and continual worship. We must understand that worship is not an event but it is a lifestyle!

In 2 Chronicles 15, King Asa gathers the people of Judah together in their capital city, Jerusalem. It was the fifteenth year and the third month of Asa’s reign. There would have already been a great crowd in the city because it was the Feast of Weeks, a time to celebrate the wheat harvest in Israel and a foreshadowing of the coming Holy Spirit.

In this gathering, Asa shows us some things that are required to live a life of continual worship. He also shows us some things that will prevent us from living a life of continual worship. Let’s study both sides of the story together:

The Components of Total Worship
2 Chron. 15:11-16

There are four things that King Asa lead the people to do that allowed them to return to a correct posture of worship before their God. Let’s briefly look at each of these:

Sacrifice (v. 11)

The first thing Asa led the people to do was to sacrifice a great number from their herds — 700 bulls and 7000 sheep! What a large number! The Scriptures remind us that obedience is better than sacrifice, but obedience will almost always require sacrifice! Onlookers and bystanders undoubtedly looked on and thought “what a waste of resources,” but they were getting right with God! Nothing else mattered.

Worship always involves the believer giving up something that is dear. Yes, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice, but if we think we can get into the presence of God without giving up anything then we are sadly mistaken. We must bring our best to the Master as an act of worship.

Sincerity (vs. 12-13)

When we read this passage, we see the sincerity that characterized all of Judah. They entered into a covenant with the Lord. Notice their disposition. They entered with all their heart and with all their soul. Why do we perpetually believe that we can bring God a half-hearted offering of worship and expect Him to meet us there? We must come like the Jewish people with everything we are.

When they sought Jehovah with everything, they found Him. In fact, He made Himself available to them! Not only did they seek Him, but they would not allow anyone else in their covenant family to bring half-hearted worship. Whole hearted worship starts at the top, just like it did with Asa. It starts with pastors, teachers, and leaders who are bringing their whole beings to the Lord in worship and devotion.

Shouting (vs. 14-15)

Worship always involves an outward expression of an inward reality. When the people of Judah got right with God, they became outwardly joyous. They devoted themselves to the Lord with a loud voice. They shouted with their voices, they played their instruments, they rejoiced at what God had done for them. There is nothing sweeter than dwelling in the presence of God without the blockage of unconfessed sin and shame. Continual worship involves living a life that emanates with the joy that comes from relationship with Christ.

Severance (v. 16)

When we begin to live a life of continual worship, there will undoubtedly be things or people in our lives that must be removed. For King Asa, it happened to be a close family member, his grandmother, Maachah. How difficult that must’ve been, but it was necessary! She had made unclean images and idols and she led the people to false worship. She had to be severed from a position of influence amongst the people of Judah. Not only did he remove her, but he destroyed all the idols and images that she had made for the people to worship.

A life of continual worship will always involve removing the things that stand between us and God. They may not always be things that are forbidden generally as sin. They may be good things that stand in the way of the best things. Good is the enemy of God’s best. If the enemy can get the believer to settle for only the good, we will miss out on the best. There will assuredly be things we have to sever.

These four components are the necessary ingredients for a life that is lived as unto the Lord.

The Crisis of Incomplete Worship
2 Chron. 15:17-19

As much good as King Asa did in Judah, there were still things that he failed to do that would cause great anguish in later days. Asa failed to remove what the chronicler called the “high places.” The high places were built as locations were false idols were worshipped. They were also used as replacements for the temple, which was the place where the people met with Yahweh. Asa’s failure to remove these places would cause problems at a later time in Judah. Yet, in Asa’s life, he remained loyal to God.

In order for us to live a life of continual worship, we must willing to remove the “high places” in our lives. We must be willing to give everything to the Lord that stands between us and His presence in our lives. Let us make it point of prayer for the Holy Spirit to be our helper in living a life of continual worship.

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