Worship (Hebrews 13:15-16)

“How can the directives of Hebrews 13:15, 16 be practically applied in a worship service?” or “What are the effects of worship on spiritual formation?”

"So through Jesus Let us always offer to God our sacrifice of praise, coming from lips that speak his name. Do not forget to do good to others and share with them, because such sacrifices please God." - Heb. 13:15-16 (NCV)

There are a number of things one can take from these verses and apply them to practically to a worship service. The first of thing would be "So through Jesus..." It's important to remember that a corporate worship service is not a performance. It's not a production with bells and whistles to "ooh & ahh" our "audience". A worship service should be organized and planned out with the thought in mind "How can I bring God the most glory this morning?" God's glory is most revealed and the most worship given to Him through the cross of Christ. It was there where the ultimate "sacrifice of praise" took place. Jesus is our greatest example of worship.

So through Jesus we should "always offer to God". the key word here is always. Worship shouldn't just be offered up on a Sunday morning or a Wednesday night. Our sacrifice of praise should ALWAYS be offered up to God. This means 24/7. For the purposes of the corporate worship service, this type of thinking must be taught to all within the Church.

This sacrifice of praise must be given from "lips that speak his name". I would think this means those who confess Jesus as Lord and Savior. Surely not everyone who says "Jesus" knows Him as Lord. If that was the case anytime someone stubbed their toe on something and shouted "Jesus!" in a not so praiseworthy manner they would be lumped into this group. This is NOT the case.

The writer of Hebrews continues in verse 16 to remind the reader to "do good to others and share with them". One might remember Jesus words one the greatest commandment and the next like it to love God and love people. (Matt.22:35-40) When we are truly loving God we will love people in an act of worship. When we love people as God desires for us to and doing good to them we will be loving God as well. (Matt 25:35-40) The writer of Hebrews concludes this passage with this thought as well, why do we do this? "because such practices please God".

Worship becomes more genuine as one's spiritual growth enhances. While the spiritual disciplines are a large part of the individuals spiritual formation they are also taking part in worship. As one spends more time with God in in the disciplines one naturally worships.

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