Word and Worship

I’ve just been reading “Romans 8-16 for You”. I’m nearly halfway through it now and I can recommend it. (Obviously, the book of Romans doesn’t start at chapter 8. There is a prequel, but that’s also very good.) Today, my focus was on Romans 11.

In verses 34-35, Paul refers to Isaiah and Job as he praises God. The author points out that knowing Scripture intimately can ignite praise, within the heart and as an outward expression. He maintains there should be no worship without truth. Jesus said: “Your Word is truth” (John 17:17), so in other words, there should be no worship without the Word of God. Worship doesn’t come from repeating certain phrases over and over; true worship comes from meditating on the Bible.

In addition, he says, it’s the same the other way round – there should be no study of the Word without worship. Study of the Word is more than knowing what it says, or even applying it to ourselves: It’s a gateway into the praise of God. As such, we should never come to the Bible detached, but always expect to be disturbed/comforted/challenged.

I was so encouraged by that. I’m quite a sensitive person; I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve. Sometimes when we sing the worship-songs at church, I find the lyrics confronting and get very emotional. Sometimes, a truth in the Bible does disturb or challenge me. If that happens for you too, perhaps we can take comfort from the fact that we’re alive spiritually. We’re not detached; we haven’t tuned God out. He’s still working in our lives, and surely that can only be a good thing.

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