The Pursuit of God in Corporate Worship
Gravity and Gladness on Sunday Morning
Worshiping in Spirit and Truth
The woman at the well said:
Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship (John 4:20).
There, she’s using that word (proskuneō) that’s virtually dropped out in the Epistles. And Jesus said to her:
Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father (John 4:21).
You can see him loosening worship from its outward, localized connotations. He says, “ The hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” There’s not going to be any geographic center to this reality called worship. Place is not the issue, neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem. And then he goes on like this:
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth (John 4:23–24).
So, here’s the key: such true worship which was anticipated for the age to come, has arrived. He says, “The hour is coming (the age to come), and now is here (in me).” Jesus is bringing the new worship. And what marks this true worship, that is broken into the present time from the glorious age to come, is that it’s not bound by localized place or outward form. Instead of being on this mountain, or in Jerusalem, it is in spirit and in truth. Do you see the category switch? Mountain is replaced by spirit, and Jerusalem is replaced by truth.
He says, “Neither in this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, rather, in spirit and truth.” That’s a category shift. That’s not just saying it’s not Jerusalem and not this mountain, but Minneapolis and Northern Minnesota. That would make the category even; it would become the same. But when he shifts from mountain and Jerusalem to spirit and truth, you say, “Whoa. So, you’re saying the city and the mountain aren’t essential anymore, rather, spirit and truth are essential?” And yes, that’s correct. So, what Jesus is doing here is stripping proskuneō of its last vestiges of localized, outward connotation.
An Emphasis on Inner Reality
It’s not that it will be wrong for worship to be in a place. We paid $5 million for this building I think, and then had to pay another $2 million to build it out. And we’re ready to finish building out. So we really put a lot of stock in place, evidently.
It’s not that it would be wrong to use outward forms or place, but rather, he’s making explicit and central that this is not what makes worship, worship. What makes worship worship is what happens in spirit and in truth, with or without a place, or with or without outward forms.
So, what do those two phrases mean — in spirit and truth? Here’s my attempt. I take worship in spirit to mean that true worship is carried along by the Holy Spirit, and is happening mainly as an inward spiritual event, not mainly as an outward bodily event. So, worship in the spirit means that the Holy Spirit is awakening, carrying, inspiring, and sustaining it, and it’s happening in your spirit — inside, not out there.
And I take in truth to mean that true worship is a response to true views of God, and is shaped and guided by those true views of God. So, one has to do with authentic, spiritual, Holy Spirit-given intensity, and the other has to do with thinking right thoughts about God, which is why it is sad and tragic that there are some dimensions of the church today that belittle truth orientation. God is seeking those who will worship him both in spirit and in truth.
So, what Jesus has done is decisively break the necessary connection between worship and its outward and localized associations. It’s mainly something inward and free from locality. This is what he meant when he said:
This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me, in vain do they worship me (Matthew 15:8).
When the heart is far from God, worship is vain, empty, and non-existent. The experience of the heart is the defining, vital, indispensable essence of worship. That’s the thesis, and we’re watching Jesus make it happen.
Filling Out Old Testament Forms
Why then is the central Old Testament word for worship, proskuneō, virtually boycotted by Peter, James, John, and Paul, in the letters that they write to the churches? And here’s the answer I propose: the word did not make clear enough — this proskuneō word with all of its connotations from the Old Testament — the inward spiritual nature of true worship. It carried significant connotations of place and form, falling down with your body. The word was associated with bodily bowing down, and with the actual presence of a visible manifestation to bow down before.
So, it’s prevalent in the Gospels and Revelation, where Jesus is physically present to the worshipers, but in the Epistles Jesus is not present in visible glory to fall before. Therefore, the whole tendency of the early church was to deal with worship as primarily inward and spiritual rather than outward and bodily, and it is primarily pervasive rather than localized.
Now, here’s the confirmation of this when you trace what happens in the Epistles. What kind of language does Paul use from the Old Testament and what does he do with it? Here are the examples. The Greek word latreuō is the next most frequent word for worship in the Old Testament after proskuneō, and it is translated 90 times as worship — almost always translating the Hebrew word abad, which is usually translated to serve, as in Exodus 23:24: “You shall not worship their gods or serve them.” Service is often in the sense of worship.
When Paul uses latreuō for Christian worship, he goes out of his way to make sure that we know he means not a localized outward form of worship practice, but a non-localized spiritual experience. In fact, he takes it so far as to treat virtually all of life as worship when lived in the right spirit. So, for example, in Romans 1:9 he says, “I serve God in my spirit,” that’s what I mean by going out of his way. He says, “In my spirit, I am doing this latreuō, this worship.” His preaching of the gospel is his worship, because it’s happening in his spirit first.
And in Philippians 3:3 Paul says that true Christians are those who worship in the Spirit of God and put no confidence in the flesh. It’s the same word for worship (latreuō). Romans 12:1 is the one we’re really familiar with, where Paul urges Christians to, “Present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
All of those uses have nothing to do with worship services. He uses the word latreuō to describe his preaching, and to describe what’s going on in our heart when we don’t rely on the flesh, and to describe all of life for those who are living it to the glory of God. So Paul, even though now he picks up on that language for worship, the way he uses it shows that he’s right in line with where Jesus was going.
The Significance of the Temple and Priestly Service
What about the language of the temple in Paul’s letters, or the language of priestly service? These are key elements of Old Testament worship. The praise and thanks of the lips is called a sacrifice to God in Hebrews 13:15, but so are our good works in everyday life in Hebrews 13:16. Paul calls his own ministry “priestly service of worship,” and he calls the converts themselves “an acceptable offering in worship” (Romans 15:16). He even calls the money that the church has sent him a fragrant aroma and acceptable sacrifice to God (Philippians 4:18). You can see what he’s doing. He’s picking up all the Old Testament worship language, and he’s totally desacralizing it.
He’s turning it into something that has no relation to place, no relation to building, no relation to form. His own death for Christ he calls a “drink offering to God” (2 Timothy 4:6). So, life, ministry, and good works become the Old Testament latreuō or latreia.
The same thrust is seen in the imagery of the people of God, the Body of Christ as the New Testament temple where spiritual sacrifices are offered and where God dwells by his Spirit (1 Peter 2:5 and Ephesians 2:21). There is this reality where all the people are seen as the holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:9). Second Corinthians 6:16 shows that the new covenant hope of God’s presence is being fulfilled, even now, in the church as a people, not in any particular service. We are the temple, as 2 Corinthians 6:16 says:
We are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them . . .”
So, worship is being significantly deinstitutionalized, delocalized, and de-externalized, and the whole thrust is being taken off of the ceremony, off of seasons, off of places, and off of forms, and is being shifted to what is happening in the heart, not just on Sunday, but every day, all the time, in whatever we do. All of life to the glory of God is for Paul, the main place of worship. This is what it means when we read:
Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
That’s Paul’s way of saying that you don’t go to worship but you worship now where you are in absolutely everything you do. That’s the main New Testament emphasis. Everything you do is to be done in such a way that the glory of God shines.
All of Life to the Glory of God
The essence of worship is to act in a way that reflects the glory of God, to do a thing in the name of Jesus with thanks to God. I skipped over to Colossians 3:17, which says:
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
What about singing and making melody to the Lord, is that connected with services? Even when Paul calls us to be filled with the Spirit, “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, even to God the Father” (Ephesians 5:18–20), there’s no reference to time, or place, or service. In fact, the key word is always, isn’t it? You are making melody with your heart, not just your mouth, to the Lord, always giving thanks. He’s not in a service here. He’s in life. This is very radical.
The week of 168 hours, or whatever is conscious, is intended to be worship. This may, in fact, be what we should do in corporate worship service (for example, singing) but it’s not Paul’s burden to tell us that. His burden is to call for radical, inward authenticity of worship, and an all-encompassing pervasiveness of worship in all of life. Place and form are not of the essence, spirit and truth are all-important.
An Inward Emphasis
Now, that’s the end of my biblical argument for the thesis that in the New Testament, there is a radical intensification of the inwardness and experiential nature of worship, and an amazing minimizing of attention to outward form and services, so much so that pastors like me, are just stunned when we try to go to the New Testament to get some help on what are we supposed to do in these services, or should they even exist? I do think they should exist. I have given my life to their existence. But that’s not the main point of the New Testament. It is a million times more important that you experience worship in your heart than that you go through any particular forms in any particular building.
I probably should add right there that there is a movement today, and I could name the names, of dispensing with traditional church. I don’t have the emerging church in mind here. I think far more radical than that, in my mind, is people who are just getting rid of church as a corporate reality. I think that is a childish response to what I’ve just said, born of bad experiences, not born of good theology. And it will perish and drag many people with it in a generation or two. I hope you don’t go there. What I’m going to argue eventually is that if you get real with God in your heart, you will celebrate with God’s people all the more.
In my head, nothing that I’m saying leads people away from corporate church, institutional church; it just gets our priorities right. It gets the essence right. Essence isn’t form, essence is the inner reality, being satisfied with all that God is for us in Jesus.
The Reformed Tradition
I have just a few words about this Reformed and Puritan tradition. I love to do this because this just blows some Reformed people out of the water, and I love to do that. I remember reading this quote from John Calvin at a Philadelphia Conference on Reformed Theology, and it just stunned people who came up to me and were like, “Where’s that? Show me that. I don’t believe that’s in The Institutes.” So, let me read it to you. This is Calvin’s Institutes, Book 4, 1030. This is John Calvin:
The Master did not will in outward discipline and ceremonies to prescribe in detail what we ought to do, because he foresaw that this depended on the state of the times, and he did not deem one form suitable for all ages. Because he has taught nothing specifically, and because these things are not necessary to salvation (come on, what happens to the regulative principle for goodness sake?) and for the up building of the church, they ought to be variously accommodated to the customs of each nation and age. It will be fitting as the advantage of the church will require to change and abrogate traditional practices and to establish new ones. Indeed, I admit that we ought not to charge into innovation rashly, suddenly, for insufficient cause, but love will best judge what may hurt or edify, and if we let love be our guide, we will be safe.
That is so far from what most people consider Calvin to think. That’s amazing. So, this man devoted himself to building a great, grand, glorious system of theology, which at his heart is, I think, right and true. It wasn’t intended to sustain any particular forms. It wasn’t. It was intended for the head and the heart, which from age to age would compel people, “You’ve got to go deep with God.” The main task of pastors and teachers, and you and your small groups, is not to preserve any particular form; it’s to go hard after right thinking about God and right feeling about God. That’s where all the emphasis should lie. And then, yes, we have to live in the world, we have to wear certain clothes, we have to have some place to do corporateness, and then we have to do something there, and those things change.
The Worship of God Is Free
I’m teaching a class on preaching right now, and the question we’ll have to tackle in the first several classes is, should there be such a thing? And I will make as strong a case as I can that the nature of biblical revelation, the nature of God, the nature of man, and the nature of communication, does mandate preaching somewhere in the life of the church. But that’s not what this seminar is about. We may touch on it tomorrow.
Here’s Luther. I love Luther, he’s repenting every time he talks, including this time, probably. I’m trying to sound like Luther here:
The worship of God should be free at table, in private rooms, downstairs, upstairs, at home, abroad, in all places, by all people, at all times. Whoever tells you anything else is lying as badly as the Pope and the devil himself.
Every time he opens his mouth he says something like that. Ready, fire, aim — that’s Luther. If he were here, he’d probably say, “I meant exactly what I said.” But notice what he said, “The worship of God is free. It’s at table, it’s in private rooms, it’s downstairs, it’s upstairs, it’s at home, it’s abroad, it’s in all places, by all people, at all times. Don’t let anybody tell you it’s has to be led by certain priest, has to be a certain mass, has to have a certain confession, has to be done before a certain person, or that the sacraments have to be bestowed by a certain qualified person in line with the apostles.”
Focusing on the Inward, Spiritual Act of Worship
What about the Puritans? The Puritans carried through the simplification and freedom of worship in music and liturgy and architecture. Patrick Collinson summarizes Puritan theory in practice, and this is both British and American Puritans. The Puritans were the folks who tried to carry the Reformation to its consistent end of purifying the church from 1516 to 1660.
The life of the Puritan was in one sense, a continuous act of worship, pursued under an unremitting and lively sense of God’s providential purposes, and constantly was refreshed by religious activity — personal, domestic, and public. One of the reasons that the Puritans called their churches meeting houses, and kept them very simple, was to divert attention from the physical place to the inward, spiritual act of worship.
Now get this, in a sense it is the same principle of freedom that creates icons in church, statues, paintings, and iconoclasts who destroy them. Puritans hated images in church. They didn’t want paintings, they didn’t want statues, and the word iconoclast comes from the smashing of icons. You have to align yourself there somewhere, because from age to age there’s always a pressure from one group for more art and more visuality in worship. And then there’s a pressure from another group like me, who’s pushing the other way for the sake of radical, inward, intensification of us and God himself through his Word. That’s my leaning. I’m a Puritan.
You look around this room on Sunday morning, and it’s spare. There’s not even a cross here. There are crosses everywhere downtown, and nobody notices them. And when I’m dead and gone, they’ll do it another way, probably. They might do it another way before I’m dead and gone, because there are a lot of elders in this church.
Here’s the conclusion of this part: in the New Testament, there is a stunning indifference to the outward forms and places of worship. There is at the same time, a radical intensification of worship as an inward spiritual experience that has no bounds and pervades all of life. These emphases were recaptured in the Reformation, and came to clear expression in the Puritan wing of the Reformed tradition.
The Heart of Worship
Now, where do we go from here? What then is the essence of that radical, authentic, inward experience called worship? And how is it that this experience comes to expression in gathered congregations and in everyday life? Those are the two parts we have to wrestle with. If I’m saying it’s the inner reality, what is it? And then, should it find expression in regular gatherings of God’s people in corporate singing, preaching, etc.?
We have about 20 minutes left, and we’re going to get a start on the second unit in your outline, namely, what is the inward essence of worship? Here’s my thesis: the essential, vital, indispensable, defining heart of worship, is the experience of being satisfied with God. This satisfaction in God magnifies God in the heart. This explains why the apostle Paul makes so little distinction between worship as a congregational service, and worship as a pattern of daily life. For Paul, he just doesn’t go there. Why? They have the same route, a passion for treasuring God as infinitely valuable. The impulse for singing a hymn and the impulse for visiting a prisoner is the same: a deep, freeing satisfaction in God now and a thirst for all that God promises to be for us in Christ.
Let me just say that again in my own words. If you come to Paul and say, “Why do you allude to the fact that the Christians gather and that they sing together and make melody in their hearts, and you also call our daily obedience worship in Romans 12:1. Why both?” I think his answer would be, “Because the inward essence of both experiences is identical.”
Being satisfied with God spills over in praises to him as infinitely glorious, admirable, and satisfying. That’s singing in services. And it spills over in a freedom from fear, and a freedom from greed, and a love for people that takes me to the jail. It’s the same satisfaction in God. It’s the same contentment. It’s the same joy. One is coming out in song, and one is coming out in service. What makes either of those worship is the heart. You can sing without worshiping, and you can go to the jail without worshiping, but whether it’s worship or not depends on what’s going on in your heart, and I’m arguing that is a being satisfied with all that God is for us in Christ.
Now, the question is, is that definition of the inward experience biblical? And here I’m going to take some minutes to justify my Christian Hedonism, because that’s what it is.
God’s Exuberance for God
The root of our passion and thirst for God is God’s own infinite exuberance for God. This is where we have to start. People who don’t follow here generally don’t follow at all into Christian Hedonism, namely, that God is most glorified in us when we’re most satisfied in him. So, let me try to defend that statement, that our passion, our worship, our satisfaction, our zeal and thirst for God, is rooted in God’s own infinite exuberance for God.
I’ve got 30 or 40 of these texts, but we’ll only look at a few. God creates us for himself, for his glory. Isaiah 43:6–7 says:
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.
You were made by God for God. That’s very, very God-centered of God to do that.
God elects Israel for his glory. Jeremiah 13:11 says:
For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory . . .
This is totally self-exalting of God to do this.
God saved from Egypt for His glory. Psalm 106:7–8 says:
Our fathers . . . rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
Yet he saved them for his name’s sake,
that he might make known his mighty power.
The reason God took 10 plagues to release his people and not one plague to release his people is that he meant to display much of his power and much of his glory.
God restrains his anger in the exile for his glory. Isaiah 48:9–11 says:
For my name’s sake I defer my anger;
for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you . . .
For my own sake, for my own sake,
I do it, for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another.
I don’t think there’s another more God-centered passage in the Bible than that right there. Six times in those verses he says, “For my name’s sake, for my praise, for my own sake, for my own sake, how could my name be profaned? My glory I won’t give you another.”
Born with a Disoriented Nature
That’s the feel that you have to feel when you say, “What is the basis for my passion for God’s glory?” Answer: God’s passion for God’s glory.
I don’t know any other meaning this could have except that. Why is this in the Bible? I mean, why would you put this in the Bible if you were God? What’s that there for? God is hammering away, “I do things for my sake — my sake, my sake, my sake, my sake, my sake . . .” It’s six times, why does he say that? Because we are so prone to do everything for our sake. We’re not God-centered people. We are born massively self-centered. And to the day we die, that is our main battle.
I’ve been trying to talk about this whole issue of relational culture at Bethlehem, and last time, two weeks ago, I defined a relational culture in terms of Philippians 2:4. I was so happy to see Justin Taylor pick it up on his blog and call it the two-four factor, because that actually was in my head. I didn’t say it but he said it. I was so happy. And the two-four factor is, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus . . .” (Philippians 2:4–5). That is the biggest battle in my life. I’m 62. I’ve been a Christian since I was six years old, and to this day I’m a selfish man.
If there’s a need around the house that Noël can meet, I want her to meet it. If there’s an errand to be run, I don’t want to get up and run it. I’m a selfish man. This has got to be put to death every day. I am god to me, except by the grace of the Holy Spirit to kill that, lead me to Christ, get my sins forgiven, and show me the all-satisfying pleasures of having a God besides myself. It’s so refreshing when it happens.
There’s nothing sweeter than a few moments of self-forgetfulness, when you’re not trying hard to do anything right, and you’re just loving Jesus. You’re just massively admiring God, and then you wake up a few minutes later, and you’re conscious of doing it, and it all gets wrecked. Because you have to ask whether you’re authentic or not. That’s really where it’s at, isn’t it? If I could just stay in a mode of not thinking about myself at all and be ravished with beauty outside myself consummating in the glory of God, I would be the happiest of all people. And that’s what heaven will mean. I’ll be delivered finally from this “brother ass” — my ego and my body.
God’s Joy in God’s Glory
So, if you say, “Why is that in the Bible — that unbelievably God-exalting paragraph?” It’s because he’s putting it over against what we’re like.
God sends Christ to earth for his glory. Romans 15: says:
Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs (that’s why he came for Jews), and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”
Why did he come to Jews? To vindicate God’s truthfulness. Why did he come to Gentiles? So that we, experiencing mercy, would give him all the glory. He’s after glory. He means to be acknowledged as glorious, loved as glorious, and enjoyed as glorious.
God sends his Son a second time for what reason? Second Thessalonians 1:8–10 says:
Those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus . . . will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed . . .
So, why is Jesus coming back? He’s coming back to be glorified, and he’s coming back to be marveled at. Jesus is radically Jesus-centered when he comes back. He’s coming back for his glory. He’s coming back to be marveled at. Our calling is to manifest the worth of this glory in the world.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples! (Psalm 96:3).
Praise the Lord, all nations!
Extol him, all peoples! (Psalm 117:1).
So, here’s the summary: God’s overflowing joy in his own glory is the root and basis of our joy in his own glory. God is so exuberant about his glory that he makes its display the goal of all he does. Therefore, so should we.
The Love of God and the Glory of God
Putting it that way doesn’t quite get to the heart of the matter. To get to the heart of the matter, we need to ask why it is a loving thing for God to be so self-exalting. Answering that question gets to the heart of the matter for worship. Why is it loving of God to be self-exalting? And why, if we come to share his satisfaction in himself, is that the essence and heart of worship?
I’m going to close with this quote from CS Lewis to answer to the first question regarding why it is loving of God to be so self-exalting, that he does all things for his own glory. This came to me, back in about 1968 or 1969, with the help of CS Lewis. He saw an utterly crucial thing that shows why this is not vain of God, but profoundly loving. And this is very counterintuitive, right? Because if you go around doing everything for your glory, nobody would call you loving, they would call you vain, sick, egocentric, and arrogant, and they’d be right. So, why wouldn’t they call God that? A lot of people do. A lot of people stumble over God’s demand for praise. So, here is Lewis’s answer. What he was stumbling over is that God demands praise in the Psalms. He said it sounds like an old woman demanding compliments for herself. That’s really what he thought at age 28 or 29 before he was converted. Now here’s what happened:
But the most obvious fact about praise — whether of God or anything — strangely escaped me. I thought of it in terms of compliment, approval, or the giving of honor. I had never noticed that all enjoyment spontaneously overflows into praise . . .
You can already see where he’s going. God demands that we praise the most praiseworthy reality, namely himself. And Lewis is drawing attention to the fact that all praise is rooted in joy, and the joy comes to consummation in the praise, which means God is after our joy, but I’m getting ahead of him. He continues:
The world rings with praise — lovers praising their mistresses, readers their favorite poet, walkers praising the countryside, players praising their favorite game — praise of weather, wines, dishes, actors, motors, horses, colleges, countries, historical personages, children, flowers, mountains, rare stamps, rare beetles, even sometimes politicians or scholars . . . My whole, more general, difficulty about the praise of God depended on my absurdly denying to us, as regards the supremely Valuable, what we delight to do, what indeed we can’t help doing, about everything else we value.
I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed.
Understanding the Inner Essence of Worship
I cannot tell you how explosive that was for me 40 years ago. It was just absolutely world changing, because I saw in those sentences the solution to the problem I always wrestled with ever since I was about 18. I was about 22 or 23 when this happened, and all my college years I was just eaten up with a sense of guilt about enjoying, just enjoying. Am I supposed to go down to Chicago and do street evangelism from Wheaton because I’m supposed to just to get people converted, or is it okay to like it? Is it okay to feel satisfied in God when you’re done? Is it okay to enjoy his power flowing through you? Is that okay? I mean, I was blind, it was my problem.
I just couldn’t find answers. I knew God was pursuing his glory, and I was scared of the fact that I was pursuing my joy, and here’s Lewis saying, “When he demands that you praise him, he’s demanding that you bring your joy to consummation. He’s demanding that you not settle for half-baked joys. He’s going to present you with that which is most praiseworthy, most admirable, most satisfying, namely himself. And then he’s going to demand that you enjoy him so fully that it spills over into praise, and that praise bring your happiness to consummation.” That is my definition of what it means to be loved.
And I think that’s the way we love people. It’s the way God loves us and it’s the way we love people. The way you love people is not by attracting their attention to yourself, but by doing everything in your power to help them see God, enjoy God, be satisfied in God, and praise God, and then to spend eternity doing it with the rest of us.
Now, that is the key to the truth that the inward essence of worship is being satisfied in God. But we haven’t quite finished with that, and I’m going to pick it up here next time. So, let me pray and we’ll be done.