Saturday, July 26, 2008

What does the Father Seek?

In Terry Johnson's Book, Reformed Worship, he quotes two individuals concerning worship. This first quote deals with comments about John 4:23:
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers." NASB

Listen to how Johnson deals with this verse:

Thus does Jesus sum up the saving activity of the Father. What is the Father doing through the gospel? What is He doing through his Son? What is the point of the incarnation, the atonement, and the whole of redemption? The Father is seeking worshipers! What an unusual and unanticipated way of speaking of such things. Yet there it is. Robert G. Rayburn points out that, "Nowhere in all the Scriptures do we read of God's seeking anything else from the child of God." The Bible does not tell us that God seeks witnesses, servants, or contributors. What He seeks is worshipers. Rayburn continues, "it is not without real significance that the only time in the Scriptures when the word 'seek' is used of God's activity is in connection with seeking true worshipers.' There is a true sense in which worship is what the Christian gospel is all about.

When you think about it, isn't that the main complaint God had against the nation of Israel. God sought right worship from the people, but they kept falling into false worship and false gods. Even in John 4, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that the Samaritans are not worshiping rightly. God is seeking true worshipers.

Secondly, Johnson quotes John Piper concerning the relationship of worship and missions. He writes:
This is what Christian mission, the Christian life, and Christian worship are all about. John Piper summarizes our point well, 'Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exist because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.' Worship is our ultimate priority.

So when someone tries to convince us that worship is secondary to things like evangelism, missions, or discipleship, we indeed should remember that worship matters. It is eternal. And it is worshipers that alone the Father seeks. Let us worship God rightly according to His word.

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