Thinking in Worship

In the context of urging true worship, the Apostle Paul stressed the importance of Spirit-filled thinking in the life of the believer.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Charles Spurgeon, in a sermon called The Question of the Day, could easily be speaking to our modern generation when he makes these comments.

Many who attend public worship never give themselves the trouble of thinking.  They say a prayer night and morning, but as to thinking, it is out of the question.  They go to the sacrament, and they do not mind how often, but they never think.  But the question is, “What think ye of Christ?”  If there is no thought in your religion, there is no life in it.  Man invents mechanical forms and modes in order to get away from the horrible necessity of thinking, but in so doing he destroys his soul…The mind must exercise itself towards God, and if it does not our worship is dead worship.

Remember that the greatest commandment tells you to love God with all your mind as well as your heart and soul and strength.

So how should ministers stimulate the thinking of the congregation?  How should the worshiper engage in sharper thought?  Spurgeon draws us beautifully toward the answer to those questions by meditating on the one he raised above.  Thinking in worship is not an end in itself, but a means to a great goal.

Is it a pleasure to you to think of Christ?  Do you so love Him, is He so comely in your esteem, that you delight to think of him?  Do you frequently think of Christ, just as often as you think of those you love?…Have you a passion for Christ?…Do you think of Christ joyfully?…Do you think of Christ, desiring still nearer access and a clearer view of Him, sighing out with a sacred love-sickness, “O that I were with him where he is, or that he were with me where I am?”…Do you think of him with an ardent wish to be conformed to His image, saying, “Gracious Savior, make me like thyself [yourself]?’  Do you think of Him with practical love, so that you help his cause, (care) for his poor people, proclaim his truth, aid his church, and pity sinners for whom he shed his blood?  Do thoughts of Jesus keep you back from sin, and incite you in the paths of holiness for his name’s sake? …What think you of Christ?

That’s the question we should continually ask ourselves – and answer – as we worship.  “What think you of Christ?”

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