THE COST OF WORSHIP (3): WORSHIP COSTS CHARACTER
We stated in the last post that man was created to bear fruit. The Christian is to bear fruit in relationship to their worship. The bearing of fruit is reflected in the Christian’s character.
As previously stated, we should exhibit the fruit of the Spirit as outlined in the letter to the Galatians,
But, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Gal 5:22-23 (KJV)
At the beginning of the list of the fruit of the Spirit is love. The worshiper must be governed by compassion. Our motivation, even in worship, should be to demonstrate God’s love.
The Word declares that the world will know that we are Jesus’ disciples by the love that we display one for another. God is love and we are to represent His love (I John 4:8).
The next fruit listed is joy. Happiness is dependent upon events and “happenings” in life. Joy can be present even in adverse situations. Trials and tests are a part of the kingdom experience. As we wait upon the Lord, God wants us to experience joy in our walk with Him and in worship. Paul stated that the Kingdom of God is righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:7).
We all want peace. It is listed next as one of the fruit. Even when the world falls apart around us, the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds. If we do not develop any other fruit of the Spirit, we should seek for peace and let God’s peace dwell in us in adverse situations (John 14:27).
After peace, Paul adds patience. Everyone could use more patience. We must be able to endure and wait on God (Isaiah 40:31). In order to reflect the nature of a loving God, kindness must also be developed. We must be kind to all, displaying the love of the Father. He is our ultimate example of kindness (Luke 6:35).
Next, we must allow goodness to dwell in us. We should strive to display good unto all men, in spite of their actions, in and outside of the Church (Galatians 6:10).
God is faithful to us, even when we lose our hope and faith. This is why the fruit of faithfulness has to be present. Faithfulness always has a reward. Let us be like God. He is always faithful (I Corinthians 4:2). Then, gentleness must be achieved.
We must not deal with people out of a harsh spirit (especially the worship leader), but from one of care and concern (Galatians 6:1). When we are wrong, we desire mercy. The believer should offer this same courtesy towards others.
Most important, Christians need self-control. If we have control over our thoughts and actions, we become candidates for true worship. We must not only practice self-control when it comes to the flesh, but also in our dealings with others (James 3:2).
God commanded them to be fruitful. With these in place, the believer is prepared to enter into worship.
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