What Is Worship?

July 20, 2014 by


“Give unto the LORD, O you mighty ones, 

Give unto the LORD glory and strength.

Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name;

Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”  ~Psalm 29:1-2 (NKJV)

When I was a kid, I used to love lying down on the front lawn looking up at the stars. I am sure you probably did, too. At the time they were just a wonderful curiosity to me. I had no concept of how they got there, or even why. I just thought they were magnificent to admire.

Imagine yourself out in the field on a dark, starry night tending a flock of sheep, with nothing but time on your hands. See yourself as the shepherd boy David, looking up at these same stars three thousand or so years ago (before we invented smog!). Here was a lad who had been raised to understand a great deal about his place in the universe, and the God who made it. The One who hung those stars, as it were, for His glory and our pleasure. When David saw these same stars, he did what he felt compelled to do: “Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.”

My attention is drawn to this word “worship.” I couldn’t count the number of times this word is used in Scripture. But, it was a bunch. There were many differing contexts for worship. What is the meaning of worship, anyway? What comes to your mind when you hear the word? It’s not an easy word to define—much like the word “love,” it defies definition. Generally, we are left with only manifestations of it. That is to say, we can’t define it, but we can describe it—what it looks like.

Left with only a way to demonstrate worship, let’s think about how worship might be expressed. Let’s start with this approach: (as one has written) “Worship is giving God the best that He has given you.”  In other words, whenever God blesses you, you should give it back to Him as a love offering. Hence, the first part of Psalm 29: “Give unto the LORD . . . .” In doing this, it becomes a deliberate act of worship.

In the church today, there is a bit of a hang-up about the idea of worship. We have a stilted notion of what we think we ought to do when we worship, but we fall way short of what worship really is. I do admit that the singing and praising is an integral part of our worship—even lifting holy hands. But, it is not the sum total of what worship truly is.

Using our definition above, we have to expand our understanding of worship. It comes in the form of praise, prayer, giving, reading the Word and meditating on what we have read, and using whatever spiritual gifts we have been given. God never intended that we should keep for ourselves the things He bestows, material or spiritual. But, rather, these things are to be given back to Him that He may give it as a blessing to others.

The measure of our worship is directly proportional to the depth of our communion with God. In the hustle and bustle of today’s world, we need to take more time to “look up at the stars” and

Take time to worship today. Be thankful for what He has given you and offer it back to Him in love.


-Pastor John Roberts



Please welcome our Sunday morning contributing writer, Pastor John Roberts. John is the pastor of New Hope Fellowship in the great Northwest where he resides with his wife of 46 years. 

2 Responses to What Is Worship?

  1. Rick

    Thank you pastor John for your worshipful post this morning. Just thinking about looking up at the stars in awe reminded me of our goal to burn brightly as one of those in this dark world. Paul talks about what that looks like in the life of the believer in Philippians as we rejoice in all things. All praise and glory to our king of kings!

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