An attitude of worship is a way of life that worships God from the heart. True worship is done in spirit and in truth. It thinks rightly and fearfully about God’s infinite worth which results in a life chiefly engaged in thought about God and not self.
True Worshippers Worship “In Spirit And In Truth”
- Worship is the expression, in our attitude and actions, of our reverence and adoration for God. Our attitude towards God (mindset, worldview, inclination) expresses what we truly think and feel about God. Our actions reflect our attitude, but our actions can be manipulated to express an attitude that doesn’t truly exist (hypocrisy). Furthermore, outward forms of worship (actions) can change because of time and culture, but the “attitude of worship” transcends all culture, traditions and time because it is rooted in the truth of God’s unchanging attributes (nor can any actions contradict these attributes to be counted as worship). Therefore, an “attitude of worship” means to have a determined and authentic way of thinking and feeling about God that expresses our reverence and adoration to Him because of our understanding and faith in His attributes—who He reveals Himself as—and ultimately this is reflected in the way we act.
Matthew 15:7-9; Mark 7:6-7; Isaiah 29:13
- Jesus tells a Samaritan woman four things about true worship: (1) Worship is no longer confined to just a place. This is because, as revealed in other parts of scripture, upon salvation our bodies become the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in us—thus we can worship anywhere. (2) Worship is based on what you know. The Samaritans worshipped false gods, things they didn’t really know. But salvation came from the true God through the Jews. Thus knowledge of the Messiah—Jesus Christ—is required to worship. (3) Worship must be “in spirit”—meaning that we must worship God from our heart and in our attitude (inward passion). (4) Worship must be “in truth”—meaning that we must worship God according to truth. This truth is that which He has revealed to us in His Word. Therefore, true worship is towards God from the heart and based in a growing knowledge of the truth through the Bible and God’s Son Jesus.
John 4:19-24; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; Ephesians 2:19-22; Philippians 3:3
- Salvation should lead to an attitude of worship. We receive a “kingdom which cannot be moved”— a place where there is no more crying, no more death, no more mourning, and no more pain. All evil will be done away with. We will be in the presence of God’s glory with great joy. Therefore, we are to: (1) have “grace”—meaning to acknowledge our thankfulness and appreciation to God whereby we may (2) “serve”—to obey as an act of worship. This service or worship is to God and should be “acceptably”—in a manner that is well-pleasing; with “reverence”—very great and heartfelt respect; and “godly fear”—an overwhelming feeling of awesomeness, wonder, greatness, and holiness, knowing that our God is a “consuming fire”—His justice will bring final judgement on all evil.
Hebrews 12:28-29; Revelation 21:4; 23; 22:4
To Think Rightly And Fearfully About God’s Infinite Worth
- An attitude of worship recognizes God is incomprehensible. He is infinite and we are finite. Thus, for us to know what God is like, He must reveal Himself to us. God reveals Himself through natural revelation—letting us know the Someone greater than ourselves definitely exist. He also reveals Himself through special revelation—His Word and Jesus, so that we could understand He created us to know Him and enjoy a right relationship with Him. We are not equal to or greater than God, therefore we will never comprehend Him in His entirety. But in the context of His revelation He can be worshipped.
Psalms 19:1-6; 145:3; 147:5; 139:6; 17-18; Isaiah 40:28; 55:6; 43:7 Jeremiah 32:17; Ephesians 1:1-10; Exodus 33:18-33; Titus 2:11; Job 11:7-10; Romans 11:33-36
- An attitude of worship starts with “knowledge” and the beginning of knowledge is “the fear of the Lord”. Fear means to respect. It means we have the highest reverential respect for God because He is the Creator of everything. It means that everything has to be put into perspective: a high and lofty view of God (the incomprehensible Creator) and a low and timid view of mankind (the comprehensible creation). It is the ultimate concession—that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are God’s ways higher than our ways and God’s thoughts than our thoughts. It is through this “contrite and humble spirit” that God says He will have respect unto, He will revive the heart and the spirit, He will save.
Proverbs 1:7; Psalm 24:3-4; 138:6; 147:10-11; Isaiah 55:7-9;57:15; Ecclesiastes 5:1-2
- An attitude of worship learns and thinks about God’s attributes—to understand more fully and accurately what God is like. Logic and reason will eventually fail us in our attempt to fully grasp the “the beauty of holiness”. Thus it is through faith that we know and accept God and the attributes that describe who He is. This includes the following: God is the true God and there is no other like Him. He is everything beautiful and the source of true happiness and joy. God is a spirit and invisible. God is independent, unchanging, jealous, and sovereign. God is omnipresent, omniscient, and omnipotent. God is good, holy, perfect, righteous, and just. God is love, and God hates sin.
Jeremiah 10:10; 23:23-24; 32:17; Psalm 27:4; 29:2; 96:9; 99:9; John 4:24; 1:18; Acts 17:24-25; Numbers 23:19; Exodus 20:5; Isaiah 48:11; Ephesians 1:11; 1 John 3:20; Luke 18:19; Matthew 5:48; Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 John 4:8; Romans 1:18
- An attitude of worship learns and thinks about God’s works—to understand more fully and accurately what God has done. From the beginning, God created mankind to be His people and for Him to be their God. But they rejected this when they sinned against Him. Thus God was on mission to redeemed them to Himself and save them from their sin and its penalty of death or eternal separation from Him. God has and will ultimately accomplished His mission by saving “whosoever will” from all nations, kindreds, people and tongues. This is possible because through a virgin birth God became man in Jesus. He lived a sinless life. Mankind rejected and crucified Him. He was buried, but three days later He rose from the dead. He defeated sin, death and evil. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life and whosoever wants to worship God must do so through faith in Jesus alone. God is to be worshipped for who He is and for His marvelous works among all people.
Genesis 3:15; 1 Corinthians 15:22; Romans 5:12-21; 16:20; Revelation 12:9; 20:2, 10; Hebrews 2:14; 1 John 3:8; John 8:44; John 1:29; 3:16-17; 4:42; 6:33; 8:12; 9:5; 12:32, 46; 14:6; Psalm 96:3; 111:1-4
To Chiefly Engage In Thought About God And Not Self
- An attitude of worship helps us overcome one of over greatest problems: selfishness. Worship is not about us, but it is about God. An attitude of worship means that we are going to chiefly be engaged in thought about God and His infinite worth and not about ourselves. Selfishness means we are lacking in heartfelt thought for others because we are concerned about our own personal gain and satisfaction (often without moral inhibitions). It is when our hearts orientation is focused on ourselves. But true worship changes this because it makes loving God as our primary orientation or thought and loving others as the secondary orientation or thought.
James 4:8-10; Mark 12:29-31; 1 Corinthians 10:24
- Selfishness is sin. As believers, we are to deny ourselves. We are not to do anything with “strife”—selfish ambition, but in “lowliness of mind”—humility, we are to count others better than ourselves. Thus through an attitude of worship we incline our heart unto the testimonies of God—overcoming our selfishness and respond to Him and others in love.
Matthew 16:24; Romans 12:3; Philippians 2:2-4; Galatians 5:20, 26; James 3:13-16; 4:3; Psalm 119:36; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
- What is worship?
- What four things about worship does Jesus tell the Samaritan woman?
- An attitude of worship recognizes what? And starts with what?
- An attitude of worship learns and thinks about?
- An attitude of worship helps us overcome what sin?
The biblical framework for christian thought starts in the heart. We need to teach our own hearts to be oriented towards God and the gospel. Through the Holy Spirit, the word of God and biblical meditation we renew our minds and transform our lives so that we don’t conform to a sinful world system. Therefore, we need to learn to think on the right things so that we can shape our attitude and conduct to glorify God.
Christian Thought Starts In The Heart
- The heart is the wellspring of all our “inward attitudes”—meaning that the heart represents the “inner person” or the real orientation, belief, motivation and attitude of a person. It is from the heart that we think, feel and make decisions. It is the source from which everything we do in life is issued from (wether good or bad). The problem is our hearts are born sinful—meaning it is not neutral but deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked or incurable on its own and if left untouched will lead to destruction. But the gospel changes everything—starting with our hearts. Therefore, the goal for christian thought is to train our own hearts to be oriented towards God and the gospel so that we can fulfill our reason for existence (to glorify God and enjoy Him forever through the gospel of Jesus) and guard it against our sinful inclinations.
Mark 7:20-23; Luke 6:45; Matthew 15:8-9; Proverbs 4:23; Jeremiah 17:9; 24:7; Psalm 58:3; 51:5, 10
- The first step is being born again. You can’t just clean up your life morally and starting thinking positive thoughts. This leaves you empty inside and leads to a worse conclusion (self-righteousness and selfishness). But true salvation results in the permeant indwelling of the Holy Spirit who guides us in a radical “heart transformation” and causes us to change from the inside out. This causes the principle of replacement to take place: we stop thinking about the wrong things but we start thinking about the right things—which leads to us stop doing the wrong things and start doing the right things—all for the glory of God.
Matthew 5:44; 12:43-45; Ephesians 4:28; John 3:3-8
Renewing Our Minds Leads To Transformed Lives
- As believers, we have experienced the incredible mercy of God through the gift of salvation in His Son Jesus. Because of the great salvation that we have received by the mercies of God (which are expounded by Paul in Romans 1-11) we as believers should offer our bodies to God as a living sacrifice—meaning we completely give our lives over to God and live what is holy and acceptable to Him. Therefore, we are to be “transformed”—meaning it should be apparent that we are different and that we no longer walk according to the course of this sinful world. We no longer conform to the sinful world and society around us（all that is not oriented towards God and the gospel). The transformation starts with “renewing our minds”—meaning that our minds (hearts) need to be reestablished so that we can properly live out this transformed life. This transformed life results in a life that tests, discerns and lives according to the will of God—just like a priest would know what sacrifice was good, acceptable, and perfect.
Romans 3:22; 12:1-2, (3); Ephesians 2:1-3; 4:17-18; 1 Peter 1:13-14; (Leviticus 22:19-25)
- What is the renewed mind? The renewed mind is when our hearts are reestablished to know and submit to the truth of God as the foundation of all things right and good. The “spirit of your mind”—meaning your mindset, attitude, worldview, and inclination come into submission with the word of God so that what we want to do becomes what we should do. Our longings and our obligations become one and the same—which leads to true freedom—thus we are to stand fast and have no other mindset or view.
Ephesians 4:22-24; Galatians 5:1, 10
- How do we renew our minds? (1) Holy Spirit—the Holy Spirit works in a person’s life to allow the light of the glorious gospel of Christ to shine into their “blinded minds” and bring them to salvation. Once a person believes in Jesus they receive the Holy Spirit who continues His work of “renewing” them and bringing them into humble submission to the truth as our attitudes and actions come into alignment with our new identity. (2) The Word of God—the Holy Spirit before and after salvation works through the word of God. It is the word of God that provides the truth the Holy Spirit uses to cause God’s people to be renewed and thoroughly equipped to carry out God’s will. Therefore, we need to fill our minds with the bible (read the bible, listen to correct bible preaching and teachings, sing songs full of bible lyrics, memorize and quote scripture, etc.). (3) Biblical Meditation—the bible encourages us to actively and intently think about all the things the bible has to say. Through prayerful consideration we are to apply these “bible thoughts” to our everyday lives and decisions until we develop a “bible attitude”—a biblical disposition, propensity, or natural tendency towards the will of God.
Titus 3:5; 2 Corinthians 4:4-6; 16; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Psalm 1:2; 19:14; 119:11; Colossians 1:28; 3:10, 16; John 16:13; 17:17
- What does the renewed mind do? The renewed mind puts everything to the test to see if it is the will of God or not. Your mind becomes a type of “biblical filter”—meaning everything is filtered through biblical truth. This helps in two main areas: (1) Conscious decisions—meaning we purposely think about something and try to make the best decision according to God’s will through the knowledge that we have; (2) Unconscious decisions—meaning all decisions we make without taking the time to think about it beforehand but make in an instant—thus the renewed mind allows us to automatically and unconsciously filter all these decisions through the “biblical filter” and change our sinful inclinations into godly ones (for example: lust, anger, pride, covetousness, anxiety, jealousy, envy, etc.). The general principal of the renewed mind is this: a good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things—the renewed mind is the good treasure which allows us to live God honoring lives according to His will.
Romans 12:2; 1 Corinthians 2:14-16; Matthew 12:33-37
Thinking On “These Things” Shapes Our Conduct
- Our thoughts govern us. Therefore, what we choose to think about, what we allow ourselves to ponder on will dictate what we do. If we think about the right things, it leads to us doing right, but when we think about the wrong things, it leads us to do wrong. Therefore, Paul tells us to think on certain things so that our actions will embody those same characteristics. These are not “relative” characteristics that change from person to person but are ultimately characteristics found in God and expounded through the bible. (Note: This isn’t “positive thinking,” “positive self-image” or some type of psychology that tries to manipulate reality to profit self.)
- Paul gives us several things to think about. Thus, “Christian thinking” should include: “any virtue” (moral excellence) and “any praise” (worthy of commendation). These are broken down into six characteristics: (1) “true things” (not false or deceiving things)—absolute facts wether positive or negative and is ultimately found in God and through His word; (2) “honest things” (not irresponsible or vulgar things)—the things that are honorable or worthy of respect because it has the qualities of applying biblical truth seriously and correctly; (3) “just things” (not evil or unrighteous things)—those things that are right according to the law and morality of the bible; (4) “pure things” (not immoral or defiled things)—those things the bible defines as moral and holy—all ethical purity—especially in relation to our body and sexuality; (5) “lovely things” (not rude or inhospitable things)—those things which are pleasing to others in a gracious and kind manner and communicates the love of God; (6) “things of good report” (not bad or contemptible things)—everything that can be defined as good and doesn’t contradict any biblical teachings but is in full alignment with it. Paul had exemplified these characteristics in his teaching and life and encourages us to not just constantly think on them but to also do them—to live them out—allow our thoughts to shape our actions.
- The heart is the wellspring of all our what?
- What is the first step?
- What does renewing our minds mean?
- What does the renewed mind do?
- Thinking on what shapes our conduct?
✪ Our team Vision For China is working on a book, Lord willing, that we will have ready by the end of the year. You can find out more about this project here. We have been spending a lot of time on it recently and I am excited about how the Lord may use it!
✪ We are also praying that God will give us a man to help lead up our efforts to reach the villages in China. While most of our missionaries are going to be working in the cities, where the majority of the populace reside, we don’t want to forget about those living in the villages—God loves them and they need the gospel too!
✪ Our friends were taking solar-powered audio players for us into China that contain preaching and the audio Bible in Chinese, but they ran into some trouble. There were able to get the first shipment into the country with only some minor problems, but the second shipment was confiscated and not allowed into the country. Our friends were held and questioned but eventually released. We are now trying to get those players shipped to Taiwan since they can’t go into the country.
✪ Praise the Lord for our support continuing to be raised. We had two more churches partner with our ministry recently.
✪ The Our Generation Summit is coming up at the end of this month. I hope that you will be able to make it. It is going to be an incredible time. We are praying for God to do great things!
✪ We had a great Thanksgiving and I trust you did as well.
✪ My brother-in-law and his family finished deputation and left for South Africa. It is an exciting thing being a missionary. He is living the dream. Continue to keep them in your prayers as they travel and get settled.
✪ We were at Newton Baptist Church in Covington, GA this past Sunday. I was honored to preach both services. We especially enjoyed spending time with some dear friends and mentors of ours, Pastor Tony and his wife. It was exciting to see how God has blessed them over the years.
✪ Tonight I have the privilege of preaching at our home church, Vision. Please pray for me. Lord willing, I will be preaching on “Joy”.
✪ I just want to say how thankful I am for all of you who support, pray and partner with our family. I truly do believe I get to live the dream as a missionary. I truly believe Jesus is the one and only way for a person to be saved and that God has ordained the means of a preacher to tell the world so they can believe and be saved. I am one of those preachers. I get to serve fulltime because so many of you make it possible. Thank you. May we do a little more, reach a few more souls and run a little faster this coming year. Amen!
✪ Thank you for following and caring about our family. We are thankful for all the Lord has done in China. We know that we couldn’t do it without our partners. Thank you for praying, giving and loving on our family over the years. From our family to yours, “Happy Thanksgiving!”
✪ This past Sunday night I was honored to preach a charge at my brother-in-law’s ordination and be part of the ordination council. I am excited to see how God is going to use his life in South Africa. They are at 97% of their support and leave next week. If you are looking for a missionary to South Africa that is arriving next week, they would be a family worthy of support!
✪ We are in Tennessee for thanksgiving and look forward to celebrating with family.
✪ Our team of church planting missionaries serving with Vision Baptist Missions has launched a new team name: “Vision For China“. Check out our website and follow to learn more about China and what you can do to be involved.
✪ Our team should be sending around 79 SD cards monthly now into NK as part of our initiative. Check out more about it here.
✪ News from China: Another two souls were saved Wednesday night after the Bible study in China. Amen! That is about 8 souls saved since we left China. I love being able to constantly report of more souls being saved in China. Charles, the Chinese pastor, is really a soul winner! Praise the Lord for his boldness.
✪ I am writing this update from NC. I was able to speak to an association of pastors on Tuesday and to a youth group on Sunday night who supports our ministry. We are thankful for every supporter we have and are excited these teens are being taught to get involved in missions.
✪ We had a great time in CA with our supporting church there. They were a blessing to us. Also, we were able to visit Yosemite–which was amazing–especially at this time of year. We are so thankful for our yokefellows and others from our home church who helped take care of our kids so my wife and I could have a trip together.
✪ Last Sunday I was in SC and had a great time at a new church, Lord willing we will be partnering with them, and also at a faithful supporting church that has supported us the entire time we were in China. God is blessing our travels and we are humbled to be able to serve Him.
✪ One of the twins took their first step, can you guess which on it was?
✪ News from China: Another man was saved on Sunday night. Amen! That is about 6 souls saved since we left China. God is using them in great ways.
✪ I have been presenting in OH this past week as my family stayed back. My wife does a wonderful job with the kids when I am gone on trips like these…I don’t know how she does it!
✪ My wife and I are headed to CA today for a meeting this weekend. We are excited about spending time together and visiting one of our supporting churches. Pray for those watching out kids while we are gone, they probably need it more than we do!
✪ Our oldest daughter loves to read. She is reading quicker every week it seems, but thanks to Amazon Prime we are able to keep her stocked up with books.
✪ Our little man has had a fever and cold, pray for him.
✪ Ohio Sunrise this past Sunday morning on the way to church. “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22–23)
Ministry: ✪ Another great week of furlough as we have been traveling in Arizona and Georgia. I was so blessed by the churches we visited in each State. My Family was able to go with me to Arizona. The church there has been supporting us for nine years or so. ✪ Blessed to be hearing from many new supporters. ✪ Also, pray for a lady that I was able to witness to on my way to the airport.
Family: ✪ Pray for my wife as she has been having some dental work done. ✪ The twins are growing like crazy and I love seeing their personalities develop. All our kids are great and such a blessing. They are enjoying their time in the States learning American culture, like visiting the pumpkin patch in the fall…but as MK’s they get to visit them in different States, like Arizona!
Picture: We were able to visit the Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona and the view was absolutely amazing! I love looking at God’s handiwork!
View from the Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona
In our last update about “Vision For China and North Korea,” we mentioned about purchasing about 248 SD cards that were loaded with Korean resources and would be taken into the country through a friend on the border. Since then we have the following update:
THE NORTH KOREAN INITIATIVE “UPDATE #2”: All the SD cards have arrived safely into North Korea! Pray! Get involved!
This is a small step to getting the gospel into a closed country. Our goal is to get trained men into the country, but until we can, we are doing what we can with what we have to send some light into the darkness. Will you help?
We would like to purchase more SD cards. The cost is around $3.50 per card (depending on the exchange rate). Everything else is already set in place in China to get the cards into North Korea. So here is an opportunity, if you are able and willing, to get involved in sending some gospel light into a spiritually dark region.
If you want to be involved in purchasing SD cards, you can send donations to the following: Vision Baptist Missions, PO Box 442, Alpharetta, GA 30009 with “The North Korean Initiative” written in the memo.
Thank you for always caring and giving.
Vision For China is working to do what we can to reach into North Korea.
Here is a recent update:
THE NORTH KOREAN INITIATIVE “UPDATE”: Phase 1—Until the Lord gives us a man to work on the border, we have partnered with a new friend to get the KOREAN AUDIO SCRIPTURES (New Testament and Proverbs) and other resources (preaching, teaching and singing recordings and a gospel video) into the country to be distributed.
We were able to purchase about 248 SD cards that have been loaded with the Korean resources and will be taken into the country soon.
North Koreans often have handheld radios or other digital devices that have SD card slots and the goal is for them to receive these and listen to or watch these resources. (Printed material is more dangerous for a North Korean person to possess—thus digital versus print is better in this scenario.) This is a small part in trying to plant the seed of the gospel in North Korea.
Please pray as they will be faithfully distributed and listened too or watched by the North Korea people who have yet to hear a clear presentation of the gospel!