The Scriptures repeatedly speak of the disobedience of specific generations, such as those of the flood, in the wilderness, and the Christ-rejecting First Century Jews. Just as David did, we must serve God in our own generation (Acts 13:36). We must be like sons of Issachar who “had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do” (1Chr. 12:32). Thus, we must see our place in history and discern how we are being conformed to the world in our generation. Then, by grace, live faithfully and with transformed minds. The first failure of our generation we will consider is our failure in worship. We have failed to discern the Biblical form and content of worship. In our day, we have truly become conformed to the world in worship. Rather, for worship to be fully Biblical, we must know the awe of coming to true Zion to renew our covenantal bond with God. As a result, we ought to find our satisfaction in God's magnificent glories, rather than in any other fading pleasures (Psalm 27:4).
We might picture the relationship of Lord’s Day Worship to the worship that permeates of all of life as a diamond ring. Like a beautiful diamond wedding ring, the diamond is the center of attention, yet the ring supports the brilliant stone. So it is that our called worship on the Lord’s Day according to the Word is the center of our worship responsibilities, though it is not disconnected from all of life. We are to glorify God in every aspect of life. The intensive focus of glorifying God is in our covenant renewing worship on the Lord’s Day in His special presence.
CRISES IN WORSHIP IN OUR GENERATION
As we begin to consider the need of our generation, the place we must begin is worship. Three crises of worship might be observed in our day:
INTERNAL EXPRESSION CRISIS - There is a confusion between emotional expression and right worship. There are two groups of worshipers today, the “trees” who wave their hands in the air; and the “stumps” who detest emotional expression. The confusion of the “trees” is that worship becomes the emotional experience rather than glorifying God in the way he prescribes. The problem with the “stumps” is that emotional expression is suspect. We must ask God to grant that our emotions reflect the content (we should feel something like remorse as we confess our sins, etc.).
IMMATURITY CRISIS - The content of worship has been reduced to nothing more than a few catch phrases and self-help sermons, rather than all the richness of God’s Word.
INTERGENERATIONAL CRISIS - Children are being excluded from worship, even from churches that hold to covenant theology. Why should we be surprised after ten years of worship segregation, that our children don’t have any interest in spiritual things? We must worship together and grow together in worship intergenerationally.
RIGHT WORSHIP USED RIGHTLY FILLS THE GOD-SHAPED VACUUM OF OUR LIVES
Our basic problem is that we ought to find our satisfaction in God's magnificent glories, rather than in any other fading pleasures. The place that God has promised to communicate his redemption to us is in Lord’s Day worship. Let us consider three ways that God promises to fill us through worship:
1) RIGHT WORSHIP SATISFIES OUR THIRST (Jn. 4:13)
Worship provides us with the presence of Christ. Christ give us that which meets our needs. We have legitimate needs, water, food, and drink, etc. However, we can pervert the use of legitimate things like food and drink. We can see them as the “end” - we can worship the gifts, not the Giver. John 4 and John 6 (bread of life) remind us that even our physical needs should point us to how God fills those needs finally.
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
11 The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water?
12 “Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again,
14 “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”
15 The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to d