Integrity in Worship

Psalm 15

LORD, who can dwell in Your tent? Who can live on Your holy mountain?

The one who lives honestly, practices righteousness, and acknowledges the truth in his heart— who does not slander with his tongue, who does not harm his friend or discredit his neighbor, who despises the one rejected by the LORD but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his word whatever the cost, who does not lend his money at interest or take a bribe against the innocent— the one who does these things will never be moved.

It is Socrates who said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” and when it comes to worshiping God, his words ring true. The 15th Psalm is widely regarded as an entrance liturgy, an exercise of integrity in worship. Before entering the temple, a priest would ask the question in verse 1, and the worshipper would respond with verses 2-5. The point of the exercise was to revisit the idea of how you should live if you want to stand in the presence of God. Now, taken literally, this would condemn us all, but that wasn’t what it what the psalmist was after. He was trying to point us toward God, not from Him. He was saying that how we live matters to God, and that we have an amazing God that would allow us to be with Him in spite of our obvious shortcomings. It was meant to make us examine ourselves before entering into worship, a habit many of us have either never formed or long ignored…

READ: Matthew 5:23-24, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34

THINK: The church in Corinth was also failing in its duty to be introspective, and Paul lets them know that they risk judgment and discipline for it. Although he is specifically addressing the Lord’s Supper, is it fair to assume that we too might suffer for being flippant in the way we approach God in worship? If so, what do you need to change about the way you worship the Lord in church?

PRAY: Ask God to show you any area of your life—a relationship, a habit, an attitude perhaps—that needs to change in order to bring you closer to Him.

ACT: Examine yourself. Thank God for His love and the sacrifices He made on your behalf. Sing loud and don’t be afraid to worship with your hands this Sunday…

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