These are the statutes and judgments which you shall be careful to observe in the land which the Lord God of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the earth. You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations which you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. And you shall destroy their altars, break their sacred pillars, and burn their wooden images with fire; you shall cut down the carved images of their gods and destroy their names from that place. You shall not worship the Lord your God with such things. But you shall seek the place where the Lord your God chooses, out of all your tribes, to put His name for His dwelling place; and there you shall go. (Deuteronomy 12:1-5)
For Which We Are Gathered
The first day of the week is a special day. Unlike the other days of the week it is time of reflection, devotion and worship. Since the beginning of time the Lord has desired the heart of man to give honor and praise to the Creator. Abel’s sacrifice reflected the glory of God. The altars of Abraham filled the heavenly realm with sweet incense. Songs of praise rang forth from the glories of the Temple as God’s people worshipped Jehovah. On the first day of the first day of the church three thousand devoted Jews learned a new way to worship God. Throughout the pages of the New Testament writers the early church gathered on the first day of the week to sing holy hymns of glory to God remembering the sacrifice of their savior Jesus Christ.
We should never look at the Law of Moses as simply a physical law requiring things to do to please the Lord. There were many regulations to follow but the intent of the Law was to instill in the hearts of the people the universal need of all men to bring their hearts to God. The allurement of idol worship was rooted in the physical satisfaction of a god that was seen and served with the hands of men. Worship to the Almighty has always been about bringing a heart of worship to the throne of the One who made us for glory. Throughout the Law God forbade His children to follow after the gods of the people because it would take their hearts away from Him. He demanded they not worship with such things. It is easy for the child of God today to worship the Lord with the external satisfactions of a religion of works. His will is still that we not worship Him with such things.
What we do today is a heart filled love for a sacrifice so large the world cannot contain its complete message. We are created for glory and standing at the cross of Jesus we see the greatest glory known to man. The first day of the week is a day that should belong to praise and worship of redemption. Salvation is the message of the day. Eternal life fills our hearts with the promise of life after death. Fellowship with saints who love the Lord with all their hearts, souls and minds is the joy of this day. Let us not worship God with such things as the gods of this world. Do not wait for a song to remove the thoughts of the world from our minds. Live each day with Christ. Let today be a resounding chorus of praise for the One who delivered us and saved us from sin. Today is a day of worship!
Salvation is not putting a man into Heaven, but putting Heaven into man. (Maltbie D. Babcock. Thoughts for Everyday Living, 1901)