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Worship: The Ultimate Priority (2012)

av John F. MacArthur Jr.

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829620,091 (4.23)1
Worship is so much more than what is sung or played in church on Sunday morning. John MacArthur takes you step by step in a discovery of who and how to worship. From the existence of God and His attributes, to instruction on the right and wrong ways to worship God, MacArthur never strays from teaching and explaining what the Bible says. This book makes it Biblically clear that worship is all about how we prioritize and live our daily lives to honor and glorify God. Make worship your ultimate priority!… (mer)
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"Nothing is more important that worship". That is the premise of this book and I learned so much about worship; what it is and what it is not. I highly recommend this book to anyone. Very easy to read and packed with scripture and Biblical insights into worship.

To quote a paragraph on the back cover, which sums up the book, "get ready to alter your priorities, aiming higher than entertaining worshipers on Sunday mornings. Worship shows that your ultimate priority must always be to worship the true and living God, with a radically different type of living that seeks to worship Him continually."

It talks about who God is and why He alone should be the center of my worship. I learned a lot and hopefully will put into practice what I have gained through reading this book. ( )
  judyg54 | Feb 15, 2019 |
This is a great book and should be easy for all Christians to read and understand.

It first explains that worship should be a way of life for a Christian and that it is not just about music! It details how we must worship God in ways that are acceptable to Him, the author reminds us of the severe punishments that were inflicted on those who came up with their own ideas for worshiping God and those who approached God casually.

We are reminded of the greatness of God and who He is; why we should be worshiping Him.

That everyone begins life with a sense of God's existence and evidence of God all around us. But because of sin, people deliberately suppress the knowledge of God. Freud is wrong. We did not invent God. Sinful people do not wish God into existence. they would wish God out of existence, if they had their way.

There are some good comments on the Trinity which many people disbelieve and use to deny the existence of God. MacArthur reminds us that there are divine mysteries and that this doctrine is a perpetual reminder that we cannot comprehend everything about God because we are finite. There are some things that we need to accept by faith.

We are looking at things the wrong way round and reducing God to a person on our level when we question Him. instead we should be worshiping in Spirit and truth. We need to have a healthy fear of God. Yes we are made in His image but He is nothing like us; Far above us in every respect and as His creatures we cannot demand to know why He has done things thinking that we are owed some kind of explanation. God is not our 'buddy,' He is our Heavenly Father; a loving Father yes but not like our earthly fathers.

Many Evangelicals are guilty of idolatry. I am appalled at what some Christians assume God to be. God was appalled too when He said in Psalm 50:21 'You thought that I was just like you; I will reprove you and state the case in order before your eyes.' Contemporary Christianity has lowered God to its level, robbing Him of majesty and holiness. That is as idolatrous as worshiping a rock.

He moves on to cover how we should worship God suggesting key areas to focus on. There is also an appendix covering modern worship music which I felt is fairly balanced and worth considering.

This book is a challenge and convicts due to the cultural attitudes towards God in Western Christianity. It is good to be reminded of who God is and how we should worship Him in accordance with His Word. I recommend this for all Christian readers.


( )
  sparkleandchico | Aug 31, 2016 |
This book is a good critique of our modern ideas of worship by setting forth the truth in Scriptures about the right way to serve God. Many people are idolaters, or at least worshipping in an idolatrous way, perhaps more so than we would have thought. "Fundamentally, idolatry is thinking thoughts about God that are untrue of Him, or entertaining thoughts about Him that are unworthy of Him." Macarthur spends some chapters going through the Trinity, and showing from the Scriptures that correct worship involves a correct knowledge of God. Muslims, Buddhists and other faiths not solely focused upon the Bible as God's Word(the Old and New Testaments) are not worshipping the true God, as they have an incorrect knowledge of who He is. People who do not acknowledge Jesus as one with the Father are rejecting who God is and His salvation. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me."(John 14:6 ASV) "Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and dost thou not know me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father.."(Joh 14:9 ASV) Peter speaking of Christ said: "And in none other is there salvation: for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we must be saved. (Act 4:12 ASV) Salvation is not found by worshipping any other god other than the God of the Bible.

"It is significant that Jesus spoke of truth, not music, as the distinctive mark of true worship.(John 4:23-24)" And yet nowadays, music and ecstatic feelings are regarded as the height of worship, if not the only true worship. And then there are others who equate Christianized Old Testament practices as worship(sacrifices = sacraments, alters, priests, atmosphere, Church building = the temple). MacArthur takes these ideas to task with the Scripture's definition of worship stating that, "Some would insist that any kind of sincere worship is acceptable to God, but that is simply not true. The Bible clearly teaches that those who offer self-styled worship are unacceptable to God, regardless of their good intentions." He shows that the Israelites, in making their golden calf, seemed quite sincere in their actions, and even equated the calf with God not with false gods, "And he received it at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, and made it a molten calf: and they said, These are thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To-morrow shall be a feast to Jehovah. (Exo 32:4-5 ASV Emphasis Added) God threatened to completely annihilate them for it(Ex 32:9-10) but had ordained that Moses would plead for Israel. Many of them were still killed. Sincerity is not worship in and of itself. God defines what worship is, not us.

"Music and liturgy…cannot make a non-worshipping heart into a worshipping one. The danger is that they can give a non-worshipping heart the sense of having worshipped." "Worship is a response to truth." States MacArthur. As Christians, we worship God by believing what He says, in His Word, and by obeying what He says. We can, and ought, to worship Him everywhere and all the time. And we ought to worship Him as He says we are to worship, not what seems more worshipful to us. We do not need to add liturgical aspects to our service, or define practices by the Old Testament. Macarthur uses the example of the Hebrew Christians written to in the book of Hebrews: "To worship God the Hebrews had to say no to the old covenant and its ceremonies, sacrifices, symbols, pictures and types. The old was gone - it was set aside. A new and better covenant had come, and they had to be willing to come to God in full confidence of the revealed faith of the New Testament. The New Covenant, in contrast to the Old, is not a system based on ceremonies, sacrifices, and external obedience to the law. Its truth is not veiled in types and figures."

As with any book, there are things that I do not agree with that are stated, but I do not see the need to address them here, as they do not affect my recommendation of this book.

Thanks to MoodyPublishers for sending me a free review copy of this book! (My review did not have to be favorable)
( )
  SnickerdoodleSarah | Apr 13, 2016 |
I was tempted to be offended while reading this book. The author makes the occasional “jab” at segments of modern American Christendom outside his own. Because of this and because he is extremely dogmatic (or even opinionated) in what he talks about I had to spit out some bones along the way.

I do love reading books that challenge my thinking and not just sticking with ones that are “smooth” to read or that I totally agree with (which are extremely rare to find to begin with). This is one reason why I liked this book.

I am not going to bring up particulars in what I disagreed with. Every reader has been given a mind by God and hopefully will engage the help of the Holy Spirit while reading this book on their own.

Even though there were “bones” and things I disagreed with there was way too much very good stuff in here to be ignored. The author’s scholarly study of the scriptures as well as his respect of the same shines through brightly. Quite a lot of Christians have become apathetic and need some of the reminders and truths set forth in this book.

Worship has become a lost priority for most. All of life truly can become worship to God. We do need to grieve over our sins (although I would clarify that to be new sins and not continually grieve over ones that have already been forgiven!! In other words, if we grieve the Holy Spirit afresh, we should be sorry.) Worshiping God in spirit and in truth is important—because scripture says so.

My recommendation would be to actively enlist the help of the Holy Spirit to help you glean what He wants for you from this book as you read it. Even though, as I said, I don’t agree with everything, I’m sure there will be some tidbit or larger morsel of truth that the Holy Spirit can teach you with this book.

To purchase your own copy of this book go here: Worship: The Ultimate Priority

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Moody Publishers through their blogging for books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” ( )
  cherylcope | May 31, 2013 |
Read 10/2012
  bobbyemccoy | Oct 29, 2012 |
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Worship is so much more than what is sung or played in church on Sunday morning. John MacArthur takes you step by step in a discovery of who and how to worship. From the existence of God and His attributes, to instruction on the right and wrong ways to worship God, MacArthur never strays from teaching and explaining what the Bible says. This book makes it Biblically clear that worship is all about how we prioritize and live our daily lives to honor and glorify God. Make worship your ultimate priority!

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