Lip Service

We might ask ourselves how many times we have sung a song or prayed a prayer where our lips formed the words but our minds were elsewhere, our hearts far from God.

Jesus castigated ritualistic worship for its hypocrisy. If we are true believers who have bowed the knee in repentance and faith to rest upon Christ alone for our salvation, we tend not to think ourselves as hypocrites. But the word hypocrite can simply mean to be insincere. Our worship can be a pretense of going through the motions. Our body is checked off by the usher as present, while our mind has checked out of the present. 

 

Our service of worship is not to be lip service.

“This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” (Mark 7:6, NKJV)

Having been called to worship through prayer and the reading of God’s Word, the congregation stood to respond in praise to God. The words to “Holy, Holy, Holy” were projected on the wall at the front of the sanctuary. The assembly stood and raised its voice to sing.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

I was among the congregation. As I sang the lyrics at the front, directly in my line of sight stood a woman. In her hand she held the church bulletin, reading the copious announcements printed therein. She mouthed the words on the wall but it was the words on the page that occupied her attention.

Jesus spoke about superficial, artificial worship when He said: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me’” (Mark 7:6).

Before we pick up stones, we might ask ourselves how many times we have sung a song or prayed a prayer where our lips formed the words but our minds were elsewhere, our hearts far from God.

Jesus castigated ritualistic worship for its hypocrisy. If we are true believers who have bowed the knee in repentance and faith to rest upon Christ alone for our salvation, we tend not to think ourselves as hypocrites.

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