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Personal Worship

Personal Worship

Words of Faith 5-21-18

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2018

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Luke 7

   [36] Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee's house and reclined at the table. [37] When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee's house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, [38] and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.


      No doubt about it.  Worship involves our emotions.  As she stood behind him at his feet she was weeping.  We don't know exactly what the weeping was expressive of, but it was an emotion.  Whether we like it or not worship will involve our emotions. 

      In this case, her emotion was evidenced by weeping.  We might assume at first that she was weeping with grief over her sinful lifestyle. We find out later that she was most likely weeping with great joy over the forgiveness that had been offered to her.  Jesus was clear about that. 

      So are we supposed to cry a lot?  Or laugh a lot?  In our highly controlled world, we do not like to let people see our emotions.  We see it as a sign of weakness.  And it is not as simple as picking one emotion to lift up.  But one thing is sure, genuine worship will touch a wide range of emotions from unspeakable joy to deep sorrow.  Worship will involve feelings of great peace, utter thanksgiving, and grieving petition.

      This woman just stood before Jesus weeping.  She was not singing, clapping, dancing, praying, lifting hands, holding hands, reading or reciting.  She was doing none of the typical "worship" activities we might expect but she WAS in the presence of the Lord expressing the emotions that flowed from being forgiven of everything she ever had done.

       There is a part of worship that is related to our head.  In fact, study is a part of worship. We are called to love God with all our heart and with all our mind.  As we study, God nourishes our intellect and we are transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1 ff).  But worship is also about coming to God with our emotions. Worship is about our heart response to God. There is a place for study.  There is a place for the HEAD but we must not lose the place of the HEART. 

        If you read through the Psalms, which was the Worship Book of Israel, you cannot help but be captured by the powerful range of emotion expressed in the worship of God.  As long as we are afraid of our emotions we will struggle with worship.  If you feel nothing when before the Almighty, it may be that you really have not ever experienced God.  Or if your emotions have been dead because of other painful relationships, you may need to pray for God to heal your emotions so that you can feel God and celebrate His grace. 

       Now don't misunderstand.  This is not emotionalism.  Emotionalism is the worship of emotions.  When your emotions become the focus of worship rather than the expression, this is emotionalism.  When the goal becomes the stirring or seeking of particular emotions rather than the worship of the Lord, this is emotionalism.  When effort is made to manipulate emotions, this is as damaging as the efforts to shut down the emotions.

       Worship is also personal.  "She began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them."  What could be more personal?  

      The woman did not send her perfume in from the door.  She did not ask the disciples to anoint him on her behalf.  She did not send in a note of appreciation daubed with perfume.  She did not watch as others anointed Him and expressed their appreciation.  She did not hire someone else to sing or weep.  No one could express what she felt. 

      Worship is absolutely personal even though it may take place in a private or a public setting.  No one can do it for you!  No one can express what you feel.  Your forgiveness, grace and healing are a unique experience with God that can only be expressed by you. 

      Think about it.  If a businessman wants to express love to his wife, he does not ask his secretary to purchase and deliver a gift.  If a woman wants to express her love to her husband, she does not hire someone to say it.  Love is personal.  The emotions are personal. 

      This woman boldly came into a home where she was not welcome.  She crossed traditions and barriers as she personally wept upon the feet of the Lord Jesus, wiped His feet with her hair and anointed Him with the fragrance. It took great courage for her to worship as the Spirit had called her to.

       How is your Spirit of Worship?  At the most basic level, worship is simply loving God.  We are called to love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength.  How is your heart connection? 


        Father God, I come to You in worship.  Hear the emotion of my heart as I give thanks to You.  Release the emotion of my heart as I connect personally in thanksgiving.  O Come Let Us Adore Him.  In Jesus' name.