PANDEMIC DISEASES, SOCIAL UNREST, internecine wars, economic downturn, and natural calamities cast a dark cloud over many people’s lives the world over and leave many worrying about the security of their family—and their future.
Given these difficult circumstances, many have preoccupied themselves with their work and career in order to secure their needs. Others have focused on their academic study hoping that a good education can lead them to a better life. But despite their best efforts, the bright future that many long for remains a frustratingly elusive dream. And without many of them noticing it, they have already neglected the most important thing in order to overcome every trial and hardship in life.
What matters most
Truth is, the most important thing to do is to trust in God by faithfully obeying His commandments and always worshiping Him in His temple—where His laws are taught. The Bible says:
“Many people will come and say, ‘Let’s go to the mountain of the LORD God of Jacob and worship in his temple.’ The LORD will teach us his Law from Jerusalem, and we will obey him.” (Isa. 2:3, Contemporary English Version)
God’s word is very vital to every servant of God if we are to enjoy His constant guidance. It serves as a guide and light (Ps. 119:105, Today’s English Version) for our path so we will not be led astray from righteousness. Imagine how difficult it is for a person to find his way in a very dark place without a light to illumine him. Indeed, life without light is a life of uncertainty and chaos.
However, many find it hard to prioritize the worship of God over their work, career, or study thinking that they stand to lose if they give God first place in their lives. Thus, material or worldly pursuits are still their main purpose of living.
But what is the great advantage if one always worships God and receives His teachings? His word will not only help us overcome the difficulties of life but it will help us progress, as God Himself explains:
“I will instruct you (says the Lord) and guide you along the best pathway for your life; I will advise you and watch your progress.” (Ps. 32:8, Living Bible)
Moreover, the Bible guarantees that one who worships God will receive His protection, kindness, and blessings (Ps. 84:10-22, CEV).
Therefore, now that life’s problems are so severe, man must all the more worship God. This is the key to having a bright future which man really yearns for.
The acceptable worship
The one who truly gives importance to worship does his best to make sure that God will find his worship acceptable. Such worshiper presents himself to God as “a living sacrifice, dedicated and fit for His acceptance” (Rom. 12:1, Revised English Bible). And he does this by living a life in a manner that is totally pleasing to Him (Rom. 12:1, Last Days Bible).
To do this, one must accept and believe the words preached during the worship service as God’s very words and allow these words to change his life for the better. Apostle Paul attests:
“And we will never stop thanking God for this: that when we preached to you, you didn’t think of the words we spoke as being just our own, but you accepted what we said as the very Word of God—which, of course, it was—and it changed your lives when you believed it” (I Thess. 2:13, LB).
On the other hand, God will not be pleased if one doesn’t listen to His words. As a consequence, God will refuse to hear his prayers (Prov. 28:9, Easy-to-Read Version). For it is hostility against God if one lives in sin and refuses to obey His laws (Rom. 8:7-8, New Living Translation). In such condition, how can one receive God’s grace to overcome life’s problems? Moreover, those who disobey God will not inherit His kingdom (Gal. 5:19-21, LDB).
Hence, for a worship to be acceptable to God, one must live in holiness and avoid doing what displeases Him.
The true worshiper
In John 4:23, the Lord Jesus speaks of the true worshipers and how they worship God. They are the ones who gained the right to serve God after being counted among those cleansed by the blood of Christ (Heb. 9:14). The Bible attests that the Church of Christ as purchased by Christ with His blood (Acts 20:28, Lamsa Translation).
In view of this, if anyone wants to be certain that his service and worship are acceptable to God, he must be inside the true Church. Hence, it is imperative to join the Church of Christ. Our Lord Jesus Christ guarantees that those who do so will be saved (John 10:9, 16, REB).
Thus, members of the Church Of Christ do not only have the right to worship God, but also have a bright future ahead of them: life in the Holy City. And if troubles beset them in this life, God promises to listen to their prayers and grant their petitions (Isa. 65:17-19, 22-24, The Message).
Based on the lesson preached by Brother Eduardo V. Manalo during his Pastoral Visit in the local congregation of Belfast, Ireland on September 20, 2014.