The clearest and indeed the only instructions and definition in the New Testament about the activity of “worship” point away from entertainment and distractions and towards the substance of disciplined focus, pursuing truth, and acts of obedience.

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God —this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.

(Romans 12: 1–2)

Jesus states that true worshippers shall worship God "in spirit and in the truth" (John 4:23-24). The worship of these true worshippers is characterized in this manner, as an outworking of God's saving grace. God's sovereignty in salvation extends not only to the manner in which elect are saved, but also to the purposes for which they are redeemed. One essential design in the salvation of the elect is that they shall worship in spirit and truth: "for the Father seeketh such to worship him" (John 4:23).

True worship must be "in spirit." It involves the inner man, demanding sincerity and love. Likewise, genuine worship must be "in truth." That is, our worship must be in conformity to God's written revelation. Worship is first and foremost an experience of the heart. Prayer without heart is vain. Songs without heart are vain. Confession and creeds and liturgies and sermons that don’t come from the heart are empty and worthless in God’s eyes. “This people honors me with their lips but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me.”(Matthew 15:8)

"Worship must have heart and worship must have head. Worship must engage your emotions and worship must engage your thoughts. Truth without emotion produces dead orthodoxy and a church full of unspiritual fighters. Emotion without truth produces empty frenzy and cultivates flaky people who reject the discipline of rigorous thought. True worship comes from people who are deeply emotional and who love deep and sound doctrine." - John Piper.

“Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his." (Daniel 2:20)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

Romans 12:2

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