No one loses by giving to God, for God will be no man’s debtor. He will pour multiplied joy into the heart of the worshiper, in “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over” (Lk. 6:38 KJV). God delights to give, and reveals Himself as possessing both the ability and willingness to “do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Eph. 3:20). God is described as “the blessed God.” Consequently, all who bless Him in worship are blessed by Him.Luke’s gospel concludes in a very beautiful way. After describing the ascension of our Lord we read: “And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God” (Lk. 24:52-53). Notice the close connection between their worship of Christ, and the resultant great joy of their own hearts! The worship of God always results in the great joy of man.
The worshiping believer is a joyous believer, for joy comes through obedience. Christ said, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (Jn. 13:17). Worship enables the believer to know God better, and to appreciate Him more. And this knowledge causes God to become his “exceeding joy” (Ps. 43:4). He who fulfills God’s desire for worship, shall have his own desire for joy fulfilled. There is no joy so exquisite as that which comes from the contemplation of God, as He has revealed Himself in the Person of His beloved Son.
While the believer does not worship God in order to obtain this resultant joy, the fact remains that this “joy of the Lord” is but one of the many by-products of worship. Thus the adoration that ascends to God from the believer, to delight God’s heart, will be more than recompensed by the blessing descending from God to the believer, which will rejoice his heart. God’s definite promise is this: “Them that honor Me, I will honor” (1 Sam. 2:30).
Not only does worship minister joy to the worshiper, but it results in his soul’s satisfaction. This is the very opposite of self-satisfaction, which is the result of prideful occupation with oneself. This is exemplified in the Pharisee’s so-called prayer (Lk. 18:11-12). Worship occupies the soul with God, and the believer who spends time in the presence of God proves the truth of David’s statement: “They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house; and Thou shalt make them to drink of the river of Thy pleasures. For with Thee is the fountain of life: in Thy light shall we see light” (Ps. 36:8-9). The “broken cisterns” of this earth can never satisfy those who have experienced the regenerating grace of God. With hymn writer Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153) they can sing:
|“Jesus, Thou joy of loving hearts,
Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men;
From the best bliss that earth imparts,
We turn, unfilled, to Thee again.”
We might mention other blessings which the believer is caused to experience as a result of worshiping God; but enough has been written to prove that all those who bless God shall be blessed by God. He who from his heart exclaims – “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” – shall also prove with David, that: “Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest, and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple” (Ps. 103:1; 65:4).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A. P. Gibbs was born in England in 1890, and raised in South Africa. In 1919 he attended Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, Illinois. He devoted his life to preaching, teaching and writing to disciple young believers. This article is from his book, Worship, The Christian’s Highest Occupation, Walterick Printing Co., Fort Dodge, Iowa.
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org