Thanksgiving to God
Thanksgiving to God
John Wesley was about 21 years of age when he went to Oxford University. He came from a Christian, home, and he was gifted with a keen mind and good looks. Yet in those days he was a bit snobbish and sarcastic.
One night, however, something happened that set in motion a change in Wesley’s heart. While speaking with a porter, he discovered that the poor fellow had only one coat and lived in such impoverished conditions that he didn’t’ even have a bed. Yet he was an unusually happy person, filled with gratitude to God. Wesley, being immature, thoughtlessly joked about the man’s misfortunes. “And what else do you thank God for?” he said with a touch of sarcasm.
The porter smiled, and in the spirit of meekness replied with joy: “I thank Him that He has given me my life and being, a heart to love Him, and above all a constant desire to serve Him!” Deeply moved, Wesley recognised that this man knew the meaning of true thankfulness.
Many years later, in 1791, John Wesley lay on his deathbed at the age of 88. Those who gathered around him realised how well he had learned the lesson of praising God in every circumstance. Despite Wesley’s extreme weakness, he began singing the hymn, “I’ll praise My Maker While I’ve Breath.”
MINISTER’S REFLECTION ON WORSHIP
Why does the church usually gather on Sunday mornings and evenings? The Westminster Confession of Faith teaches that we assemble in order to conduct religious worship. (WCF 21).
It is usual in Presbyterian circles to refer to what we do as the public worship of the church. Worship is an interesting word. It comes from an Old english word, weorth, meaning ‘worth’ In its earliest form, weorthscipe (worth-ship) meant showing honour and respect to something or someone of worth. It is a very good translation for biblicall worship. According to the scriptures we worship God because He is worth to be praised and served. Th Lord Jesus, in His discourse with the Samaritan woman, stated that God is seeking those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23).
At the very heart of true worship is the right attitude toward God. In one of the first uses of the Hebrew word worship (shachah) found in the O.T. Abraham’s servant bow3ed before the LORD God of Israel and worshipped Him for answering his prayer. Abraham’s servant had prayer for God’s guidance in seeking a wife for Isaac (Gen. 24). His worship was a spontaneous act obeisance to the Almighty God.
True worship requires a saving relationship with God and necessitates a heart that is truly grateful to Him for all His mercies. Why do Christians assembly on the Lord’s Day and on other religious occasions? They do so to worship and glorify God and also to be encouraged and built up in their Christian faith. According to the Apostle Paul one of the main purposes of regularly meeting in the church assembly is so that one might be edified. See 1Cor.14).
When we come to worship we should worship the triune God and give Him all the praise and glory. The singing of Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs is among the important elements of worship, along with prayer, Bible Reading, preaching and the sacraments. I am pleased that we now have a new hymnal that will provide a wider range of Christian hymns for the worship of God and by which we may be encouraged and built up in our faith. Rev. Paul Seiler