Imitate Jesus—Render Acceptable Worship to God
God lovingly invites people “out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues” to worship him. (Rev. 7:9, 10; 15:3, 4) Those who accept this invitation can “behold the pleasantness of Jehovah.” (Ps. 27:4; 90:17) Like the psalmist, they raise their voices in praise to God, saying: “Let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker.”—Ps. 95:6.
Highly Valued Worship
As God’s only-begotten Son, Jesus had ample opportunity to learn his Father’s thinking, principles, and standards. Thus, Jesus could confidently point the way to true worship. He said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”—John 1:14; 14:6.
Jesus set the perfect example of humble submission to his Father. He said: “I do nothing of my own initiative; but just as the Father taught me I speak these things.” Then he added: “I always do the things pleasing to him.” (John 8:28, 29) In what ways did Jesus please his Father?
For one thing, Jesus was fully devoted to his Father, and that is the essence of what it means to worship God. Jesus demonstrated a personal attachment to his Father by being obedient to Him, doing His will, even when it involved great personal hardship. (Phil. 2:7, 8) An important aspect of Jesus’ worship was his engaging regularly in the disciple-making work, to the point that he was called Teacher by both believers and unbelievers. (Matt. 22:23, 24; John 3:2) Moreover, Jesus expended himself in behalf of others. His self-sacrificing spirit left him little time for himself, but he was happy to minister to others. (Matt. 14:13, 14; 20:28) Despite being busy, Jesus always made time to speak to his heavenly Father in prayer. (Luke 6:12) How priceless Jesus’ worship was to God!
The Struggle to Please God Well
Jehovah took note of his Son’s conduct and expressed His approval. (Matt. 17:5) However, Satan the Devil also noticed Jesus’ faithful life course. Thus, Jesus became a special target of Satan. Why? Because no human had yet maintained complete obedience to God, thereby worshipping him fully. And the Devil wanted to stop Jesus from rendering the worship that Jehovah so rightly deserved.—Rev. 4:11.
In an effort to corrupt Jesus, Satan approached him with a tempting offer. He took Jesus to “an unusually high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory.” Then he said: “All these things I will give you if you fall down and do an act of worship to me.” How did Jesus react? He said: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” (Matt. 4:8-10) Yes, Jesus recognized that it would be an idolatrous act to bow down to Satan no matter what the benefit might seem to be. He was unwilling to render even one act of worship to anyone other than Jehovah.
In our case, Satan may not offer us all the kingdoms of the world and their glory in exchange for our worship. But he is still trying to disrupt the worship that sincere Christians render to God. The Devil wants us to worship someone or something else.—2 Cor. 4:4.
Christ Jesus proved himself faithful even to death. By maintaining his integrity to God, Jesus glorified Jehovah in a way that no other human had. As for true Christians today, we strive to follow Jesus’ faithful life course by putting our worship of the Creator above all else. Indeed, a good relationship with God is our most precious possession.
Blessings From Rendering Acceptable Worship
Promoting “the form of worship that is clean and undefiled” from God’s standpoint brings many blessings. (Jas. 1:27) For example, we live at a time when more and more people are “lovers of themselves, lovers of money, self-assuming,” and “without love of goodness.” (2 Tim. 3:1-5) Within God’s household, however, we have the privilege of associating with a clean, wholesome people who strive to uphold God’s standards for worshipping him. Is that not a source of refreshment?
By remaining undefiled by this world, we have the added blessing of a clean conscience. We want to maintain a clean conscience by submitting to God’s righteous principles and by obeying those of Caesar’s laws that are not out of harmony with God’s laws.—Mark 12:17; Acts 5:27-29.
Whole-souled worship brings blessings of another sort. When we focus on doing God’s will rather than our own, our life becomes meaningful and satisfying. Instead of saying: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die,” we have the reliable hope of everlasting life in a paradise on earth.—1 Cor. 15:32.
The book of Revelation points to a time when those who maintain a clean standing before Jehovah will “come out of the great tribulation.” The account says that “the One seated on the throne will spread his tent over them.” (Rev. 7:13-15) That one seated upon the throne is none other than Jehovah God, the most glorious Person in the universe. Try to imagine what a joy it will be when he welcomes you as a guest in his tent, supplying you with his protective care so that no harm will befall you! And to a certain extent, we can enjoy his protection and care even now.
Moreover, all who render worship acceptable to God are described as being guided to “fountains of waters of life.” These refreshing fountains represent all the provisions that Jehovah makes for our gaining everlasting life. Yes, by means of Christ’s ransom, “God will wipe out every tear from their eyes.” (Rev. 7:17) Mankind will be lifted to perfection, bringing untold joy to those having the prospect of living forever on earth. Even now, happy worshippers of God cry out joyfully, expressing their heartfelt appreciation to Jehovah and worshipping him along with those in heaven who sing: “Great and wonderful are your works, Jehovah God, the Almighty. Righteous and true are your ways, King of eternity. Who will not really fear you, Jehovah, and glorify your name, because you alone are loyal? For all the nations will come and worship before you, because your righteous decrees have been made manifest.”—Rev. 15:3, 4.
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What is Satan offering us in exchange for our worship?