Sports Spectrum Weekly

Daily Devotional: Tuesday, August 2 - Worship & Praise

“Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.” — John 4:23

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Worship and praise are often mentioned in the same breath. Although they are closely related, they are not the same. Worship means to bow down in submission and reverence to the Lord as you acknowledge His sovereignty, power, amazing grace and mercy. To praise means to make a show, to rave, to celebrate. It is an outward demonstration of an inward reality.

Practically speaking, you can’t have one without the other. When our favorite player on our favorite team hits a game-winning shot at the buzzer, we can’t help but leap to our feet and cheer wildly, because we are so deeply appreciative of such a clutch performance.

It’s the same with worship of the Lord. As we bow before our Savior and acknowledge who He is and recount what He has done, it is our worship that wells up and explodes into a celebration of praise.

That’s why Jesus insisted that “true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth.” He is not referring to His Holy Spirit, but our inner spirit. It is from the inner recesses of our hearts where we consciously, intentionally and intelligently rehearse the greatness and goodness of our God. True worship is not driven by religious rituals, but by an inner heart of humility and gratitude. The deeper your worship, the higher your praise!

— Jerry Birch, Cleveland Cavaliers chaplain

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