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January 12 – Repent of wrong worship

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” – Psalm 50:23 

Scripture reading: Psalm 50:1-23

This psalm confronts two worship problems in the Christian church today. First, it exposes worshippers who only go through the motions out of habit – not as joyful service to the King. During the sermon and songs, they doodle and daydream. Is that you … mindlessly religious, but not relating to God?

God condemns careless worshippers. He calls His court to order (read 50:1-6). The heavens and earth serve as witnesses (4,6). Then come the charges: religious ritual (read 50:7-13) without relying on God (read 50:14-15). A thankful heart realizes, “God, you keep me alive!” True humility whispers desperately, “God, I need you in today’s trouble!” That’s how God gets the glory when He brings us through the day. Therefore, stop going through the motions. Be authentic. Be thankful.

The church’s second problem is worship that serves as a cover for crime (read 50:16-20). These worshippers pray on Sunday to disguise their business lies. Adoration hides their appetite for adultery. They glorify God to cover their slander in the family. When confronted, they get angry (17). Do you fake worship? Is church your smoke screen for evil? God arrests them too and charges them with forgetting God. He threatens to rip them apart. (Read 50:21-22.

Yet, God extends the same grace to wicked worshippers as He does to the careless ones. He calls them to thankful worship and right living and promises to show them salvation (Read 50:23,14-5). Tomorrow’s psalm demonstrates how to repent and receive salvation in Jesus Christ.

Suggestions for prayer

Confess your worship sins – thoughtless motions and deliberate deception. Sincerely beg God to rescue you from wrong worship. Ask for forgiveness in Jesus Christ.

 Rev. Ken Anema currently serves as an instructor for Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary which is a prison discipleship ministry structured as a school. Prior to that, he pastored the Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church in Holland, MI (1993-2014) after graduating from Mid-America Reformed Seminary. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at  

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