For most of the 20th century, the African country of Uganda experienced revival. Church leaders like Festo Kivengere led God’s people to practice transparent relationships. They urged believers to be open not only before God, but to seek immediate reconciliation when conflicts arose. This transparent lifestyle caused many unbelievers to embrace Christianity. Some believe this is why today nearly 50% of Africa professes faith in Christ. Putting things right with our brothers and sisters is what Jesus taught. We read in Matthew 5 where Jesus said, “If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple, and suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice.” God rejects empty worship. So when we gather to worship, we should make sure our hearts are right with God, and that we are reconciled with others. Otherwise, our worship is hollow. The Prophet Amos likewise criticized empty worship. God said through him (Amos 5:23), “Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.” Now we will never have perfect praise because we are human. Still, God calls us to worship Him genuinely, in Spirit and in truth.
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