Back in the day, reports spread that fans of Elvis Presley worshiped him–the king of rock–as a god. Pockets of his worshipers would gather in places like New York, Colorado, and Indiana. They would raise their hands, spell out and then chant Elvis’ name, work themselves into fervor, and then pray to the dead music star. If you think that is sacrilegious, consider what God told ancient Israel about their worship. In Isaiah Chapter 1, we read, “‘What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?’ ” says the LORD. “ ‘I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony? When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Give up your evil ways. Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of the orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.’ ” God rejects our worship when we violate His righteous standards deliberately, then piously act as if we are holy. On the other hand, God delights in our worship when we humbly come to Him on the merits of Jesus Christ; when we admit our sins and ask Him to forgive us; and when we leave worship seeking to obey His will.
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