Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to
God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name (Heb. 13:15).
It is deeply important that the Christian reader should understand the
true character of the worship God looks for, and in which He delights. God delights in
Christ; and hence it should be our constant aim to present Him to God. Christ should ever
be the material of our worship, and He will be, in proportion as we are led by the Holy
Spirit. How often, alas! it is otherwise with us the heart can tell. Both in the assembly
and in the closet, how often is the tone low, and the spirit dull and heavy! We are
occupied with self instead of with Christ; and the Holy Spirit instead of being free to do
His own proper work - which is to take of the things of Christ and show them unto
us—is obliged to occupy us with ourselves, in self–judgment, because our ways
have not been right.
All this is deeply deplored. It demands our serious attention, both as
assemblies and as individuals, in our public reunions and in our private devotions. Why is
the tone of our public meetings frequently so low? Why such feebleness, such barrenness,
such wandering? Why are the hymns and prayers so often wide of the true mark? Why is there
so little that really deserves the name of worship? Why is there so little in our midst to
refresh the heart of God?—so little that He can speak of as "My bread for my
sacrifices made by fire, for a sweet savour unto me?" (Lev. 6:15) We are occupied
with self and its surroundings—our wants, our weakness, our trials, our difficulties;
and leave God without the bread of His sacrifice. We actually rob Him of His due, and of
that which His loving heart desires.