Henry C. Spence

Mr. Henry C. Spence resides in Bournemouth, England. This is his third article to appear in Focus, and we are grateful for his brief comments centering on the soul’s highest occupation.

Worship is the highest occupation of the soul and should have the first place in our hearts and lives.

When Mary of Bethany at the supper took the alabaster box of ointment of spikenard, very precious, and “very costly,” she broke it, anointed the feet of the Lord Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair, the house having become filled with the odor of the ointment (John 12:3-4). Here was the true worship of a devoted lover of the Lord, and in turn the Lord deeply valued this sacrificial act of devotion.

In John 4 we are reminded of another woman, an outcast, who was found at Sychar’s well. The Lord Jesus had graciously revealed to her, the secrets of her heart and of her deep need of His saving power. Upon what must have been a rather startling revelation to her, the woman changed the subject and spoke to Christ about the place of worship (v.20). To this the Lord replied: “Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what. We know what we worship; for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (vv. 21-24). True worship must be worship in spirit and in truth; it must be worship from the heart and in accord with God’s Word, not mere outward conformity to some ritual.

While many are taken up with a place as a city or a mountain, may our souls be absorbed with the Lord Jesus Himself, and our hearts overflowing with humble thanksgiving and adoration. The only place of worship is inside the veil within the holiest of all; we rest upon our Lord’s finished work on the cross and by Him, our Sacrifice and Priest, we enter through the veil.

In our gathering together with others of like mind and faith, we are assured of the Lord’s precious promise in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Truly the most hallowed hour on earth is on the Lord’s Day when the memories of our Lord’s death are spread before us and we are occupied alone with Him in true worship, deepest reverence, and godly fear (see 1 Peter 2:5). Our Lord Jesus, by virtue of His precious blood, has entered into the holy place as our great High Priest, now to appear in the presence of God for us, as Minister in the sanctuary (see Hebrews 8:1-2; 9:24).

As purged worshippers we may “enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated (lit. dedicated) for us, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh, and having an high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19-22).

As the Lamb in the midst of the throne, the Lord of glory will be the object of the homage and worship of the ransomed Church. May our contemplation of Him ever lead our hearts to truly worship Him, “for He is thy Lord, and worship thou Him” (Psalm 45:11).

No power have we to praise
Thy Name, O God of love,
Unless Thy Spirit raise our thoughts and hearts above,
His grace avails in all our need,
May He our priestly worship lead. Amen.