Q. 1. What is the chief and highest end of man?
A. Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.This is the ultimate purpose for our lives. God created human beings to glorify him and fully enjoy him forever.
If I were to define worship in three words, I'd say it is "giving God glory." If I could use more words, I'd add that it is also "enjoying God for who He is." When we worship God, then, we are fulfilling our ultimate purpose, because we are glorifying and enjoying him.
(Incidentally, travelling thought-wise in the opposite direction, we could say that when we glorify God in our thoughts and activities—and there is potential to glorify God in every single thing we do (1 Corinthians 10:31)—we are worshipping him. This is why, as Kim reminded us in the previous post, worship "is about our whole life." Every thought and action can be an act of worship if it is done to honor God.)
We can think of corporate worship (the worship we do when we gather with other believers in the church) as glorifying and enjoying God together as the assembled body of Christ. If our worship is genuine, then, its purpose is to glorify God—and not ourselves. True worship focuses on God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and no one else, and seeks first to please him, and not ourselves or others. True worshippers ask "How does God want us, his church, to worship?" not, "How do we want to worship?"
In genuine corporate worship, we delight in God together. As a body, we gaze upon his beauty (Psalm 27:4). We may enjoy the music, the sermon, the others who join us in worship, but primarily, we enjoy seeing and knowing God as his gathered church.
And true worship is forever. It carries on into eternity, where the four living creatures "never cease to say,
who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8 ESV)The company of eternal worshippers will include you and me, too, fulfilling our chief and highest end by glorifying God and fully enjoying him forever, saying for all eternity,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb