The concept of worship has changed much over the centuries from what it originally meant to what it is thought to mean today. Our modern English concept of worship is more akin to praise. We say we are having a worship service, but really it is a praise service.
The origin of worship is so ancient that our modern minds just can’t truly wrap around it fully. It involves much more than just words or song. It’s more about what you DO than what you SAY. Our lives can either be worship to our God, or worship to the god of this world.
This brings into the discussion the concept of works (good deeds, etc), but don’t get me wrong. Salvation is by Grace through Faith, not by works, so that no man can boast. What we do is good deeds (blessing people), we do our due service to the King (ministers ministering, both to the Lord and to His people), and we do that which we know is right in the light of God’s Word. This is the ancient concept of worship, and it still applies today.
To dig a little deeper, in our English translations of the Bible we find that the word worship is translated from three different Hebrew words and seven different Greek words. What does this mean? Simply put, our English word worship and the concept behind it is not very exact. It is not unlike our concept of love. We say I love fish, but we don’t mean we agape love that fish, but rather we mean we like it as a food. We say, I love so-and-so, but what we really mean is we like them. We don’t often use the word love in its true essence, that of agape, but when we do it is the context of when and how the word is being used that we can extrapolate the intended meaning. Even then, we get the meaning of the word love wrong often. Likewise, the word worship is so much of a catch-all concept that we really don’t understand true biblical worship.
Biblical worship is what you do because of whom you serve. Biblical praise is what you say, confess, profess because of whom you serve and what you have seen, received, or have been blessed with. Notice the difference: worship is not based on anything we get or receive, rather we worship because He IS, not because of anything He has done. We worship God because He is God.