Most of the time when I hear a reference to God’s people worshiping it is connected with a worship service. It seems that for many people worship is about singing. I was reminded this past week that worship, for the follower of Christ, is about a lot more than just singing.
It has been a wonderfully busy summer for me. I ended the month of July with our Annual Cleat Soccer Camp. The next several weeks were spent helping our son-in-law and daughter and twin grandsons relocate to the Detroit area. It was also a good time to visit with family- our son, my parents and siblings. We returned only to gear up for a week of Missions Fest ministering at Heritage Baptist Hispanic church in Quincy. It was another incredible and busy week. It was during our devotional time reflecting on Hebrews 12 that I was reminded that worship is about more than singing. It is all about the choices that we make each day.
The first day in our devotional time I had everyone read Romans chapter 12. Then I had them focus on the meaning of verse 1-2. The opening verses call us to offer our lives as a living sacrifice because of God’s grace and mercy toward us. So, we talked about what it meant to be a sacrifice. How it meant that we give up something of value. The Old Testament sacrifices could include a choice animal from one’s herd. I joked with the students what it would be like to bring their Xbox as a sacrifice and then to watch as the priests smash it with a hammer. The point being, worship costs us. And true worship is not easy. We then began a discussion on what it meant to offer our bodies as living sacrifices. Over the next several days we explored the rest of Romans 12 that provides examples of how we are to worship God.
True worship only happens when we begin to do the opposite of what we would normally do. It involves reprogramming the way that we think. It involves having a right view of ourselves. All too often we get into the trap of comparing ourselves to others rather that seeing ourselves as God sees us. It involves understanding that we have strengths and weaknesses, no one is perfect. We need to grasp that God calls us to use our strengths to help others. We are called to be authentic in our relationship with others, not fake. We are also reminded that God says it is necessary to hate evil. We are to put others first and attempt to outdo them by treating them better than they treat us. We are reminded that true worship happens when we hold onto God’s promises, when we are patient when facing times of difficulty and it happens when we talk to God in prayer. We also learned that we are worshiping when we chose not to get even with those that have wronged us.
I want you stop and think about that list above. All these biblical actions and reactions require sacrifice on the follower of Christ’s part. They call us to do the opposite of what we would normally do. What stood out to me was when we make those God honoring choices we are truly worshiping!