It’s Time …To Intimately Worship God Openly
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. – Romans 12:1
“this is your true and proper worship”, what is the Apostle Paul referring to? “Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God…” What is Paul getting at?
As a child growing up and going to church regularly, I would often hear the term “worship”. Hymns, scriptures, choruses would reference worship and instruct us to worship God. People would argue about worship and what was appropriate, leaving me with the impression that worship was only for Sunday morning. But my understanding was shallow. Over time, I have come to understand that worship is not the song a choir or band sings. Worship is not the amount you placed in the offering bag. And worship is not volunteering to be a Sunday school teacher or a youth leader. While all good things, these would be considered acts of worship or expressions of worship, but they don’t define what true worship really is.
For the past few months we have been introducing themes in The Recorder that present the characteristics of a follower of Jesus Christ. We started with getting to KNOW God and make Him KNOWN. Next was to Pray DILIGENTLY tapping into the power of God. These are foundational in our faith journey. As we come to a greater knowledge of God, we come to a greater understanding of His greatness, His love, His Justice, His grace, His mercy.
We worship God, because He is God. PERIOD.
True worship is defined by the priority we place on who God is in our lives, and where God is on our list of priorities.
True worship is communion with God in which believers, by grace, centre their minds’ attention and hearts’ affection on the Lord, humbly glorifying God in response to His greatness and word.
True worship depends on a right understanding and heart-grasp of God’s supreme value. An understanding of God’s nature and valuing of God’s worth.
True worship is a matter of the heart.
Psalm 96:13 “Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.”
When we offer our true worship to God, we are inviting Him to inspect our hearts for anything that is not like Him. This is the promise of worship: we can be transformed into God’s likeness because He will reveal the truth about the condition of our hearts.
As God works in our lives, as He develops a heart of worship within us, that heart-change works out to the more public expressions of worship and daily acts of love. (Take a look at Bill Enns’s testimony)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
Are you being transformed, a living sacrifice? I can’t do it on my own, I must be surrendered. Not my will … HIS. It begins with prayer; to focus “my minds’ attention and hearts’ affection on the Lord”. Almost everything in our society works against this focus. We are inundated with a constant stream of distractions vying for our minds’ attention and our hearts’ affection. We live in a fast pace society and, like many of you; I have a to-do list as long as my arm and a schedule and responsibilities that keeps my mind spinning constantly. But as followers of Jesus, we are called to worship Him, to awaken the affections of our heart and have them focused on God.
We worship God INTIMATELY when we know Him and treasure Him. It can’t help but become OPENLY visible to the world!
Hebrews 13:15 to 16 says, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
When I read Paul’s letters, it is evident that he lived a life of worship 24/7! He implores us to do likewise. With our mouth we offer praise to our God, and with our mouth we make Him known. With our body –
our hands and feet, we worship through acts of love that show the supreme value of God by what we are willing to sacrifice for the good of others.
Romans 12:1: “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.” So all of our bodily life done in love for others and in reliance upon God display the worth of God above all things and make us worshipers in our daily life.
How is God at work in your life? Are you seeking to know God? Is the change He is working in your life, causing your heart, mind and will to align with His? As God works in our lives, as He develops a heart of worship within us, that heart-change works out to the more public expressions of worship and daily acts of love. It overflows and we become worshippers 24/7. It changes how we give, it changes how we serve, and it changes how we praise and worship our Savior in word, in song and in prayer.
John 4:23-24 “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”
Let us be bold in our true worship … It’s time … To intimately Worship God OPENLY … 24/7