When you think of worship, what comes to your mind? Is it singing choruses at church or at camp? Is it something you do during Morning Watch (devotions)? I Googled the word “worship” and went to the site that was listed second. On the home page was the following description of worship.
“Worship: everything you think, everything you say and everything you do, revealing that which you treasure and value most in life.”
Romans 12:1 says, Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”
Obviously worship is more than just singing choruses or hymns at church or camp. Let’s look a little closer at this passage and see what it teaches us about worship.
First, worship should flow from our understanding of who God is and what He has done. He is merciful. That means that he does not deal with us in the way we really deserve. Psalm 103:10, 11 says, “He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.” God loves us and is patient with us. Though He desires for us to live lives that please Him, He doesn’t just zap us when we mess up. Instead, He mercifully offers His forgiveness to us. That should motivate us to worship Him.
Second, we have something that God wants us to give back to Him. That something is our bodies (our lives). In Old Testament times, one way God’s people worshiped Him was to sacrifice an animal. That involved killing and burning it. An animal could only be offered once, because after that, it was dead and gone. God wants us to offer our bodies in service to Him as “living sacrifices”. As living sacrifices, we don’t have to literally die, but we die to self and live for God. That means that you and I are no longer number 1; God is! He and His plans comes first. We quit living to please ourselves and live to please Him. That is worship!
Third, when we become a living sacrifice, “everything we think, everything we say and everything we do” is worshiping God.
Fourth, the problem is, that a living sacrifice can crawl off the alter. That is, we can slip back into living for ourselves instead of for God. We need to do some regular check-ups to see if we have crawled off the alter and are living our lives to serve ourselves instead of God. When we find that is the case, we need to repent and climb back on the alter (renew our commitment to living our life in service to God.)
Remember, the way you live is going to reveal what you treasure and value most in your heart and whom you are serving.