THE NATURE OF WORSHIP
Sunday, October 29, 2017
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"… I urge you, brothers and sisters, 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." Romans 12:1

Over the years, the meaning of the word “worship” has become very limited. We tend to think of it as a gathering of Christians engaged in a corporate act of worship, mostly in church. Even more limiting is associating worship with the musical part of the service, but when the Bible speaks of worship, it includes the whole of our Christian lives lived daily in spirit and in truth.

Scripture speaks of at least five different ways to worship God. Firstly, we worship God with our words. Hebrews 13:15 says, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of our lips that confess his name." Singing is also one of the best ways to express our praise as it connects with our emotions. Secondly, we worship God with our works. "And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased" (Hebrews 13:16). Whenever we are helping others, whether we are saved or not, these good works are described in Acts 10:4 as “a memorial offering before God” or as a “sweet-smelling savour”.

The third way we worship is by our availability to God. As in the opening verse, this is a day-to- day offering of ourselves as a living sacrifice to God for His purposes. It is dying to ourselves and living for Christ. Fourthly, God is worshiped in our giving. Writing to the Philippians after they had sent him a generous gift, Paul says, "They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God" (Philippians 4:18). The first time worship occurs in the New Testament is in Matthew 2:11 when the magi paid homage to the baby Jesus, bowing down to worship Him, and presenting their gifts. Our giving is a means of worshiping God.

The fifth way to worship God may be an unsuspecting one, but we also worship God in our dying. Paul writes, "For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near" (2 Timothy 4:6). While Stephen, the first martyr to die for Christ, was being stoned, he prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (Acts 7:59). At the moment of Jesus dying, He said, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46). Even death is an act of worship when surrendering our spirits to Jesus.

There are no impositions to worship of God except that which the heart and the spirit demand of us out of our love for God. Other than that, no restrictions apply except the parameters of truth.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, Help me to live a holy life in which every day is an expression of my worship of You. Thank You, Lord.


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