ESV Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
In last month’s Pastor’s Heart, we began talking about worship. The essence of worship is summarized in 1 Chronicles 16:29a “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name…” When we worship, we offer something to God that He is worthy of and delights in.
I often emphasize the priority of Sunday morning worship, because too often Christians start to think ignobly about this special time. For example, many drift into seeing it as entertainment. After all, there is a lot of sitting and watching and listening. That has similarities to theater or television. Some assume the priority is learning. “If I haven’t learned something new – what’s the point?” Or, for others, the priority is social – seeing friends and family. For some, it is just a healthy part of their weekly routine. For those reasons, I emphasize that fundamentally and primarily people should go to church to worship Jesus. To “ascribe to Him the glory due His name…” and to offer something that He delights in and is worthy of. All the features of our service at Calvary should have this singular goal in mind.
Sunday is a distinctly special time because we are together as a unified local body of believers. Our service features reflect what is prescribed in the New Testament: to preach and hear the word (2 Tim. 4:2-3), to offer up a corporate sacrifices of praise (Heb. 13:15), to pray together (1 Tim. 2:1-4), to give together (Phil. 4:18), to observe the Lord’s ordinances together (1 Cor. 11:25-26; Matt. 28:19), and to greet and fellowship together (Rom. 12:15-16; 2 Cor. 13:11-12). These things should be done as a corporate gathering, and not routinely alone or in private.
In addition, I also want to be clear that worship on Sunday is not the only time we worship as Christians. In fact, Scripture calls for our whole life to be one offered up to God. This is the key truth of Romans 12:1. It is preceded by how much the Law of God regulated a worshipful life in Israel. He gave them Laws for what to wear, what to eat, national holidays, a weekly schedule, for harvesting, working, cleaning, and neighborly relationships, etc. Ideally, every Israelite’s life was conducted before God and unto God as “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Exod. 19:6).
How much more should our lives be, as those indwelt by His Spirit? How much more, by those who have been born again, and fully redeemed by the blood of Christ. As Paul says here, we’re to present our bodies – our time, talents, tongues, muscles, minds and schedules to God as living sacrifices. This means a continual offering to God of ourselves. The attitude is, “God, here I am…use me for Your glory!” Paul says it another way, 1 Corinthians 10:31 31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Please take some time this week to reflect on your worship. Ask, “How can I best contribute on Sunday, as a body member, to exalting Jesus?” Also, ask, “How is my individual worship during the rest of the week? Does my attitude and performance at work bring glory to God? Does my leisure time honor Him? Is my secret time with God a priority, and is it fueling my public ministry to others?” Let’s be worshipers through and through.
Thanks! See you Sunday,