What is Worship.
Lately the One Need team has been discussing the word “worship”. As Christians we have used this word synonymously in church with music and/or the preparation before a message on Sunday morning. Although worshiping God with music is a valid form of expressing our adoration toward God and is most definitely a form of worship, I believe the Word tells us that worship is much deeper.
Let’s take a look at Romans 12:1-8:
1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, 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.
2 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.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith;
7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;
8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
In verse 1, we see that our proper and true act of worship is to present our body a living sacrifice. I’ve heard this a lot in church, but, to be honest, I always felt that the interpretation of "being a living sacrifice" could be a little too subjective. However if we read the context of this verse we get a much better picture. First off, the first word is "Therefore". I was always told "when there is a 'Therefore' ask yourself what is it 'there for'"... a little cheesy, but very effective. If we read the end of Chapter 11, we see that Paul speaks about God's relationship to Israel. He speaks of how they continued in disobedience and they had to become cut off, but His promise to them as a nation will bring them back to Him and allow them to be grafted back in if they do not persist in their unbelief and it will be easier for them. However, the next part is important, as Gentiles we are not of the same promise as Israel... so "THEREFORE present your bodies a living sacrifice!". Paul is speaking of obedience. Our living sacrifice needs to being continually in obedience. In verse 2, we are told of this “how” - be humble, have sober judgement according to the faith God has given to you.
In verses 3 - 8 we are given some real things to grab onto and practice. I don’t know about you, but this was a great revelation for me. We are told that we all have different gifts based on the body of Christ and the measure of faith we are given. If we are good at being servants, we serve; if we are good at teaching, we teach; if we are encouragers, then we give encouragement; if we are generous, then give generously; if we are leaders, we lead diligently; if we are merciful, we show it cheerfully!
So what lesson can we take from this? How can we present ourselves as living sacrifices? We must know what we are gifted at and do it! Spend some time this week finding what you are gifted at so that you can worship true and properly and continue in obedience. Ask your church leaders and friends to help affirm your gifts and then obediently follow Christ and serve the body with your gifts!