Passage: John 4:19-26 & Romans 12:1-2
Mark 12:29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling
We need Worship
Is there a danger that we have labelled certain activities “worship” and therefore put worship in a box and that this has stopped us from seeing the splendour and wonder of living lives of true worship?
- The Reality of Worship
Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. 9 “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’’”
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
The reality is that we all worship something; within and around us there is a worship war. Satan doesn’t want us to worship God but him; his desire is to distract us, turning our eyes away from God and away from responding to God with worship.
Timothy Keller – “You don’t get to decide to worship. Everyone worships something. The only choice you get is what to worship.”
Everyone has to live for something, and if that something is not God, then we are driven by that thing we live for – by overwork to achieve it, by inordinate fear if it is threatened, deep anger if it is being blocked, and inconsolable despair if it is lost.
So, the novelist David Foster Wallace, not long before his suicide, spoke these words to the 2005 graduating class at Kenyon College:Tim Keller, Center Church: Doing Balanced, Gospel-Centered Ministry in Your City (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012), 34
“Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship…is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough…Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you…Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is…they’re unconscious. They are default settings.”
We all need to ask ourselves, What do you Worship?
Matthew 19 (The Rich Young Man) 16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life ?” 17 “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man inquired. Jesus replied, “ ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, 19 honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’’” 20 “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
The young name worshipped his wealth. Note that he was able to do the ‘for others’ section of the commandment but sadly, because of his idol of wealth, he couldn’t put God first.
As we go to do anything we should ask ourselves the question, what am I worshipping?
These questions may help:
- What am I chasing after?
- What am I we falling down before?
- Where are my thoughts mostly centred?
- When things are difficult, do I run to distraction or to prayer and God?
- When things are going well, do I tell others about what I have done or run to God and thank him?
If what we are doing is not pointing to God and glorifying him are we worshipping the right thing?
To worship is to focus on God.
Yes, we are to praise God! Yes, we are to thank him for everything he has done for us. Yes, we are to ask him about every part of our lives. But we must not confuse praising God with worshipping God. There is a difference. Praise is about us – our response to what God has done for us. Worship is about God – all adoration, adulation, awe, devotion, homage, honour, reverence, and wonder for who God is and what he has done.Vernie Schorr Love, Sprirtual Disciplines for Children
As we seek to live as disciples everything will not fall into place until we have the worship element right.
We are here to be worshippers first and workers only second. We take that convert and immediately make a worker of him. God never meant it to be soon. He meant that a convert should learn to be a worshipper, and after that he can learn to be a worker. The work done by a worshipper will have eternity in it.A. W. Tozer
Our Become series has been designed to help us put habits in place that will help us to become more like Jesus. Consider how the habits help us to be worshippers who love God and others.
Have we put worship into a box or allow it to be all of our lives?
For example, we worship God as we:
- use our spiritual gifts
- are fathers/mothers, husbands/wives, friends
We do this because we realise that God is within us, through the Holy Spirit, there is never a moment we are apart from him, therefore we worship him always.
May we seek to fulfil these verses:
Romans 12:1 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. 2 Do not conform any longer 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.
What have I found interesting?
What has challenged my life, attitudes and actions?
How would this habit help me to become more like Jesus?
How would this habit help me to introduce others to Jesus?
What practical steps do I need to take to incorporate this habit into my life?
Is there there anything I need to pray about, explore further or extra help I need?
Is there someone I should to share with, pray with or encourage