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Worship

Whenever the subject of worship comes up I think of a number of things that are related to the worship of God. I have always thought of worship as more or less a formality of the Sunday morning worship service where God is elevated among my brothers and sisters in Christ. Most worship services have a set time to start and a precise time to send people home so the roast in the oven wonít become burnt offerings. Has corporate worship become a ritual because the order that the services are conducted the same way every week?

The majority of worship services begin with a greeting followed by four songs that are coordinated with the subject of the sermon.  This may be somewhat critical seeing as how men are accustomed to routine, but it also makes me wonder what does God think about this form of worship? Can you have sincere worship when your time devoted to exalting God takes place between Nine oíclock and Noon on Sunday Morning? Sunday morning is the time that Christians can express their true feelings of love and adoration for God among brothers and sisters without the fear of being ridiculed for his or her beliefs.

God grew tired of the blood of animals sacrificed for the sins of Israel, as sacrifices became a useless ritual. God called it a trampling of his courts because without a change of heart, the Israelites went back to their sin as soon as that ritual was completed. In my lifetime Iíve seen too many Christians that are devout in church, but not so reverent in their workplace. Too many Christians play politics with their religion and say what God wants to hear to get elected. The problem is that God will never accept what we say or do as righteousness before him. God is looking for worship that comes from the heart because the kind of worshipers the Father is seeking are those who worship him in spirit and in truth. Worship is more than what we do while in the church, because worship is a demonstration of our commitment and devotion to God.

Worship of God is a choice to honor God 24-7 and a devotion to God that every Christian needs to incorporate into their life. When we accept Jesus Christ as Lord our body becomes the temple of the living God. In your heart God has a front row seat to know the decisions you make and the reasons way you live like you do. The Lord examines the heart to know the truth because he knows that words are often deceptive. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. James 3:9.  How do we honor God when we speak so irreverently of our fellowman that Christians have been commanded to love?

God has instructed his children how to conduct their lives, but because of spiritual warfare you have to be both willing and determined to obey him. Listen to what Jesus said.

"Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." Matthew 26:41

Paul said what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do ó this I keep on doing. We know how to be godly, but we still have the rebellious spirit of the old man that refuses to die to sin. The new man reaches outward to meet the needs of others, but the selfishness of the old man is concerned over how he comes out in the end. What a vicious circle we fight and only God can rescue us from the grip of the old man?

Worship is a committed demonstration of our relationship to God that compels our service in obedience to God. This is not a total surrender of your will to God, but a choice you made to give the primary authority of your life to God. Like love, worship is a committed effort on your part to remain faithful to your promise to serve God the rest of your life. God gave man the right to become Godís son or daughter, but God will never become your father unless you have a sacred a respect for his authority and learn to obey him.   

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5

The basic requirements of worship are found in the royal command that demands adoration and devotion to an awesome God. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we entered into a covenant with God. The words - Love the Lord your God with all your and with all your soul and with all your strength Ė leaves nothing of your own. In this covenant everything of your entire being belongs to the Lord, at the same time everything God has is available to you.  Taking this serious, you could say that this covenant is an exchange of goods and services for what we obtain in return.

Worship calls for a devoted life to God of reverent submission and a dedication of our lives to conform and live in harmony with God. Jesus Christ was our example and he said this about his worship life.

The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him." John 8:29
There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say." John 12:48-50
Jesus addressed his father with respect or affection  "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, Matthew 6:9
Jesus adhered faithfully to his father while revealing Godís plan of Salvation. For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it John 12:49
Jesus gave his life as if by vow to a higher purpose: Then I said, "Here I am, I have come - it is written about me in the scroll.  I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart." Psalms 40:7-8
Jesus occupied himself to do Godís will: God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. Acts 10:38
Jesus set aside his life for a specific purpose: But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews 9:26

Paul writes

Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.   Romans 6:13-14
God is harsh on sin and those who have disobeyed him will know his wrath. Disobedience to God is sin, but God has chosen to have mercy on those who were disobedient in the past. Christís death on the cross paid the penalty of sin and established a covenant with man through the blood of Christ. When we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we entered into a covenant with God. Christians have been given a clean slate for the sins of the past are no more. This covenant with God will never be revoked for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. Romans 11:29.
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. Romans 12:1

Our body is the house of God that Jesus Christ is renovating into a temple where God can live by his spirit. Most of the changes God requires can not be done in our power and we have to remember that Jesus Christ is doing the work of renovation. Perhaps the greatest form of worship is to allow God to rebuild our lives into the image of Christ.   

 

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