“Worship…with our lives”
Message bought 23 October 2016 by John MacDiarmid for Poole Christian Fellowship at Poole High School
Today we continue our series on the subject of worship, asking ourselves the question:
“How Can I Be the kind of worshipper that God seeks?”
Last week we saw that God is seeking worshippers who will worship Him in the Spirit and in truth – those who are Spirit led and bible shaped. Today we move onto consider the heart of worship – what is that we need to do worship God? The main thought today is that true worshippers are those who surrender their lives daily to Jesus.
The passage we look at is Romans 11v33-12v2:
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”
For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.
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. 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.
- The Reason for Worship
In the book of Romans Paul has been taking us through the whole sweep of theological truth surrounding our salvation. Starting with God’s wrath and judgement in Chapters 1 and 2, Paul shows God’s faithfulness to Jew and Gentile alike in providing a salvation that can be accessed by faith, finishing in chapter 11 with the hymn of praise above.
This shows us again that praise has to be built on truth. We worship God for who he is and for what he has done – and this is revealed to us in the truths that are available to us in Scripture.
Then Paul starts chapter 12 with that great word “Therefore….”
Here, on the basis of everything that God has done, we offer ourselves in worship to God.
- The Heart of worship
So what is this worship?
Paul is very clear: it is taking our lives and offering them completely to God. We withhold nothing. Just as a sacrifice is totally given to God, so our lives are offered to God. This is God’s definition of the worship that we are to offer Him. No more and no less than utter surrender to Jesus in every area of our lives.
- The Reality of Worship
This is easy enough to say – but not easy to put into practice.
The rest of Romans tells us how to do it. We are given practical help on how to live the Christian life, how to live as a worshipper of God. And for Paul it all starts in the mind, as we surrender our minds to God, allowing Him to shape our minds so that we think God-thoughts, not thoughts that come from our culture.
- The Challenge of Worship
So, we have seen so far in the series that God intends us to worship Him in a way that is led by the Spirit of God, informed by the word of God, by surrendering our lives to Him. What a challenge!
We need to take heed of John’s warning at the end of this first letter when he says: “Dear children, keep yourselves from idols” ((1 John 5v21). Idols are anything that comes in the way of our worship of God – they can even be good things that God has given to bless us!
God delivered his people out of Egypt in order to teach them to worship Him. When they failed to do so, they did not enter the land When they did so, they entered the land. When they slipped back into idolatry, they forfeited the land.
We want to be like those described by Paul who to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
There are some great scriptural examples of this
- David: “I say to the Lord: “You are my Lord, apart from you I have no good thing” ” (Psalm 16v2)
- Asaph: “Whom have I in heaven but you. And earth has nothing I desire besides you” (Psalm 73v25)
Paul: “I consider everything a loss compared with the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things” (Philippians 3v8)
May we be that type of worshipper.