Saturday, September 07, 2013

Lord Prepare Me to Worship

Lord Prepare Me – To Worship

Scripture: 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” (NIV).

On Sunday, we will gather once again to worship God.  

One of my biggest concerns in the area of worship is our limited definition. For many believers, worship is limited to the singing experience in a church service. After church we ask, “How did you enjoy the worship?” And what we generally mean is “What did you think of the music?” We judge the worship based on the talent of the lead singer and band, or whether or not we liked the song selection. However, if that is how we define worship, we will live our lives searching for the best show in town and never experience the whole of what God has for us. In fact, when the New Testament refers to worship, it refers to our daily living, not a set of songs cleverly put together.

Think about it. In Matthew 2:2, the wise men came to seek Baby Jesus, who was born King of the Jews. They said they came to “worship” him. What did they mean? Did they travel all of those miles to sing Jesus a hymn or chorus? No. They came to bow down before him, give him honor and bring him gifts to show their allegiance to Him and recognize Him as the future king.

Please understand, I believe that good music and singing are an important part of our gathering together. When we join in singing, it is a powerful expression of praise to God, declaring His goodness. Our commitment to him is found in the words we sing and it is a wonderful way to encourage others in the faith. To sing half-heartedly doesn't ignite anyone’s heart, but demonstrates lethargic living and a lack of trust.

HOWEVER… There is more…so much more.

One of the greatest definitions of worship ever laid down was by William Temple: "To worship is to quicken the conscience by the holiness of God, to feed the mind with the truth of God, to purge the imagination by the beauty of God, to open the heart to the love of God, to devote the will to the purpose of God."

Re-read that again, slowly. Let the words sink in and ask yourself, “Am I really worshipping God?”

When we gather to worship, we gather to give. We give glory to His name. We declare His goodness. We celebrate His love. We bring offerings for His work. We offer our spiritual gifts to His service.  

When we gather in worship, we also receive. We receive His grace, His healing and His strength. We experience His love, His peace and His forgiveness. We also join together with others to experience unity and demonstrate love.

Lord, prepare me to worship. As my spiritual act of worship, I give you my life; all that I am and ever hope to be. I bow my heart before you and recognize that you are the Lord of my life. In Jesus name, amen.

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