Living a Life of Worship
Another Easter Season has come and gone but the message of the resurrection abides forever. Mark records these words of Jesus: “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” [Mark 10:45, ESV].
Those words the entire mission, ministry, and purpose of the Incarnation, God becoming man, His death, resurrection, and ascension are summarized for us. Jesus came to earth, God became man. He lived a perfect life, a life without sin. He died for you and for me. He paid the price for our sins, He rose from the dead and He ascended to the right hand of God the Father. This is the message of the Gospel, the “good news” of God’s grace, the forgiveness of our sins, and our one true hope in life and death.
Following His resurrection from the tomb and His victory over Satan, sin, death, and the grave, Jesus called His followers together and commanded them to make disciples of all nations [Matthew 28:18-2]. Today, we are His disciples. As members of His church, you and I are His followers, His disciples in this day and time.
As His disciples, His followers, the author of Hebrews exhorts wrote: “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” [Hebrews 10:23-25, ESV]. The writer makes it plain that our primary purpose is to “meet together” for corporate worship. Our primary purpose as Christians is to worship the Almighty God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), to glory Him, to follow him, to walk in His ways, to focus on Him.
According to the Westminster Shorter Catechism, the chief purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. The Ten Commandments require that we “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy” [Exodus 20:8-11]. This is a command to worship God as He desires and deserves. It is a commitment to worship at least once a week, but what is this thing we call worship?
Worship is a commandment of God. It is a command for the creature to honour the Creator. A seminary graduate on his way to his first pastorate asked his professor what he should preach about. The wise professor replied, “Every Sunday, preach about God and preach about twenty minutes.”
Worship is all about God. When the woman at the well met Jesus as recorded in John 4, they entered into a discussion about her life and then they began to discuss spiritual matters. The woman wanted to argue with Jesus but Jesus replied, “God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Jesus cut to the core. Worship is all about God. It isn’t about us and our needs. It isn’t about what motivate us or what we can get from God. Worship is about what we give to God. Perhaps every Sunday when we leave the church building, we should ask ourselves this question: “Was God pleased with my worship?” Too often we say things like, “Well, I didn’t get very much out of worship today”; that is when we need to remember that worship is not about us. Worship is about God and what He demands and desires of us. Worship is about God and Him alone!
Do you remember the words of Isaiah, Chapter Six? The prophet wrote: “In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory’” [Isaiah 6:1-3, ESV].
To truly properly worship is to honour God alone. In worship, we are to bow down before the Almighty God. In worship, we are to say to Him who created, loves, and redeemed us, “You are my God. You are altogether holy, righteous, just, compassionate, loving, and glorious. You alone are worthy of worship.”
The movie, Places of the Heart begins in a church with people singing, “This is my story, this is my song, praising my Saviour, all the day long,” It ends in the same church with people singing the same song. Edna Spalding, played by Sally Fields, has a family to raise and farm to maintain in the midst of the Great Depression in Texas. In between the opening and closing of the movie Edna’s husband is killed, her hired man is beaten and drive away, she nearly loses her farm – but in the end, they are back in the little church singing, “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine! Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!”
Worship, real Biblical worship, reminds us that God is the high King of Heaven and is the sovereign Ruler over all things in heaven and on earth. He has created us for His purpose and for His glory. He has bestowed upon us the gift of life and the gift of His One and Only Son who gave Himself for us. To really worship God is to trust Him in the good times and in the dark times of life; to remain focused on Him.
Robert Weber said, “Worship is a verb, not a passive verb, but an active verb. It’s not something done for us, it is something we do.” In real worship the actors and actresses are the whole congregation, and the audience is God. Worship is the foundation upon which we build our lives to the honour and glory of God, our Heavenly Father.
So, you see, the question is not did worship please me? The question is, did my worship please God? As the followers of Jesus Christ, as His modern day disciples, our discipleship begins with a proper relationship of worship. In the words of John 4:23, let us…”worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship Him.” Amen!
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