Section 8: The Church
Week 1: The Nature of the Church and It’s Mission
Day 3: The Church Fulfills Its Mission by Worshiping God with Everything It’s Got
What is worship? The thing that comes to mind most often when we hear the term is the music we sing at church on Sundays and the music we listen to on Christian radio. What about that music makes it worship though? A song doesn’t automatically qualify as worship. We can think of many songs that we wouldn’t classify as worship. Music only becomes worship when it expresses our thoughts and feelings about God, specifically the worth we attribute to him.
When we realize that, we start to realize worship is actually much bigger than just music. Worship involves every aspect of our lives. Take a look at Rom. 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.
In the first 11 chapters of Romans, Paul explains in detail what God has done to save us from sin. How should we respond to the mercy God has shown us? We are to respond by living lives that are completely committed to God. That’s what Paul means when he urges us to offer our bodies to God as a sacrifice. The implication is that we are to offer our “entire person” to God.[i] All that we are is at his disposal to use as he sees fit.
Now when we hear that, our minds naturally start to think in terms of the things we do. But we are made up of more than the sum total of our actions. The entire person that God wants includes our hearts, our thoughts, and our emotions, as well as our actions. We need to give all of ourselves to God in response to what he has given us.
Notice that Paul specifically describes this sacrifice as our spiritual act of worship. Why does this kind of life count as worship? We get a clue from the word translated “spiritual”. It refers to something that involves both the heart and mind. [ii] When we respond to God by devoting our lives to him, we do so because we understand with our mind what he has done for us and for that reason in our hearts we want to give ourselves to him.
That realization has the potential to transform the way see everything in our lives. Every thought, emotion, and action is an opportunity to worship because every thought, emotion, and action is an opportunity express how much we love God.
Read Rom. 12:1-2 again.
Do you look at all of life as an opportunity to worship God? Why or why not?
[i] Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (1996), 751.
[ii] Ibid., 752-753.