What is worship to you? So often worship has become synonymous with music. Many church’s worship leaders and worship teams are those that lead the music during the church service. I was thinking about this the other week while in church service and I felt like God was leading me to take a little detour from our study of Jesus’ parables and talk about worship (we will go back to that after a couple posts).
I wrote down a few things of what worship is (both from my own thoughts and searching online). This list is by no means exhaustive and not in any particular order. Please comment and add to the list.
- Bowing down, surrender
- Sacrifice, giving
- In the spirit – relationship, heartfelt
- In truth – Trust in Jesus Christ, read and know the Word
- Honor, praise, revere
- Importance – putting God first above all else
- Recognize God’s goodness
- Serving (without expecting anything from it)
- Humility (giving God the glory)
- Prayer and fellowship (part of that relationship)
- Obedience, following God’s commands (every day, not just on Sunday)
- Testimony, baptism
Worship is not about rituals, it’s about a relationship.
But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Jesus says to worship in spirit and in truth. What does He mean by this? I think you can take the “in spirit” a couple ways. One is to ask God to let the Holy Spirit guide you. All believers have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them. He will guide you as you worship. He will guide you as you live. Paul says to walk in the Spirit. In other words follow the prompts of the Holy Spirit as you live. Also, the Bible was written inspired by the Spirit. As we read the word, we can know God’s will. The other part of worshipping “in the spirit” is that He is speaking of our innermost being. Our hearts. As we worship, let us worship from the heart. Let us show our love to God, not just lip service or going through the motions, but let it come from within, in sincere devotion to God. The other aspect of worship is to worship in truth. Be sure you follow correct teaching and test what you hear with what God says in His word.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
Worship is sacrifice. It is giving of ourselves to serve God and serve others. In the NKJV it says it is “your reasonable service.” It is “your spiritual worship” in several other translations.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. (ESV)
A way to worship God is to surrender ourselves to Him. What are you willing to give up for the Lord? This ties in with the heart. Jesus says, “where your treasure is , there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) Jesus also says to take up our cross and follow Him. We are to be that living sacrifice, devoting our lives to Him and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. He also talks about giving to the church. Jesus tells of the faith of the poor woman who gave all to the church (See Mark 12:41-44). He also talks about helping those in need.
Matthew 25:34-36, 40
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
The thing to remember is that this is not saying that you need to do these things for salvation. It is saying that as believers, we need to do these things because of our love for Christ and His love for us. Remember, God is concerned with the heart. We are saved by grace through faith, not of ourselves but through Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 2:8-10). And as God works through us, let us celebrate together. We need each other as believers to stay strong in the Lord. He desires that we come together to praise and worship Him. He desires that believers be united and have fellowship with one another and encourage one another, giving praise to God and remembering who He is.
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
This scripture reminds us to have boldness and confidence of our faith. It reminds us that our hope is in Christ. Nothing we do can earn or lose our salvation. Again, it talks about drawing near to God with a true heart. And as we do, we come together and encourage one another. Church is not just about attending service and singing. It is coming together as one to worship the one true God and having fellowship with one another. It doesn’t stop when we leave the building on Sunday.
And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
After Peter preached to the people about Jesus Christ, what He has done, and that we can be saved through Him, many believed and were saved. As an act of worship, they gave their testimony by being baptized. Now that they were saved, they rejoiced and continued to follow Jesus, being obedient, and had fellowship with one another. They didn’t just go to church and leave, they did life together. They helped each other in need and encouraged one another and shared their good news with others as the Lord lead them.
Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
As believers, let us worship God. Let us always be thankful and praise God for what He has done, in our prayers, during worship services, in our lives.
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.