Monday, March 5, 2012

WORSHIP - WE ARE CALLED TO IT

I co-led a group of 6th grade girls from our church in a small group. Last night’s study was all about worship.  I’m posting it here because I really enjoyed the message.

Read Deut 6:1-9  New Century Version (NCV)
1 These are the commands, rules, and laws that the Lord your God told me to teach you to obey in the land you are crossing the Jordan River to take.2 You, your children, and your grandchildren must respect the Lord your God as long as you live. Obey all his rules and commands I give you so that you will live a long time.3 Listen, Israel, and carefully obey these laws. Then all will go well for you, and you will become a great nation in a fertile land, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.
4 Listen, people of Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord.5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.6 Always remember these commands I give you today.7 Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.8 Write them down and tie them to your hands as a sign. Tie them on your forehead to remind you,9 and write them on your doors and gates.
What is worship?  Worship is about committing ourselves fully to God and living each day excited to see where he is going to lead us.  It means placing God at the center of our lives.  Other words for worship are devotion, admiration, deep respect, love without question, honor, or reverence

What does God call us to do? Love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.  We need to choose God daily.  Not as a religious duty, but because we want to.  Only then can we begin to see our lives unfold according to God’s plan.

 Read Psalm 138:1-8  New Century Version (NCV)

1 Lord, I will thank you with all my heart;
I will sing to you before the gods.
2 I will bow down facing your holy Temple,
and I will thank you for your love and loyalty.
You have made your name and your word
greater than anything.
3 On the day I called to you, you answered me.
You made me strong and brave.
4 Lord, let all the kings of the earth praise you
when they hear the words you speak.
5 They will sing about what the Lord has done,
because the Lord's glory is great.
6 Though the Lord is supreme,
he takes care of those who are humble,
but he stays away from the proud.
7 Lord, even when I have trouble all around me,
you will keep me alive.
When my enemies are angry,
you will reach down and save me by your power.
8 Lord, you do everything for me.
Lord, your love continues forever.
Do not leave us, whom you made.

So, what is worship?  It’s a lifestyle of honoring God through conversation, every decision and every moment of our lives.  It’s not just a task.
Read Romans 12:1-2  New Century Version (NCV)

1 So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship. 2 Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.

When can we worship?  We are not limited in the ways or places we can show God how much we love him.  Worship should become a part of who we are, not just what we do.  If we truly want to live a life that pleases God, then we can’t live according to the world’s standards.  We need to change from people who are selfish and materialistic to someone who is focused on pleasing God.  In order for that to happen, we need to make God a part of our daily life, every moment.

Worshiping God doesn’t have to be a big production.  It simply means including him in all the parts of your day and the way you live your life.  Worship doesn’t have to happen in a church or fuel group.  It really takes place in our heart and the choices we make and the lifestyle we lead.

We can worship God by:

Knowing God - reading our bible, growing closer to him, gaining understanding

Making sacrifices – make choices that are pleasing to God, let our heart and character reflect him, letting go of worldly things

Loving others – put others first, help the needy, love our enemies

Waiting on God – take time to listen to God, spend quiet time with God,

Talking to God – pray to God, express our thoughts, needs and our love for him, thank God for what he has given you, seek forgiveness for sin, surrender yourself to God’s will, cry out to God or praise him through song

God has given us so much.  The way we choose to worship him daily can be our expression of gratefulness and love back to him.  There is no formula to the way we worship.  Worship is not about checking things off a to-do list.  It is including God in every corner of our life so that we can experience life to the fullest in the way God intended for us.

Other verses:
John 4:23
Ephesians 5:19-20

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