A Life of Worship
17 Jul 2004, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
Title: A Life of Worship
Theme: Worship is the Total Lifestyle in Love with God
Scripture: Romans 5:1-11 (New Living Bible)
Daphne and Don were deeply in love as late teenagers. I was a teenager with them. One day at church an old lady asked me if the two were "intimate". I was shocked and replied, " You need to ask them yourself. However, I do know Daphne worships Don." Yes, "worships" was a most applicable word. Daphne adored Don. Daphne loved Don above all others. She was totally devoted to him - living always on "cloud nine". That brings me to our topic of worship. I believe that too often our idea of worship is too narrow and constricted. When we hear the word worship we immediately think of Church services and the type of music, instruments, singing and the general format. I wish to submit that this is not what true worship is all about, even if it is included in the topic..
THE REAL ISSUE OF WORSHIP
Christians "worship" God because they are in love with God They adore Him and are totally devoted to Him. Their mind is constantly tuned into Him. It is a relationship of constant worship and adoration. It is summed up in what Scripture says and Jesus reminded us, To love God with all our heart, soul and mind and our neighbour as we love ourselves. That is total worship to God.
The issue is outlined in John 4: 23-24 NLB "true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth , the Father is looking for anyone who will worship him that way. For God is spirit, so that those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." God, in fact all the God family, Father Son and Holy Spirit, are spiritual and truth. They are the epitome and source of all truth. So Jesus said, "I am the way the truth and the life." We worship the Father God through Jesus Christ the truth. It is the only spiritual and honest way to worship God. The great news is that the Father is actively seeking us to have this spiritual and honest relationship with Him all the time. Worship is a lifestyle encounter with our God family. We must experience God. We must engage God always in our daily living. Simply, God wants us to be His best friend. God is craving for our friendship and for us to make Him our best friend. Romans 5:11 NLB says it this way, "So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God - all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God." We have been reconciled to God and that fact demands our love and adoration in constant worship.
Paul in Romans 5:1-11 NLB tells us exactly how this love friendship has been developed and who has made it possible. It is "because of what Jesus Christ has done for us", verse 1. It is this relationship of constant worship by faith that gives us confidence and joy, and the sharing of God's glory - being in His friendship. This develops His character in us and generates and strengthens our confidence and expectation of salvation, verses 2-4. God in this relationship has given to us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts, (minds emotions entire being and soul) with his love, verse 5. Wow! What a result to worship.
Verse 8 states that the prime instigator in this love worship relationship is God the Father who sent His Son to die for us when we were not even friends! The friendship with God has been restored by the death of His Son while we were still enemies, verse 10.
See John 15:15 Jesus calls us "friends" not slaves. The same word in John 3:27-29 is used of the best man at a wedding. Now let us look at lifestyle worship.
LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP IS THE CHRISTIAN WAY
I think of Noah, Moses, Abraham, David, Job, Enoch, Paul and Christ Jesus himself.
From these examples we note that true spiritual worship is a lifestyle which included the following factors.
1. We cherish and value conversation with God. It is more than Church worship once a week. Ritual of itself will not change us. We must be in Love with God. Standing in the car wash all day will not change us into cars. Friendship with God is a sharing of all life's experiences with Him always. Share life with God shopping, driving, working, relaxing , night and day. Just living with Him. This way we can be the church member, Christian, and citizen He wants us to be always.
2. Listen to God. Do not do all the talking. Let God speak back to you. Meditate on His love letter - the Holy Scriptures. Through spiritual seminars,
sermons, let the words of the Lord impact on our mind and affect our lives continually.
3. Be honest with God. This is essential and vital for our friendship with God. We ought to be frank with God. Tell Him our heartaches, doubts and hurts beside all our joys and thanks. Read the Psalms they illustrate this point perfectly.
4. Always choose to obey God by faith. Our obedience to God must be because of our passionate love for Him. You cannot be afraid of being in love with spiritual truth - God as friend. So we obey in the simple acts of daily living with all its opportunities and options. We obey by telling the truth and encouraging truth.
1 Samuel 15:22 makes it clear that obedience is better than sacrifice. A loving friendship with God , living in obedience with Him is better than ritual worship! Jesus did this perfectly and offers His effort to us by grace. God the Father could say of Him at about 30 yrs of age, "this is my beloved son in whom I am well please. Luke 2:51-52, confirms that He grew in relationship with the Father and all people he knew on earth. That is a life of worship.
5. Always choose to value God's values. Now that is true love and friendship. God is friend and He cares about you. You (we) should value and care for each other. God cares for lost souls and we must too. Value the people God values. That is all the people around you.
6. Desire with passion your friendship with God, above all other desires. David in the Psalms makes this clear. Note Psalms 63 ;1-8 NLB He is "earnestly searching" for God. He " thirsts" and "longs" for friendship with God. He says, "I lie awake thinking of you". "Your unfailing love is better to me than life itself".
Now there is a lifestyle of worship. Truly in love with our God as friend. On cloud nine with God.
In this lifestyle of worship we love and obey God - the God family. However, this love and obedience does not earn merit toward salvation. It does not earn us favour or appease God. It is a relationship which produces in us His character - " by beholding we become changed." Love and obedience assure us, and produce in us, the abundant life of Christian love, joy, friendship, peace and contentment with God and humanity.
How is this achieved when Christ is away in heaven? This worshipful life is nourished by reading Holy Scripture - His love letter to us. It is strengthened by prayer and conversation with the God family. By association with human friends who love God and by sharing His love with those who do not know or love God.
God designed us for intimate friendship with Him . Living a life of worship in love with Him must be by choice as it is no accident. It is worth all the time, effort and personality skills that it takes to establish and develop. It will last for eternity if we choose God as our best friend. That's worship. It is the total you for the total time in total life with God.
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