Exalt the LORD our God and worship at His holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy. (Ps 99:9)
Throughout the Bible we are called to worship. But what is worship?
“Worship is an act of religious devotion…The word is derived from the Old_English ‘worthscipe’, meaning worthiness or worth-ship to give, at its simplest, worth to something, for example, Christian worship”. (Thanks Wiki).
So in worship, we acknowledge the value and the worthiness of the object of worship – we highly esteem the object; it deserves our honor and recognition. The Psalms are all about worship – such a great place to find inspiration. They were the first “praise music”.
Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth. Sing to the LORD, praise His name; proclaim His salvation day after day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; He is to be feared above all gods (Ps 96:1-4).
We should note that, though I said we are “called” to worship, in truth, we are commanded to: Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering and come before Him. Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness (1 Chron 16:29).
I love more modern songs about worship too…aren’t the lyrics of Casting Crowns’ song, Lifesong, great?
We see here that worship is not just for church. We worship God in how we live our life, how we think our thoughts, how we speak to our families, how we spend our time and even our money. In Matthew 6, Jesus teaches about how to live your life as an act of worship. Please take some time and read this chapter today. Here are the main lessons:
- “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” (Matt 6:1)
- Do good for the sake of doing good and pleasing God, for His glory, not for your own glory. When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. (Matt 6:3-4). Here again He wants us to give because we want to help others and to glorify and bring Him honor, not ourselves.
- And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. (Matt 6:5) Starting to see the theme here? Do the right thing for the right reasons – we be in relationship with God, not turn the focus on ourselves. In Matt 6:16-18 He says that if you fast, do not make it obvious to others that you are fasting, only do it for your Father who will see what you do in secret.
- Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matt 6:19-21). This is such an important verse here at the end. Where you spend your time and your money shows what you value the most – so shopping online can really get us into trouble in both of those areas!
- Finally, He tells us to be at peace…He commands us not to worry (Matt 6:34). Did you ever think about how much time you spend worrying about things? Your kids, your health, your weight, your clothes, your bad-hair-day, your dirty floor, your schedule, your future, your finances…(whew! And that is just before you have had breakfast!). Worrying takes our mind off of God and puts it on ourselves and on our circumstances (which God can take care of very well, thank you very much!). Worry interferes with true worship – the acknowledgement of God’s worth, His awesome ability to take care of us and how He does all things well (Mark 7:37).
There is so much more that can be said about worship, but let’s just agree that we should do more of it! Let’s think this week about how we could worship Him with the way we speak to our husbands and children, the way we drive in busy traffic, the way we spend our time (the “free” time, as well as the scheduled time), the way we talk to ourselves when no one can hear, the way we live our everyday, ordinary lives.
God has a purpose for each one of us – and I don’t mean the part where you could discover the cure to some dreaded disease or save people from a burning building – I mean each of us has the same purpose: But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9). He has chosen us to declare His worth to this world, to glorify Him with our lives. May He give us all the close walk with Him this week that will help us to bring honor to His name and to worship Him with our lives.