Monday, October 05, 2009

The Gratitude of Love

Originally posted September 17, 2004

Whenever we use the talents and gifts God has given us in His service we worship Him. Remember worship is more than singing a few songs at a worship service. True worship begins with the sacrifice of our wills as we commit to follow God’s will.

It is too bad that American Christianity has created buildings full of attenders while paying people to minister to the needs of the congregation. The result is that many people think attending a church service once in awhile makes them a Christian. We don’t challenge people to live their faith. Since we have lowered the expectations for Christians the world loses out on the amazing difference Jesus can make in a person’s life, because they neither see the transformation of people or experience the love and service of followers of Christ.

The sad reality is that we in church leadership are satisfied if the members of our church families are consistent with their church attendance and appear to live according to the right moral standard. These low expectations have created spectators rather than worshippers.

In order to be true worshippers of God we have live out the faith we claim to have rather than just going through the motions of a religion. God has blessed so we can become a blessing to others. Real worshippers not only praise God with their lips and obey Him with their lives. Consider what the apostle Paul wrote in Romans 12:1; I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship (NASB).

I want to suggest that we can find two qualities of worship in this verse:

First we worship, not out of obligation or fear, but out of gratitude and love. We sacrifice and serve because of the love Go has already shown us through Jesus Christ. Real worship is always a response to God’s amazing love for us.

Second worship equals sacrifice. When we give our time in service out of our love for God we sacrifice our wills to His will. When we turn down overtime pay to spend time with our family that is a sacrifice God approves. When we take time to spend an afternoon with the elderly that is worship which glorifies God. Anytime we sacrifice our agendas in order to show love we give God worship which He approves. On the other had if we are unwilling to sacrifice and obey then all of our singing and prayer does not glorify God.

Genuine worship is found in our sacrifice which is motivated by our gratitude and love for our Heavenly Father. Worship is about our sacrifice in the light of God’s great love for us. Whatever we do because of God’s love is the worship God desires for our lives. What are you going to do because of God’s love for you? How are you going to worship God?

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