Good Morning Brothers and Sisters,
Today I will be brief in words but hopefully not in thought. We want to take a few moments to think about the name we call our times together. Typically on Sundays we meet for Sunday School and for Worship Service.
Sunday School is school. It is learning. It is on Sunday. It is a gathering of God's people so that we can grow in knowledge which is the basis for faith and obedience.
What about Worship Service?
Worship is sometimes defined as is the act of attributing reverent honor and homage to God. For many worship is associated with good feelings toward God. The word most often found in the New Testament that is translated worship means to bend the knee. The idea is to reverentially bow before a king out of respect or honor. To worship God is to bow before Him. Bowing can surely be a physical posture, but it is also an inward attitude. It is seeing the truth of who God is and seeing the truth of who we are and responding accordingly. I like to say that worship is declaring God's worth.
Worship is personal. We declare God's worth when we individually understand who God is and His prerogatives. Consider the worship of Job upon learning of the death of all his children and a crushing economic blow.
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head, and he fell to the ground and worshiped. He said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked I shall return there.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. (Job 1:20-22)
As the remaining chapters of the book of Job make clear, there were many things Job did not understand and many unanswered questions, even frustrating and despair. However, Job in his loss and grief worshiped God. He expressed that all that he had and all that He was from God, “the Lord gave.”
Significantly, Job also understood that God had every right to take away whatever He had given, “and the Lord has taken away.” Those are words of worship in declaring the worth of God even in the midst of Job's grief. The name of the Lord is blessed/praised regardless of whether He gives or takes away. (Take a few moments to read Job chapters 1-2 and then reflect on God and your life and worship.)
Worship is also personal in our growing to be like Jesus.
Therefore I urge you, 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. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2)
As with Job, the worship here is not public or corporate worship together as when we meet on Sundays. The worship here is the obedience to Jesus in our physical bodies that is the result of our minds being renewed according to the truth of God. Worship is individually doing what is good and pleasing to God according to the truth.
When we obey God, we are declaring by our lives the worth of God. Admittedly we do not always feel like doing what is right. Yet, because we have reverence for God we bow our will to His and do what is right no matter how we personally feel about it.
When we come together as God's people our ability to stimulate one another to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24) requires us first to be individual worshipers of God. Our personal worship results in us serving others and encouraging them to also worship God. That is our worship-service. It is worship of God to serve others.
So, worship God and then consider ways how you can serve others.
Serving with joy,