Friends
 
This coming Sunday we are starting a new series called “Worship.”  Most people when they hear the word “worship” they think of music.  Like “First we have the worship, then we have the sermon.”  As if worship is just music.  Yes, singing is one kind of worship.  But worship is an entire lifestyle.

Can you worship God more than just at church?  Yes, because worship is simply expressing your love to God.  That means you can worship in the shower.  You can worship in your backyard mowing the lawn. You can worship washing dishes.  You can worship driving to work and making a deal or on the golf course.  You can express your love to God anywhere and everywhere.  And that means you can sing everywhere.

The Bible tells us to worship God continually.  You cannot sing continually.  Worship is far more than just music, than just singing, than just praise.  Every aspect of your life can be an act of worship.  Literally every aspect of your life can be an act of worship to God.

What is worship?  The answer is very simple, offering yourself to God.  Paul writes in Romans 12:1-2 TEV “So then, my friends, because of God's great mercy to us I appeal to you:  Offer yourselves as a living sacrifice to God, dedicated to his service and pleasing to him. This is the true worship that you should offer. “ Offering yourself to God is what worship is all about. This act of personal surrender is called many things: consecration, making Jesus Lord, taking up your cross, dying to self, yielding to the Spirit.  What matters is that you do it, not what you call it.  God wants your life, all of it - 95 percent is not enough.

What don’t we give God 100 %?  Do we really trust God? 
Our total surrender to God is blocked by several things, including:

  • Our ignorance of God - not knowing what He's really like;
  • Our sinful nature - the desire to be God ourselves; and
  • Our misunderstanding of surrender and the trust that it requires.

Can We Trust God?  Trust is an essential ingredient to surrender.  We won't surrender to God unless we trust Him, but we can't trust Him until we know Him better. Fear keeps us from surrendering, but love casts out all fear.  The more you realize how much God loves you, the easier surrender becomes.
 
How do I know God loves me?  The Bible gives us many evidences:

  • God says He loves you (Psalm 145:9);
  • You're never out of His sight (Psalm 139:3);
  • He cares about every detail of your life (Matthew 10:30);
  • He gave you the capacity to enjoy all kinds of pleasure (1 Timothy 6:17b);
  • He has good plans for your life (Jeremiah 29:11);
  • He forgives you (Psalm 86:5);
  • He's patient with you (Psalm 145:8);
  • He sacrificed His Son for you (Romans 5:8).

God loves you enormously more than you can imagine!
 
If you want to know how much you matter to God, look at Christ with His arms outstretched on the cross saying, "I love you this much!  I would rather die than live without you."

God is not a cruel slave driver or a bully who uses brute force to coerce us into submission.  He does not try to break our will, but woos us to Himself, so that we might offer it freely to Him.  God is a lover and a liberator, and surrendering brings freedom, not bondage.
When we completely surrender ourselves to Jesus, we discover that He is not a tyrant but a savior; not a boss, but a brother; not a dictator, but a friend. 

Once you surrender to God, you start to learn how to worship.  Proverbs 1:7 Message says, “Start with God — the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.”   Start at the beginning, bow, humble yourself, get yourself out of the way, and trust God. 

The apostle Paul once told Timothy that the problem with many people was they knew a lot — but not what was most important.  In fact, Jesus told the religious leaders, You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you'll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees.  These Scriptures are all about me! “  (John 5:39 The Message).

One day, after our life has ended, you and I will stand before God.  It will be our final exam.  It will be far more important than any exam a teacher or professor gives us.
At that final exam, God won’t talk about how we did in math or social studies.  The question will be “Did you worship me?”
 
Make Every Day Count!
 
Barry
 
Come Sunday and learn how to Worship the Lord!