Summary: Sacrifice, mercy, worship
A SPIRITUAL ACT OF WORSHIP
Romans 12:1 (p.803) June 13, 2010
The kids were horrible to each other. The morning started with the 7 year old screaming at the 9 year old "It's My Turn Stupid!"
There was no milk in the refrigerator for the Captain Crunch and the dryer was making that funny "Clunk, clunk" noise again.
Mom and dad had taken the stressful morning out on each other, so the ride to church was quiet except for the fight that continued in the backseat between the two boys.
As they come through the front door of the church building…on went the pretend smiles and after the boys were delivered to junior worship Mom and Dad sat down in their pew, as the call to worship started Mom and Dad stood to sing---and they smiled as the words came out.
"Change My heart oh God…Make it ever new…change my heart oh God may I be like you…"
When I mention the word "worship" do you automatically think I mean those 20 minutes of music and words on Sunday morning? After all we call it "worship time."
If that's the case Mom and Dad better sift through those previous 3 hours in a hurry or they're in trouble. They'd better be able to hit that worship switch in a hurry if they want to meaningfully connect with God, even though the morning's been horrible, and their hearts & minds are a mess.
Over the next few weeks I truly hope we can examine what it truly means to live a life of worship. Why it's so important and why it's become one of the most divisive subjects in the body of Christ, including the body of Christ at Fern Creek.
This morning we're going to look at Romans 12:1
"Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God --this is your spiritual act of worship."
I wanted to start with this scripture because I believe if we really want to worship God and understand what it means it starts way before 9:15 and 10:45 on Sunday mornings.
I. WORHSIP BEGINS WITH GOD'S MERCY
I know you’ve heard it a million times…but a great rule of scripture study is when you see a "therefore" in the Bible, look back and see what it’s there for.
"Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God.
How unsearchable His judgments and His paths beyond tracing out.
Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?
Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things
To Him be the glory forever.
AMEN Romans 11:33-36
We should be face down on the ground as we hear these words…as we are reminded of God's wisdom, God's plan, God's gifts, and God's glory.
It's as if the apostle Paul is about to snap his quill in two because He's pressing down so hard. I URGE YOU! I BEG YOU! I PLEAD WITH ALL MY HEART.. REMEMBER WHO WE WORSHIP.
If this truth does not permeate every part of our being…in every breath we take…in every second we live, worship becomes an activity instead of an attitude.
Tony Evans says, "If you limit worship to where you are, the minute
you leave that place of worship you will leave your attitude of worship
behind like a crumpled-up church bulletin."
It is essential for God's people to understand worship is an attitude, not an activity.
We'll talk about this in depth in a couple of weeks, but in John chapter 4 a Samaritan woman tried to debate Jesus on the best time, place and style for worship, "Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place we must worship is in Jerusalem"
And Jesus replies that these extremes are irrelevant. Where you worship is not as important as why you worship and how much of yourself you offer to God when you worship…"These are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks"
Robert Webber in his book "Worship is a Verb" expresses this truth:
We need to let go of our intellectual idea of worship and realize
there is more to worship than a sermon; we have to let go of our
evangelistic notion of worship and reckon with the fact that
worship is not primarily directed toward the sinners who need to
be converted; we must let go of our entertainment expectations
and remind ourselves that we are not in church to watch a
Christian variety show. We have gathered together in worship to be
met by God the Almighty, God the Creator of the Universe, the One