Summary: If your love for Christ and your relationship to Him were to be measured by the character and caliber of your worship, would God have to echo what He said to Israel through Malachi? Have you given Him your best?
GIVING YOUR BEST
INTRODUCTION: In the Old Testament the people claimed to be followers of God and to be his children and servants. However in addressing the priests of Israel, God said to the people in Malachi 1:6 … "A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. I am your father and master, but where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have despised my name! But you ask, ’How have we ever despised your name?’" (NLT) In reply God told them in verses 7 and 8 that they were guilty of offering substandard sacrifices, which would not be acceptable even by the world’s standards. They were guilty of practicing a cheap religion failing to give God what He deserves – their best. Realize that a cheap religion, costing little, is rejected by God, and so is worth nothing. God calls for us to show the reality of our profession by love and reverential fear – by giving of our best to the Master. Israel showed by their worship the shallowness of their relationship to God. Today, we do not offer sacrifices of sheep or goats, but 1 Peter 2:5 tells us that believers constitute a holy priesthood in order to "offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." If your love for Christ and your relationship to Him were to be measured by the character and caliber of your worship, would God have to echo what He said to Israel through Malachi? Have you given Him your best?
I. Worship is a reflection of an individual’s relationship to God.
A. Writing more than one hundred years ago, Alexander Paterson Smith gave this definition of worship: "To worship God is to make Him the supreme object of our esteem and delight, both in public, private, and secret."
B. Colossians 3:23 (KJV) "And whatsoever you do, do it heartily (with enthusiasm), as to the Lord, and not unto men"
C. How does your worship stack up? Does it reflect an enthusiastic delight in God?
D. In your singing, in praising and praying, in listening and attending to the preaching of the Word of God, in your attendance and involvement in the church’s corporate worship and ministries, does it measure up or is it substandard?
E. In the middle of a soloist’s number at church, a young grandson Chandler tugged on his grandmother’s sleeve and whispered, "She can’t sing very well, can she?" Knowing the woman had a deep love for the Lord, the grandmother said, "Chandler, she sings from her heart. That’s what makes it good." He nodded thoughtfully. Several days later as he and his grandmother were singing along with the car radio, Chandler stopped and said, "Nana, you sing from your heart, don’t you?" - Barbara McKeever, Urbana, Ohio. Christian Reader, "Kids of the Kingdom."
F. God does not expect flawless perfection from us. What He does expect is our best.
G. "Hear ye the Master’s call, ‘Give me Thy best!’ For, be it great or small, that is His test. Do then the best you can, not for reward, not for the praise of man, but for the Lord." [Our Best Kirk, S.C. / Tullar, Grant Colfax © 1949 Lorenz Publishing Company (a div. of the Lorenz Corporation) CCLI License No. 754427]
H. Am I doing my best for my Master?
I. The word worship is a shortened form of the old word worthship, which means showing God the worth he holds in your life.
II. An All-embracing Principle – In Everything Doing Our Best
A. Colossians 3:17 (KJV) "And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus"
B. Doing "all in the name of the Lord Jesus" means bringing honor to Christ in every aspect and activity of daily living. As a Christian, you represent Christ at all times — wherever you go and whatever you say.
C. Literally, "And everything whatsoever you do … do all,"
D. Everything we do falls under the category of either words or deeds.
E. Words – Every word that comes out of our mouths
1. Avoid words that dishonor Christ.
a. IDLE WORDS, BITTER WORDS, PROFANE WORDS, GOSSIP
• Matthew 12:36 (KJV) "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.’ Every idle word – a word that does nothing, that neither ministers grace nor instruction to them who hear it; a word not only vain or empty, but also that might be wicked and injurious.
• Do you remember that chant from childhood: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?" It isn’t true. Everyone has sometimes been hurt by words. We are hurt by lying words. We are hurt by unkind words. We are hurt by angry words. Words can hurt.