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Summary: Worship is not always a holy activity.

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“Live it Up!”

Romans 12:1“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. (NASB)

There are many skewed pictures of living it up; High-society images of wealth, extravagance, parties and possessions; beach-side mansions with Porsche or Lamborghini sitting in the driveway. Private jets, custom shoes, or designer clothes where most of us couldn’t afford a sleeve! These inaccurate perceptions of “living it up” are guarantees to live defeated and empty lives since most of us can never reach that goal and none of us are ever really in control of anything.

There is good news for us today! We can “live it up” while grinding it out in our realities. We can “live it up” at home with laundry loads, high needs children and barking dogs; while serving coffee behind the counter or closing a business deal; from the hospital bed facing surgical uncertainty or sunbathing on the beach! So let’s take a stroll down the laneway of new discovery and experience fresh winds of opportunity.

If we really want to “live it up” we must discover the art of WORSHIP. Living it up, truly so, is not discovered in things, position or pizzazz. It is found only in The Person of Jesus Christ! This is not empty rhetoric or speech-making. This is true for you whether you’re rich and famous or poor and unknown. It is an invitation to truly discover life where materialism, status and power are not the bottom line or the top of the heap; where these are not the central theme or the predominant pursuit.

In addressing the theme of WORSHIP we instantly face the challenge of what it is versus what it is not. Even as I researched the themes of worship for this talk, they largely focused on the perception that worship is an activity played out in the company of other people with like interest. It involves, in generic definitions, liturgical activities and practices of one sort or another – singing hymns, quiet reflections, prayers, readings and a Bible talk. While all of these have a place in what we call ‘corporate worship’ or ‘faith community worship’, these do not capture the essence of worship in its deepest context. Actually, these are impacted by our sense of God and connection in WORSHIP from Monday to Saturday. We’ll explore that in a moment. Author Douglas J. Moo: “Worship is not merely, or even mainly, what we do on Sunday morning. Worship is a “24/7” matter. We worship God when we give ourselves to him in service. We worship God when we show love to others, when we do our jobs faithfully and with integrity, when we play with our kids and nurture our families. God wants us always to be bringing glory to him by the way we live.”

This leads me to our text for this morning; a text that teaches about WORSHIP as a way of life. Romans 12:1

“Bodies” comes from the Greek Soma and originally refers to the physical body. Commentator Coffman wrote, “The body is the chief instrument of the person and is to be presented to God through service to humanity, by preaching, teaching, ministering, and helping people, and not merely for some space of time, but throughout life.” Going further, we learn that ‘body’ encompasses more than the physical body. It reaches to the depths of being like God in character, in capacity to think, govern and rule; to create and order. It is the process of offering to God everything that characterises who you are, everything that defines you. It is giving God your intellect, your feelings and your will and allowing God to use these through the physical you to accomplish his purposes. I remember my first real experience with surrendering my body to Christ. I was 19 and in a relationship that meant a lot to me. I was accepted to enter Training College to become a Salvation Army officer. Only one week from leaving for St. John’s Newfoundland, I wasn’t packed, either physically or in my spirit and heart. One night when I came home in the late hours past midnight I was surprised to see my parents sitting in the family room waiting for me. Dad challenged me as I stood in the middle of the room; he challenged me to decide – the relationship with ‘Patty’ or the road to being an officer – and decide before you turn in! They went off to bed and there I sat; in the dark, at the crossroads. The end of this episode was ending the relationship with Patty and with broken heart on my knees with my mom and dad flanking me in prayer on either side, I surrendered to God. That was the best decision of my life because in that surrender I discovered WORSHIP; not to mention that Patty passed away when she was thirty-something. The road would have been very different.

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