Summary: Worship ... involves the body, the mind and the will.
SANCTITY AND SERVICE
Text: Romans 12:1-2
"When the Titanic went down, a worthy woman took into the lifeboat, not her diamonds, but a bag of oranges. It will be very important, where we are going that we value the right things. Worship often makes us examine our luggage." (Leslie D. Weatherhead. Time For God. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1967, p. 50). Our luggage does not get examined without our efforts to be honest with God, others and ourselves.
Christians cannot be transformed by default. That is an interesting term, "default". When we hear the term default, we usually tend to think about how a "failure" or a "lapse" of some kind has occurred. Default is the result of "neglect" or "delinquency". Many (if not all) of the answering machines that they make today have default message on them so that if the owner does not wish to record an "outgoing message" the machine will do one for you. It is called a default message. When it comes to worship, we have to put forth an effort because sincere worship does not happen by default.
The word "worship" comes from the words "worth + ship". Worship means adoration for our Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer---the Holy Trinity whom we seek to glorify and exalt. Worship therefore involves the body, the mind and the will.
We are called to offer our bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God. We do this by not conforming to the world’s ways but by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-2 paraphrased). "For it is God who works in you [us] to will and to act according to his good purpose" (Philipians 2:13 NIV). It is funny how no matter how technology advances, people by their human nature are still the same today as they have always been.
Remember how children always had to have the latest fad to fit in when you growing up? I can remember those days. When I was a teenager in Georgetown,(SC) style was to wear, Levi’s, Lee or Wrangler in the blue jean department. Later, other jeans manufacturers like Calvin Klein, Gas, Mudd, Arizona would become the style The in style shoes were Nike, Adidas, Converse, Asahi and etc. I remember when I was fifteen, I had a pair of jeans from a "not-so-cool" brand. I remember how some of my peers even made fun of those jeans when I wore them to school.
The world teaches us that how we look on the outside is what is important. The truth of the matter is that the clothes do not make the man. Clothes might make a male or a female look "in style," but they will not get you into heaven. Fads and styles come in and go out and come back in and go back out. Remember how wide men’s ties were and how the style changed in the width from time to time? And who can forget The suits that had more than two buttons? Right now, those men’s suits are somewhere in the middle between "in style and out of style". You can still buy them. But, you also see those suits with three or maybe even four buttons.
Isaiah 64:6 reminds us of how we stand before God in the garments of our own making: All of us have become like one who is unclean, all of our righteous acts are like filthy rages (NIV). Zechariah (Zechariah 3: 3-5) saw this vision of Joshua the priest, whose filthy garments made him unfit for service to God. Joshua’s filth was symbolic not only of his own inability to remain sinless but also that of the people to whom he ministered. But, the reason of Joshua’s hearing are not disclosed (Charles M. Laymon. Ed. The Interpreter’s One Volume Commentary. Roger N. Carstensen. "The Book Of Zechariah". Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1971, p. 505). John Wesley once said that "Cleanliness was next to godliness". Wesley’s comment was Biblically on the money as it relates to holiness. Therefore, there was nothing holy or righteous about Joshua which was a given that he was not qualified for the duties of being a priest. He was not qualified until he had the right clothes---the clothes of celebration that made him worthy.
God gave us a robe of grace. When we received God’s salvation into our souls, at that moment we were clothed and are still clothed with God’s grace through Jesus Christ. We were clothed with Christ in our baptism (Galatians 3:27). It is this grace that makes us fit for service in the kingdom of God.
The mind of those who do not have a relationship with the Savior is hostile toward God (Romans 8:7, Colossians 1:21). The late comedian and actor Chris Farley thought that once he had his acting and comedian career going that he would have it made. He thought that show business and all that goes with it, fame and money in the bank, would help him reach that place where as he said, "the laws of the universe would not apply". He also noted that philosophy was false because he "still had to work on relationships and battle his weight and other demons as well". It was unfortunate that he died at the age of 33 with a drug habit. (Craig Brian Larson. Choice Contemporary Stories & Illustrations For Preachers, Teachers, & Writers. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1998, p. 251). The only real way that anyone can have peace with himself or herself is through a relationship with God.