Summary: You become what you worship.
Wired for Worship: You Become What You Worship
Pastor Mark Batterson
This evotional concludes the Wired for Worship series. To subscribe to the podcast, visit www.theaterchurch.com. Or check out Pastor Mark’s blog @ www.evotional.com.
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. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Last week I gave you a homework assignment: find something each day that you’re grateful for. Here are a few of mine from last week.
On Monday I was grateful for nerf basketball hoops. We celebrated Parker’s birthday and that was one of the gifts we got him. If we’re being totally transparent, I actually got the nerf basketball hoop for myself. Then we wrapped it up and disguised it as a present was for Parker! Man, I love those things. That night I showed Parker the “take two steps, spin around once, bank it off two walls, nothing but net” shot.
You know what I realized? Happiness is not the byproduct of bigger or better toys. Happiness is finding joy in the simple pleasures of life. It’s not getting what you want. It’s enjoying what you have!
One of the other things I did last week was collect Josiahisms. Everyday our three year-old, Josiah, is saying stuff that is so cute you want to pick him up and squeeze the Charmin.
Here are a few of the things he said last week.
Last Saturday I was headed out to study for my message and out of nowhere, Josiah said, “Are you going to study at the Capitol?” I didn’t even know he knew what the Capitol was, but what’s even funnier is that evidently my son thinks that big building on the hill is my office! Go figure. Of course, he also thinks that Ballston Common Mall and Union Station are churches.
On my day off last week we went to the National Arboretum and Josiah went running down this steep hill and totally wiped out. He immediately popped up and said, “I ice skated.”
One day this week he informed Lora that God has "superhero powers."
On Saturday morning he got up and asked me, “Is it tomorrow?” That totally messed me up. All day I was trying to figure out if it was today or tomorrow!
And, finally, one of my favorite Josiahisms is when Josiah gets really excited about something. He says, “Isn’t that so happy?”
I had my normal quota of stress last week. I had my fair share of issues and problems. But last week was one of my best weeks in recent memory. You know why? Because your focus determines your reality. I was looking for things to be grateful for and when you’re looking for things to be grateful for you don’t have to look too far!
Worship is living in a state of constant gratitude. Even when we do something wrong we have something to be grateful for: mercy!
Romans 12:1 says, “In view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices.”
It doesn’t say “In view of your righteousness.” It doesn’t say, “In view of your brilliant mind or witty sense of humor.” It doesn’t say, “In view of your impressive spiritual resume.”
It says, “In view of God’s mercy.”
The prerequisite to worship is mercy. And the prerequisite to mercy is doing something wrong. So if you’ve done something wrong you qualify for mercy. And if you qualify for mercy you qualify for worship.
Here’s my point: don’t let what’s wrong with you keep you from worshipping what’s right with God.
Here’s the challenge. I cited research last week that suggests that we talk to ourselves 50,000 times a day. And studies have found that, on average, 80% of self-talk is negative. I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. And, doggone it, people don’t like me.
One of the enemy’s tactics is to get you to focus on what’s wrong with you. Why? Because you’ll get so fixated on your problems that you’ll totally forget how good and how great God is. So throughout this series of evotionals I’ve been saying that you need to stop focusing on what’s wrong with you and start focusing on what’s right with God. I honestly think that is the key to worship!
I like the way The Message says it, “Embracing what God has done for you is the best thing you can do for Him.”
Here’s the difference between religion and Christianity. Religion is focused on what we can do for God. Christianity is focused on what God has done for us.