Summary: When we think of worship, many of us often think of music. Music and singing are one expression of worship, but what really is worship? What does it look like and what where does it come from? How can I determine if my worship is pleasing to God or if
A Test of our Worship?
If I asked the question of you, “Did you enjoy worshiping this morning?” what would you think I was talking about?
Would you be thinking of the musical worship time?
Would anyone be thinking of the time during which we took up the offering? We have it listed in our bulletin as “Worship through Giving” and I always talk about it as part of our offering, but sometimes I am not sure we even hear those words.
Would any of you be thinking, “Enjoyed worship yet? I haven’t even heard the sermon and had a chance to respond. How have I worshiped, yet?
Well, all of those can be expressions of worship or they can be just acts without much significance at all.
You see worship isn’t just what happens on the outside, but for it to be worship, what is happening on the outside has to be tied to what is on the inside.
Now, when I ask the question, “Who do you worship,” I am fairly certain that nearly everyone here would say, “we worship the Lord, God Almighty” or some variation of the one true God.
Now the fact of the matter is that we all worship something, and what we worship will reveal itself on the outside, but I think for some of people, what and who they worship, is not always what we think it is, because we fail to really examine ourselves and our life.
So this morning, we are going to be taking a test. It is a self-administered and graded test, although ultimately, God will be doing the grading. We are going to examine some
Scripture and ask some questions about ourselves to see what is motivating our worship and to whom that worship is directed.
We are going to take a look at Romans 12 and look at verse 1.
Now this is probably a familiar verse to many of you, but I want to look at it with fresh eyes and see if we can get a glimpse of our own worship.
Romans 12:1 says, “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. “
Ok, in this one verse Paul tells us that if we are doing this in this way, that it is an act of worship. So this is something that is going to really help us to be true worshipers.
Now, I want to go to the beginning of the verse. Paul begins this passage of Scripture with “Therefore” which is a reference back to what he was just talking about in chapter 11. He was talking about how God had shown the Gentiles mercy and how He would eventually show the Jews mercy, “For,” it says in Romans 11:32, “God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all.”
Then Paul gives a benediction and says in our verse we just looked at, “Therefore…in view of God’s mercy.”
So what Paul tells us in this verse that
Worship is a Response motivated by the Mercy of God
Now, I don’t think that it is only because of God’s mercy that we worship Him. I believe He is worthy of worship for all of his attributes. He is good, he is holy, he is righteous, he is sovereign, etc. He is worthy of worship because of who He is.
But I think that one of the major things that will truly enable us to worship the Lord is an understanding of His mercy, and Paul is not just talking about a one-time act of mercy toward us. The Greek word translated mercy is plural, meaning mercies.
It could read, “in view of God’s many mercies toward us”
Or in view of God’s mercy toward us over and over again”
I think one of the reasons that we do not worship the Lord fully in truth and in spirit is because we fail to grasp the depth and riches of his mercy.
Jeremiah tells us “22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; 23 they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” ESV
His mercies (plural) never end. He is always showing us mercy.
Let me ask you this. Who is in need of mercy? Now, I am asking this generally, not if you need mercy.
What is required of a person for them to be the recipient of mercy?
They need to have done something wrong for which they are facing some consequence.
A person who hasn’t done anything wrong does not need mercy.