One Sunday morning I introduced this new worship song. Well, actually, it isn’t new. It has been around for over 40 years. But it was new to me and most of our congregation.
Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
In one of its most commonly used forms, the word, “worship”, means to bow down and obey. Or to rephrase that, it means to submit to the lordship of God and do what He commands.
An offering is a sacrifice and throughout the pages of Old Testament Scripture, sacrificial blood offerings were regular and continuous acts of the worship that God required from His people.
How do YOU define worship? Well, this might come as a surprise but It’s not about our Sunday morning pre-message, entertainment.
We’re all familiar with the Genesis account of Cain and Abel, and that story is instructive for us. Abel’s worship was in submission to God’s lordship and obedience to His command. And God was pleased with Abel’s offering.
But Cain offered a strange sacrifice; the first fruits of his produce. I’m sure that Cain was proud and he must have thought it was a generous sacrifice. It was pleasing to look at and good to eat. But it wasn’t what God required. He required blood; something had to die.
And that’s the way it was until the crucifixion of Christ. He was the perfect sacrifice; the spotless Lamb of God and His shed blood was all-sufficient to atone for our sin. From the cross, He cried, “It is finished!” His sacrifice was once for all.
So now, on this side of the cross, God requires living sacrifices. But there are still lots of people like Cain, who think they can please God with their own strange fire and well-intended sacrifices. They try to worship Him with things that are beautiful in their own eyes or pleasing in their own ears. They have an appearance of godliness but their worship lacks what God requires; submission to His lordship and obedience to His commands.
God wants us to submit ourselves to Him in love. He wants us to serve Him willingly, with the kind of obedience that comes from our hearts. He wants our lives because Christ gave His life for us.
So, as the song goes:
“We lift our voices, we lift our hands,
We lift our lives up to Him; we are an offering.
All that we have, all that we are,
All that we hope to be, we give to Him.”