A Life of Worship

As we experience the resurrected life that we have in Jesus, we increasingly live a life of worship. “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12.29)

Monday – Isaiah 6.1-8. Isaiah received a clear sense of his identity as a prophet for God through worship. In this encounter initiated by God, Isaiah became keenly aware of the holiness, goodness, and glory of God. He also became keenly aware of his own need of cleansing. The focus in worship is on God, himself. In focusing on the character of God, we come to see ourselves more honestly. We also discover who he can shape us to become, increasingly reflecting his heart and character. All worship is a response to God’s prior acts of love toward us. It all begins with God!

Tuesday – Psalm 68.4-6; Colossians 3.16. Singing has always been a distinctive form of Christian worship. “When we sing, a beautiful thing happens in our souls. The deep, true, and powerful words these praise songs and hymns express become our words; they express what we are feeling toward God in a way that no other medium of communication can. The combination of music and words creates something greater than the sum of their parts. It is as if our soul takes wing.” (James Bryan Smith, Hidden in Christ)

Wednesday – Hebrews 13.15-16. Concluding his letter, the author is doing some good old-fashioned exhorting-giving urgent advice. He urges these believers to offer to God a sacrifice of praise. John Wesley wrote these good instructions for how to sing from the Methodist hymnal: “Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half-dead or half asleep but lift your voice with strength. Above all, sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself…and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound.” This week, try singing, whether in private or corporate worship, in the manner John Wesley suggests.

Thursday – Acts 2.42-46. Dr. Dennis Kinlaw, in This Day with the Master, wrote: “God’s greatest gift to any of us is himself. He came to Moses in a burning bush. He came to Saul on the road to Damascus. He has always come to me through persons, who, in giving him, always gave themselves. And persons, like God, always come in families. It is in our physical, spiritual, and intellectual families that we find our life, our identity, and our treasures.” Could it be that regularly worshiping God together is vital in discovering who we are and whose we are?

Friday – Psalm 34.1-8. “To worship God means to serve him. Basically, there are two ways to do it. One way is to do things for him that he needs to have done—run errands for him, carry messages for him, fight on his side, feed his lambs, and so on. The other way is to do things for him that you need to do—sing songs for him, create beautiful things for him, give things up for him, tell him what’s on your mind and in your heart—in general rejoice in him and make a fool of yourself for him the way lovers have always made fools of themselves for the ones they love.” (Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life) Today, what is something you need to do for him?

Saturday – Psalm 103.1-8. “Sing to God one of the many songs based on Psalm 103, such as Bless the Lord, O My Soul. Pause and reflect, reminding yourself why you do really want to bless God (to thank God and to praise God). If you don’t know such a song, either make one up using those words, or read the entire Psalm aloud.” (Jan Johnson, Invitation to the Jesus Life) Imagine yourself singing or reading the psalm in God’s presence. Because of the Holy Spirit, you are in his presence.