This week’s discipleship focuses on keeping an attitude of worship beyond Sunday’s setting. Worship in a basic sense is a response of men to an action of God; often its thanks or praise to Him, but fear could be a response as well. God is always in action – for us (yea!), in us (great!) and through us (amen!). His Spirit acts as we take in his Word, listen to inspiring music, pray or gather together in his name. He works in ordinary conversation and silence. Sometimes we are recipients, in which a thankful heart is great response. Other times we are the vessels God uses to act in the lives of others – making us his “priests” (royal priesthood -- 1 Ptr. 2:9). In fact, someone might actually praise God (worship) because of you – being God’s vessel in their lives on those occasions.
We step into this week celebrating You, Father, giver of all good gifts and worthy of all worship and praise;
We are celebrating You, Jesus, through whom we have access to the Father’s throne of grace;
We are celebrating You, Spirit, by whose leadership we learn how to worship in spirit and in truth;
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
... offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality
What jumps out at you from this reading? Ask God why…
Come, let us worship and bow down,
let us kneel before the Lord our God, our Maker.
For He is our God,
and we are the people of His pasture,
and the sheep of His hand,
Remember: Ten minutes a day to stop and listen, to connect with God in music. Let the Holy Spirit use it to feed your soul.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
A mere understanding of salvation in Jesus doesn’t make a person Christ-like in action or mature in faith. God uses many relationships to bring us to maturity. Author Jim Putman suggests four “spheres” or main areas of life in which a disciple grows under God’s hand.
DiscipleShift, Putman p.78
I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Father God, you have been so merciful to me, a poor, sinful being. Beyond that, You have made me a new creation in Jesus, holy and righteous – and I praise you for that. Let your Holy Spirit guide my spirit so that I am in line with Your will in my daily life – my choices, my attitudes, my words, my body language, even my facial expressions. Particularly today I pray that you show me where I have been harming my soul by conforming to the world’s ways; I want to stop that and become more like Jesus. Transform my life through a renewed mind that sees and seeks you in all things. I pray earnestly that nothing be allowed to cloud this yearning or to plague my soul, and so I ask that you remove any and all offending obstacles in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Blessing is not just a word. Blessing is the projection of good into the life of another. We must think it, and feel it, and will it. We communicate it with our bodies. Blessing is kind of like an ancient dance of the Hokey-Pokey; before you finish, you have to "put your whole self in." Blessing is done by the soul... Blessing and cursing are not compartmentalized Bible words at all. They are simply two ways we treat people. They are as inescapable as breathing out and breathing in.
- Soul Keeping, by John Ortberg, pages 153-155
A priest in the Old Testament had two basic roles: Represent God to people and represent people to God. These are comparable to our roles today as Jesus’ priests (1 Peter 2:9).
Every Christian represents God to the world of believers and non-believers. As such we are to bless people with God’s love (think kindness, grace, peace, gentleness, forgiveness). You are a divine servant and God wants to do divine acts of service through you. You also represent people to God, and as such are expected to lift them up in prayer seeking God’s outpouring of mercy and love in their lives. Get to it fellow priest.
In Jesus name! Amen.
You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
Hey Priest of God, go declare – to God’s Glory! Be a blessing from God to His people.