Romans 12:1 ESV
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
When you think of worship, what comes to mind? When I hear other Christians speak of worship of God, primarily what I hear is them talking about a praise and worship service at a gathering of “the church.” I think it is a popular concept among Christians that worship of God is about singing praise and worship songs in a song service.
But is that worship? It can be. But it isn’t necessarily. Yet is the singing of songs part of our worship of God? Biblically speaking, yes. But if we are singing praise and worship songs supposedly to God, does that mean we are worshiping God? No! One does not necessarily equal the other. Why?
They don’t necessarily equal one another because true worship of God goes much deeper than just singing songs. For true worship is not just something that moves our emotions. True worship of God is something which moves our hearts to obey our Lord and to follow him wherever he leads us.
True worship of God leads us to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ on his altar, living holy and godly lives, pleasing to God. When we do this, we die with Christ to sin and we live to Christ and to his righteousness. Our lives are no longer our own to be lived how we want for we were bought back for God with the blood of Jesus Christ (1 Co 6:19-20; 2 Co 5:15, 21).
What this means for us is that we are no longer walking (conducting our lives in practice) in sin, but we are now living our lives according to God’s will and purpose for our lives. It doesn’t mean we will never sin again (1 Jn 2:1-2), but that sin no longer has mastery over our lives (Rom 6:1-23).
It also means that Jesus Christ is Lord (owner-master) of our lives, so our lives are now directed by him and not by our flesh. For, he died for us on that cross that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. So, this means that, by the Spirit, we live to please Him.
For, we are called to be a holy people living lives which are separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are now being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ in all that we are, think, say, and do. And this means we will be hated, too, because we no longer blend in with the world.
Romans 12:2 ESV
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
So, this also means that we are no longer conformed (adapted) to the ways (patterns of behavior) of this sinful world. We do stand out as different. We aren’t like everyone else. We don’t laugh at the same jokes or watch the same TV shows or movies or listen to the same music as everyone else.
We are sensitized to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, and we are putting into practice the biblical teachings which say that we are not to have our minds set on the things of this earth, but that our minds are to be set on things above, on the things of God and of his righteousness.
So, we examine the things that we daily are taking into our minds, or that we are involved in, against the Scriptures. And a great passage of Scripture to do this with is Philippians 4:8:
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
I am on the internet daily posting devotions and tweets and Facebook posts, and responding to other people’s blog posts or tweets or Facebook posts or Christian discussion posts or responses to my posts. So, I have a pretty good idea of what Christians are posting on the internet.
Much of what is being posted by Christians on the internet would not pass the Philippians 4:8 test, though. Much of it would not pass the Romans 12:1-2 test, either. For so many people who call themselves Christians today are not much different than people who make no profession of faith in Christ.
Their conversations are about the same things, they are involved in the same types of activities, and they watch and listen to much of the same garbage as what the world does, too, whether it comes via social media memes or videos or movies or music or whatever.
But we aren’t supposed to be like the world for Jesus called us to come out from the world and to be holy unto him. For, we are to live such holy lives that the world and even other Christians will think us odd and strange.
Songs in the Night
An Original Work / December 18, 2013
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” Acts 16:25 NIV ‘84
Lord, I praise You forevermore.
You, my Savior, I now adore.
Hope in heaven awaiting me,
Because You died at Calvary.
I have been forgiven,
And I’m bound for heaven.
Jesus set me free from
All my sin, I say.
I will praise Him always!
Lord, I love You for all You’ve done:
Overcame death, my vict’ry won!
Jesus saved me, and now I’m free!
I rejoice in His love for me.
I will walk in vict’ry!
My sin is but hist’ry!
I am free to please Him
With my life today.
I will love Him always!
Lord, I thank You for giving me
A new life bought at Calvary.
Loving Jesus, I meet with Him.
Tender mercies now flow within.
Lord, I am so thankful;
Through my Lord, I’m able
To sit at His table;
Fellowship with Him.
I will thank Him always!