Friday, March 9
"Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship."
I have one tattoo: a small Hebrew word on my right wrist. When people ask what it means, I really want to say, “It means I’m a wannabe hipster who can’t stand needles”, but usually I just say, “It’s the Hebrew word for ‘worshipper’.” While this is true, it is incomplete. The word is 'avad,' and while it is translated as 'worshipper', the Scriptural context is totally different.
These days, we connect the idea of being a worshipper to musical expressions of honoring God – but the original language really meant 'obedient servant'. While music is great and a completely valid – and Biblically commanded – expression of worship, from the very beginning God recognized our highest act of worship as being a servant who does what the Master tells him or her to do. This is why Jesus tells us over and over in Scripture, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.” In 1 Samuel 15, we are reminded, “Obedience is better than sacrifice.”
We see this in our own lives. If I tell my kids to clean their rooms, and they tell me they love me while not cleaning their rooms, I’m going to have a hard time believing they love me. But when they listen and obey, I know that they love me because they honor me. That’s what God is asking for from us. Paul is reminding us in Romans 12 that because of who God is and how He has treated us, we should give our lives back to Him in obedience. To be a sacrifice, dying to ourselves while living for our God. This is how we best express our worship to Him.
A wise man once said, “The problem with a living sacrifice is that they keep crawling off the altar.” Our worship must be a continual, every day process in which we choose to put God’s desires for our life above our own and walk in obedience as a grateful response to who He is.
Lord, I want my life to be one that daily lives in obedience to You, because of who You are and what You have done in my life. Please help me live for You today, and give me the strength to die to myself every day as my act of worship to You.
- Pastor Jeff