As a church, we recently studied through the material of the “Gospel Shaped Church” by the Gospel Coalition, the series is titled “Gospel Shaped Worship.” The reason for our desire to work through this series was to make everyone in the church aware the biblical mandate we have in worshipping God.
The word worship derives from the idea of “worth.” Meaning to “give worth—or value—to someone or something.” “Worship” simply refers to the ways we express who or what we find most valuable and satisfying.
I’m sure you are aware that we’ve also been studying the book of Mark, which pretty much lays out the heart of what worship is in Mark 12:28-31;
“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him [Jesus], ‘Which commandment is the most important of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” The second is this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The scribe asks: “What is the most important command?”
Jesus replies: “All of them.”
However, He says that “love” is the chief command, and therefore, He also says this love must involve all of your heart, soul, and mind. But maybe you don’t think of worship as something you’re already doing all the time, but the reality is that we worship—we give worth—in any given moment to whatever our lives are centered on in that moment.
The Biblical Instruction
We are always worshiping someone or something. The worship that God loves involves both trust and truth. We see this in Christ’s command to love God with our mind as well as our affections and actions. In other words, real worship is not simply about feelings; it has truth content, doctrinal content.
Worship happens not just in a special meeting, but in the ordinary moments of our lives. And this worship comes from inner hope; inner belief; and inner trust in God.
Therefore, our worship is to be acceptable. It is to be the outflow of a heart that is believing in the gospel. Acceptable worship is driven by the finished work of Christ as revealed by the Spirit and planted in the worshiper’s heart by the Spirit. Worship that comes from anywhere else is empty.
So as you and your loved ones prepare to pray, consider these questions;
• When you are alone, what does your mind most often become preoccupied with? What do you tend to daydream most about? What do you worry most about?
• What thing or person or quality in your life, if taken away from you, would cause you the most despair?
• What animates you most, energizes you most, captivates you most, stirs and inspires and motivates you most?
• What, based on your daily life and the things you love to talk about, would other people say is the most important thing to you?
Whatever answer is most common among that list of questions is what you worship.