A short reading and prayer for today
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.
Romans 12:1 NLT
We use the word worship in a wide variety of ways. Sometimes we use it to refer to a church service and at other times we use it for a part of the service which is called “a time of worship” which normally consists of prayers and singing. Here Paul is using the word in a much bigger way. He is talking about us giving our whole lives to God as an act of worship, and he suggests that this is the only fitting response to a God who has done everything for us. Paul has absolutely no thought that we could worship God for a while and then get on with our own life, as if we could divide up life into different compartments. Our whole life needs to be focused on worshipping God.
Paul invited the Christians in Rome to offer their worship to God as a living and holy sacrifice. With Jesus’ death on the cross the ultimate sacrifice had been made, and so there would be no need for the old sacrificial system. However, Jesus made it clear that those who followed him would need to sacrifice their lives. It is clear and unambiguous language. Jesus said to his disciples, “If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.” (Matthew 16.25)
Jesus calls us to give up the whole of our lives to him because he wants to transform and bless every part of them. That means that our time working, playing sport, travelling, relaxing with the family and shopping are acts of worship just as much as our times praising God with our Christian brothers and sisters. God wants every aspect of our lives to be touched by his presence.
In what ways is worship important to you?
Lord God, I thank you for your amazing generosity to me. Help me to place the whole of this day into your hands so that you can bless everything that I say and do. Amen
Photo – Silver Birch