What do you think of when you hear the word “worship”? For me, I tend to think of worship music, my personal devotional time, or maybe a worship service at church. However, worship as the Bible describes it is much bigger than a song or something we participate in a few moments each week. As Paul writes to the church in Rome, as we consider the mercies of God, offering our bodies and our lives as a living sacrifice, that is our true worship (Romans 12:1). Then Paul says that God calls us not to conform to the world around us, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. What does it look like to have our minds renewed? We get some clues in the following verses, where Paul describes the kind of life God calls us to live, urging us to love others—even our enemies.
In another letter Paul wrote, this time to the Colossians, he highlights some more specific characteristics and qualities that would describe someone who is living a sacrificial lifestyle of true worship: “compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another,” and above all loving one another (Colossians 3:12-14). All of those things are characteristics of Jesus, and of someone who is living a lifestyle of worship, holy and pleasing to God. Paul ends this portion of his letter to the Colossians with an incredible challenge: “Whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (verse 17).
Throughout our lives, God calls us to grow in these characteristics, relying on His presence within us through the Holy Spirit to give us the help we need. God is a faithful God—faithful to forgive, faithful to redeem, and faithful to restore. The best part is He WANTS to help us grow in Him! Through Jesus, God has already provided forgiveness, and through the Holy Spirit, He is already transforming Christians (2 Corinthians 3:18). He loves it when we worship Him, and His help is always available to us. • Hunter Taylor
• Consider spending some time today asking God to reveal some ways you can grow in your lifestyle of worship and ask for His help in making those changes. In addition to talking to God, who are trusted Christians in your life you can talk to?
• What are some ways we can remember God’s mercy? How might this help us live a lifestyle of worship?
Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Romans 12:1 (CSB)