G & F Episode 6: A Life of Worship
Welcome to the Good and Faithful show where we inspire, educate, and train you to leverage all that God has given you to bless the nations and advance His Kingdom!
This week we’re talking about living a life of worship. Our Father in Heaven is looking for people to worship Him. And so we will, because we ARE the Good and Faithful!
Now, before we jump into this post, I briefly want to review the season so far with you guys. We’ve been talking about practical skills that we can refine in order to make us more effective servants of the Lord. I want to emphasize, because I don’t think it can be overemphasized, the Good and Faithful servant is first and foremost a child of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we are not legalistic or religious in our pursuit of service to the Lord. But we are diligent and intentional because our Love for Him moves us to be.
So as a quick review, in Episode 2 we discussed THE most practical thing the Good and Faithful servant can do as a disciple and that is learning how to abide. Christ told us, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4 so we talked about how to abide
Episode 3 was about living a life of prayer. The Lord exhorted His disciples to pray continually and so we talked about how to do that; how to make a life of continual prayer something practical.
Episode 4 was about how to read Scripture in such a way that we are growing in our intimacy with God and our understanding of His will for us as individuals and for us as members of the Body.
And finally, speaking of the Body, episode 5, our last episode, was about Christ-centered fellowship. How do we go beyond small groups and worship service and into lives fully integrated with each other, having Christ at the center of it all? What are the obstacles to that kind of participation in the Body? Answers to those questions in our last episode.
So, today I hope to wrap up this little series on spiritual disciplines by talking about how all of these things individually are collectively part of living a life of worship.
Let’s start with talking about what worship isn’t. Worship does not equal Sunday service. It does not equal songs of praise and dance in Jesus’ name. It does not equal Jesus conferences. In fact, it is common in the history of God’s people to think that doing these things is the same as worship, and they have been found by God to be missing the mark. Consider what God says through the prophet Isaiah?
“New Moons and Sabbaths, and the calling of solemn assemblies — I cannot stand iniquity with a festival. I hate your New Moons and prescribed festivals. They have become a burden to me; I am tired of putting up with them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will refuse to look at you; even if you offer countless prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are covered with blood.” Isaiah 1:13-15 CSB (emphasis mine)
“The Lord said: These people approach me with their speeches to honor me with lip-service, yet their hearts are far from me, and human rules direct their worship of me.” Isaiah 29:13 CSB (emphasis mine)
Saying you love God, singing songs, observing festivals, etc., these things are not equal to worship. Sure, worship may look like these things. But the thing is, most of worship is not just celebrations and songs. In fact, a lot of times, activities that look like worship activities are actually rejected by God and many activities that we ourselves do not consider acts of worship are more accurately what God desires.
Consider what Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God to the Romans regarding 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 (emphasis mine)
So, what is worship? Worship is a life lived for God. An entire life. Not just parts of it. Not the convenient parts. Not on Sunday only or during small group. It’s all of life. A living sacrifice. Just like Jesus showed us.
“Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me; with burnt offerings and sin offerings You were not pleased. Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about Me in the scroll— I have come to do Your will, my God.’” (Heb 10:5-7 quoting Psalm 40:6-8, emphasis mine)
So, worship, true worship, biblical worship, is an entire life lived in service to God.
But how? How does one live an entire life unto God? How do we go beyond Christian activities and tasks and step into a lifestyle of worship? How can we be intentional with all that we do, WITHOUT becoming legalist or religious in heart and mind? The answer is found in the answer to this other question: who are you working for? Whom do you serve? Who, is your master?
See, Jesus told us, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Matt 6:24 ESV)
Now, we know in its immediate context this passage is talking about the contrast between serving God and serving money. But we also know that this truth, that we can only serve one master at a time, this is a truth that extends into everything we do. So, the question is, who is your master? Whom do you serve with your time? With your talents, with your energy? With your money? With your relationships? If you examined your own life, as an outsider looking in, what would you see? Whom do you think you serve with the way you live?
I want to remind you that the Good and Faithful servant does not work hard for a title, for career advancement, for kids that are productive members of society, for a humble retirement fund. No. The Good and Faithful servant doesn’t even have anything that is his. Everything he or she has belongs to the Master. The good and Faithful servant is diligent because he understands that his life is a living sacrifice to God. That to live is Christ (Phil 1:21). The Good and Faithful servant knows that she was saved by grace through faith, FOR good works, which God prepared beforehand that she should walk in them (Eph 2:8-10). Good and Faithful servants intentionally work out their salvation with fear and trembling because they know that it is God at work within them, to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose by, with, and through their lives (Phil 2:12-13). The Good and Faithful servant is living a sacrificial life because this is his and her true worship.
So, we get closer to answering how we live a life of worship, by addressing in our hearts who it is we are choosing to serve with our lives. But what now?
Well first, part of “how” is the spiritual disciplines. Learning to abide in Christ, living a life of prayer, daily reading of Scripture, and Christ-centered fellowship. These practices were handed to us by God in order that we would be able to draw closer to Him in our lives so that a life of worship would be more natural. As we immerse ourselves in these practices, more of our lives become open to the leading of the Holy Spirit of God so that we can live in such a way that is pleasing to Him. So, if you have not already, I highly recommend you go back to the other episodes in this season and review how you can practice these disciplines.
Secondly, a life of worship implies that there are day-to-day tasks, day-to-day living that is surrendered to the will of our Father in Heaven. What does that look like and how do we do that?
I’ll tell you right now that it doesn’t always look like being a Pastor, a bible-teacher, worship leader or any other office or role that many are accustomed to. More often than not, day to day living in worship looks as simple and straightforward as choosing to love and serve those in your sphere of influence in light of the Gospel. Whether it’s in the work place, the market place, the home or anywhere else, living a life of worship looks like loving God enough to love others as you love yourself. Yes, it means learning to put the needs of others before our own. Trusting that God will provide for our needs, so we are free to provide for the needs of others in His name.
But these things are still conceptual, right? How exactly do we make the best use of our time? How does one effectively manage one’s finances? If my body is a living sacrifices, should I be taking better care of it? If so, how?
I hope to answer those questions in detail in upcoming episodes where we’ll talk about time management, financial stewardship, health and fitness, family dynamics, and all kinds of things that impact the life of a believer.
But for now, I just want to close this out by saying this: I firmly believe that everything we have is ultimately property of our Master and we as children of God have a unique opportunity to use all that is His as something to invest in order that we would one day stand before Him saying, “Master, you delivered to me this many talents; here, I have made this many talents more.” To which He will respond, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your Master.”
This is only a brief summary of what you’ll find in the episode. Thank you for joining us today! For more on living a life of worship check out the full episode! You can also check out the FB Group or follow us on Instagram.
Don't forget, if you like what we're doing and you want to support this ministry financially, you can do so in two ways:
Check out our G & F Christian Apparel and choose from any one of our originally designed t-shirts or hoodies. Thoughtfully designed to be eye-catching and thought provoking to help you spark conversations about the hope you have in Christ.
You can also become an official patron via Patreon
Tell your family, tell your friends, tell your wife, and tell your kids! We’re telling EVERYBODY. We ARE the Good and Faithful!