Monday, March 11, 2013

Definitions of Worship- Part 5

            Probably one of the most difficult aspects of worship is sacrifice.  A sacrifice costs us something.  It is not inherent within us as a fallen race to give sacrificially.  But when we present  a gift to the Lord that causes us to offer (perhaps even suffer) of ourselves in some way, God is pleased.  Even King David recognized this concept early on in his reign when he stated, “I will not offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing.” (II Sam. 24:24, paraphrased.)
            What is a sacrifice of praise?  Heb. 13:15 declares, “Therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.”  The fruit of our lips is the worship that flows from a heart of pure, unadulterated praise.  In the worship experience, a sacrifice of praise can also be associated with the rituals of giving and the singing/playing of worship songs.  When we give our last “mite” out of faith for our tithes and offerings when we don’t know where our next meal is coming from, that’s a sacrifice.  When we’re not feeling well or in pain, and we come to church to lift our hands and voices to the Lord, that’s a sacrifice.  When we don’t like the songs being sung and yet we still enter into worship with all of our hearts, that’s a sacrifice.
Lifestyle worship demands that we love the Lord with all that we possess, and love others as Christ loved us. Eph 5:2 admonishes us to, “Live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”  “Sacrificial worship is a place where I drop my ego and allow God to confront the issues that keep me from fulfilling my destiny.”[1] As we give thank offerings, we encounter the manifest presence of God and find His path to righteousness.  Psalms 50:23 promises, “He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God."

[1] David L. Ritter, Music Ministry Manual, ed. Brenda Herring (San Diego, CA: David Ritter Publishing, 2010).

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