Key Verses for Why God Deserves Our All:
"Who has ever given to God that God should repay him? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen. Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God -- this is your spiritual act of worship." (Rom. 11:35-12:1)
Key Attributes of God Leading to the Presentation of Ourselves to Him:
God is our life. If it wasn't for His mercy we would have nothing, including life itself.
Key Issues for Worship:
- It's about giving Him our all, not simply the parts we are okay with giving.
The greatest commandment is that you "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind" (Matt. 22:37).
- It's about giving Him our best, the first fruits of our lives, not simply the leftovers of our time, money and resources.
We are to present ourselves to Him "as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God" (Rom. 12:1).
- It's about giving Him our hearts, not simply our words or deeds.
Let's not be like those of whom God said, "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men" (Isa. 29:13).
Key Focus in a Lifestyle of Worship:
What can we sacrifice to Him?
Remember that He did not hold back on our behalf. Jesus gave His very life for us. "In view of God's mercy" how can we not be that "living sacrifice?"
As a "living sacrifice" we will continually offer to Him ourselves and all that we have and do. As such, because of His mercy, we enter into a lifestyle of worship.
Implications for the Worship Leader:
- Be careful not to give the impression that people can come and sing a few songs, say amen, put an offering in the plate, and have done their "spiritual act of worship." Emphasize that worship encompasses the totality of their lives.
- Encourage people to lay their all on the altar, to be "living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God."
- Focus on the heart, not form or methodology, for it must be from the heart that people present themselves to God. (See Matt. 12:33-37.)
Implications for the Individual Worshiper:
- Guard your heart so that it doesn't become stubborn (Jer. 13:10) or turn away, get distracted, or become lukewarm. Keep that first love (Rev. 2:1-7) so you are not drawn elsewhere or tempted to give less than all to Him (Deut. 30:15-20).
- In corporate worship, be willing to lay down your preferences and comfort zone. Be willing to give to God as He has prospered you when the offering plate passes by (1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 9:6-8). Remember, sacrifice is a part of worship.
- Come before the Lord with joy and gladness as you present yourself wholly to Him, not begrudgingly (Ps. 100:2; 2 Cor. 9:7).
The Worship Ministry Manual includes this content and some questions to help you reflect on whether you are giving the Lord your all, your best, and your core (heart) in worship.