September 25, 2017

Romans 12:2 (NLT) — 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Having talked about everyday as  being a day of worship, Paul now tells us how to fine tune our worship so that it is truly acceptable to God. He starts out with one of those ‘don’ts’. To fine tune our worship service we must learn not to do the ‘don’ts; which we also talked about a few weeks ago. So what is it that we are not to do during our worship service?

Copy = to fashion, shape, or mold one thing to be just like another thing. At Christmas time Dr. Mark would always make me ginger bread men cookies. He use the same cookie mold for all the cookies so that one cookie looked just like the other. He also used the same dough so that each cookie tasted the same. You couldn’t tell them apart by looking at them or by tasting them. They were all fashioned and shaped to look and taste alike.

On a synchronized swimming team they all dress alike with the same outfits and they spend so much time together so that they can all be conformed to the same movements at the same time. Over time they move and behave as one person so that no one stands out as being different. They all look alike. It really is a thing of beauty to watch. You begin to appreciate all the work and effort that went into copying each other.

Copying the customs and behavior of non-Christians and moving as if you both are one is not a thing of beauty in God’s eyes. Paul exhorts us to not get so close to unbelievers that before you know it you are living exactly like them and it becomes difficult to tell you apart from the unbeliever. In fact if someone were to ask which was one was the unbeliever and which one was the Christian there would really be no way tell.

So Paul is saying that in order to fine tune our worship we must not worship the way a non-believer worships. The way of worship of a non-believer is to worship self. Everything a non-believer does is for the glory of self. Everything  a believer does is for the glory of God; or at least it is supposed to be.

So to fine tune my worship I ask myself is what I am doing or about to do add to the glory of God or take away from his glory? If I were to carry out the thoughts that I am thinking wouldthat action enhance God’s reputation or will it speak well of God? Is it some thing that Jesus would be comfortable in doing. Do the words that come out of my mouth bring life or death; do they build up or tear down? What does my tone of voice and my demeanor say about what is going on inside of me?

My little granddaughters are beginning to mimic the words that I use and the expressions that I have. They imitate what I do when we play follow the leader. They are very impressionable so I must be careful in what I say and do. I want help them fine tune their own worship services.

Who sets the example in worship for grandpa. I believe it is God’s word. If I am copying the behavior laid out for me in the word of God than I am truly fine tuning my worship. If I am copying the behavior of a non-believing world am I really worshipping God?

Psalm 119:5–7 (NLT) — 5 Oh, that my actions would consistently reflect your decrees! 6 Then I will not be ashamed when I compare my life with your commands. 7 As I learn your righteous regulations, I will thank you by living as I should!

The psalmist just told us how to fine tune our worship. As we live in obedience to God’s word our worship takes the form of thanksgiving or gratefulness.

Psalm 100:4 (NLT) — 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.

Psalm 50:23 (NLT) — 23 But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.”

Be Inspired Hilltop!

 

Comments

  1. Mary Anne Frank says:

    As I was reading this post today I was reminded of a time when I was a young wife and mom. We were living in an intentional Christian community so I was trying to live my life for Jesus. One of the things that I started doing was reading women’s magazines. Over the few years I did this I became frustrated in my marriage and dissatisfied with my life circumstances. The were always great(I thought) articles on how to improve everything in my life including my “man”. I began to worship at the altar of the world. One day in my prayer time God spoke to me and told me to throw away my magazines, and cancel the subscriptions. Really God? But I decided I better obey. Slowly I began to see my joy return and amazingly my marriage began to improve. I wasn’t discontent with my circumstances as often. I began reading the Word more and more Christian books. I saw my hunger for God increase and my hunger for worldly things decrease. The devil knows how to tempt us into seemly innocent things in order to get us to bow at the altar of the world. Jesus said His path is narrow. It is always the better path. I want to worship Him not the things of this world.

    • Daniel Mueller says:

      thank you for sharing your journey. I believe we can all relate. I cancelled my subscription to cycling magazines because they caused me to be dissatisfied with what I had and they enticed me to buy more. The Word entices me to want more of the Lord.