Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Hebrews 13:15
Worship is our sacred offering to God. The word “sacrifice” in Hebrews 13:15 literally means “to make sacred.” When we worship, we dedicate our song and prayer as sacred, holy, and set apart for God. We owe him the very best of our heart, soul, and body. In Malachi 1:10 and 11 the prophet proclaims that it would be better to shut the doors than to kindle fire in vain for a blemished offering unfit to present to the Lord of hosts whose name shall be great among the nations. When we worship, we are offering a gift to our King!
“’Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.’” Deuteronomy 6:5
Worship is a ministry of the word. Sometimes we think of music as a necessary evil in the church, but God gave it as a ministry. We ought to take Worship Ministry just as seriously as we do Preaching Ministry including selecting and training leaders who are devoted to excellence in their service. Music awakens and unleashes the spirit in humanity; it is the glue that fuses intellect with emotion, message with meaning, and precept with praise. Why should the preacher be enthusiastic and engaging, but the song leader must be still and stoic? Why not grant the Worship Minister the same latitude that we do the Preaching Minister to employ everything he has, heart, soul, and body to passionately engage and lead the church in worship? Rather, we ought to require it!
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:16, 17
Worship is life changing. When the message convicts the worshiper, it stirs the heart and storms the will. Worship flows from a heart full of God, brings us before the throne, and draws us toward eternity. We are transformed to be closer to God’s image and presence, to the magnification of His marvelous name. Worship without passion falls flat. Let our singing be heartfelt; let the word live and breathe vibrantly in our reading; let our prayers be more than trite recitation of clichés. John Kilgore once said, “If you’re not changing, you’re not worshiping.” Conversely, real worship results in real life change.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2