To serve is to worship

romans-12-1-2

The Verse of the Day for October 29, 2016 mentions a “living sacrifice,” a concept presented in Romans 12:1

[A Living Sacrifice to God] And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.

Paul speaks of offering our bodies as “a living sacrifice,” which is our reasonable service, or as the Amplified Bible puts it: “which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” Indeed, service equals worship.

These two concepts also merge in the Old Testament where Joshua asks questions and makes a bold declaration to the Children of Israel.  The New Living Translation puts it this way:

Joshua 24:15 (NLT)

15 But if you refuse to serve the Lord, then choose today whom you will serve. Would you prefer the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates? Or will it be the gods of the Amorites in whose land you now live? But as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.”

Notice this rendering in the Holman Christian Standard:

Joshua 24:15

But if it doesn’t please you to worship Yahweh, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshipped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship Yahweh.”

Each day God sets before us the choice: will we choose the path that leads to life everlasting, as we choose to follow the Lord and serve only Him? Or will we choose the path that leads to destruction and choose to serve other gods?

I recall a popular song from the seventies in which the inimitable Bob Dylan made a profound statement that “You got to serve somebody . . . it may be the Devil, it may be the Lord, but you got to serve somebody.” Just as the question was raised by Joshua when he confronted the Israelites, as they prepared to enter the Promised Land, so the question is raised to believers today, “Whom are you going to serve or worship this day?”

The lyrics to the following song express our heart’s desire to worship and serve the Lord. These two synonymous and interchangeable words are embodied in David, a devoted servant with a passion for worship. This is our prayer:

 Lord, give us a heart like David,

A man after your own heart.

Purify our motives and intentions,

Cleanse us and set us apart.

Lord, give us a heart like David.

Lord, give us a heart like David.

 

 

Lord, give us a heart to serve you,

With all our heart, completely;

To follow in the footsteps of Jesus,

As we serve you faithfully.

Lord, give us a heart to serve you.

Lord, give us a heart to serve you.

 

 

Lord, give us a heart of worship,

Overflowing with your praise.

May our words and our deeds give you glory.

May we serve you all of our days.

Lord, give us a heart to serve you.

Lord, give us a heart of worship.

We close with a musical rendering: Romans 12-1-2 Song “A Living Sacrifice” (Christian Scripture Praise Worship Song with Lyrics)

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