Worship Is a Verb—Life Application for January 8, 2017

January 1, 2017 No Comments »
Worship Is a Verb—Life Application for January 8, 2017

By David Faust

faustCan you identify an English word that uses all the vowels including Y? Unquestionably!

Language is nuanced. A cartoon declares, “There’s a big difference between ‘Let’s eat Grandma’ and ‘Let’s eat, Grandma.’ Punctuation saves lives!”

Language is also fun. A bright red sign fastened to a door said, “This door is alarmed.” Next to the sign, anonymous quipsters taped two handmade signs: “The window is startled” and “The floor is somewhat taken aback!” Another grammarian joke? “The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.”

Hungry for God’s Presence

Language reflects our state of mind. A man might say, “I’m going to work,” but it makes a big difference whether he thinks about work as a noun or a verb. If work is an unappealing noun to him, it’s merely the misery he must tolerate for the next eight hours in order to receive a paycheck. He will put in the time, but his heart will be elsewhere. However, if a man thinks of work as a verb, the statement “I’m going to work” could mean something more positive. Desiring to serve productively throughout the day, when he gets there, he’s going to work.

A woman could say, “I’m going to worship,” but have no intention of putting her heart into the experience. Perhaps she considers church services a gauntlet of boring sermons and irrelevant rituals she must endure to fulfill a religious obligation. Her motivation will be entirely different if she sees worship as a verb and seeks to love the Lord with her body, mind, and strength. Though at times she may struggle to focus on the Lord, she won’t give up the quest. Hungering for God’s presence, she says “I’m going to worship” because that’s exactly what she will do. She will lift up the Lord in praise.

Call to Action

Notice the action words found in Psalm 96:

• Sing. Worship involves far more than music, but throughout history music has provided an outlet for adoring hearts to honor God. Classic hymns express our common faith and link us to previous generations of believers. At the same time, the psalmist’s exhortation, “Sing to the Lord a new song” (v. 1), reminds us to embrace new forms of musical praise as well.

• Declare. Love for God isn’t a one-hour-a-week ritual; it’s a 24/7 lifestyle—a declaration of dependence on the Lord our God. Worship makes a statement to others. “Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples” (v. 3). Worship makes a statement to God. “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name” (v. 8). Praising God even makes a statement to ourselves, for it reminds us to humble ourselves before “the splendor of his holiness” (v. 9).

• Bring. We tend to ask, “What do I get out of it?” But love for God compels us to ask a different question: “What do I bring into it?” Here’s an idea: “Bring an offering and come into his courts” (v. 8). Giving is an act of worship. The ultimate goal of a church offering isn’t to cover the light bill and pay the preacher; it’s to praise God with thankful generosity.

The call to worship is a call to action. Psalm 96 urges the sky, earth, sea, fields, and trees to vocalize their praise for God (vv. 11-13). Is it time for us to join the choir? Unquestionably.

David Faust serves as the Associate Minister at East 91st Street Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Based on International Sunday School Lesson, © 2013, by the Lesson Committee. Scripture quotations are from the New International Version ©2011, unless otherwise indicated.

As you apply today’s Scripture study to everyday life, read Engage Your Faith by David Faust and the correlating Evaluation Questions.

   

Daily Readings

Jan. 2

M.

1 Chronicles 16:23-34

O Sing to the Lord

Jan. 3

T.

Psalm 96:7-9

Ascribe to the Lord, O Families

Jan. 4

W.

Isaiah 42:1-4

Justice Will Be Established

Jan. 5

T.

Isaiah 49:1-7

Salvation Is for All Peoples

Jan. 6

F.

Romans 15:7-13

Sing Praises, O Gentiles

Jan. 7

S.

Revelation 5:11-14

Singing Around the Throne

Jan. 8

S.

Psalm 96:1-6, 10-13

The Lord Reigns Supreme

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