"I urge your 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." Romans 12:1....."If you've never seen your worship as the ultimate purpose of your salvation, you're missing the best part of salvation.......Living sacrifices don't live for themselves. They live for Another. That's their service of worship." Chris Tiegreen
The last two decades in the Church have seen a great deal of debate concerning worship. Most seems to have centered around style. "Traditional" vs "Contemporary" seems to be the main focus. The controversy seems to have abated for the most part as more and more, the contemporary appears to have won out. Yet, my great question for us all is, in all the debating, have we ever really understood what worship really is, and what it's really about? In all the controversy, it seems that we think worship is all about us, what we like. Little thought goes into what it is that He loves and seeks.
Jesus said that those who worship Him must worship Him "in spirit and in truth." That's the only worship that's real. So, dare we ask ourselves, just how much of what we call worship is real? How much of His Spirit and His Truth comprises it? Is what we find so acceptable in our gatherings truly acceptable to Him?
There's been an alarming trait going on in the Church for some time now. That's the moving away from any emphasis on the Old Testament. I've heard preachers say outright that they spend little if any time in its study, so obviously, they spend little if any time in its preaching. It's to their and their fellowships great harm. I realize that we live under the New Covenant in Christ, yet there remains life giving and life saving truth to be found in what He spoke before the giving of His Son.
In those times, the Father called His people to journey to His Temple and there offer to Him the best of their flocks and produce. In this offering also came their asking of forgiveness for their sin, as well as deep gratitude for His goodness. It was to be an act of devotion and worship coming from a loving heart towards Him. These gifts were placed upon His altar and were offerings in which no part was held back. It is a foretaste of the worship we are now called to in Christ. What we bring is more than the best of what we have. We bring the best of, all of, what and who we are to Him. In devotion, gratitude and love for who He is and what He has done for us in Christ the King. It is a Living Sacrifice, and as Tiegreen says, "It lives a dedicated life, an altar life. It now belongs to the Priest (Christ). We are in His hands."
So, just how deep and worshipful is your altar life and mine? Do we live "altar lives" at all. I don't think God much cares what style of worship we come to Him with, or even how skillfully done it is. He cares even less about the props we come up with to accompany it, or the amount of self that goes into it. What He calls for, commands, is ourselves, all of ourselves, on the altar, all of the time. Altar life. No other kind can ever be fully acceptable to Him. Is what we're offering Him really acceptable? There may well be many things you've placed upon His altar. Have you ever placed yourself there? Do you place yourself there now? Worship Life, Altar Life. They're really one and the same. Are they so for you and me?