Sunday, June 7, 2015

Instructions for Worship (1 Peter 4:7-11)

Peter comes to a conclusion (even though he will continue to write for a while) by exhorting his readers to do four things: be self-controlled and sober-minded, love one another, show hospitality to one another, and serve one another in their giftings. All of this is done so that God will be glorified. In other words, these are acts of worship.

People today have quite another understanding of worship. It is a narrow and common understanding of worship. One that most religions, from animists to sports fans all understand… that of celebrating and reveling in the object of worship. But, the Bible speaks of much more than that in worship. Music and celebration are just a small part. What we do in our daily lives—the way we serve God and others in His name—that is real worship.

Here, we see worship that has us:

Behaving in a controlled, thoughtful manner. Not following our base impulses or pursuing mere pleasure of the moment.

Following the lead of love, placing others and their needs ahead of our own desires. Living motivated by love counters most of what the Bible describes as sin.

Opening our homes and using our possessions in service of other people. We do not see what we have as ours, but rather God’s.

Using our gifts and abilities in service, once again helping each other and meeting needs.

God is most glorified in the worship-service of life, not simply in a concert where He is the de facto (but not always the actual) focus of attention.

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