Three Directions of Lifestyle Worship, Part 2
The following article by Dwayne will be featured this fall in Lifeway’s cirriculum called YOU. YOU, LifeWay’s newest adult Sunday School curriculum, is biblically-based with culturally relevant lessons to help Christians connect, grow, serve, and ultimately be engaged in impacting the world for God. YOU is unprecedented, because it is intentionally focused on urban/multicultural believers. We are honored to contribute to this incredible new cirriculum by Lifeway, which will focus this fall on worship.
Worship in Three Directions, Part 2
Now let’s consider the outward direction of worship. There are actually four distinct outward ways we can bring glory to our Lord, and they all have to do with our relationships with other people.First of all, God is worshipped when we share our faith with someone or in some way play a part in a person’s coming to know Christ. In Romans 15:16, Paul says God gave him the “priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel…so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God.” What a privilege to take part in such an offering! Once we’ve helped someone become eternally transformed, we’ll be hooked on sharing our faith for life!
Second, we worship God when we help others. These days, old-fashioned neighborly help can be hard to find. And if we’re really honest, most of us are OK with that trend. We often lack the motivation to lend a hand. We build privacy fences so we don’t see our neighbors, and then we fill up our schedules so we don’t have time to notice if they need our help. But as followers of Jesus, we can’t afford not to be the good Samaritans he has called us to be (Luke 10:33). Jesus clearly taught us to give “a cup of cold water” in his name (Matthew 10:42).
In Philippians 4:18, Paul described the Philippians’ gifts as “a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.” Giving financial aid to those in need is a third wonderful way to express our love for God. However, it’s imperative that we be cheerful when we give, not grudging, because that represents the real motives of our hearts (2 Corinthians 9:7). Once again, God considers our willing and compassionate hearts as the source of true worship.
The fourth way we worship God outwardly is by being sensitive to our weaker brothers and sisters. The entirety of Romans 14 focuses on strong and weak Christians. According to verse 13, we are to “live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall” (NLT). Verse 18 shows God’s view of this: “If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God” (NLT).
For some reason, my father (who was not a Christian) didn’t think Christian women should wear shorts. Thus, when I was growing up, I never saw our next door neighbor wearing shorts. She chose not to wear them in front of my dad because she didn’t want to offend him. That’s the kind of selfless sensitivity God honors in us-and is honored in.
Written by Dwayne Moore. Copyright 2009. Dwayne is author of the highly acclaimed book, Pure Praise: A Heart-focused Bible Study on Worship. (Group, 2009)