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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Worship Requires A Sacrifice

Psalms 63:2-4
So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
drinking in Your strength and glory.
In Your generous love I am really living at last!
My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless You every time I take a breath;
My arms wave like banners of praise to You.
(The Message Bible)

I love that picture of worship! I love to worship Him because as I empty myself and give all the glory to Him, He fills me and speaks to my heart like no other time.

The first time the word "worship" is used in the Bible is when Abraham brings Isaac to worship on the mountain.

Gen 22:2-14
2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about.

4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance.

5 He said to his servants, "Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you."

6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together,

7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, "Father?""Yes, my son?" Abraham replied."The fire and wood are here," Isaac said, "but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?"

8 Abraham answered, "God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son." And the two of them went on together.

9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, "Abraham! Abraham!""Here I am," he replied.

12 "Do not lay a hand on the boy," he said. "Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son."

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.

14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, "On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided."

We tend to think that if we sing songs in church on Sunday, we've worshipped. This is not always the case. We may have sang songs, but worship requires some sort of sacrifice/offering. If our heart is not engaged, it's not worship.

Isaac knew they had the wood and the fire, but wondered where the sacrifice or offering was.
For it to be considered worship, an offering is necessary and both Abraham and Isaac were fully aware of this.

Today in worship, we are the offering. We are to put ourselves on that "altar."
(No, I don't mean the steps in front of the church platform.)

The altar now is symbolic of Jesus being the final sacrifice made for our sins. His death, burial and resurrection is the altar, but then we are to bring the offering.

Rom 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, 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.
2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-His good, pleasing and perfect will.
The sacrifices we bring to worship are:
* Trust
* Abandonment of our own ways, desires, wants and dreams
* Something God calls you to do but honestly you just don't feel like doing it
* Sometimes a very difficult path

We don't deny that the offering or sacrifice is painful, but in the midst of it, we recognize that God is faithful and will bless the sacrifice made as we honor Him with our lives.

Heb 12:28-29
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our "God is a consuming fire."
I love this song because it speaks well of the fact that there IS pain in the offering of our lives, but still we will bless the Lord!

If you live in the Plainwell, MI area, come out and worship with us tonight!
Details HERE


Mary Lou said...

This is one of my favorite songs. It says quite a bit about worship...for to me if you can only bless His name WHEN everything is going right Then something is missing in your relationship with Him. Only when you can bless Him in the bad times as well as the good are you truly worshipping Him. We need to keep our eyes on Him at ALL times. Blessings on you for this post...Mary Lou

Geli said...

Beautiful! Thank you for your exquisite sharing on worship.
Bless you!

Mel said...

Sue this was a great message!!!!

A Stone Gatherer said...

Sue such an AWESOME post!!!! Oh my goodness! It was great! I'm going to share it with others on my facebook!

Heather C said...

"We are the offering" Amen & Amen!

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