Not long ago I went to a worship gathering. As the music played, people stood and raised their hands in the air. They sang along with the words. At certain times they even shouted in response to the service. As messages were shared over the sound system the crowd responded with heads nodding, shouts, and even hands clapping. It was certainly an exciting worship service. In fact, it was a very good football game.
Ladies and gentlemen, we will worship someone or something. Our lives and attention will be used to worship. It is critical that we understand the biblical definition and description of worship. God defines and describes true worship for us in Romans 12:1.
In the Book of Romans Paul wrote to the church in Rome to inform them of his intent to travel there some day. His plan was to spend time with the Roman Christians, then utilize that church as a support to launch the Gospel into what is modern day Spain but was controlled by Roman Empire at that time. He wrote ahead to them to clarify the Gospel he preached.
His letter contained two major sections. First, was laying out the Gospel and doctrine of salvation that he preached that covered Romans 1-11. Second, was making practical application 12-16.
LOOK (I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God...)
The Apostle Paul begins Romans 12:1 by exhorting and passionately urging the believers to consider God’s mercies. Some true believers may have had shortcomings in their worship, so his calling to Christians was to fix their worship by first viewing the full mercies of God. Paul knew that seeing this full expression of God’s mercies for any believer would have a powerful impact.
There is something remarkable about looking truly into the mercies of a phenomenally merciful God. When I look into something that is overwhelming, no one has to tell me to be overwhelmed. When I see something that is awesome, no one has to tell me to be in awe. The reason many Christians have trouble yielding their entire lives to God is that they have never really looked into how merciful He is.
One day Jesus was walking down the road with people all around him. People were calling him, wanting him, and following him. It was like a parade route as he walked down the street.
At one point, a wealthy, despised, short, tax collector named Zaccheus sought to see Jesus in person. Because he was short, and had no one who liked him enough to let him into the parade route, he climbed up in a tree. Zaccheus saw Jesus, and Jesus saw Zaccheus. Jesus called Zaccheus down, and they went to Zaccheus’ house. Somewhere along the way, Zaccheus was converted and became a follower of Jesus Christ.
His reaction to conversion and seeing Christ was dramatic, and he began giving money away and ministering to others in a remarkably generous way. No one had to tell Zaccheus to be excited about being loved by the most popular man in town. Nobody liked Zaccheus and everyone hated him. Jesus loved him. When Zaccheus got one look at this, he went nuts. No one had to tell him to do that.
The drastic behavioral change for Zaccheus came out of his view into Christ’s mercies. When Zaccheus saw fully God’s mercies, it changed everything.
Some might have a hard time having any real excitement about preaching, singing to God, or obeying God because they have seen all of God’s mercies. Ask God to help you see all of God’s great mercies.