July 17th, 2012
BP&W Mercy Believers Statesboro 07-15-12
(Portions adapted from a devotional by Mark Batterson of National Community Church)
Listen & Watch online at http://believersstatesboro.com/home/audio-sermons/.
Rom 12:1-3 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. 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. For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (NIV)
Ps 103:2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–(NIV)
Worship is living in a state of constant gratitude.
Even when we do something wrong we have something to be grateful for: Mercy!
Romans 12:1 says, “….in view of God’s mercy, offer your bodies as living sacrifices…” (NIV)
The prerequisite to worship is mercy.
Next Step: This week I will remember and think about the mercies of God shown to me.
The Logic of Worship
Romans 12:1 “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.”
The KJV says that offering ourselves as living sacrifices is our “reasonable act of service.” Nothing is more reasonable or more logical than worship.
Anything less than all-out worship is totally illogical. Worship is sanity.
Blaise Pascal, the 17th century French Philosopher said it this way, “There are only two classes of persons who can be called reasonable: those who serve God with all of their hearts because they know him and those who seek God with all of their hearts because they do not know him.”
The Bad Exchange
Jeremiah 2:11-12 Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their Glory for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, O heavens, and shudder with great horror," declares the LORD. (NIV)
Anything less than all-out worship of God is shocking to those that are in heaven and have the full revelation of who God is.
C.S. Lewis said, “We are half-hearted creatures fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us…”
Next Step: This week I will exchange the worship of worthless idols to the worship of God.
The Irish Philosopher, George Berkeley: “To be is to be perceived.”
Our perception of ourselves is based on others perception of us. To a large extent, we become who other people think we are. Psychologists call it “the looking-glass self.”
We live up or live down to the expectations of others! Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.” In other words, don’t live down to the world’s standards. Live up to God’s standard.
There never has been and never will be anyone like you.
Romans 12:3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (NIV)
Conformity is living down. Worship is living up.
In a sense, all of us are self-fulfilling prophecies. We all live up or live down to our own expectations and the expectations of others.
Romans 12:2 says, ….be transformed by the renewing of your mind…
The Message translation of Romans 12:2 says, ….fix your attention on God…
That’s what worship is. You stop focusing on what’s wrong with you and you start focusing on what’s right with God.
In his book, The Air We Breathe, Louie Giglio says, “So how do you know what you worship?
It’s easy. You simply follow the trail of your time, your affection, your money, and your allegiance. At the end of the trail you’ll find a throne; and whatever or whoever is on that throne is what’s of highest value to you. On that throne is what you worship.”
Next Step: This week I will follow the trail of my time, affection, money, and allegiance to determine what is of highest value to me.
What’s on the throne of your life?
Whatever you value most will ultimately determine who you are.
You were wired to worship someone so much bigger and so much better than you.
Don’t settle for anything less!
Community Group or Family Devotional Questions
1. Share some of the thoughts that you wrote in your Gratitude Journal.
2. If the prerequisite to worship is truly mercy, what are some of the ways God has been merciful to you?
3. We said that anything less than all-out worship is totally illogical. Worship is sanity.
Are you sane or illogical?
4. Our perception of ourselves is often times based on others’ perception of us. Are you living down to others’ expectations or living up as an act of worship?
5. If you follow the trail of your time, your affection, your money, and your allegiance, at the end of the trail you’ll find a throne; and whatever or whoever is on that throne is what’s of highest value to you. On that throne is what you worship. What is on your throne?