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All of Life as Worship
“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.” – Acts 16:25
What does it mean to worship God? For many Christians, the term worship is related to the time spent at church making music and singing songs directed to God in praise. This is definitely a very important part of why Christians gather all around the world every week, to worship God our Redeemer in Spirit and in truth (John 4:23,24). It is true that the activity of making music and singing praises to God in spirit and in truth is a unique and powerful way of drawing closer to God. I believe this is why in-person corporate worship is one of the experiences during this pandemic that Christians miss so greatly. We are created to worship God in community.
A WAY OF LIFE
Reverent group worship through music and singing must take place amongst Christians; it cannot be replaced by another activity. Whether we are free or locked up in prison, whether we are feeling down or elated, whether we are materially poor or rich we are all created and called to worship the true God of the Bible using words and music to express our adoration and praise. However, another important way to view worship is to consider and practice it as a way of life. When we recognize that worship, in its broad sense, must apply to all of a believer’s life, we are drawn closer to God. We are called to glorify God and worship Him in all that we do (Romans 12:1; 1 Corinthians 10:31; Revelation 14:7). This is also clearly seen in Apostle Paul’s life and teachings that he passed on to the Church. Paul tells the church in Colossae “…let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts…” (Colossians 3:16) Paul not only wants Christians to teach and reprove one another through the Word and sacred worship, but he also tells them, “…whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him…” (V.17). Whatever we do, whether in word or deed (all-inclusive), must be aligned with the confession of our faith and our new identity in Christ. Therefore, the mouth of a believer, which is connected to his/her heart (see Luke 6:45) should not bring forth praise on Sunday and cursing on Monday (James 3:10). The Bible calls us “…God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do…” (Ephesians 2:10). When we see all of life as worship, we will be notably attentive and diligent in guarding our speech, and as true worshippers, we will also be deliberately seeking to do good to all people.
LIBERATED TO WORSHIP
When we come to a place of repentance and belief in Jesus Christ as God and Saviour, we become a new person in Him and start a new life with His teachings as our solid ground to stand upon. God becomes the reason why we live, work, have a family, study and create. Jesus becomes the lens through which we see the purpose and meaning of life. Christ enlightens our spiritual eyes to the glory and majesty of the One and only God who is worthy of all our praise. That is why Paul and Silas could keep on singing and worshipping God even in prison where they were physically in captivity but spiritually liberated.
It is hard not to worship God in all things and through all circumstances of life when we have received the revelation that Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, died for us when we were still dead in our sins (Colossians 2:13). It is hard not to draw closer to God when we meditate on the truth that, “…through [Christ] God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see––such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.Everything was created through him and for him…” (Colossians 1:16). If our Creator is for us in Christ, then who can stand against us? There is no one and nothing that can snatch us from God’s loving and powerful hands: no demons, no sin, no unemployment, no sickness, no global pandemic. Not even death can thwart God’s plan for our lives. This is the beautiful God of the Bible whom we are called to worship, adore and follow. The one who has created all things is reconciling all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through Jesus’ blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20). This is our beautiful God whom we are called to worship. He is more worthy and precious than life itself. Turn away from your sins and put your trust in Jesus the Son of the living God, because there is no one like Him. He is the only all-sufficient Saviour of mankind. There is no one else who is more trustworthy and worthy of our praise. Let us approach all of life as worship to Jesus Christ whom we have been created through and for.