Day #14 Live with a Mission: Worship
READ 1 Peter 4:1-11
Growing up in a large traditional church, all I can really remember about the worship service was wondering if it would be possible for me to swing from chandelier to chandelier in order to reach the platform from the balcony. It was clear that I wasn’t thinking through truth about God in those days, let alone contemplating what worship meant! Little did I know however, I was every bit a worshipper even before I thought about the true nature of worship— I just worshipped the wrong thing.
Paul Tripp writes, “Because we are worshipers by nature, we are always, (1) giving proper worship to God, (2) serving something else, or (3) worshiping ourselves, demanding to be the center of our own universe.” (Paul Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemers Hands, p.45)
Idolatry is giving worship to something or someone that is not God and giving devotion to some passion or pursuit that should be reserved for God. To worship as a Christian is to turn away from worshipping false idols of pleasure and self that we once served and to turn toward serving and loving Christ in thankfulness and obedience. In 1 Peter 4, Peter shows both how we are to turn from the way of life that we once lived in and also how we are to live now as a community. Peter writes, “The time that is past suffices for doing what the Gentiles want to do, living in sensuality, passions, drunkenness, orgies, drinking parties, and lawless idolatry.”(4:3) In other words, the amount of time you spent living as a worshipper of self and other things was enough. Now, however, “The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.”(4:7)
Peter goes on to show that in serving and loving one another now, instead of ourselves, glorifies God. Worshipping in community fights against the universal tendency to a self-centered universe. Being in community with other Christians helps us to fight against sin and against treasure God above all things.
Live with a Mission Today: Think about one or two ways in which you are tempted to make something an object of your worship other than God (money, relationships, work) and ask a close Christian friend to pray for you and help you fight against this temptation.