RENEWED WORSHIP Romans 12:1 Week 1
- How many situations can you think of when we use the word ‘Renewal’?
- How does this help us to understand what the Bible means when it talks about “Renewal”?
- Romans 12:1-21 to get the whole context of what Paul is saying in these first 2 verses
The first word, ‘Therefore’, is hugely important. The motivation to do the things Paul talks about in vv1 & 2 comes from remembering that God is good and has a loving plan for all creation and all peoples – as Paul has been explaining in the previous 11 chapters!
The Greek word logikos, from which we get our word ‘logical’, and which the NIV translates as ‘spiritual’, can also mean ‘reasonable’ or ‘rational’, making it clear that worship is the only appropriate and ‘logical’ response to all that God has done for us.
- Why do you think Paul says that it’s our bodies which are to be offered to God, and in what ways do you think it’s more challenging to be a living sacrifice than a dead one? (See Luke 9:23-25 for Jesus’ comment on being a ‘living Sacrfice’)
If God were to offer you anything you wanted, what would you ask for? What one thing would most improve your life? If you could have anything if money were no issue what would you ask for? Maybe there’s a dream or ambition that you’ve longed to see realized. Maybe it’s getting married, having children, getting a particular job, or living in a certain place. Perhaps there’s something that you’d love to buy but just can’t afford. Possibly there’s a situation you long to see changed a family crisis, a breakdown in a relationship, a problem at work, a physical healing. If you could have the thing you most wanted from God, what would you ask for?
I want to invite you to weigh all the things that are most important to you right now against the value of knowing God. I believe that God would want to assure you that the very best thing you could have in life is more of him. Yes, we’re to enjoy the countless treasures to be found in this world, but if they become our preoccupation, or we see them as the answer to our problems, or if our emotional state hinges on whether we have certain things, then were missing out. You see, without God our lives will always be second best; they’ll always be characterised by yearnings that never yield lasting satisfaction.
- In the spirit of verse 1, offer every part of your body to God area by area, asking him to fill you in every place. As you do so, think about what each part of the body is used for or symbolises, and be open to the possibility that God may speak to you through this.
- Play or sing the song “Knowing you Jesus”, by Graham Kendrick
- Is there anything stopping you saying: Lord, here I am, wholly available to you? If so, what is it? Do you lack zeal (v 11)?
- Do the pleasures of this life seem too easy to conform to (v 2)?
- Over the days ahead practice offering every part of your life to God: your relationships, job, talents, all the time you spend at home/college/work, your whole body and mind. This is the only way that God can be glorified through us.
How can we as Christians withhold praise and adoration from our Creator, Saviour and Lord because we don't like the tune, or prefer certain instruments, or worship leaders?
What’s your attitude to corporate worship? Psalm 66:2 tells us to “make his praise glorious!” Is that your approach?
If we’re honest, when we come to church sometimes we’re just going through the motions. We’re bored or preoccupied. If we’re honest, sometimes there’s more of a consumer approach to worship. The focus is on the worship group or choir giving me a good performance, as if it’s their responsibility to get me worshipping! Now, worship leaders and musicians can help to concentrate our worship but, ultimately, the responsibility for my worship lies with me alone!
Many people think about worship in the same way that they think about their taste in music. They prefer a particular style and so if they don’t get this at a particular church, they’ll opt out. This is a crazy situation! How can we as Christians withhold praise and adoration from our Creator, Saviour and Lord because we don’t like the tune, or prefer certain instruments, or worship leaders? There may well be things we dislike about the way our church worships, but we overcome that because ultimately worship isn’t about what we get out of it; it’s about what we give to God.
Here’s an exercise you can use to prepare yourself for corporate worship (best done before you get to church!). Examine your heart before God. What is your motivation for worshipping him? Are you looking for entertainment, perhaps some kind of buzz? Are you just putting up with it until you can go and socialise after the service finishes? If you find anything in your heart besides a genuine desire to express your love for God, ask him to place in your mind a deep sense of his worthiness to be praised. Then when you come to worship with the rest of the church, say to God at the outset, “I’m fully present right now. I’m listening, I’m praising, I’m confessing, I’m responding. In every moment of worship I’m offering myself fully to you.”