If you ask most Christians what worship is, most will tell you it is about praising God. Others will say worship is a combination of singing and music with the focus on glorifying God. In other words, worship is something we do during a given time (such as worship service) to glorify Him.
However, when we look at Romans 12:1 we find worship to be very different. Paul wrote to the believers in Rome: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1, NIV). Here, Paul emphasized “true and proper worship” is to “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.” The most important aspect about worship is to “offer.” To “offer” is to give, not to receive. Most people understand worship to be a time we receive from God: we receive God’s word; we receive encouragement; and we receive God’s love. We have already received all of these things when Paul said, “in view of God’s mercy” (Romans 12:1, NIV)--His mercy which was graciously given unto us and spoken about in Romans chapters 1-11. Therefore, worship is not about receiving from God. Worship is a time for us to give to God, but what are we to offer Him? The answer is our bodies. This means ALL of who and what we are! It is not limited to our words, our voice, or our minds. While we are still alive, we offer our bodies as a “living sacrifice.”
"The most important aspect about worship is to 'offer.' To 'offer' is to give, not to receive."
"While we are still alive, we offer our bodies as a 'living sacrifice.' "
So, let me ask you, when you go to church, do you go to “receive” from God or to “give” (offer) to God? Do you wait for the pastor to give you God’s Word? Do you want the worship band to give you encouragement through their songs? Do you look forward to “get” something from God? If this is what you are doing, your worship IS NOT “true or proper worship.”
"...when you go to church, do you go to 'receive' from God...If this is what you are doing, your worship is NOT 'true or proper worship.' "
However, if you go to church and you offer or “give” your bodies to God to praise Him; if you give your heart to God to love Him; if you give your mind to God for Him to fill it with His truth; if you give your time to God to be with Him; and if you give your money to God to glorify Him, then your worship IS “true and proper worship.”
In summary, worship is a lifestyle that involves giving God our bodies and all that we are, while we are still alive, as a living sacrifice because everything we do with our bodies is an act of worship.
Written by Rev. Chong Lee Yang (Kx. Ntxoov Lis Yaj)