Sunday, June 17, 2012

Service as Worship

What I'm learning this a.m. I first posted on PWOC Japan's blog this a.m. 

Ladies! I am enjoying our reading of the book of Hebrews! So much to learn - I'm quite sure I'm missing much; but it would be a joy to share a few things I saw today in chapter 9.

The old covenant/earthly tabernacle was a shadow/ a symbol of what Christ's sacrifice would accomplish on our behalf and what our response should be to His sacrifice. I'd often focused on the earthly shadowing the heavenly. Until this morning I hadn't seen the connection between the divine worship in the tabernacle (Verses 1,6 - Strongs #2999) and our service to a living God.

Let's dig:
OLD COVENANT                                                              NEW COVENANT
Earthly Priests                                                                        High Priest
Tabernacle                                                                             Heavenly Tabernacle
Sacrifice of animals                                                                Jesus' Sacrifice
Daily and yearly sacrifices                                                      ONCE for all
Divine Worship                                                                     Service to the Living God

Wow! And this is where I usually stop....but today I was prompted to do a bit more thinking and a "few" word studies. OK, I geeked out, but I'll only share a few here.

Divine Worship # 2999 Latreia

  • Hired as a slave to serve
  • Service in worship
  • To Worship
I'll admit I was a bit disappointed at the definition of worship here as I've been tracking it through the New Testament and often worship has a different definition to do with "kissing in reverence" and this seemed dull. (I've already repented). 

In verse 14 Paul is comparing the old and new covenants and this verse jumped out at me, "how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" The Holy Spirit highlighted the second part of the verse for me. 

Conscience #4893 Suneidesis
  • The "faculty of the soul" which distinguishes right from wrong and choose to do right
  • The "testimony of the spirit in man's heart concerning his obligation to God." 
  • Dead works and/or sin can stain our consciences and they need cleansed, purified
Works  #2041 - are simply those acts we perform

Dead Works - (found when searching #3048) - 
  • Religious acts which stem from something other than faith or spiritual life
  • Fruitless OR sinful
Service - #3000 latreuo - same root word as that first "disappointing word study above on divine worship"
  • Meaning of service and worship are intertwined! (Let that sink in). 
  • A person hired to serve  - was paid for service as opposed to: 
  • Bond slave - compelled to serve
  • Worship and service stem from our free will surrendered to Him
Tying it all together - thoughts:
  • If my soul/conscience is the part of my make up which distinquishes right from wrong and impresses on my my responsibility to God,  I need to listen. Listening requires:
    • intent awareness of the one speaking
    • being fully present - drawing near with a posture to hear
    • is often enhanced by times of silence and solitude
  • Service 
    • IS an act of WORSHIP if I freely choose to serve as a response to and motivated by faith and spiritual life
    • Service not motivated by faith and spiritual life is a dead and will be fruitless and may even be sinful
    • Service accepted as worship must stem from an intimate relationship with Jesus; be a response to His work in my life. 
    • Is expected in the New Covenant
    • Is a necessary, vital part of my personal expression of worship
    • My conscience must be cleaned from the stain of service offered for any reason other than as a response to His work in my life - an overflow of love!
Brainstorm with me things which would motivate one to serve other than a faith-filled response to Jesus' get you started, here is my list, feel free to leave more in the comment section. 
  • Obligation - someone needs to do it
  • Tradition
  • Desire to control
  • Attempt to boost low self-esteem
  • Looking for applause from others
  • Build a personal following or circle of friends
  • Desire to be in the "inner circle"....
Service motivated by ANYTHING on this list is dead. Needs to be cleansed and redeemed! 

A heart deeply in love with God will naturally move to serving and loving others as as an expression and overflow of loving God.  If you AREN'T serving, you need to ask yourself why? Are you allowing His faith to motivate your daily life? Yes, we sit at His feet, but we are expected to also serve at His leading.  If you ARE serving, do your acts of service come from a place of intimacy? This is the service to a living God which is considered worship. 

A prayer from my journal (which I don't often share). Abby, help me to continue to structure my life and set boundaries which enhance listening. May my life, my words, prayers as well as acts of service - be a response of worship to you for Your great love. Lead me always deeper into intimacy with You through a lifestyle of worship."

Choosing Joy!
©2012 D.R.G.
~Coram Deo~
Living all of life before the face of God...


Anonymous said...

thanks Sis: love/prayers - mom t.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sis: love/prayers - mom t.