When we read the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, we see worship: worshipping by singing songs, praying, reading the Word, and serving. Jesus defines worship for us in John 4: 23-24 (AMP): 23 But a time is coming and is already here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit [from the heart, the inner self] and in truth; for the Father seeks such people to be His worshipers. 24 God is spirit [the Source of life, yet invisible to mankind], and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
So often, we take for granted the privilege it is to serve others, how serving people is a form of worship and that Jesus Himself came to serve, not to be served. Matt 20:28 (AMP): 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [paying the price to set them free from the penalty of sin].” We focus on the doing and take for granted the people that God has put in our lives, who we get to serve.
Serving requires an open heart, a heart with no ulterior motives or self-serving needs; it is about showing love to everyone we encounter. Some connections are temporary but long-lasting, and others last only seasons. When we look at the story of Ananias, it is about serving: he served God by going to Saul to lay hands on him so he could see again, and that was obedience and a demonstration of love for God. Ananias had reservations about what God had asked him to do but out of obedience, he served and did what God said he must do. Some relationships take longer, like the story of Barnabas; John-Mark and Paul come to mind. Barnabas was known to serve the church and was called to ministry with Paul and, in that, was exposed to what Paul was doing and how. When Barnabas and Paul parted (Acts 15:36-41), Barnabas discipled John-Mark and we know he grew in ministry.
Our attitude when serving others is what matters most. It is a form of worship when we do it wholeheartedly, with no reservation. The life of Jesus Christ on Earth was all about worship; He talked and demonstrated worship to everyone He met. The essence of worship is service.
Jesus demonstrated this is in many ways and we see this in some of the most popular scriptures known, like Romans 5:8 (ESV): But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Also, John 13:3-5 (ESV): Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”
It was not self-serving; Jesus came because the Father asked Him to come (“for God so loved the world…” – John 3:16). He served His Father by coming to do the Father’s will, which was dying for OUR sins. We see that Jesus loves the Father, and even when it is hard to bear, He chooses the cross because of obedience and, most importantly, LOVE.
Jesus prays in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39 [AMP]): 39 And after going a little farther, He fell face down and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible [that is, consistent with Your will], let this cup [q]pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will”. He chooses the will of God over the pain of the cross.
This teaches us that even when we don’t get recognition or even acknowledgement from the people we are serving (at times they make it hard) but it is not about them. We need to remind ourselves that we serve because God has called us to serve; it is about God and not people’s recognition. God sees us more clearly and deeper than any person can, and He knows everything about us. We need to take comfort in that: the One who called us, sees us, always. Worship is only a service of love when we do it with a heart that is adoring, fearing, and honoring God, with no ulterior motive.
Our life circumstances do not dictate how we worship Him; they do not change who He is. God is faithful always; we have been created to worship, to bring adoration and honour to Him, as our Lord and Savior – not because of what He can do for us, but only because of who He is.
1 Chronicles 16:8-11 & 28-29 (AMP):
8 O give thanks to the LORD, call on His name;
Make His deeds known among the peoples.
9 Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.
10 Glory in His holy name;
Let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
11 Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face continually [longing to be in His presence].
28 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
Ascribe to the LORD glory and honor and strength.
29 Ascribe to the LORD the glory and honor due His name;
Bring an offering [of thanksgiving], and come before Him;
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
When we worship God, we make known to ourselves and those around us that He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are teaching not only our hearts to completely surrender (prostrate) but those in our sphere of influence to do the same.
Be blessed and I trust this is encouraging to you.
Women of Reverence welcomes our CONTRIBUTOR Pinky Hlophe.
Read more about Pinky Hlophe here.