Jesus’ final instructions to us at the end of Matthew read: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”. Known as the “Great Commission”, this seemingly simple instruction encapsulates the entirety of what we are to strive for on behalf of the great gift of grace given to us by our Lord and Savior Jesus. Making disciples is the job of a Christ-follower. But what does worship have to do with discipleship?
Everything, as it turns out.
Our American vernacular sometimes unintentionally distorts the meaning of words which can have drastic consequences for those poor souls unaware of the word’s original meaning. In the church, “worship” has sadly become this. What do you think about when you think about worship? Do you picture singing songs in church, or in your car driving to work? Do you think about a church service? Sitting in your favorite room praying and talking to God? All of those are examples of things that are most certainly worship.
However, many believe that worship is only doing one or more of those acts, or acts like them. According to Webster, ‘worship’ can be a noun or a verb…the FEELING of reverence or adoration (noun) or SHOWING reverence or adoration (verb). True worship of Jesus is best exemplified by the verb form. We know this because in Matthew 7:17-20 Jesus teaches us that healthy trees bear good fruit, and we can recognize good trees by their fruit. SHOWING our devotion and adoration to Jesus is how we recognize, display, and offer true worship (our ‘fruit’). Absent our acts of worship, Jesus’ gospel is merely another good-sounding idea, or philosophy of living to an unbelieving world.
Please don’t be discouraged if you think you’re not living a life full of worship…reading this devotion is an act of worship! Even if your life lacks visible signs of worship, you can take steps to worship more freely! Simply devote some of each day to showing your love of Jesus by changing some of your actions, words and tasks already present in everyday life! Pondering worship is an act of worship! Worship can be prayer, acts of service, singing, scripture memorization, encouraging a friend, sharing God’s love, and so on. Our worship is a life serving Jesus. Praise God that THIS particular path is so wide!
When thinking about effective discipleship of lost friends, it is IMPOSSIBLE to do this without a life devoted to worship. Is it more authentic and real to merely talk about the hope and peace Jesus offers, or for people to see your worship and wonder why you are so in love and devoted to Jesus? Which speaks more powerfully?
Lord, we love you, and we want our lives to show it! Let our lives show a lost world who is the only One truly deserving of our worship!