The words worship, study, and serve came to me during a recent workshop at church where we (a team of 40 worship administrators, team leaders, and laity volunteers) created a purpose statement. It was a productive (and exhausting) day full of brainstorming and collaborating and I enjoyed it immensely. As I read the new purpose statement, I realized the importance of fervent worship, study, and prayer. By doing each of these mighty acts, we are also demonstrating our great love due to God himself. Hosea 6:6 says God does not want or need heartless rituals because he simply wants us to emulate Jesus. He simply desires to be in relationship with Him (growing in knowledge) and embracing community with others.
Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. Psalm 95:1-2
God isn’t as concerned about where or how we worship as he is with WHY. He wants our motivation to be on him, not ourselves or others’ expectations. Worship should be a transformation of our heart and mind. While it can be personal and private, worship should also be experienced with others. This not only pleases God but it strengthens us because we are stronger together. We worship God, privately and corporately, with the songs we sing, the words we speak, and the way in which we live our lives. I love Sundays and worshipping God in my church through song, prayer, and teachings. To be honest, I wish there were more Sundays in the week! But I am learning to incorporate worship into my daily life too.
The word of God is living and active. Hebrews 4:12
Three years ago, Bible study was nonexistent on my priority list. I was intimidated and didn’t know how to grow in knowledge of God. Today, after years of contextual insight from mentors and worship leaders, two year-long studies (The Story and Believe), and leading a women’s devotional (12 Women of the Bible), I can say with confidence that Bible study is both a priority and passion. The more I study, the more I realize the importance of being a woman grounded in Scripture. As a wife, mother, friend and mentor, I see the influence my study of God’s Word has at home, church, and in the community. More than ever, our husband, sons and daughters, and circles of influence need a godly woman who loves deeply and actively engages in worship, study, and service. <— Ladies, make note of this. Repeat it. Write it down. Keep it in your hearts!
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
No matter the situation or circumstance, God’s Word guides, directs, comforts, heals, sustains, protects, strengthens, and encourages us to draw near to Him near to us. Joshua 1:8-9 reminds us to keep God’s Word in our heart and mind day and night. In other words, we must be diligent in our study and do it regularly. The goal of reading Scripture is to know God more. It’s not about me or a particular style or method of study, it’s all about Him. It is through the Bible that we learn how to think, act, and become more like Jesus who taught his disciples to HEAR the Word (they didn’t have Bibles back then!), LEARN the Word, and APPLY the Word. As committed Christian disciples, we are expected to do the same.
Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
When did you last do something for someone not because you had to but because you wanted to? The difference between have to and want to is selflessness. When we forego our personal preferences and desires to serve a friend, loved one, stranger, and even Jesus himself, we are saying: MY TIME IS YOUR TIME.
As Christian disciples, we must never forget that our acts of worship, study, and service are clear indicators of our priorities and level of spiritual maturity. These mighty acts of love for God can be done privately and corporately. As we embrace our roles as both Timothy (the student) and Paul (the teacher), we surrender our plans to God’s purpose for our lives and prioritize worship, study, and service.