Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Mark 12:30, NIV
Worship was never meant to be about singing songs. We’re not just called to be worshippers, we’re MADE to be worshippers – it’s part of our DNA.
Singing is actually such a small part of our expression of worship. At the core of worship is this statement, made by Jesus: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength.” The expression of that love is worship, and the practical outworking is in every area of our lives, not just what we do on Sunday mornings.
Our whole life must be affected by Jesus’ statement – not just the ‘what’ we do but also the ‘why’. Living our lives devoted and centred around God, especially when times are difficult, honours Him. It demonstrates that we trust and value God and His word above our circumstances, preferences and experiences. That is the essence of worship – showing God’s ‘worth-ship’ above other things that we value.
In my post Turn your eyes we looked at the hymn ‘Turn your eyes upon Jesus’ – the writer, Helen Lemmel, based the words of her hymn on the writings of a woman called Lilias Trotter, who had given up a very successful life of art to become an evangelist to the Muslim nation of Algeria: she wrote about how easy it is for things – good things – to end up hiding the best thing – Jesus. Worship is valuing Him above the good things in our lives, above the special things, above the mundane things, above everything that can easily capture our attention and devotion.
This post’s verse, though, has a second part – not separate but intrinsically linked: verse 31 says, “Love each other as ourselves”. Real worship doesn’t just leave you buzzed on God and feeling good about encountering Him – it causes you to see others through His eyes, and how much He loves all people. Real worship leads you to love others.
To live a life of worship is to live selflessly.