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Worship: Our First Response

“Worship, then is not a part of the Christian life; it is the Christian life.”

Gerald Vann

Noah and his family were in the ark under God’s quarantine for over 150 days. After being set free from the confines of the ark, Noah didn’t stretch his legs and explore the land, he didn’t start to build his house, nor did he do anything which concerned his needs, wants, or desires. Instead, Noah’s focus was on God. After Noah, his family, and all the animals came out of the ark, worship was his first response. He built an altar to the Lord and sacrificed burnt offerings on it. Noah’s knee-jerk response to God saving them and sparing their lives was worship.

The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and His response to Noah’s sacrificial worship was to make a covenant to never curse and destroy all living creatures (Genesis 8:21). Our worship begets God’s pleasure.

Worship is “to honor or reverence a divine being” and “extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion.” Like it was for Noah, worship is to be our first response to God’s involvement in our lives. And when we worship Him, it will be a pleasing aroma which will cause Him to make a covenant promise of relationship with us.

The first mention of the word worship in the Bible is in the story of Abraham when he was about to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham tells his servants in Genesis 22:5: “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” The Magi’s first response when they saw baby Jesus, the Messiah, was to bow down and worship Him and present Him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11).

We worship God through our obedience and submission to His authority. The surrendering of our hearts to God’s will is a way we display our worship. Thanksgiving, giving God thanks, even when things aren’t turning out the way we want it to, is a blatant act of worship.

What if our instant response to all of life was worship? What if we worshiped God first, gave Him our honor and reverence every time anything happened (the good, the bad, or the ugly)? I can only imagine what pleasure God would receive from our worship and how that would endear us to the heart of God. Worship God as you celebrate Thanksgiving this week.

“The divine priority is worship first and service second.”

Richard Foster

Relevant Reflection:

What is one specific way you can worship God this week?

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