Yes, but how?

Years ago I heard a teacher of preaching say, “There are too many ‘ought to’ sermons and not enough ‘how to’ sermons. Last Sunday was all about how to.

Here’s the context: Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul,
all your mind, and all your strength.”    Mark 12:30 (NCV)

We define worship as expressing your love to God. Worship is giving something to God that says, “I love you.” But what in the world can you give the Creator of the universe?

There are three things God does not have unless you offer them: your attention (that’s loving God with your mind), your affection (heart and soul) and your abilities (strength).

Okay, but how?

Focus your attention on God during the day. One of the deepest signs of love is focused attention. I suggested that you establish a daily quiet time for prayer, Bible study, journaling, and devotional reading. You can also pause several times during the day to focus attention on God (the ancients suggested that 9:00 AM, 12:00 noon, 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM are good points in the day to look up.

Express your affection to God. One way to do this is to say, “Thanks!” For little things, for big things, thanks for whatever comes to mind. “Thanks!”

Use your abilities for God. I’ve been married long enough to know that while it is important to say, “I love you,” it’s also important to demonstrate that love with actions (like sharing chores around the house). I like the way Eugene Peterson phrases it: “Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”  Romans 12:1 (Message)

“Love God,” Jesus said, “This is the first and greatest commandment.”

How would life be different if we could manage to put the first thing first?

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