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
“Halfhearted worship reflects halfhearted love.”
I’ve written about this in the recent past, but as we consider the essentials of worship it bears mentioning again. Methods of worship may change but the command to worship with the totality of our being does not alter. Not only must we worship in spirit and truth, but we must also worship with all that we are, otherwise it is not worship.
This command is issued from the lips of our Savior and thus should merit our full attention, but its roots go all the way back to Deuteronomy 6:5. God clearly intends that when we worship Him we give him our heart, our soul, our mind, and our strength. This is not debatable, but what exactly does it look like to do so? Specifically, what does it mean to love God with our heart and our soul?
It is important to note that when Scripture refers to the heart, it is understood as the seat of the human will. God created in order to enter into relationship with His creation, but that relationship can only occur if there is a will to be freely exercised. In other words, love, in order to be genuine, must come from an intentional acceptance. So, to love God with all of our heart, is to make the deliberate choice to give ourselves back to God in open acceptance of the gift He has given us. It is us saying, “I choose Jesus over all other objects competing for my worship.”
If heart refers to our will, soul, in the Bible, primarily refers to our emotions. Our culture teaches us to keep our feelings in check. If you are emotional, if you wear your feelings on your sleeves, if you can’t keep it inside, then often you are considered weak. As a result we repress our feelings, we attempt to keep a tight rein on our reactions, and we don’t let anyone see what’s really going on inside of us. This is especially true for males but females are not exempt. Recently I read a quote on Facebook that said, “A strong woman is one who is able to smile in the morning like she wasn’t crying last night.” Sadly, this cultural tendency to wear masks to hide our emotions has invaded our worship space as well. As a result we see people worshiping God at arm’s length so that they might maintain control. If we are to worship with all our soul, then that means we sacrifice our masks and relinquish control, and come to God as we are, displaying our true selves emotions and all.
At Rose of Sharon Baptist it is my desire that you worship with all your heart and soul. We attempt to give you opportunities to exercise your will to worship, and express your free choice to love God. Likewise, we encourage you to be you, whatever that might mean. If you feel like crying, then do so freely. If you feel like whooping for joy, by all means, whoop. If you feel awed and want to fall to your knees, then don’t let anything stop you. We are constantly looking for ways to create an atmosphere where you can involve both your will and your emotions. If you have ideas let us know. We would love to hear from you.
NEWS FOR APRIL:
Praise God for His blessings! A huge thank you to everyone who played a role in our Easter Weekend services! I’ve heard from many who experienced God in profound ways during these times of worship, and that doesn’t occur without your help. Whether you sang, played an instrument, read Scripture, arranged Communion, operated sound equipment, ran lights, decorated the stage space, or offered prayers over the services, no matter what role you played it was important and I want to personally thank you.
A reminder that we will continue to meet during our regularly scheduled Wednesday rehearsal time (7:30 in the Worship Center) for the remainder of the Spring. If you are interested in joining our team, let me know. I would love to speak to you about worship here at ROSBC.
Don’t forget, Sunday April 17th will be our Preschool Sunday/ Family Fun Day at Wheels. We plan to have our preschool children here that Sunday morning to sing some of the songs they’ve been learning, and we would love to have your support for them and their families.
Thank you all for making it such a blessing to lead worship here at Rose of Sharon!
In His Service,