Monday, July 8, 2013

What does "worship" really mean?

Mark 14:3 (GW) Jesus was in Bethany at the home of Simon, a man who had suffered from a skin disease. While Jesus was sitting there, a woman went to him. She had a bottle [an alabaster jar] of very expensive perfume [approximately worth a year’s wages] made from pure nard. She opened the bottle and poured the perfume on his head.

When you think of the word worship what comes to mind? Years ago when I first heard the word, I thought about the praise and worship songs we sing in our Sunday morning church services. I now know the act of worship is so much more. We worship God through song, our talent, our giving, our service to others, and by the life we live.

To get an accurate definition of the word worship, I went online to the 1828 edition of Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language. [Side note: This dictionary was the first American dictionary written. Noah Webster, a master linguist, understood the power of words and their definitions and the need for precise word usage in communication to maintain independence. He used the Bible as the foundation for his definitions. This dictionary can be found online at:]

Worship (Verb)

To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration.

Pondering the meaning of worship, I couldn’t help but think of a two specific examples of women who worshipped Jesus while he walked this earth. Mary of Bethany worshipped Jesus when she anointed and wiped his feet with her hair. She didn’t care if she used an expensive jar of perfume that could bring her one year’s salary if sold. She regarded him with utmost love, respect, and devotion and was willing to sacrifice something of value. She also worshipped him by giving of her time. During a visit to her home, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and learned from him instead of busying herself with the work that came with entertaining a guest. (Luke 10:38-41).

In Mark 12:41 – 44, the story is told of an impoverished woman putting two copper coins into the temple treasury. Jesus saw her act of worship and used it to teach his disciples (and all of us) a valuable lesson. The gift this woman left was a true sacrifice on her part because she gave out of her poverty, not out of her abundance. She gave all she had because she understood giving was a form of worship. By giving these two small coins, she was demonstrating her trust in God to meet her needs.

These are just two examples of how we can worship our Lord and Savior. How do you choose to worship? Does Jesus receive your highest adoration and supreme respect every day? Do you start your day with Him and worship Him for who He is and the things He’s doing in your life? Or are you giving your highest honor to other things like the TV, radio, laptops, iPods/iPads, friends, family, work, etc.

May I encourage you today to worship God by giving Him your best; your highest praise.

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