So worship begins with God, it s rooted in God, and we re using The FRUIT of Worship as a word picture for our response to Him.

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1 July 5, The FRUIT of Worship: all your MIND Today is week 4 of a series of worship reflections called: The FRUIT of Worship. We began this series by saying that: WORSHIP is our RESPONSE to God s REVELATION of Himself. God reveals Himself, we respond, that s worship. So worship begins with God, it s rooted in God, and we re using The FRUIT of Worship as a word picture for our response to Him. So, what does this response - this FRUIT - actually consist of?what does a right response, a worshipful response to God look like? We re taking our guidance from JESUS on this. Last week, we saw that Jesus says: You shall 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 This is JESUS telling us how to respond to GOD. He begins telling us to love God. A right response is a loving response - one that desires & treasures & worships God. Then, Jesus describes how this loving response is to be executed - with ALL your heart & ALL your soul & ALL your mind & ALL your strength. Last week, we talked about worshipping God with all your strength - about physicality in worship & using your body as an instrument of praise. This morning we re gonna focus on what the Bible says about worshipping God with all your mind. This particular FRUIT really doesn t require much explanation. Worshipping God with your mind means worshipping Him with your intellect, with your thinking. Last week, we looked at the first verse of Romans chapter 12, which says: I urge you to present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 A great verse about worshipping God with all your strength. Interestingly, the very next verse says: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your MIND... Romans 12:2 You see, your mind is an essential ingredient in worship. It s impossible to worship God without engaging your mind. The Apostle Paul says:

2 I will pray with my spirit, and I will also pray with my mind; I will sing praise with my spirit and I will also sing praise with my mind. 1 Corinthians 14:15 Have you ever driven home from work or from school, and as you pull into your driveway, you realize that you have absolutely no memory of the last several miles? Turns you made, traffic lights, other cars... you don t remember any of that. Because your mind was somewhere else. It s kinda scary, isn t it? Even more frightening is the reality that we can do the very same thing in corporate worship settings! My body is in the building, my mouth is moving, but my mind?... it s somewhere else entirely - completely un-engaged! Which, if you think about it, is the very definition of going thru the motions! right? - performing these outward actions that don t match up what s going on inside of me at all! Absent-minded worship is NOT worship. So... offering God my mind as a FRUIT of Worship requires that it be engaged. But it also requires that my mind has knowledge of God. You cannot worship a God you do not know. If your mind knows nothing about God, it s simply impossible for you to worship Him. Some of Jesus most profound teaching about worship was spoken to the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus told her: You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know, because salvation is from the Jews. You see, the Samaritans rejected most of the Hebrew Bible, which meant that their knowledge of God was deficient, which meant that their worship of God was deficient. They couldn t possibly worship God with all their minds, because their minds were rejecting God s Word, rejecting truth! Then Jesus said to her: But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. John 4:22 23 I think when Jesus says spirit & truth, He s referring to our emotions & our intellect - spirit and truth. And I think one of the main points Jesus is making here is that it matters whether or not your mind has a true knowledge of the One you worship! Our WORSHIP can rise no higher than our KNOWLEDGE of God. We cannot worship a God we do not know.

3 This may be a silly illustration, but it makes the point: If you came to me with words of praise for my wife, and you said, Phillip, your wife Jamie is such a wonderful woman. I really admire her quiet personality and her deep brown eyes, and how beautifully she plays the cello. Now that sounds really nice, doesn t it?! And you might say it with deep feeling. But if you praised my wife with those words, I would not be pleased, and my wife would not be honored! Because my wife s name is Amy, not Jamie. And she has blue eyes not brown, and she s a beautiful dancer but not a cello player, and her personality is not quiet, it s very bubbly and talkative! You clearly do NOT know my wife! Your mind is either confused or just ignorant of who she even is. So your praise for her is meaningless - it s bogus, it s nothing! In the same way, we cannot genuinely praise a God that our minds know nothing of. Our worship of God must not and can-not be marked by ignorance it should be intelligent & informed & knowledgeable of God. The Apostle Paul tells us to:...walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing FRUIT in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10 The FRUIT of Worship involves our minds growing in the knowledge of GOD! So where do we go for that? Well, when Jesus was praying for His disciples (about this very thing), He asked God to: Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth. John 17:17 Worshipping God with all our minds means praising God with minds that are filled with Biblical truth! We need engage our minds in thinking (and singing) Biblical truth about God! Which is exactly why we sing so much Scripture in our worship songs here. The Greek term translated here as word is logos. λόγος Logos means that which is said; a spoken word that embodies a concept or idea. The term logos captures the truth that we have a God who not only speaks, but Who reveals Himself, Who makes Himself comprehensible to our minds. Now, of course, we cannot fully comprehend GOD - He far exceeds our capacity for that! - but, amazingly, the Eternal, Creator God expresses Himself to us in ways that our tiny minds can grasp. God squeezes Himself into human language; He reveals Himself in His Logos!

4 Let the Word (logos) of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Colossians 3:16 The word of Christ dwelling in our minds produces worship! It produces gratitude in our hearts & singing to God! Does His Word dwell richly in you? Or does you Bible sit unopened most days? It s baseball season right now. But I am not a baseball guy. Oh, I played when I was a kid, I have a basic knowledge of the game, the rules, etc. But if I try to sit down & watch baseball, I find it boring! (I d rather watch paint dry!) Of course, I ve made exactly zero investment in learning to truly appreciate baseball. I know nothing about the teams, players, who s winning or losing, injuries, strategy... I really shouldn t expect to get anything out of baseball with that kid of an approach... just randomly sitting down for a few minutes, unprepared, uninformed, with low expectations & minimal interest. (It s not surprising that I m bored.) But, here s the thing - that sound anything like how you ve approached studying the Bible? Just randomly sitting down for a few minutes, unprepared, uninformed, honestly, with kinda low expectations & minimal interest? And, sure enough, you find the Bible boring. You re tempted to give up & say, it s just not my thing. Can we agree that s probably not the best approach?! There are all sorts of better ways to go at this! Our church offers lots of Bible study groups - studying Scripture with other believers is so helpful! There are tons of resources available at the Lifeway store in Providence or online, (including Right Now Media), there s Bible software for your phone or your computer... just endless possibilities! But - if your approach is essentially none of the above, I want to encourage you to rethink that. Because... with baseball, I ve just decided that, for me, it s not worth pursuing. I m sure, if I made an investment in the game, I could learn to love it. But really, all I need is one more sport I m interested in... it s just not worth it to me. But the BIBLE is worth it! God s Word is something you absolutely do want to make room for in your life. The Bible tells us to: Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5

5 If we spend all week with our minds set on our jobs & school & friends & TV - with our minds wrapped up in things other than God - and then expect to walk in here on Sunday & flip a switch & suddenly start passionately worshipping Him... that s almost impossible to do! We need minds that are SET on God! And I know we all have jobs & school & things that have to be done, I get that. But I also know that we can do all that stuff & still mange to be highly informed & engaged in fitness & technology & sports & entertainment, because we care about those things! So we make time to read about them & talk about them & pursue them - we set our minds on them! That s what worshippers do towards GOD - they set their minds to know Him. And not just know about Him, but know Him. Worshipping God with all your mind involves truly, relationally knowing God. The Apostle Paul says: Indeed, I count everything as loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8 Worshipping God with all your mind is worship that flows out of relationship. And we are totally dependent on Jesus for that relationship. Jesus says: I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6 All worship goes through Jesus. HE is the Truth that we must know. John s gospel begins with these words: In the beginning was the Word, (the Logos, that which is said) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh, (the Logos embodied that which was spoken!) and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, the glory of the One & Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1, 14 JESUS is the eternal God made flesh, the Truth of GOD revealed. A mind that bears the FRUIT of Worship is a mind set on the Word of God - the Truth of His Word - embodied in the person of Jesus.

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