The Great Exchange
The gospel message is about an exchange: Jesus’ life for ours. It isn’t a “one and done” exchange. This is an ongoing series of exchanges in our lives of discipleship with him, in our lives of worship of him.
Worship is first introduced as animal sacrifice in the book of Genesis. The “worship song book” of scripture—the Psalms—is full of exhortations to offer God a sacrifice of praise. The “go to” passage in the New Testament on worship is also about sacrifice.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.Romans 12:1
We’ve had to give up a lot in the past few months. But as followers of Jesus, and when we give these things up from a heart of wanting God to be honored and glorified, those sacrifices can be a part of our worship.
What is amazing about God is that he doesn’t just take our sacrifices from us. Like a good father, he always replaces our loss with something better. It may not be immediate or apparent, but he is faithful.
On Sunday, we took some time to figure out what sacrificial worship looks like for us. It is different for each person, but like the woman who gave her last two coins (Mark 12:41–44), God is not judging the value of what we give him. He sees the cost and the sacrifice and he honors us in that, just as he honored the woman. We don’t deserve it, but that is the extravagant nature of God.
Worship with us
Today, continue from that posture of expectant sacrifice, of openness to change and to exchange. Allow the songs in the playlist to deepen your dialogue with God.
The first song is written from Lazarus’ point of view, so try putting yourself in his place as you listen and join in the worship. What would it be like to have a faith in God so big that you expect him to do the possible, to raise you from the dead? How would that shape your life of worship? The truth is, if you are a follower of Jesus, he has already done that.
Let your heart sing your praise to him for that, even if you don’t feel like it . . . even if it feels like a sacrifice.
Hungry for more?
We encourage you to feast on the word of God. If you’ve got some resources on your bookshelf, dig in! If you’re looking for more translations, resources, and devotional guides, try any of the following links or search for more online.
Create an atmosphere to encounter God
During this historical time, we’ve been collecting songs along the way. You can find the playlists on SGPC’s Spotify profile (requires a free Spotify account). Listen to old favorites and discover new songs of the season! Spring off into some of the suggestions generated by Spotify or search for your own go-to songs. These also work well as background music for studying scripture (or anything else).