My First Newspaper Article

A couple of weeks ago I had my first article published in the Anderson Independent Mail.  It is an honor for me to get to be a part of the Faith and Values board for our local paper.  I have the privilege of writing several articles this year to share with our community.  I also wanted to share the article with those of you not located in the Anderson community.

American Idols?

We all have an impulse to worship something.  I was reminded of that while watching the commercials for American Idol lately.  I love that show.  Well, to be honest, I love the beginning episodes of the show when I get to make fun of all of the people that really stink.  Don’t judge me, you know you do it, too.  It’s funny because many of the contestants truly think they are the one with enough talent to win the fame and fortune they are striving for.  While trying to be the American Idol, they end up idolizing what they believe will fulfill their dreams.  The ironic thing is that we ridicule others that are reaching after things they can’t attain while we often idolize similar things that we think will fulfill our dreams.

There is nothing wrong with striving after something bigger than ourselves.  That is worship.  The question is, what are you striving after?  What do you spend your time, money, focus, energy, and passion on? What are you worshiping?

The Apostle Paul tells us what we should worship and what that worship should look like in Romans 12:1

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

Paul wrote this passage to an audience that understood the process of sacrifice in worship. In Biblical times, the priests worshipped by offering burnt sacrifices to God. A whole sacrifice was given. A life was laid on the altar to God. Nothing was held back. God didn’t just require a part of an animal. The whole animal; the whole life was required. That’s worship. And that imagery is what the Holy Spirit prompted Paul with in explaining what it means for us to worship as we focus our lives on God.

God changed my perspective of worship with this passage. He doesn’t want part of me. He wants my whole life. To truly worship, I can’t just offer part of myself and then live the rest of my life unchanged. God wants it all. Until I surrender my life to Him, I can never fully live the way the Author of Life wants me to live.  Worship is surrender. It is dying to ourselves and our rights and understanding that the reason that we are on this earth is to know Jesus and glorify Him instead of trying to worship ourselves or other things that we were never created to focus our lives on.

You are a great worshiper!  You might not believe that, but it is true. You were created to focus your life on something bigger than yourself.  Are you striving after American idols that can never satisfy you?  Or are you focusing your life on Jesus, who offered himself for you so that you can truly live?

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