Worship, Work, & Witness

being-free

By Dennis Thurman

But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…. (1 Peter 2:9)

We have all heard of coach potatoes—are you a pew potato? Without exercising our faith, we will be spiritually flabby. Paul said, “exercise yourself toward godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7b). It is time for a workout! Peter speaks of three areas needing attention to grow strong in faith.

WORSHIP BUILDS HEALTHY HEARTS (1 Pet.2:1-5). Peter is talking about the heart of our Christian experience—worship—and how our heart for God can beat strongly. You will never grow spiritually beyond the level of your experience with God. Physically, cardiovascular disease is a killer. Two keys to a healthy heart are diet and exercise. This is true spiritually. We are to feed upon the Word of God (v.2) and exercise our faith in the pursuit of God (v.4a). This is a good description of what worship is all about. Notice that WE HAVE A SANCTUARY (v.5) “living stones…being built up a spiritual house….” The church is not a building of bricks and mortar, but a living thing constructed of the individual members. WE ARE GOD’S SERVANTS (v.5) “a holy priesthood….” The Old Testament priests were set apart to minister to the Lord. In the New Testament, every believer is a priest who comes before God to worship. WE OFFER SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES (v.5) “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God….” Jesus said the only acceptable worship is offered in spirit and truth.

WORK STRENGTHENS HELPING HANDS (1 Pet.2:9-18). Peter points out that because of who we are (v.9)—our position—it affects how we act (v.11-12)—our performance. A sedentary lifestyle will never build strength. There is no easy way to develop spiritual muscle. Growing strong as a Christian requires intense effort. We are chosen—set apart for God’s service (see Eph.2:8-10). When are you going to grow up and get to work? A mark of physical infancy is that you require constant care. Babies demand attention. They make many messes, but never clean them up! It was a happy day when my girls got old enough to wash the dishes and the boys grew strong enough to mow the grass! That meant they were growing up. How about you? Are you here to be served or to serve? Perhaps you aren’t an active member of a local church. Don’t you think it is time to enlist and get busy? It is unthinkable to me that someone could be content to look at the sacrifice of Jesus and not respond with grateful service to Him!

WITNESS DEVELOPS HEALING SPEECH (1:22-2:1, 6-9, 21-25). I don’t think I’ve ever been to the doctor that he didn’t say, “Open your mouth and stick out your tongue.” He shines a light in and looks around. You can tell a lot about a person’s health by looking in their mouth. How true that is spiritually! Some of us have mouths loaded with disease (2:1). Our words can hurt and our words can heal. The most important thing we can say is a good word about Jesus. People need to hear the Gospel—this is the seed of eternal life (1:23-25). Taking in the word of God is essential to spiritual growth, but unless we share it, we will get fat and not fit.

Worship, work, and witness are marks of spiritual health. Ready? Exercise!

*Dennis Thurman has pastored churches in Western North Carolina for 36 years. Currently, he is Senior Pastor of Pole Creek Baptist Church where he has served for almost 20 years. Married to Marilyn for 40 years, they have 5 children and 11 grandchildren.

This article was originally posted on Dennis’ blog, Mountain Top Musings

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2 thoughts on “Worship, Work, & Witness

  1. Regarding the section, “WORK STRENGTHENS HELPING HANDS”

    I have been out of work since 07. Our only decent car was repossessed and towed right out of our driveway and then shortly after, we lost our home through foreclosure. Our retirement and 401k’s were stolen, twice, and we were left with nothing. In this time of forced unemployment for me, I have grown by leaps and bounds as a Christian. As I pursue God through prayer and His word, He has opened up His word to me in ways that I have never experienced before in the 35+ years since I was saved. I have a much deeper, personal relationship with God and Jesus today then I did before everything fell apart in 07.
    My wife is a Christian as well and she is growing tremendously in her spiritually life along side me.

    I absolutely hate being out of work. I’ve always worked and it is still, to this very day, a struggle for me because I am a person of high-energy and I have no outlet to burn it off. Every job resume I send out gets returned with a statement that goes something like this, “We are sorry, sir but we are looking to increase our workforce with minorities and younger personal”. I’m 54 years old and I get to experience age discrimination each time I send out a resume.

    We have no churches in our small town. Actually, that’s not entirely accurate! There are three churches in our small town. Two of them are deeply mired in the false, apostate prosperity movement, and the third is a small Baptist place that masquerades as a church, but it is really a tax shelter for the people that go there. This congregation is mostly elderly and they hire a new pastor about every 18 months. As soon as a new pastor is hired, he attempts to turn it into a working church, and then the poor fella gets fired.

    My wife and I would love to attend church again but I absolutely refuse to attend a faithless, apostate prosperity preaching church. If you know of any church planting groups, our little town greatly needs a “Real Christian” church.

    Thank You.

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    • Sorry to hear of your situation. Perhaps if you put in where you’re located, there is someone reading that may be able to direct you to a sound Christian church?

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