What’s the Difference Between Thanksgiving, Praise & Worship?

What is Worship?

“Worship is an inward knowing and outward reaction that reflects the love of God”

What is Worship?

I have been traveling around the US quite a bit recently. An area I’ve been speaking on is “what is worship?” As I studied this over a number of weeks, it became apparent that the Bible makes major differences between thanksgiving, praise, and worship. Let’s see what I have discovered so far.

It’s Not Just on a Sunday

Worship—When most people think of worship, they think of the first part of a church service on a Sunday where people stand together and sing a few songs or hymns! The Bible characterizes worship very differently. Worship is born from a place of knowing who God truly is: His nature, His character, and His ways. It’s a lifestyle not just a moment in time. I will expound on this in a later blog.

The Spiritual & Secular Cannot be Separated

Secondly, did you realize that the spiritual and secular cannot be separated; it’s not biblically correct, and here’s why. Every part of the Christian life, every single moment, is consecrated to God. We cannot dumb down this reality; it’s a part of who we are and who we should be. We should worship God in everything that we do.

The Kingdom of Light from the Kingdom of Darkness

Our lives should bring honor and glory to God. When you became born again, you were taken out of the kingdom of darkness and bought into the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:13). Every part of your life from the point when you accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior were consecrated to Him. There should be no part of what of your life that remained “secular,” meaning your new life in Christ is “sacred.” You died to your “secular life” when you exchanged lives with Jesus. He took your dead/dying life and gave you His resurrected life.

Worship is a Heart Condition

What I’m about to say may shock you, but God sees no difference to between “sacred” jobs and “secular” jobs. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom or dad, stacking shelves in a grocery store, providing financial services and investing the hard-earned money of others, or driving for Uber, there is no difference to God. You can be in continual worship as you work, in the same way as a full-time pastor. Whether you see it or not at this point, if your heart is in full-time worship, you are in full-time ministry! Worship occurs when you minister to the Lord in ALLthat you do and minister to others around you…. Are you starting to see the picture?

Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.[24] For we know that we will receive a reward, an inheritance from the Lord, as we serve the Lord Yahweh, the Anointed One!

Colossians 3:23-24 (The Passion Translation)

Obedience Releases Spiritual Realities

Did you know that physical obedience brings spiritual release? We worship Him in our workplace when we do things in a godly way, meaning we make others aware of God’s love for them. When we commune with God in our workplace, it is the same as if we were taking communion and drawing others into perceiving Him and His kingdom that has come near to them (Mark 1:15).  These are elements of obedience and whenever we obey God in the natural, He will always bring forth blessings in the spiritual realms. Why? Because this is a manifestation of Himself and who He is.

Communion is a Part of Worship

Let’s look at everything we do in faith and believe God for what He has done. For example, most Christians believe that the act of taking communion is worship. We recognize that by remembering Jesus’ body (the bread) and His blood (the cup), this is a visible act of worship towards Him. But let’s go further. It is also worship to truly know and believe that the bread is His broken body that was paid for our physical, emotional, and mental health. When we worship Him in this way, our health should come to pass in the natural.

Faith is Obedience

The same is true with His blood which was paid for the forgiveness of sins.  On the Cross, He has paid for our past, present and future sin with His blood that was shed for us all. This is a beautiful example of physical obedience releasing spiritual reward. It’s a spiritual reality of His life and power touching us. Faith is obedience and obedience is a part of our worship towards Him. Without faith, we cannot please God. Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)says, But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Full-time Ministry Comes with Our Salvation

This is why a call to full-time ministry came with your call to salvation.  Next week we’ll start looking at the difference between thanksgiving, praise and worship and how they can take us to different levels of our relationship with God