“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:1-2
Work is worship. Volunteering is worship. Giving is worship. Anything in which we sacrifice a part of ourselves–whether that be our talents, our time, or our finances–is worship. God loves our songs and our prayers and our time in His word, but our reverence for Him should be the purpose behind everything we do. In Romans 12, Paul urges us to remember God’s mercy, and to let that spur us on toward a continuous offering of our whole selves. This kind of worshipful living is countercultural. We are not to “conform to the pattern of this world” because this world isn’t about sacrifice. If our work, volunteerism, or donations are devoid of admiration for the God of mercy, then our worship turns inward toward ourselves. But when we allow Him to awaken our awe, even the most mundane of work days or the smallest financial gift reveals His “good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
At Lifeline, we hope for our Lord’s redemption to indwell every service we provide. Ultrasounds are not just to show parents what their baby looks like for entertainment, or to make us feel like we’re helping someone. Instead, ultrasounds reveal the intricate beauty of a living being, a person that matters a whole lot to God, and whom He longs to work in throughout his or her entire lifetime. PLANS lessons aren’t just about moms and dads gaining some helpful parenting pointers and some free clothes or diapers. Through meeting one-on-one with a nurse and receiving invaluable information for raising a child, new and expectant parents see more and more what it means to love their baby as Christ loves them, even if they don’t recognize His power yet. The Pure Freedom program doesn’t just try to keep kids from getting pregnant or contracting STDs. Rather, through this program, God teaches students across Northeast Missouri about His design for pure, loving relationships, and that they don’t have to settle for less. Jesus is at work at Lifeline, and it’s only because of Who He is and His decision to move through us.
Likewise, our hope for our volunteers and supporters is not that Lifeline would be glorified, but that the Lord Almighty would be glorified. Because He has moved the hands and hearts of the community to support Lifeline, lives are saved and love perpetuates. We recognize that our partners for life give and serve as an act of worship. May they rejoice that He turns every offering into something amazing. If you’re on the fence about committing to volunteer or give financially, whether that is to Lifeline or another ministry doing the work of Christ, remember that to give is to rejoice. To give is to join God in His creative redemption of the world. Allow yourself to be in awe of Him, and let Him lead you to wherever He longs for you to be. “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ‘God is a consuming fire’” (Hebrews 12:28-29).
By Kathryn Farmer