If you asked 10 people for a definition of the word "worship", you'd likely get 10 completely different responses. Joe (the missions pastor at LCC) gave the following definition: "the act and attitude or wholeheartedly giving yourself to God; body, mind and spirit." When we think of a worship service we tend to ask the question, what can I get out of this? How can I be spiritually fed? In reality, the purpose of worship is to give something to God. The notion that we can give anything to God seems almost outrageous, but consider that God created us with hearts bent on worshipping. Our purpose on this earth is to bring glory to God through praise and thanksgiving. For the unbeliever who doesn't worship God, he or she will default to worshipping other (little g) gods (i.e. sports, careers, possessions, etc.) There seems to be a God-shaped hole in our hearts that only He can fill.
I love this verse in 1 Peter 2:9 that says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." What a beautiful picture of grace! God saves us from death through sin and calls us to be a holy people. When you consider the weight of God's grace and His everlasting love, the only appropriate response is worship! Scripture gives many examples of worship including thanksgiving, prayer, music, dancing, clapping or raising hands, and offering tithes. Though our individual worship may be different, the heart behind it should be the same. God is glorified when our hearts are submitted to Him and our spirits are humbled before Him.
I sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, "The Lord reigns."
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
they will sing before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his truth.