by John M. Fuller
A country gal visited a very formal church in the city. While listening to the sermon she shouted, “Praise the Lord!” The congregation was shocked. An usher came down the aisle and told her to be quiet. She couldn’t help herself. Later she exclaimed, “Amen!” The usher issued another warning to her to keep her comments to herself. Finally, the sermon was so good she just had to shout, “Hallelujah!” This time two ushers came and carried her down the aisle. She defended herself by saying that she was just praising the Lord. Whereas the ushers retorted, “That is not allowed here!”
Preparation for Worship
Jesus gave his disciples specific instructions to follow: “Untie the colt and bring it to me.” As Jesus road the colt, people spread their cloaks on the road and the worship began. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m not getting anything out of church or worship”? News flash: Worship isn’t always automatic and when it doesn’t happen, it’s not God’s fault. What have you done to prepare for worship? It does not just happen on Sunday mornings. You don’t just “show up” for worship. Worship is about living a life focused on pleasing God. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved” (2 Timothey 2:15).
Obedience in Worship
“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 spiritual act of worship” (Romans 12:1). “Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ” (2 Corinthians 9:13). The old hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commands” (John 14:15, New King James Version). A life lived in obedience to God’s Word is true worship.
John M. Fuller serves as the preaching minister of Silver Star Christian Church in Orlando, FL. He has served as the Treasurer of the National Missionary Convention for the last nine years. He and his wife, Miriam, have two sons, Jedidiah and Josiah, who are in full-time ministry.