Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Psalm 100:2
As I waited in the breakfast buffet line at a Christian conference center, a group of women entered the dining hall. I smiled, saying hello to a woman who stepped into the line behind me. Returning my greeting, she said, “I know you.” We scooped scrambled eggs onto our plates and tried to figure out where we’d met. But I was pretty sure she’d mistaken me for someone else.
When we returned for lunch, the woman approached me. “Do you drive a white car?”
I shrugged. “I used to. A few years ago.”
She laughed. “We stopped at the same traffic light by the elementary school almost every morning,” she said. “You’d always be lifting your hands, singing joyfully. I thought you were worshiping God. That made me want to join in, even on tough days.”
Praising God, we prayed together, hugged, and enjoyed lunch.
My new friend affirmed that people notice how Jesus’ followers behave, even when we think no one is watching. As we embrace a lifestyle of joyful worship, we can come before our Creator anytime and anywhere. Acknowledging His enduring love and faithfulness, we can enjoy intimate communion with Him and thank Him for His ongoing care (Psalm 100). Whether we’re singing praises in our cars, praying in public, or spreading God’s love through kind acts, we can inspire others to “praise his name” (v. 4). Worshiping God is more than a Sunday morning event.
In what ways can you joyfully worship God throughout the day? When has someone else’s worship led to your own?
Almighty God, please help me live to worship You with contagious joy and gratitude.
While worship of God may include joyful praise and thanksgiving, as Psalm 100 describes, the biblical concept of worship is much broader. The Hebrew word translated “worship” (‘bd) in Psalm 100:2 is more often translated “serve” or “work.” For example, Adam was to “work” (same Hebrew word) the ground in the garden of Eden (Genesis 2:15). Later this word became associated with the “service” of God in the tabernacle and temple (see Numbers 3:7). Because tabernacle and temple service involved praise of God, offering sacrifices, and other religious practices, the word came to mean “worship” as we understand it today. But the concept really has to do with serving God more than singing praises and offering thanksgiving. These expressions of worship are just some ways we can serve God. As Paul says, believers are to offer their whole bodies and minds to God as an act of spiritual worship (Romans 12:1–2).