Two Men Attend Worship Services
Two men attend worship services. The first man attends wholly out of a sense of duty. He understands the teaching of Hebrews 10:25: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” and is determined to obey faithfully that teaching. He will not allow anything within his power to stand in the way of his attending the worship periods of the church.
The second man recognizes his duty in this matter too, but his primary motivation in attendance is his love for the Lord and his joy in blending his voice and heart with other Christians in praise and adoration to the Lord. He delights in worship and the spiritual strength he derives through worship.
The first man is mentally passive throughout the worship service. If the words of the song happen to catch his attention, he observes and appreciates them. Otherwise, he just sings along with little concern for what he is singing. If the sermon is interesting, he listens. Otherwise, he just relaxes, and hopes the time won't drag too badly. He does meditate briefly concerning Christ's suffering and death as he partakes of the supper, for somehow the importance of the memorial feast has been impressed upon his mind.
The second man comes mentally prepared to worship. He pays close attention to the words of each song and makes the sentiment of the songs his own sentiment. In fact, he sometimes studies the words of frequently used songs so he will be sure he understands their meaning. Depth of meaning is of greater importance to him than a catchy tune or rhythmic beat. He listens to each phrase of the prayer that is led, and if he can approve the petitions of the prayer, he unites with the one who leads with his "Amen." He discerns the Lord's body as he breaks bread, and he listens carefully to the sermon, volunteering his attention, hiding the word in his heart, that he might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11). If his mind wanders occasionally, he brings it back to the worship. He worships with a consciousness of God as the object of his worship, the One toward whom these expressions of adoration are directed.