I recently had opportunity to worship in another country—one that does not have the freedom that we currently enjoy. Every time I have been blessed to lead worship or participate in worship in these closed countries, I am amazed at the passion and fervor of their times of worship.

I remember in 2009, after returning from such a trip, our missions team was leading worship in our U.S. church that Sunday morning. The mother of one of our teenage team members commented on how good worship was that morning. He quickly corrected her, pointing out that worship is not precious among our people like it is in countries where it is forbidden. He perceived a real difference in the environment and passion of worship in the U.S.

Is your worship precious? Do you value it? Do you hunger for it?

I am afraid we take our times of corporate worship for granted—just going through the motions of worship.

Jesus talked about going through the motions of worship without any heart in Matthew 15:8-9:

These people honor me with their lips
      but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
      their teachings are but rules taught by men

Do you enter times of corporate worship overflowing from a lifestyle of personal worship, ready to join with fellow believers to meet with God? Do you come expecting an encounter with the Almighty?

This week, let us resolve to make worship a precious jewel in our lives.