Acts 19:34 – But when they knew that he was a Jew, all with one voice about the space of two hours cried out, Great is Diana of the Ephesians.
Something I have witnessed in our modern church troubles me. We seem to have moved from under-standing the need to truly praise our God into an arena where entertainment of the congregation is the objective. I must say that this phenomenon troubles me greatly. I tell you deliberately and boldly, this ought not be in the church of the Lord Jesus.
Take a moment to re-read our Text for Today. Consider the actions of a city, largely populated with a polytheistic group of unbelievers. They considered Diana as the principle goddess of Ephesus. In their darkness, worshipping a false god who had never made any sacrifice for them, they were willing to stand in defense of her, and shout with one voice, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians” for a space of two hours. And yet in our churches today, where we say that we worship the Lord Jesus Christ, the true and living first begotten Son of God who paid with the sacrifice of His Own body and blood, for our complete redemption, but find it difficult to have a praise service more than 30-minutes long, and in that we must sing four or five well-accompanied songs. I know this speaks to some level of indictment towards the church, but as an old adage states, if the shoe fits, wear it.
I ask you to consider the following questions. What is wrong with honoring, praising, and worshipping our God for hours, perhaps singing only one, or perhaps two songs? Are we so focused on ourselves that we dare not risk boring the people who largely come to watch and listen to the music in our churches? Have we come to a state of existence in which the congregation has become an audience, and the praise leaders have become entertainers?
Let us once again turn our hearts the Lord in true worship; worship that is in spirit and in truth. Let us once again shout to the Lord in triumph, give honor to His Name. No, it’s not about how many songs we sing or do not sing, nor is it about the time spent in the act. It is about sincerity of purpose and intent of heart. And when our thinking is right, and sincerity of purpose and intent of heart is right, we won’t care how many, or few, songs we sing, or the amount of time we invest in that glorious act. It will all be about honoring Him. Let us enter in to honor Him. He is worthy of all praise, and He has made us worthy to be called the children of God. So, praise the Lord, all ye people. Shout unto God with the voice of triumph!
Manna for Today – Acts 19:21-41; Hebrews 13:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Psalm 150:6; John 4:23