Marshall Evangelical Free Church
We were literally in the bush of Africa, in a van and driving to worship service. It was hot and dusty. We were drenched in sweat. We waved as we passed by young and old walking this trek to church. They make this journey every week? It was well over an hour walk for them to gather together to worship God.
And then it happened. That big noise we had just heard was a rock that ripped a hole in our transmission pan. We were carrying the supplies and the gifts for the people but we were done driving. We stopped, got out and watched the remaining transmission fluid draining out onto the dusty road.
The only other vehicle in the area was following us. It was a motorcycle our church had purchased for the missionary to accomplish his itinerant work of ministering to three area churches more than a 70-mile distance. He used to walk.
These believers were determined we get to the place of worship. We began to walk the remainder of the way which was about a half an hour in the hot sun. The motorcycle was used to carry the supplies and gifts. We roped them on. We passed a dead scorpion in the middle of our path. We needed to walk faster. The people were eager to gather and worship God.
Finally, we arrived. It was so hot we did not meet in the little brick building with corrugated steel roofing. We met under a tree. There we met God. There we heard the beauty of African worship music and these Kenyans looked heavenward loving their God. There under the tree we listen to testimonies from Kenyans and our team members. God lead me to give a sermon on hoping in God for rain in the middle of a drought. Smiles abounded. The body of Christ were loving one another. A little boy received his first pair of shoes. We were humbled by the sacrifice made to bless us with food. These people loved God and loved being together.
May I ask you a question? In the midst of the hot drought stricken weather, having your vehicle break and forced to walk, with sweaty body and rough terrain, having to walk a half hour or more to gather under a tree with other believers to worship the living God, would you have gone to church that day? Do you and I long for the fellowship of the body with which these poorest of the poor longed? Do we set our hearts on coming to gather together? (The word church in the Greek, ecclesia, means "those called out to gather together") Do we gather to give our worship and affection to the living God? Do we do everything in our power to not miss meeting God together, singing our praise to Him and learning from His word?
Our purpose as a church is that together we are a people loving God, growing in Christ and sharing the gospel. I am praying that we can learn to love God the way our Kenyan brothers and sisters do. Jesus summarized the whole Bible in one verse. Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
You and I must choose to love God through personal and corporate worship. I exhort you to choose to make loving God a priority.
Learn and practice personal worship and devotion to God.
Participate together with us in the public worship of God each week.
Listen for God to speak to you through the preaching of His word.
Jesus said, Jn 4:23-24 "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
I am praying that you and I will be those true worshipers and have the same dogged determination to love God that was modeled to us by the believers in the bush of Kenya.