Both Psalm 100 and references from two of Paul’s epistles shall reveal our answer. First, Psalm 100 has the structure of Joyfulness, Obedience, and Thanksgiving, which are the elements of a worship-filled life. I have expanded upon Psalm 100 by including parallel verses from other Psalms.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth. With trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn, make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord. Shout with joy! Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.
Worship the Lord with gladness. Serve the Lord with reverence. Serve the Lord with gladness. Loving service is a grateful response to the grace of God. Come into his presence with singing. Let us come before him with thanksgiving. Come before him with joyful song. Make a joyful noise unto him with psalms and songs of praise!
Know that the Lord is God. Acknowledge that the Lord is God. It is he that made us, and not we ourselves. O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker, for we are his! We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. As your people, O Lord, the sheep of your pasture, we will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation, we will recount your praise. The Lord is good, a stronghold in times of trouble; he protects those who trust in him.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto him. Give thanks to him. Bless his name. Praise his name. Sing unto the Lord; tell of his salvation every day. Give to the Lord the glory he deserves! Bring an offering and come into his courts. Offer unto God a thanksgiving sacrifice and call upon the name of the Lord. Come into his Temple with offerings to fulfill the vows we made unto the Lord.
Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. The Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting. Your merciful love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Your steadfast love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. His steadfast love endures forever; his unfailing love continues eternally; and his truth and faithfulness to all generations. Good and upright is the Lord; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. Teach me your statutes, O Lord. Your faithfulness endures unto all generations; you have established the earth, and it abides.
Furthermore, these same elements (joyfulness, obedience, and thanksgiving) are reflected in Paul’s epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians.
Ephesians 5.18-20: Be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts [joyfulness], always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ [thanksgiving]. [In the verses following, Paul expounds upon examples of obedience.]
Colossians 3.16-17: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly [joyfulness]; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom [obedience]; and with thanksgiving in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God [thanksgiving]. In addition, whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [obedience], giving thanks to God the Father through him [thanksgiving].
The Worship-filled Life
From the expansion on Psalm 100 and the references from Paul’s epistles, we notice that true worship leads to service or action, and true service is worship. If we cling to both the Spirit and understanding through the Word, our songs of joy and acts of obedience and thanksgiving are received in heaven as sacrifices to the Lord: “Through [Jesus], then, let us continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name” [Hebrews 13.15].
If we live under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, we reveal this by the way we worship God every second of each day. Instead of imitating the world, we will be led by the Word and the Spirit to be joyful in the Lord, obedient to the Lord, and thankful to the Lord. Then the world will see what a life filled with worship looks like.