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*At Martin’s memorial service, it was reported that the last thing the couple did before the raid was to pray together. Martin told his wife, “We might not leave this jungle alive, but at least we can leave this world serving the Lord with gladness. We can serve Him right here, where we are, and with gladness.” (2)
*Surely we too can serve the Lord with gladness right here, where we are.
-Rejoice when you serve.
2. And rejoice when you sing. Again in vs. 2: “Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.”
*God wants us to come before His presence overflowing with joy, as we sing praises to Him. Yes, there is a place in worship for other emotions. But we can’t leave out the joy. God wants to see obvious joy in our singing to Him.
-Rejoice when you sing.
3. And in vs. 4, rejoice when you step closer to the Lord: “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.”
*In the Temple, there was a court for the Gentiles, a court for the Jewish women, and a court for the Jewish men. Each court was closer to the Holy of Holies, and thereby, closer to the Lord. But there was only so far you could go as a Gentile, as a woman, as a man or as a priest. Only the High Priest could enter the Holy of Holies, and only once a year.
*But all of those barriers were broken down when Jesus died on the cross. God even tore open the curtain to the Holy of Holies to show us that now we all have access to Him through the blood of Jesus Christ.
-God wants us to seek His face. God wants us to get closer and closer to Him.
-And God wants us to overflow with joy, as we get closer to Him.
*Rejoice when you serve, when you sing, and when you step closer to God. That’s when to rejoice.
II. But if your joy level is low tonight, God also gives us some great reasons why to rejoice.
1. First: Rejoice over our creation by God. -- In vs. 3, “Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.”
*Think about the wonders of God’s creation. He was able to create it all with just a few words! And the vast reaches of the universe are nothing to Him.
*A Navigator writer showed us the awesomeness of our Creator God this way. He matched scientific measurements with some statements about God in Isaiah 40:12.
-The oceans of the world contain more than 340 quintillion gallons of water, yet God holds them “in the hollow of his hand.”
-The earth weighs 6 sextillion metric tons, yet to God all that is like “dust on the scales.”
-The known universe stretches more than 150 billion light years but God measures it by the width of his hand.
*On top of all this, scientists claim there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Our own Milky Way galaxy alone contains 200 billion stars. And the nearby Andromeda galaxy has a trillion stars. But Isaiah 40:26 tells us that God calls each star by name. (3)
*But God didn’t just create this amazing universe. -- He created you! He didn’t have to do that, you know. He didn’t have to make you. But He did -- rejoice!
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