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Serve the Lord with Gladness

(10)

Sermon shared by K. Edward Skidmore

January 2009
Summary: Third sermon in a 6 sermon series entitled "I知 in!" dealing with what it means to be an active member of a local congregation. Ideas borrowed from Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, Ky.
Series: I知 in!
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
Serve the Lord with Gladness!
Romans 12:1-8
CHCC: January 18, 2009

INTRODUCTION:

We池e starting out the New Year with a sermon series called 的知 In! Ronnie Morgan preached the first 2 sermons about being IN for weekly Worship and Bible Study. It makes sense that being IN means being THERE along with the rest of the group

We have already learned, from Ronnie痴 messages that being 的N involves a weekly participation with others in worship and in private and corporate study of God痴 word. Today we will go a step further by talking about what it means to serve God in the church.

You can稚 find a better passage about serving God than Romans chapter 12. This is where we find the Apostle Paul turning a corner in a very theologically-centered book. In Romans 1 11 the Paul wrote about how we are Justified through our faith, NOT through our own good WORKS.

Then in Chapter 12, Paul turns a corner and talks about how we do our good WORKS not to try to earn God痴 approval ... but out of GRATITUDE to God for the Grace and Mercy He has already given us.

Look at the way Romans 12 starts Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God痴 mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God葉his is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1

1. Sacrifice: The Heart of Worship

We are MOTIVATED to serve in view of God痴 mercy. Because Jesus sacrificed HIS life for us, we want to give OUR lives for Him. This is more than just doing a good deed a day it means giving ourselves completely.
We give ourselves as living sacrifices. Of course, the problem with living sacrifices is that they keep trying to crawl down off the altar! But the point is this: Service is more than 都omething we do. It is WHO WE ARE. And service is more than 努hat we do it is 滴OW WE DO IT

Psalm 100:2 declares, SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS! Our service must flow out of a HEART of gratitude or it is worthless in God痴 eyes. Friends, we can稚 effectively serve God while we池e moaning and groaning and complaining.

Years back when I was a Youth Minister, we did a lot of Youth Musicals. Some of them had funny skits that took a kind of 鍍ongue-in-cheek look at how churches worked. They had that kind of 塗a-ha ouch! effect. I remember one featured a church that had this slogan: 徹ur love is built on the foundation of guilt.

When it comes to offering your life as a living sacrifice, guilt motivation won稚 cut it! We may serve out of guilt or duty for a while but that kind of motivation wears thin in the long haul!

Another ineffective motivation is serving God so we 斗ook good to the other folks around us. When we are really serving God with gladness, we always draw attention to God --- not to ourselves.

Last week we attended our niece痴 wedding. Our little 2 year-old granddaughter Lydia was the Flower Girl and our 5-year-old grandson David was Ring-Bearer. Susan was talking to David after the wedding about what a great job he did coming up that aisle. She told him, 鼎haris said you were an important part of her wedding. David replied, 的 know! I was the MAIN part!

When Susan told David痴 mom about the conversation, Kaysha asked, 展ell, I hope you explained to him that he was NOT really the main part! Susan said, 哲o, I don稚 have to explain things like that
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