Sermon:
The JOY of serving God
Joy is a stable and ever present attitude in the midst of life. It is more than happiness. It is more than laughter. It is closely related to peace and hope.
But it was not a joy that was based on circumstances; it was a joy that was based on the power, the person, and the purposes of God!
How does joy take root? How do we get joy to grow in the soil of our souls and lives?
And joy is a characteristic of endurance.
Joshua 24:15
15But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

1. The first thing we see revealed is a whole-hearted commitment to please God.
“Choose for your selves this day who you will serve” “AS for me”
2. The second thing we see is a wholehearted commitment to serve
“As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord”

Luke 4:8
8Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.”

1. The first thing we see revealed is a Command to serve:
Obedience is the hallmark of our commitment to the Lord. We cannot afford to be causal about our relationship with Him.
But what about God calling us to serve as He did Mary?

Luke 1:26-38
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
34“How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”
35The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God.”
38“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

1. The first thing we see revealed is a whole-hearted commitment to please God.
“May it be to me as you have said”
2. The second thing we see is a wholehearted commitment to serve God “May it be as you have said”
We need to have hearts that are ablaze and that burn with the passion for serving God and serving each other. Only then will we find fulfillment