Summary: This message focuses on worship as service ...and how it should be something we do with gladness!

This morning, we are continuing our series on living in thanksgiving - and lets begin again by reading this text - let’s read it out-loud together this week...

Last week we talked about ‘delight’ - for us to become tankful and live lives of thanksgiving we have to learn to delight in God - and we talked about learning to savor God, right? Well this week we talk about service...

...we are not talking about any old service - but service with joy... Has there ever been a job you really enjoyed? Some act of service that made you happy?

When I was in the 5th grade, I got something that I had wanted for several years. It wasn’t a christmas present, or a gift from my parents. In 5th grade I got chosen to be a crossing guard! I know, that probably sounds silly to you, but for me it was a huge honor. We got to wear a special uniform - this yellow crossing guard belt thing, and we got a badge - it was quite an outfit, I assure you! We had to apply, and tell the principal why we wanted to be a crossing guard, and then our teacher had to also make a recommendation - then when we were chosen, they had a special ceremony where the whole school was told about the new crossing guards... But none of that compared to actually getting to be a crossing guard. Its a lot of responsibility for a 5th grader - stopping traffic - helping younger kids across the street. I absolutely loved it - and even though we had to wake up early on the days we had to serve, and we had to stay late, and some people made fun of us ...I served with joy!

In this passage we have been talking about thanks - and this morning we look at verse 2. Some of your translations say worship, some say serve, but the idea is really the same... We see worship as being our singing, and our music - but I think God sees it a little differently - and the psalmist definitely does. You see service is an expression of your worship. One way to look at it is to say that worship is what you say, and service is what you do... If you say that you are thankful to God, that’s one thing - but through service to God, you really show what you believe...

This passage simply says, “Serve to Lord with Gladness”

The Psalmist gives us this image of a throne room and a king and we are the servants... He says serve Him with Gladness - We are to serve him with joy!

With service, though, its all really about attitude - its al about your heart.

Have you ever had someone serve you, and you could tell that they weren’t really enjoying themselves? Every now and again I get a waiter at a restaurant that really doesn’t want to be there - or in a shop, I’ll get someone who just doesn’t want to be helpful. Isn’t that annoying?

Contrast that with your favorite waiter - or your favorite checker at the grocery store. You like them because chances are they make you feel special. They would do anything to make you happy, and bend over backwards to serve you...

Don’t you think that God is the same way? He not only sees our actions, but he sees our hearts.

if God wanted to - he could make you do anything, right? He could use us as slaves. We could be forced to serve him. We could live in bondage, and our service could just be weight on our shoulders... But that’s not God wants from us!

He wants us to enjoy serving! Rather than serve God because we have to, we serve because we want to. Its an honor. Its a privilege. We are willing to do whatever it takes, not because we are good - but because He is good...

Here’s the deal though - most of us serve with the wrong attitude and the wrong motives... Lets face it, most of us don’t serve for God’s applause - we serve for man’s applause!

Here is one test: If no one noticed. If no one ever said one word of appreciation, would you keep serving?

Here’s another test: Does serving fill you up? Does it lead to joy?

I’ve noticed that when I am doing something, when I am serving, for the wrong reason that it doesn’t fill me up. When I do it for me? It’s never enough. When I do it for man’s applause, it never fills me, and usually leads to more anxiety... But, when I do serve for God’s pleasure and his pleasure alone - its a whole different ballgame...

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