Summary: why we are to be a thankful people - a people who serve the Lord with gladness.
“Serve the Lord with gladness,” and WHY?
One morning a deacon was asked to go to the airport and meet the preacher who was coming to his church to conduct a revival. He went but was not sure as to what the preacher looked like. He carefully examined the passengers as they exited the plan. He was anxious to pick up the man he was to entertain but whom he had never met.
Selecting a likely fellow, he asked, “Pardon me, sir, but are you a minister?”
“No, sir!” came the reply. “My indigestion makes me look like this.” How prone people are to associate a sad face with godliness. However, sadness does not indicate godliness. A sad face is a tool the devil uses effectively to persuade people to turn away from God.
Are you serving the Lord with gladness?
Perhaps there is no more familiar passage for the Thanksgiving season than Psalm 100.
Most of us know it by heart. Yet in the midst of all its lofty grandeur it explains to us why we are to be a thankful people - a people who serve the Lord with gladness.
See verse 5
We are to be thankful
I. For “the Lord is good.” - this is AN ESSENTIAL TRUTH
This sums up His character. The goodness of God is that which disposes Him to be kind, benevolent toward His children. The greatness of God rouses fear with in us, but His goodness encourages us to not be afraid of Him.
God’s very nature is good. Psalm 25:8 "Good and upright is the LORD."
A preacher was one time greeting people after church and said to an elderly saint, "Ain’t God good."
She instantly replied, "He can’t help it."
1 Chronicles 16:34 "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good”
All that comes from God—His decrees, His creation, His laws, His providence—cannot be otherwise than good.
"The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knoweth them that trust in Him," declares Nahum 1:7.
Goodness only belongs to God; he is solely good. "There is none good but one; that is, God" is the assertion of Christ in Matthew 19:17. There is nothing but goodness in God, and nothing but goodness comes from Him.
"The whole earth is full of the goodness of the Lord," Psalm 33:5.
Psalm 119:68 “Thou art good, and doest good.”
Psalm107:8 “Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness.”
I have heard people say, God has been good lately.” The truth is GOD IS ALWAYS GOOD.
Since the garden of Eden, Satan has tempted man to doubt the goodness of God. The worst thing that can happen to us is to get to the place in life where we think God is no longer good. To doubt the goodness of God is dangerous and treacherous ground and that the devil knows right well.
Psalm 107:1,2 “O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so.”
II. For “His mercy is everlasting,” - this is AN ETERNAL TRUTH
His mercy is everlasting. God is not mere justice, stern and cold; He has bowels of compassion and wills not the sinner’s death.
That mercy had no beginning, and shall never know an end. Mercy is an attribute of God which disposes God to be actively compassionate. Mercy never began to be but from eternity was son, and it will never cease to be. Lamentations 3:22, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.”
We should give thanks every day for the mercy of God By His mercy we live today; by His mercy we may live forever with Him in glory. It could have been different. Our Creator could have been a merciless God who demanded worship, but offered no fellowship; who demanded service, but gave us no Spirit.
Throughout the ages men have invented and served merciless gods who demanded unreasonable behavior and made them slaves to fear. However, the True and Living God is full of mercy and compassion. “The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,” declares Exodus 34:6. The Lord takes pride in His mercy. He desires to be known as a God of mercy. In fact, the verses that I just quoted, from Exodus 34:6,7, was spoken by God to Moses as a description of Himself. True, in the remainder of Exodus 34:7, the Lord went on to describe Himself as a God of righteousness and judgment, but He wanted first to be known as a God of mercy. With God, it is always mercy first, then judgment only if His offer of mercy is rejected. This order of things is demonstrated by the two comings of Christ. Christ first came on a merciful mission to offer Himself as a sacrifice of atonement for our sins, so that we might be reconciled to God. The next time He comes, it will be in judgment on those who rejected His merciful sacrifice.