Summary: A sermon on serving the Lord with gladness from Psalm 100:2 (Outline adapted from S. Conway in Pulpit Commentary, Volume 8, Pages 355-356)
Sermon for 6/24/2007
Psalm 100 especially verse 2
Serve the Lord with Gladness
The problem here is that we come into worship in the spirit of Eeyore in Winnie the Pooh, or perhaps Telly Monster in Sesame Street: "O-o-h, I love you and worship you, but things are pretty bad, and they may get worse...."
A. Read Psalm 100
B. This morning we want to focus our attention on Vs. 2 this little phrase “Worship the Lord with gladness.” When we hear the word worship it is generally applied to what we do here on Sunday’s by having worship services. Vs. 4 talks about entering his gates and giving thanks in his courts. In the Old Testament this meant going to worship in the temple or tabernacle.
C. This word worship is translated differently in other translations. Most translations use the word “serve” here. “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Look at NKJ.
D. When we use the word “serve” it takes on a different meaning. This verse reminds me of how slaves used to sing at their work on the plantations.
E. Glad service is what God asks for here.
Thesis: This morning let’s talk about glad service.
I. It is all too rare.
A. Look at the faces of those who profess to serve God.
1. Those who are really serious about their faith are somber, grave, and gloomy. The King James Version says that deacons and their wives are to be grave. The New International translates it more correctly as people worthy of respect.
2. A little boy had just become a Christian and sat on a bench next to an old man who looked somber, grave and gloomy. The little boy said to the man, “Sir, do you need to get saved?” The man said abruptly, “I’ll tell you I’ve been a deacon in this church for over 30 years and then Chairman of the Deacons for 15 years.” The little boy responded, “Sir, it don’t matter what you’ve done, Jesus loves you and He’ll still save you!”
3. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., member of the US Supreme Court of over 30 years. Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: “I might have entered the ministry if certain preachers I knew had not looked and acted like undertakers.”
4. If we are really serious about our faith, then we will look someone just died all of the time. I don’t believe that is how Jesus was. I like the picture of Jesus with the children!
B. Read their writings.
1. So many focus on the negative. Now, I am not of the thought that everything has to be positive. Must preach the whole word and will of God! However, as Christians, we have more positive than negative. In eternity everything is going to be positive.
2. In the past I have cancelled certain subscriptions because they were all negative. I might get some good thoughts out of this so I read it and every time I lay it down depressed, angry, and upset.
3. The story is told of two farmers. One was a pessimist, the other an optimist. The optimist would say, “Wonderful sunshine.” The pessimist would respond, “Yes, but I’m afraid it’s going to scorch the crops.” The optimist would say, “Fine rain.” The pessimist would respond, “yes, but I’m afraid we’re going to have a flood.” One day the optimist said to the pessimist, “Have you seen my new bird dog? He’s the finest money can buy.” The pessimist said, “You mean that mutt I saw penned up behind your house. Didn’t look like much to me.” The two went hunting with the dog the next day. They shot some ducks. The ducks landed in the pond. The optimist ordered his dog to get the ducks. The dog obediently responded and instead of swimming in the water the dog walked on top of the water, retrieved the ducks, and walked back on top of the water with the ducks. The optimist turned to his friend and said, “Now, what do you think of that?” The pessimist replied, “Hmm, he can’t swim can he?”
C. Listen to their teachings.
1. No humor! No ability to take themselves lightly!
2. They talk as if God were a tyrannical Taskmaster, and not our loving Father. Give an inaccurate picture of who God is!
D. Observe how they worship.
1. How dull and uninspiring! Like we are attending a funeral!
2. No beauty or brightness! Everything must be somber!
3. Reminds me of the story of the small child who was in a church service and he was having a grand time of smiling, cuing and laughing at everyone. Finally, his mother whispered to him, “Stop grinning! You’re in a church!” With that, she gave him a belt on his hind side and as the tears rolled down his cheeks added, “That’s better,” and returned to her prayers.