Summary: Many times our service to the Lord seems no joy at all, we just do it because we have to. What really is serving the Lord?
TOPIC: SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS
Text: Psalm 100
“Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness!” (ESV)
Our theme is: SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS. What is serving the Lord with gladness? Read Psalm 100. Before we go to that I would like us to notice that service begins with our heart. Deuteronomy 6:5, “5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” And in Deuteronomy 10:12-13, “12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” In order for us to serve the Lord with gladness we need to have a heart that is right with God. He should be the Lord of our life otherwise our service will become a burden to us instead of gladness. Remember Martha & Mary in Luke 10:38-42 where Jesus commends what Mary’s did than what Martha’s service. The issue here is not on what they are doing but the issue is Mary & Martha’s heart. Same thing in the Ephesians church in Revelation 2:1-7 wherein their service is exceptional compare to what we are doing today & yet in v. 4 Jesus told them, “4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.” That is why we need first to settle the issue of our heart in order to experience gladness in our service, even in everything we do in this life.
From your text we can see at least Three Truths on how we can serve the Lord with Gladness in our heart.
1. Serve the Lord with a Worshipful Heart
In NIV it renders, “2 Worship the LORD with gladness…” Everything we do should be an act of worship to our God even how small it may seems to us or to others. (Romans 12:1., “1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.”) Our service reflects of our relationships with our God. Matthew 24:37, “37 Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'” Our service reflects our love relationships with Him. In Matthew 4:10, “10 Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" It also shows our deep understanding about God, and ourselves (Psalm 100:3, 5, “3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”) The more we know Him, understand His love for us the more we have gladness in our heart in serving Him. Matthew 25:40, “40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'” Paul also said in Ephesians 6:7, “7Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men…” Paul’s motivation in serving God is God’s love that is in him (2 Corinthians 5:14a, “14 For Christ's love compels us…”) That is why the believers in the book of acts were able to serve God, Acts 4:32, “32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.” Wholehearted service to God honors Him and edifies the church.
2. Serve the Lord with a Joyful Heart
I like what the Psalmist declares here, “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness!” (ESV) He is urging us to “Make a joyful noise to the Lord.” When we serve the Lord it should comes from a joyful heart. Why we need to serve God joyfully (I Corinthians 15:58, “58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”) We see our service to God as great opportunity for us to serve the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We should take it as great honor on our part and not something that is a burden to us. In Deuteronomy God expect His people to serve Him joyfully Deuteronomy 28:47, “47 Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48 therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you.” Many people are making noise but full of murmuring like the Israelites in the deserts. They always murmur to God to what they do or what they have. Many times we serve God and yet in our heart we murmur, we complain, we compare ourselves to others who we thought are not doing small or no service at all base on our judgment. When we serve God it should come from a joyful heart not seeing what we do or what others are doing but the privilege that God gave us to serve Him.