Saturday, April 5, 2008

Serve the Lord with gladness.

Psa. 100:2 Serve the Lord with gladness:
David’s Psalms are some of the most uplifting portions of scripture. His songs are filled with praise and adoration, and in this specific passage he commands us to serve the Lord with gladness.
This verse really is two commands in one; the first is to serve the Lord. In our democratic system we have forgotten what it means to be the servant of a sovereign. Three Hundred years ago, our ancestors were probably the subject to some king. No matter what country they lived in, they knew what it was to serve a monarch. In a monarchy, what a king said was law, period. It didn’t have to go through a senate, or a congress, or a parliament. As Christians we live in a monarchy, what God says goes, with or without our consent. He doesn’t ask our permission or advice for any law he sets down. He says to Job in Job 40:2 “Shall he that contedeth with the almighty instruct him? He that reproveth God let him answer.” Job answers wisely and says “Behold I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.” He understood how to answer God, which is that man cannot talk back to God, His ways are past finding out. We need to reeducate ourselves with the idea of an all sovereign monarch that doesn’t require our say in how he runs his kingdom.
Secondly, David says we ought to serve Him in a specific way, with gladness. It is one thing to do what you’re told it’s another to do it with a good attitude. Every parent knows this, and we tell our children often “Don’t get an attitude about doing what you’re told”. Yet we teach them just the opposite in our actions. We act like it’s an inconvenience to get up and go to church on Sunday, we do go and then grumble and gripe the whole way home because the services didn’t go the way we thought they should have. We make time to go to all the ball games and cheerleader camps, but we tell people “We just don’t have time to do family devotions”. Do we wonder why our children aren’t serving us with gladness? Maybe it’s because we show them it’s unimportant to serve those who have authority over us with gladness, namely the ultimate authority God.
What if we started serving God as a king instead of a CEO? What if served him with gladness instead of begrudgingly? Do you think it would send a different message to our children, to our coworkers?
What has God done for us his children? He has saved us from eternal damnation, He has promised not to keep us from trouble, but to help us get through it, and He has made us not only servants (which would be privilege enough) but joint heirs with Jesus Christ. Is this not reason for service? Is this not reason enough for joyful service? Let us resolve in our hearts, like Job, to obey God’s orders without question, to lay our hands over our mouths and keep from talking back. Then let’s attempt to show all the world around us that we are happy to serve so great a God as ours. To show them that He has made us a little lower than the angels, though we were worthy of nothing short of death. To show the world that we will serve the Lord with gladness.


  1. There is often a fine line between Hedonism & serving with gladness.
    Christian culture has lost the true servitude with a glad heart that Bunyan wrote about, and has embraced neither service nor enjoyment, but a subtle replacement with self-pleasing.

  2. The White badger has spoken wisely. It is often not "is God pleased with my service" but "Am I pleased with my service." Bunyan was right on!