Archive for May 1st, 2012

Serving Gladly

May 1st, 2012

“Serve the Lord with gladness.” Psalm 100:2 NKJV

“The only applause a true servant expects is the approval of his Master.”

My thoughts and comments today are about “serving gladly.”

Life is best lived with gladness. You, as well as others, can tell when you are doing something dutifully rather than gladly. A person’s performance, demeanor, and effort expose their heart, however busy their hands may be. Doing the right thing for God or others because you ought to or have to do it is vastly different from doing that because you are glad for the privilege of helping. Which would you say characterizes your service to God? Your service to others? There is little credit for doing the right thing with a wrong heart.

David, the shepherd and King of Israel, knew a little about worship. “Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:2-3 NAS. David learned some practical things good for us to remember. When serving, your attitude is as important as your actions. The New Testament describes that principle this way, “Be . . fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Romans 12:11 NKJV. The idea is: serving with enthusiasm, pleasure, and satisfaction.

“Serving gladly” is not about your delight in the task; it is about your delight in God Himself – your fitting response in recognition of God and His rightful place in and over your life. Guard your motives when serving. Ample reward is promised to those who serve, but reward alone is not a proper motive. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as though you are working for the Lord and not for men. Remember that the Lord will give you as a reward what He has kept for His people. For Christ is the real Master you serve.” Colossians 3:23-24 TEV. The only applause a true servant expects is the approval of his Master.

Serving others is an act of worship to God. The proper accompaniment to your songs is the sound of your joy in God and your love for serving others. Jesus spoke of the hungry, strangers, needy, sick, and prisoners and said, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these . . you did for Me . . Anyone who gives a cup of water in My name will certainly not lose His reward.” Matthew 25:40 NIV/Mark 9:41 NIV.

God doesn’t lack from your expression of kindness, your helping hand, your thankful words, or your practical generosity – your family, friends, and neighbor do! “Serving gladly” is every bit a worshipful act as is “joyful singing.” You rightly express your gratitude to Father God for His benevolent grace by your practical benevolence to His family, and the objects of His love – the world! John properly reasoned, “For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, how can he love God, Whom he has not seen?” 1 John 4:20 NIV.

A servant has to be careful to guard their heart. My dear friend, Campbell, taught me, “If you want to see how well you are doing as a servant to others, watch how you react when someone treats you like one.” I have found his advice a reliable and necessary guideline more times that I would like to admit. When I fail to serve you, I fail myself and fail my God.

My prayer for you today is that you discover the joy of serving God by serving others.

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