SERVE THE LORD WITH GLADNESS

Worship the Lord your God and only the Lord your God. Serve him with absolute single-heartedness. [Luke 4:8 (MSG)]

cabbage white butterfly on red clover

In The Book of Common Prayer, Psalm 100 begins with the words, “O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands; serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song.” As a girl, I frequently read those words in my prayer book before worship began. I thought of them again last Sunday. Following the recessional, the visiting pastor exclaimed, “Our worship has ended, let our service begin!” During worship, I’d made a joyful noise and come before the Lord with a song. The minister’s words reminded me that now was the time to serve Him with gladness. The hour or so spent in worship on Sundays is just a small part of a Christian’s life. God blesses us with another 167 hours in the week. How will we choose to serve Him in that time?

Heavenly Father, thank you for the reminder that when our worship ends, the real work of furthering your Kingdom begins. May we not just hear your word, but comprehend it. May we not just say your word, but live it. Let your word turn into our works and cause our faith to turn into action. May we always serve you with gladness.

The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable. [Kevin Max]

 I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy. [Rabindranath Tagore]

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. [Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)]

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