“Serve the Lord with gladness!” - Psalm 100:2
This is part 2 of the fighter verse meditation. As we said earlier, this Psalm is a Psalm of Thanksgiving in which the Psalmist summons all the earth, particularly the people of God, to praise and give thanks to God for His redemptive love and faithfulness. Today I want to focus on who we are called to serve.
It was early in the morning and I got called to a hostage situation. Only this was between 2 of my children. One was holding the other’s toy hostage and refused to give it back. The owner of the toy came to me and requested my help. I told them to use their words. They informed me, in so many words, they had tried but to no avail. I then said, “ok, tell them ‘dad said to give it back.’” Sure enough, that did the trick. Why? Because those 2 words “dad said” bring new meaning, authority, and incentive to the command to return the toy.
Who you serve makes a difference in the how and the why. We are reminded that all our service is to honor the LORD. Believers were once slaves to sin, but now have been set free and are bound to Christ by faith (cf. Romans 6:1ff). Israel’s slavery in Egypt paints the picture well. Sin is a harsh task master, much like Pharaoh, it’s always “more bricks and less straw.”
But we serve the LORD! A gracious, kind, burden-bearing, soul-lifting, sin-forgiving, self-sacrificing, redeeming King! Who you serve makes a difference. Our God commands us to serve mainly for our joy, as all of His commands are meant to guard the joy of His people.
We are commissioned in the New Testament: “Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
In all of your serving, who do you serve? Our hearts can turn even good things into idolatrous desires and deeds.
Ultimately, the driving motivator for my service can’t be how I feel, or to be seen as successful, or to have my ideas championed as the best ideas, or because I like the people involved in a certain ministry.
The main reason I serve must be to honor God and know Him more intimately as a response of worship and adoration. Or put another way: “because Dad said…” and this Dad loves me more than I could ever imagine, and only commands that which is good for my soul.
So beloved, let us head into the weekend and “Serve the LORD with gladness…”