Serve The Lord With Gladness. 11/17/2014 (Morning thought)

Psalms 100:1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

This passage of scripture encourages us to serve The Lord with joy and gladness, because of His manifold kindness to us who are not worthy. As sheep of His pasture, and under His direct care and leadership, we should rejoice in our service of love to Him and we should also count it a joy and a privilege just to be in His presence. The relationship of God with His people is likened unto a marriage between a man and a woman, in which the husband takes delight in his wife and vice-versa. It's not every time that a husband and wife get together that requests for material things should be made, for a sound relationship is not primarily based on requests and answers given, but mostly on the appreciation of one's character.

Similarly, it's not every time that we come into God's presence that we should make requests for temporal things, for God desires that we take time to contemplate His goodness, His matchless love, His character, and His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. And while it is His will that we always ask for fresh endowments of His Spirit, yet the mundane and material things of this life should not be made the focus of every prayer, every time we come into His presence. When a woman really loves and appreciates her husband, she takes pleasure just being in his presence, even though no words may be spoken, and even if no requests are made. She just loves being with him, and so it should be with us and our God, in that we should love just being in His presence, even though no particular requests for temporal benefits are made. This is what David did as he looked forward with eager joy to being in God's presence. Let's read:

Psalms 122:1  I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. 2 Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. 4 Whither the tribes go up" .... "to give thanks unto the name of the Lord.

The sentiments uttered by king David should be adopted by Christians today, for we are sometimes prone to indulge the Santa "claws" mentality, where our main focus becomes the receiving of material gifts and benefits. The heath/ wealth gospel that is so often presented to the masses tends to foster this mindset, and because of this, some Christians become disheartened when the material blessings they so ardently sought and expected, are not given, or are removed for a while, as was the case with Job.

But in Job's experience we see that even though health and wealth were removed for some time, yet his faith in God did not grow dim, neither did he forsake the presence of God because of his misfortunes. This steadfastness of his could not be shaken, because he had learned by experience that it is a pleasure and joy to serve God, not merely because of the material blessings He bestows, but simply because God is good, as is reflected in Job's own words. Let's read:

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. 16 He also shall be my salvation: for an hypocrite shall not come before him.

Let us therefore take delight in God because of His character and love towards us, and let us serve Him with gladness, for it is always a pleasure to be in His presence. God bless!