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Monday, June 23, 2014

Serve the Lord with Gladness

Photo by: tiverylucky

 Psalm 100, A Psalm of Praise
Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Serve the LORD with gladness:
come before his presence with singing.
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.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting;
and his truth endureth to all generations.

I memorized this Psalm as a child. It’s a wonderful Psalm of praise to God, of joy in His presence, and of thanksgiving. It speaks of being in God’s house and serving Him.

Are you busy for God? Are you involved in your church?

It’s always interesting to observe the percentage of people doing the work in the average church. Estimates are between five and ten percent, which means that most of the people in the average church aren’t serving at all. They warm pews—or nice, new auditorium seats—and take in, soak up, and leave.

I’m a pastor’s wife, and I see the problem up close and personal. And, it’s not only that some are lazy about Christian service. Our church people need to be taught and prepared for the work of the ministry—as well as willing to do it. Some people are simply oblivious to the needs of a church.

If you would like to be more involved in your church and you don’t have any idea where you can fit in or what needs to be done:
  • Ask.—Your pastor or pastor’s wife will have some suggestions for ways you can help.
  • Volunteer.—When the pastor asks for volunteers to bring cookies, visit a sick person, do soulwinning, pass out tracts, wash cars, move chairs and set up for a function, clean, work in Bible school, etc. answer the call. Do something to help in your church.
  • Open your eyes, and pray, asking God to help you to notice needs.—Look for the people who are on the sidelines: those who are shy, left out of conversations, dressed differently, zoned out. Go over to them and chat. Make friends. Consistently look for opportunities to be friendly. If others are cleaning up, chances are they’d appreciate help. Pitch in and be helpful. Do you see a weed in the outside planter? Pull it and dispose of it. Do you see extra toilet paper on the floor in the bathroom? Pick it up and throw it away. Have you noticed a Sunday school table needs deep cleaning? Go get a non-scratch product and clean it.

When I read this Psalm of praise, I notice it is God-centric and not me-centric. All of the adoration is for the Lord. The thanks and the singing are for God.

In this Psalm, all the praise is because He created us, we belong to Him, God is good, and God is true.

Have you noticed that many of the modern praise songs reverse this? They put the emphasis on what we do: “I lift up my hands and praise You.” “I wait for You.” “I love the way You love me.” “I am free.” “You’re worthy of my praise.” “Here I am to worship.” The emphasis is on what pleases me or what I am doing. Now, a lot of what the songs say is fine, but it’s the emphasis on our own actions that seems to miss the point.

The old traditional hymns leave us out of them: “Holy, Holy, Holy;” “Crown Him with Many Crowns;” “Amazing Grace;” “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing Our Great Redeemer’s Praise;” “Blessed Assurance.” They’re about God and what He does, just like Psalm 100.

Did you notice that service is only one part of this Psalm? It speaks more about the heart attitude of the worshiper and the greatness of God.
  • Make a joyful noise
  • Serve the Lord with gladness (the only time service is mentioned)
  • Come before His presence with singing
  • Recognize the Lord as God
  • Acknowledge that He created us
  • We belong to Him and are His sheep
  • Enter into His house with thanksgiving and praise
  • Be thankful (again)
  • Bless His Name
  • The Lord is good
  • His mercy is everlasting
  • His truth is forever

God is interested in your service, yes.

But He’s more interested in your worship. Genuine praise is all about God.

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