Evening, January 9, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“Serve the Lord with gladness.”— Psalm 100:2
Enjoyment in divine service is a mark of acceptance. Those who serve God with a sad expression, because they do what is unpleasant to them, are not serving him at all; they bring the form of service, but the life is absent. Our God requires no slaves to grace his throne; he is the Lord of the empire of love, and would have his servants dressed in the attire of joy. The angels of God serve him with songs, not with moans; a mutter or a sigh would be a mutiny in their ranks. That obedience which is not voluntary is disobedience, for the Lord looks at the heart, and if he sees that we serve him from force, and not because we love him, he will reject our offering. Service coupled with cheerfulness is service from the heart, and therefore true. Take away joyful willingness from the Christian, and you have removed the test of his sincerity. If a man is driven to battle, he is no patriot; but he who marches into the fight with flashing eye and beaming face, singing, “It is sweet to die for one’s country,” proves himself to be sincere in his patriotism. Cheerfulness is the support of our strength; we are strong in the joy of the Lord. It acts as the remover of difficulties. It is to our service what oil is to the wheels of a railway carriage. Without oil the axle soon grows hot, and accidents occur; and if there is not a holy cheerfulness to oil our wheels, our spirits will be clogged with weariness. The man who is cheerful in his service of God, proves that obedience is his element; he can sing,
“Make me to walk in thy commands,
‘Tis a delightful road.”
Reader, let us put forth this question–do you serve the Lord with gladness? Let us show to the people of the world, who think our religion to be slavery, that it is to us a delight and a joy! Let our gladness proclaim that we serve a good Master.