For ten years I have served the Lord together with PMU. Formal PMU support for my family will end in December of 2017, as the Yangon BPC has become self-supporting this year. (Editor’s note: This has been the intent of our relationship since the beginning to create self-supporting works.) I often reflect over these ten years of service which has brought me so many blessings and much joy. As I reflect, there is one passage of the Bible that often comes into my mind. It is Psalm 100:2 and is a command to “Serve the Lord with gladness.”
First of all I must confess that I did not serve the Lord with gladness all the time. There were times I served Him with worries, sadness, and complaints. But I thank God that most of the time He enabled me to serve with gladness. Now I realize more clearly that I should have served Him with gladness even when I was worried, sad, or felt like complaining because all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).
In this article, I want to explore a little bit more why we are commanded to serve the Lord with gladness. We are commanded because:
- We are created and redeemed to serve the Lord. God created Adam and Eve to serve Him. Unfortunately they obeyed the wrong master, Satan. God saved His own people out of Egypt, so they may serve Him (Exodus 7:16). Joshua challenged his people regarding whom they would serve, Jehovah or false gods (Joshua 24:14-15). He also affirms clearly that he and his family will serve Jehovah. Elijah also challenged the people of Israel that they must choose whom they should serve, Jehovah or Baal (1 Kings 18:21). Jesus himself says that no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). Paul said that before we were saved, we served sin, but now we have become a servant of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18). He was proud enough to call himself a bond servant (slave) of Jesus Christ.
- We are blessed when we serve the Lord. We are called to serve the Lord because we are blessed when we serve Him. The nations rise and fall depending on how they serve the Lord (Isaiah 60:12). No one will deny that the greatest times the US has enjoyed were the very times it served the Lord. Today many people say, “Let’s make America great again,” but let us also remember that America will be great again when the people serve God. Big, historical revivals have produced a new emphasis on serving the Lord.
- God is most glorified when we serve Him with gladness. This truth is clearly seen in the answer to the very first question of the Shorter Catechism ~ “To glorify God and enjoy him forever.” God is truly glorified when we enjoy Him, and He is most glorified when we serve Him with gladness. Moses emphatically warned his people that there will be a curse when they stop serving the Lord with gladness (Deut.28:47-48). So let us serve God with gladness. Because serving the Lord is not just a duty but a privilege, our greatest privilege after salvation. How sweet it is to serve the Lord who loves us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for us on the cross. How sweet it is to serve the Lord who always blesses abundantly in spite of the fact that our service to Him is imperfect, tainted by our short-comings.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Rev. Khawl Ro Kim