You can tell a lot about a company or a company’s leader by observing its employees.
If the employees are cheerful and helpful, you think their company or boss must be great to work for. If Christians are discontent, grumble and act down-in-the mouth like Eeyore, what does that say about our Master? If we’re doing the right thing but our heart isn’t in it, it says God isn’t a good master, that he doesn’t take care of us, satisfy us or make us glad, that we didn’t make a good decision by calling on his name.
God tells us in Ps 100:2:
Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
When we sing to God we should do it with glad hearts. How does God feel if we say, OK, I’ll worship, because I have to, but I won’t like it. In Malachi, God rebuked the priests because of their lack of joy in serving him:
But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. Malachi 1:13
The priests were doing their duty – they were offering the sacrifices – but they didn’t bring their best and rather than serving the Lord joyfully they said, “What a weariness this is.”
How often are we tempted to have the same attitude. When that difficult brother or sister needs for the hundredth time, when we must tend to our kooky children or care for a sick parent, when we must serve our spouse – we too can think “What a weariness this is.” I know because I have done this.
Yet Scripture calls us to do all things as unto the Lord:
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. CO 3:23-24
Whether it’s working on a spreadsheet, shoveling manure, changing a diaper or doing the dishes, we are to work heartily as for the Lord – “you are serving the Lord Christ.” And we are to serve the Lord with gladness. God rebuked Israel for failure to serve him joyfully:
Because you did not serve the LORD your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things, therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the LORD will send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness, and lacking everything….DT 28:47-48
We have every reason to serve the Lord with gladness – he saved us, washed our sins away, and made us joint-heirs with Christ! So what if we have to deal with a difficult brother, we’re saved! So what if our job is boring, nothing can separate us from God’s love! I’m not saying it’s easy to serve the Lord cheerfully. But if we will pray and ask for grace to serve him joyfully he’ll pour it out.
The gladness of servants speaks volumes about their Master. Let’s serve the Lord with cheerful, glad, joyful hearts today and show the world what an incredible Master we have.