Psalm 100:2 (NKJV) Serve the LORD with gladness

One of the most freeing yet forgotten truths of the Christian life is this: God only wants us to serve Him because we want to. He doesn’t demand, or even accept when we do things for Him out of a sense of duty, obligation, fear, or guilt. None of those motivations matter with the Lord. God wants our service, but only if we serve Him with gladness.

That’s a radical (and perhaps unwelcomed) concept for many. A lot of people have sacrificed years of service that were done out of obligation and not out of desire. Untold amounts of money, time, and energy have been rendered in the service of the Lord…for the wrong reasons.

Their lives have been a succession of bitter offerings that don’t bear any fruit. Over time, they get burnt out and their deeds never glorify God or draw others to the Lord. Why? Because the joy and gladness is absent. In fact, these people often drive people away from the Lord because they give off the vibe that anything to do with Him is a depressing drudgery. Who would want to follow a God whose servants are so miserable?

God wants us to serve Him because we want to and because we are glad to. It begs the obvious question: What’s the motivation behind our service? Are we doing it because we want to score points with Heaven, to ease a guilty conscience, or to look better than the people around us? Or do we serve because our hearts are overflowing with great joy for God’s love and we want to love Him back by serving Him?

Prayer: Most Merciful Master, forgive us if we have tried to serve you out of a sense of obligation, fear, or guilt. Help us remember all that You have done for us, and may that be our motivation to serve You. In Christ name, Amen!

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