Let Us Serve the Lord with Gladness (Psalm 100:1-2)
1. According to vs.2, God's people are to "serve the Lord with gladness." 2. Gladness: feeling of joy or pleasure, cheerfulness 3. In our lesson we are concentrating on the role that "gladness" is to play in our service to the Lord. 4. The Scriptures associate "gladness" with: a. the way that we hear God's Word b. the way that we worship c. the way that we respond to difficulty. 5. Let us begin by showing that . . .
I. WE ARE TO HEAR GOD'S WORD WITH GLADNESS
A. In Acts 2:41 we read about a large group of people on Pentecost who "gladly received his word." 1. Peter had preached a great sermon in which he showed that Jesus is the Christ (see vs.36). 2. This sermon pricked the hearts of those who heard it (see vs.37). 3. (vs.38) Peter told them what they needed to do. 4. According to vs.41, about 3,000 people "gladly received his word." a. They responded by being baptized. b. They were added to the Lord's church (vs.41b, 47b). B. We need to examine the way that we hear the Scriptures (Luke 8:18 -- Jesus said, "Take heed therefore how ye hear"). 1. God's Word is not "grievous" (1 John 5:3). 2. Those who hear God's Word with gladness will be blessed (Psalm 19:7-11). 3. We need to be like the people we read about in Mark 12:37 -- "And the common people heard Him [Jesus] gladly."
II. WE ARE TO WORSHIP WITH GLADNESS
A. The proper attitude toward worship is expressed in Psalm 122:1 -- "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." 1. Reflecting upon God's goodness will lead us to be extremely thankful. 2. Thankfulness will lead us to worship with "gladness" (Psalm 100). B. Learning to worship with gladness will take care of a problem addressed in Malachi 1:13.
III. WE ARE TO RESPOND TO DIFFICULTY WITH GLADNESS
A. Jesus dealt with this in Matthew 5:10-12. B. By following the instructions given in Philippians 4:4-8 we can respond to difficulty with "gladness." 1. (vs.4) The Lord's will is for Christians to "rejoice" [be glad] always. 2. To accomplish this we must: a. demonstrate forbearance unto all men (vs.5a) 1) To help us do this we are reminded that "the Lord is at hand." 2) We must look to His example and call upon Him for help. b. avoid being anxious (vs.6a) The alternative to being anxious is talking to God through prayer. c. think upon the right things (vs.8). 3. A special blessing is in store for those who follow these instructions (vs.7).
1. According to the Scriptures, "gladness" is to play a very important role in our service to the Lord. 2. Since "gladness" is so important, perhaps we should begin each day with the words expressed in Psalm 118:24 -- "This is the day which the Lord hath made: let us rejoice, and be glad in it." 3. A special event that relates to "gladness" is mentioned in Luke 15:32: "It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found."