“Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.” (Psalm 100:2)
Did you hear about the preacher who wanted volunteers from his congregation to do something? He would ask them to volunteer by standing. But, every time he would ask for volunteers, no one would stand. So he came up with the idea of wiring the pews with electricity so when he asked for volunteers he could throw the switch and people from all over the church would jump to their feet. When the next Sunday morning came, he told the congregation of some of the things that needed to be done, and asked all those who would volunteer to please stand and he threw the switch. People all over the congregation jumped to their feet — BUT they found 40 people still in their seats — electrocuted!!!
“SHOCKING Pastor — absolutely SHOCKING! Do you see what I did there?”
Yes, I did. Don’t do it again…
All over this nation, pastors and congregations are asking the same question: “What is it going to take to get people to serve God?” Solutions vary. Some people think the answer is to have more seminars and retreats. These people flock to the retreats and yet when they get home, they forget everything they heard.
I’ll never forget the ladies who came to me about 15 years ago and said, “Pastor, we had such wonderful time this weekend. We got more out of this weekend than we’ve gotten out of three years of your preaching!”
Now brother — that will bless your heart right there!
The problem was, these ladies soon forgot not only what they heard from me, they forgot their wonderful weekend as well.
Some folks think the answer is to activate more programs. If we could just do this or have this event then more folks would come. But today, most churches that I know have more programs than you can shake a stick at, and still the folks don’t serve the Lord.
“So Pastor — what do YOU think it will take to get people to serve God?”
Thank you for asking. I do have an idea.
Psalm 100 tells us exactly what we should do. Verse 1 of Psalm 100 said we should “make a joyful shout to the Lord.” We are kidding ourselves to think that the lost world is ever going to get excited about the Lord when we who claim to know Christ are not excited. We have to be sold before we can sell someone else.
So, we have JOY in our worship. Today’s verse says we have GLADNESS in our service. Joy is from within, but service is from without. Before you have gladness in your service, you have to have joy in your worship. I just believe that Jesus was a joyful and exciting person to be around. I know all the pictures you see have this somber Jesus, never smiling. But I don’t think Jesus was like that at all.
We have plenty of people in churches today who are serving the Lord and doing various things at church — BUT they are griping and complaining every step of the way while they do it. When that is the case, they do more hard than good. What a terrible witness for our Lord! These same folks sit around and wonder why their neighbors, co-workers, family members, and friends will not come to church with them.
I’ll tell you why they don’t come with you to church. They are afraid if they come, they might catch what you got and they will be miserable!
Often lost folks hear complaining Christians come to work griping and complaining about anything and everything that took place in church on Sunday that they did not like. After they are through griping, they turn to their lost friend and say, “Oh, by the way. I sure wish you would come to church with me next week.”
That lost person is thinking — “Yeah right! You just hold your breath and wait for it.”
If we are ever going to reach the world for Christ, two things have to happen. First, God’s people must get excited about the Lord in our worship and second, we must take that excitement outside the walls of the church as we serve others.
I’m not quite finished with this Psalm just yet. We’ll talk more on Monday. Have a great day.