Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
by C. H. Spurgeon, Revised and Edited by W. C. Neff
“Serve the Lord with gladness.”
Delighting in divine service is evidence of embracing it. Those who serve God with sad reluctance do not serve him at all. They bring the outward form of homage, but the inner life is in rebellion. Our God requires no slaves to grace his throne; he is the Lord of the empire of love and would have his servants dressed in the regalia of joy. The angels of God serve him with songs, not with groans; a murmur or a sigh would be mutiny in their ranks. That obedience which is not voluntary is disobedience, for the Lord looks at the heart, and, if he sees that we serve him from force and not because we love him, he will reject our offering.
Service coupled with cheerfulness is heart-service and, therefore, true. Joyful willingness is the test of sincerity. If a soldier is forced into battle, he is no patriot; but he who marches into the fray with flashing eye and beaming face, singing, “It is sweet for one’s country to die,” proves himself to be sincere in his patriotism.
Cheerfulness is the support of our strength. It acts as the remover of difficulties. It is to our service what oil is to the workings of an engine. Without oil the moving parts grow hot and eventually seize up; accidents and failures occur. If there is not a holy cheerfulness to oil our engine, our spirits will be clogged with weariness. The man who is cheerful in his service of God proves that obedience is his chosen response; he can sing, “Make me to walk in Your commands; it is a delightful road.”
Dear Reader, let us put this question to ourselves today: do we serve the Lord with gladness? Let us show to the people of the world, who think our religion to be slavery, that it is to us a delight and a joy! Let our gladness proclaim that we serve a good Master.” [M&E]