Serve With Joy

Serve With Joy

RiverWalk Church of Christ Wichita Ks  Minister

I’ve posted several things written by Kendra Broekhuis in her book, “Here Goes Nothing,” an introverts reckless attempt to love her neighbor. Broekhuis writes in a way that is dynamite in getting to the heart of the matter quickly and without a lot of fluff. She writes of the real world of what it means to be a “mommy,” including the routine of washing windows, doing laundry, going to the bathroom, cleaning up baby diaper blow-outs, and other, shall we say, “nuances” of modern life. She integrates all of this into the joy of loving God and loving one’s neighbor.
We tend to think of serving the Lord as some kind of chore that we have to get done…something to be checked off of our righteousness list in order to go to heaven when we die. We seldom see the joy in service to God…we see instead the guilt, the weariness, the rejection, the hostility, and all of the other that we’ve piled onto the concept of God-service. And we see loving others as something to be endured and avoided, if possible. After all, people are messy. People smell. People are dirty. People’s problems are often intractable. People take our precious time away from us. People are demanding. People are ungrateful.
Broekhuis says this in response: “God continues to teach us that truly loving others is best motivated not by formulating a bunch of man-made rules for ourselves, not by constant guilt over what doesn’t come naturally, but by the deep joy of accepting Christ’s great love for us.”
She continues with a scripture: “Enjoy serving the Lord, and he will give you whatever you ask for. Depend on the Lord. Trust in him and he will help you.” (PS 37:4-5)
Did you see that? “Enjoy serving the Lord..” Service is not something to be endured…it’s something to be done with joy and gratitude. Service to God should be something we wake up to each morning and are eager to begin…thinking with anticipation and joy of what the day will hold for us.
No matter if we are stay-at-home parents, business people, tradespeople, retired, students…whatever our lot in life right now, we CAN serve the Lord with gladness, joy, and contentment. If we aren’t, maybe we need to stop for a bit and do some evaluating of what we are doing and what our attitude is toward service.
Are we demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit? Are we living the Sermon on the Mount? Do we have as of prime importance the “First and Greatest Commandment” to love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves? Are we generous, patient, kind, merciful, peacemakers, and all the rest? Just where do we see ourselves as living examples of the love of Christ?
Have we really accepted the great love of Christ? Have we polluted our lives with our own rules that make us feel guilty when we don’t measure up? Do we really know what it means to joyfully love our neighbor and joyfully love God? Have we tapped into the freedom that comes with becoming a child of the living God?
My prayer and desire for you is that out of God’s glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

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