Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Will Serve The Lord

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. (Psalm 37:25)
I have a number of thoughts in my head. Foremost in them is a conversation I had with my mother about aging. She made a valid point, which set me to thinking. In essence, she said that it is imperative for each one of us individually to be strong enough in the Lord that when we reach the final years of life, we can in some fashion maintain ourselves. Now, I'm not talking strictly about physically, but mentally and spiritually as well. The fact is that your children, or other relatives, or even life-long friends, will not be able to do this for you. No matter how hard they try or how much time they spend with you, the ultimate responsibility still lies on yourself.

I think of it this way. What is the final goal for all our years of serving God, all the hours and days we have spent in prayer, all the many miles driving to and from church? What is all of this, all of Christ we learn each day, supposed to bring us?

Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the Lord. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:14-15)
I must stop and point out that the first step is always in choosing. We must choose whom we will serve. Joshua chose. He didn't choose the gods of the past or the gods of the world around him, but he chose the true, living God. He decided what he believed.

Yet, it doesn't stop there.

Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. (Deuteronomy 28:47-48)

Serve the Lord
with gladness: come before his presence with singing. (Psalm 100:2)
It all comes down to our motive. We serve, but why do we serve? Look at the verse from Deuteronomy. What happened to the person who served God without joy? He was consumed by his enemies! This means that service to God in itself is not enough. There are Christians who go to church their entire lives, they "believe in God", they might even be good and kind, and yet that's all they have. To them God is sovereign; you serve out of obligation, obedience, and fear of judgment. They miss out entirely on the love of God, for God IS love. (1 John 4:8)

The key to aging, coming to the final years of your life happy, strong, and fulfilled lies in the reason behind your service. You serve Him because you love Him and you know He loves you. Together you have a relationship. You obey out of joy. You serve God in gladness.

Here's a further example. What does the scripture say about giving? "God loveth a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7) There is it again! Cheerful, glad, and full of joy!

And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. (Deuteronomy 34:7)
That sounds pretty good to me!

Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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