Monday, October 12, 2009

Serving the Lord with gladness

The worldly religionists’ service has no gladness in it. “Serve the Lord with gladness” seems to the carnal mind to be a perfect monstrosity; and yet, mark you, this is the test between the genuine and the hypocritical professor - by this one thing shall you know who it is that feareth God, and who it is that does but offer him the empty tribute of his lips.

There is an old legend, that when the Queen of Sheba came to see Solomon, she posed him with many difficulties, and, among the rest, placed before him a vase of artificial flowers, which were so skillfully made that for awhile Solomon could not tell which of two bouquets of flowers were the handiwork of man, until he bade them open the window wide, and watched to see to which the bees would fly. No bees or flies would lodge upon the artificial, but only upon the genuine ones, for there alone they discerned the mystic sweetness which dwells in the secret aroma of the living bloom. Even so, observe the worldling’s religion: it is beautifully constructed, well put together, it is everything to the eye that could be expected; but no winged delights ever alight thereon, no joyous thoughts find honey there. As for the true believer in Jesus, he serves his God because he loves to serve him; he assembles with the great congregation because it is his delight to worship the Most High.

From a sermon entitled "Serving The Lord With Gladness," delivered September 8, 1867. Image by Stefan Bungart under Creative Commons License.

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