Sunday, April 27, 2014

Psalms 100:1-5 -- On Serving with Gladness

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."
Psalms 100:1-5

Before I went on my mission, my grandfather gave a talk offering me some specific points of advice, and even though he didn't say them in this order, I remember them in this order because they spell COPE: Confidence, Obedience, Purpose, and Enthusiasm.  I found the advice very valuable in helping me "cope" on my mission, but I'm not sure if I have paid that same advice enough attention outside my mission. :)  I think that these verses illustrate some appropriate enthusiasm for God and his gospel.
It is so easy to get into a place in our lives where we react with skepticism to new ideas.  We can even slip into bitterness, thinking that we're going to be stuck in the same rut that we've been in for ... well, maybe forever.  And it isn't until some awful comparison hits us... something goes really wrong in our lives, or in the lives of people we know... that we realize how really good we have it, and how many opportunities that we *choose* to let pass us by because we want to be in this rut, or we would have gotten ourselves out of it long ago. :)  We get confused and think that life is about what we can get, rather than what we can give.
We take a lot of things for granted in our lives... people, jobs, belongings, health, opportunities, etc.  Sometimes when we take things for granted and we don't appreciate and value what we have, it is easy to lose it.  And the *last* thing that we want to lose in our lives is God.  One of the ways to ensure that we don't is to adjust our attitudes a little bit, and remember how much the Lord gives us.  Maybe it would be good to give something back, even if it is just appreciation and showing him how glad we are that He is in our lives.  That works for other relationships, so why not God? :)  Let's not think of service and thankfulness as a burden... but like we do often with a friend, as an opportunity to rejoice and celebrate, or make someone smile.
Today, let's work on being enthusiastic about the good things in our lives.  Instead of thinking about what the universe is going to provide for us, let's think about what we can offer the universe... in every aspect of our lives, but especially with God.  What can we do for him?  How can we show how much we appreciate his presence in our lives and the hope that he gives us?  Is it so much to ask for a song or a prayer? :)  Let's thank God for his incredible goodness, and then let's also remember to think about what we can give and how we can be more appreciative in other areas of our lives as well.

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