What it Means to Serve (3)
“Serve the Lord with gladness.” Ps 100:2
Paul writes: “When people commend themselves, it doesn’t count for much. The important thing is for the Lord to commend them” (2Co 10:18 NLT). If your self-worth is based on anything other than God’s approval, you won’t serve with the right motives. Insecure people worry about how they’ll be perceived by others. They hide their weaknesses beneath layers of protective pride. The more insecure you are, the more you need people to serve you, and the more you work for their acceptance. One Bible scholar writes: “In order to be of service to others we must die to them; that is, we have to give up measuring our meaning and value by the yardstick of others…Thus we become free to be compassionate.” Your service should not be based on the response of those you are serving, but on obedience to God alone. True servants of God don’t insist on having lofty titles. If their job description calls for it, they wear that badge with humility. Paul, the greatest of the apostles, wrote: “You may brag about yourself, but the only approval that counts is the Lord’s approval” (v. 18 CEV).
If anybody had a chance to name-drop, it was James the half brother of Jesus. What credentials; imagine growing up with Jesus as your brother! Yet he simply referred to himself in Scripture as “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Jas 1:1). Your service to Christ should be both your job and your joy: “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Can you imagine what would be accomplished if we all got serious about our role as servants—and did it joyfully?