[CF Devotionals] 2010-12-12 - Serve Him with Gladness

A friend of mine invited me to her church last night. She is a missionary with Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). She serves as the director in our county and the surrounding areas. I know her because I teach Good News Clubs with CEF. It's funny how God uses things and people and situations to get a point across to us. He loves us (me <personally> and you <personally>) so so so very much that He wants to make sure that we hear the exact thing that He wants us to hear.

Have you ever noticed that, after a while, the things that you do frequently become commonplace? Almost a drudge? Work, even? Yeah, me too. I went to my friend's church and was blessed. The message was on the pursuit of the joy of the Lord. As I listened, God started talking to my heart.

You see, I know the lessons that I teach the kids well, because I have been teaching them for years. So well, that I have really stopped spending time studying them. My Bible reading has become something I have to do. Prayer is often, but mostly for myself. I think my favorite subject is whine. I say I want a close relationship with God, but I don't really do anything for it to happen. When I sit down to read, my thoughts wander to how I can teach it, instead of how God is speaking to me. When I pray, my thoughts wander off onto other topics. I think about God all day, but my love has lost that edge, the luster that made me smile when I thought of Him.

So, the guy was talking tonight, and I remembered ... "The joy of the Lord is my strength." "Serve the Lord with GLADNESS", "Enter into the joy of your Lord", "Receive the word with joy", These I have spoken to you that my joy might be in you, and that your joy might be full." I am tired of drudgery. I want a close, abiding, joyful friendship with Jesus. Joy doesn't just happen. It's something that has to be pursued. In spite of sorrow ("in this world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer - I have overcome the world."), in spite of sickness or loss. It is something to hold on to.

So, as I pursue joy, will you join me? Let's pursue a real, living, joyful relationship with our Savior...and serve the Lord with gladness!

Dear God, forgive me for taking You for granted. Forgive me for not obeying Your commandment to serve You with gladness. Forgive me for letting it be my work instead of Yours. Jesus said to take His yoke upon me, that it was easy. You know best. Thank You for grace and the opportunity to get up and do it right. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen

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