Serve the Lord with Gladness


October 4, 2015

Psalm 100, the Bible reads in verse number one, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with signing." The title of my sermon this morning is serve the Lord with gladness. The Bible says in verse three "Knew 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."

The Bible says here "Serve the Lord with gladness." Why? Because God wants us not only to do the right things, but he wants us to do it with the right attitude. To be joyful and to have a good spirit about it. The Bible says in first John chapter five, it says "For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not grievous." God's commandments are not grievous unto us. It's not a drag to serve the Lord. It's something that actually we should enjoy and rejoice about.

Flip over to Psalm 122, just a few pages to the right in your Bible. First of all, number one "We should come to church with gladness." While you're turning to Psalm 122, I'll read to you from Isiah 56, where the Bible reads "Even then will I bring to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine alter. For my mine house shall be called a house of prayer for all people."

The Bible says there in Psalm 122 verse one "I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord." That should be our attitude about going to church. It shouldn't be a drudgery or a chore that we go through. We should actually get excited about coming to church and enjoy it. Thank God, I think this is a church that's pretty exciting to come to. This is a church where people are constantly being saved, constant visitors coming in, there's truth being preached from the word of God, we're signing hymns of the Lord, there's no reason not to be excited about it, to enjoy it, to be glad when somebody says "Hey let's go to Faithful Word Baptist Church and be glad when they say unto us "Let us go into the house of the Lord."

Some people will ask the question "How many times do we have to go to church? Is Sunday morning enough or do we need to go Sunday night and Wednesday night also? Three times a week." People might say "Well how about three times a month?" to come to church. The bottom line is, it shouldn't be an attitude of how much do we have to go to church? It should be how often do we get to go to church. We should look forward to it and want to come. If you don't want to come tonight, don't come tonight. You don't want to come on Wednesday night, don't come on Wednesday night. God's not telling you that you must go three times a week, but I want to be here three times a week. I want to be here every time the doors are open because church is a joy, it's a blessing, it's something to be glad about.

The Bible teaches that in the last days it's very important for us to go to church and fellowship with other believers. The Bible says "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together as the matter of sum is, but exhorting one another and so much the more as we see the day approaching." In 2015, we don't need less church, we need more church as we see the day of Christ approaching. We should come to church with gladness.

Related to that, flip over to Psalm 149 number two "We should sing in church with gladness." Remember the title of the sermon is serve the Lord with gladness. One of the things that I love about going to an old fashioned independent Baptist church is to be able to sing the hymns in church because many churches today are getting away from this and basically you show up and you listen to paid performers. It sounds great with their professionals up there, but that's not really what God wants to hear. God wants to hear his children singing unto him and lifting up their voices. The Bible says "In the midst of the church, I will sing praise unto thee." Not just in the midst of the church I'm going to come and watch a bunch of smooth performers perform. I think it's just great to let everybody sing. Instead of just a few people and everybody else is a spectator. No, let's all lift up our voices with gladness and sing unto the Lord.

The Bible says in Psalm 149 verse one "Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song and his praise in the congregation of saints." That's a commandment, saying sing praise to God in the congregation of saints. The word congregation means church. It says in verse two "Let Israel rejoice in him that made him. Let the children of Zion be joyful in their king. Let them praise his name in the dance. Let them sing praises unto him with the timberland harp. For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people." The Bible says in revelation that all things were made for God's pleasure. According to the Bible, God takes pleasure in his people singing unto him. I don't think that God only takes pleasure in those who have a wonderful singing voice. I think he takes pleasure in just hearing his children sing. He wants them to be joyful and sing to the Lord with a loud noise.

I think of my children signing, and parents love it when their children sing. The younger they are and the more messed up the tune is, the more they like it. Because that's what's so nice about it is to hear a little child just sincerely signing out from the heart. Especially when they're singing songs about Jesus and songs about salvation and the Bible. It's great. But that's how God feels about us. He wants us to come to church and sing it out.

A lot of people come to church and they don't sing with all their heart. They basically come and just kind of go through the motions of just kind of "Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord." We ought to come to church and really sing out and do it from the heart with gladness and sing unto the Lord. And realize that we're not just going through the motions or just fulfilling some kind of a tradition. This is what we do when we go to church. It's just kind of a necessary evil before we get to the sermon, we got to sit through a few congregational songs.

There's a purpose to singing the songs. First of all, we're fulfilling this commandment here that says "Sing to the Lord in the congregation." Not only that, but it's to prepare our hearts because the Bible says "Be filled with the spirit speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. Singing and making melody in your heart unto the Lord. When we sing in church, we should sing as unto the Lord with all our heart and not be self conscious of "Well I don't have a good singing voice." Part of the reason why you don't have a good singing voice is from not singing.

Talent is virtually non-existent in this world. People love to talk about talent and "Oh this guy's got so much talent and she has so much talent." But you know what, in anything, I don't care whether it's sports or music or almost any activity, talent is about 10% and it's about 90% hard work. The people that have talent are just the people who worked really hard at something. Or they just love it, so they do it all the time in their free time. They grew up playing music, they grew up singing, they grew up running or playing sports. That's what the talent is, it's just doing it.

The thing about church, is that when you grow up in church and you grow up as a kid signing the hymns, you end up being an adult who knows how to sing. Our church reaches a lot of people who didn't grow up in church and therefore there are people who come and they're not used to singing and they struggle to even carry a basic tune. If you're a child that's in the service this morning, first of all you should thank God that you're in church hearing the Gospel, learning the word of God at such a young age. This is going to help you for the rest of your life, but also as a side benefit, you're actually learning how to sing.

Think about, how often do worldly people really sing? They don't. A lot of times they get to be adults and they don't really know how to sing, but you learn how to sing by singing. You learn how to run by running. You learn how to play piano by playing the piano. The things that we do are the things that we're good at. People have said, and this has pretty much been shown to be true, that if you do anything for 10,000 hours, you become an expert at it. That's how you get good at things is by doing them. If you would sing more in church and sing more throughout the week, you'd actually become a better singer, but who cares? Just sing out anyway. Sing out badly and if we're all singing loud, nobody should even notice anyway.

I've been to a church before where people weren't singing very loud at all, and I just instinctively started belting it out just because that's what I'm used to doing. You get to a church and it's like "To God be the glory", and everybody turns around like "Whoa, what are you doing?" It's like "oh, sorry", then you kind of join in with everybody else like "Praise the Lord, praise the Lord." But I want our church to be a church where people sing loud. That's what the Bible says to do. It's important. And it's not just a game. The Bible says to do it. Do you want to please God or not? God says that he takes pleasure in this in this passage. He talks all about singing and praising him for four verses, then he says "The Lord taketh pleasure in his people." Verse four there in Psalm 149, "He will beautify the meek with salvation. Let the saints be joyful in glory. Let them sing aloud upon their beds." If you sung aloud upon your bed, you'd sound better when you came to church.

The Bible says "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth and a two edged sword in their hand." This is the two edged sword right here, the word of God. "To execute vengeance upon the heathen and punishment upon the people. To bind their kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. To execute upon them the judgement written. This honor have all his saints praise ye the Lord."

Flip back to Psalm 95. While you're turning there, I'll ready Psalm 511 where the Bible reads "But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice. Let them ever shout for joy because thou defendeth them. Let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee." Look down at your Bible there in Psalm 95 verse one. "Oh come, let us sing unto the Lord. Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms." God's not expecting you to have a perfect singing voice. He wants you to make a joyful noise. All of us can make noise with our vocal chords. That's another area where we should serve the Lord with gladness.

Number one, come to church with gladness. Number two, sing out with gladness. Number three, we should be a good husband or a good wife with gladness. Go to Ecclesiastes chapter nine. The Bible talks about the family quite a bit and it talks about being a good husband, being a good wife, being a good parent, being a good child. These are things that we should not consider a drudgery. Today the world is on a brainwashing campaign to teach people through TV, Hollywood, etc., that the married life is boring. "Oh man, your life pretty much ends when you get married", right? You got to go out and have some wicked bachelor party or something before you get married because it's kind of the last hoorah before you spend the rest of your life with the old ball and chain.

Of course the devil wants to demonize God's institution of marriage and make it seem dull and boring and a drudgery and a drag. That's why less and less people are getting married now. They just shack up. In fact, recently it just tipped over 50% of households where people are not married. More children today are being born into homes where their parents are not married than at homes where their married. Why? Because people have a bad attitude about marriage.

It doesn't help that these filthy faggots are getting married either. That doesn't help people's attitude towards marriage. Woops, did I just say that? But anyway, the point is that we should have a good attitude about marriage. Not the world's attitude, that says "Oh, marriage is a drudgery. It's fun to go out and fornicate. It's fun to go out and be a whore monger." No, we should have a good attitude. Look what the Bible says in Ecclesiastes chapter nine verse nine. It says "Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he have given thee under the sun all the days of thy vanity. For that is thy portion in this life and in thy labor, which thou takest under the sun."

God's saying that one of the joys of life that he's given us to enjoy in a life that is filled with a lot of vanity and emptiness, one of the things that we can enjoy that has meaning, is we can live joyfully with the wife whom we love all the days of our life. That's a joyful thing in the Bible. In fact, you don't have to turn there, but in Proverbs five verse 18, the Bible says "Let thy fountain be blessed and rejoice with the wife of thy youth." That's talking about staying married to the same person. When you're older, you rejoice with the wife of your youth. The same one that you've stayed with. It says "Let her be as the loving hind and present row. Let her breasts satisfy thee at all time and be thou ravished always with her love. Why wilt thou my son be ravished with a strange woman and embrace the bosom of a stranger?"

Go to Galatians chapter three. The world will tell us that in order to have a joyful relationship, we have to constantly keep switching to someone new. We have to keep going to a stranger, someone different, someone that we don't know. But the Bible teaches that we can have joy and happiness and gladness with the wife of our youth and stay married and enjoy marriage. God wants us not to just be a good husband or a good wife out of duty, but he wants us to do it with gladness. Serve the Lord with gladness. I bet your wife probably wants you to be a good husband with gladness, not just "You pay the bills, you do the minimum, what do I have to do to get you off my back?" No, we should have our heart in it.

By they way, wives also, look what the Bible says here in Galatians 3:17 "And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Giving thanks to God and the father by him. Wives, submit yourselves under your own husbands as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter against them. Children, obey your parents in all things. For this is well pleasing unto the Lord."

Jump down to verse 23. "Whatsoever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord and not unto men." What does it mean to do it heartily? From the heart. He's saying husbands love your wives from the heart. Wives submit unto your own husbands from the heart. Children obey your parents from the heart. It's possible to obey and have a bad attitude and a bad spirit. You're not doing it with gladness, but you're just obeying and going through the motions and there are far too many wives who are just submitting to their husband just on paper. But in their heart they're not submitted unto him.

The Bible says that Sarah obeyed Abraham calling him Lord, but there's no mention of that coming out of her mouth in Genesis. When you go back to Genesis, it says that she said in her heart. And then she goes on to speak about Abraham in her heart, just in her mind, and she calls him Lord in her heart. There's someone who loved her husband and reveranced him and submitted unto him from the heart. We as husbands, it's one thing to go just buy flowers, give them to your wife, just going through some kind of a motion. We should actually love our wives. I'm serious. You know what I'm saying? We should actually love our wives. We should actually do it heartily. We should rejoice. Not just stay faithful to our wife, but rejoice about staying faithful. Be glad to be faithful and to be with her for the long haul. It's important that we do things from the heart. Children, obey your parents from the heart. When they tell you to do something, don't go sulking off, bad attitude, but you'll get it done. No, get it done from the heart. Do it with gladness.

Speaking of that, flip over to Psalm 113. Because not only should children obey their parents with gladness and do it from the heart, and not only should we as husbands and wives really work to have a good relationship with our spouse, but from the heart. Because we love her or love him. Not because it's just something that we feel that we have to do. We need to change our attitude and be thankful for what we have.

You say "Well how do I change my attitude? This is how I feel. It's a drudgery to me." But wait a minute, if we'd stop and be thankful for the church we have and realize that other people don't have this, there are people in other countries where they can't even find a Baptist church in their area because they're in some kind of a Muslim country, or some really hardcore Catholic country, or somewhere where they can't really find a decent Baptist church anywhere around. They would love to come to this church. There are people who travel from really far away just to visit our church. Almost every week, we have someone from some distant state or distant country who came to visit Faithful Word Baptist Church. But yet people who live here can sometimes just get complacent about it and just kind of take it for granted.

If we stop and be thankful for our church, then we can get excited about coming to church. If we would stop and be thankful for our wife, and realize that we have a wonderful wife, then we can get excited about our relationship with her. And stop and be thankful for your husband and quit picking him apart, but find all the good things that he's doing. Find the things that he's doing right and be thankful. Be thankful children for your parents that provide for you and take you to church and love you. There are a lot worse homes you could be growing up in. We need to change our attitude and do things with gladness.

Not only should the children have that attitude. We should be a parent with gladness. We should be a glad parent. Look what the Bible says in Psalm 113 verse 9. It says "He maketh the barren woman to keep house and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the Lord." Isn't that a great phrase? A joyful mother of children. Why? There are some women who wish that they could be a mother and they don't have children. They're barren. The Bible mentions them in this verse. If you have children, you should praise the Lord for your children because the Bible says "Children are in heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. They shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

We should be a joyful mother as ladies, a joyful father as men, and rejoice in our children. Don't look at having children as being something negative. That's again, the world's philosophy. Down on marriage, down on having kids. We go out in public with our children, so we get a lot of people that just kind of stand in awe of how many children we have. Even though we don't really have that many, historically speaking, we have what would be the historical average if you went back a few hundred years in this country or even if you went to other countries even to this day. Eight children is not really that extreme of a number, but we're just getting started. I've not yet begun to fight.

But the thing is, we go out and people kind of stand in awe of it and they're kind of blown away by it. Yesterday at Chipotle, my wife was at home dealing with something and so I took all eight children to Chipotle single handedly. I took them to a few other places too. It seems like people are more amazed by it when they see a man with eight children than even my wife with the eight children or the both of us with the eight children. Just one man, eight children solo going into Chipotle.

I had three different people come up to me like "Are these all your kids?" I said "Well, look at them. Don't they all look the same? What color hair do you think my wife has?" They're all these little blonde headed kids. People are just blown away by it. But it's amazing how many people will be negative about it. In Chipotle it was all positive yesterday. And by the way, this message has been brought to you in part by Chipotle. Just kidding.

Many other times though, I've had people just be negative and rude about the fact that we have a lot of children. It's like "Whoa, what's your problem." You get all the comments of "Do you know what causes that?" "Have you not discovered ice cream?" "Do you not own a TV?" People come up to you and ask you "Are you nuts?" "Are you crazy?" They're negative about it, but it's just a wrong attitude.

Wives should be a joyful mother of children. Dads should be a joyful father of children. And not always have this attitude like our children are holding us back from something else that we could be doing if we didn't have these children. It's easy to think along those lines sometimes. "Wow. Think about how much money we'd have if we didn't have all these children." Here's the thing, maybe you wouldn't have that much money because maybe God is blessing you financially so you can pay for all those kids. And if you didn't have them, he'd take it away because you don't need it, it's too much for you. Or "If I didn't have all these kids, I'd be backpacking across Europe." No you wouldn't. You'd be doing some lame, boring thing. You're not that cool.

The point is, people just sometimes get a bad attitude about this. But it's such a blessing. It's so much joy that we should be getting from our children. Have a good attitude about it. Spend time with your kids. Not because it's like "Oh man, I guess I better spend time with my kids. I've barely seen them for the last few weeks." You need to make it a priority, enjoy it, be thankful for your kids, and be a joyful mother of children.

Go over to Acts chapter five, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts. We talked about going to church with gladness, signing praises to God with gladness, being a good husband, good wife with gladness, a good child with gladness, number four, being a good parent with gladness. But number five, we should be willing to suffer for Jesus Christ with gladness.

This is something that people in the Bible showed us a great example in Acts chapter 5 verse 40 it says "To him they agreed, and when they had called the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple and in every house, they cease not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."

These people had a great attitude about getting a beating. They rejoiced. They were glad to get a beating. How could you be glad to get a beating? Because they said "It's just such a joy to be counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of Jesus Christ." Getting a beating wouldn't be cool if it's just for no reason. You just take a beating in an alley for no reason. But if you're being beaten for the cause of Christ, that you know that great is your reward in Heaven. And it's just so great to be able to serve the Lord Jesus and suffer for him.

Look at Luke chapter 6 verse 22. We're talking about suffering for Christ with gladness. Second Corinthians seven verse four says "Great is my boldness of speech toward you. Great is my glorying of you. I'm filled with comfort. I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation." He said I'm exceeding joyful in all our tribulation. He's going through troubles, he's going through hard times, he's going through tribulations and trials and persecutions. But he's exceeding joyful in all that.

Look at Luke six. This is Jesus speaking in verse 22. "Blessed are ye when man shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil for the son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day." And just as if that weren't enough to just say rejoice because sometimes you just say rejoice. It could just kind of go over people's head. "Oh yeah, rejoice, rejoice, whatever." But he says "Rejoice and leap for joy." I mean it's pretty hard not to notice that verse. "Leap for joy." Think about what he's saying there. He says "When people hate you, and the separate you from their company, they don't want to be with you, the reproach you, they cast out your name as evil", they use your name as "Hey, don't be a Steven Anderson type person", "They reproach you, they hate you, they revile you", God literally says to leap for joy. Whaooooo yeah! Bring it on! More persecution! More slander! More lies! Come on! Hate me, revile me, beat me! Because great it my reward in heaven. That's what the Bible says. "Rejoice ye in that day and leap for joy. For behold, your reward is great in Heaven. For in the like manner did their fathers under the province."

You're following in some great footsteps when you're hated of men for the name of Jesus. That's what the Bible says. The Bible says also ... If you would, flip over to second Corinthians chapter number nine. While you're turning there, I'll read for you from second Corinthians 12 verse nine where it says "And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee. For my strength is made perfect in weakness most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities." He said "I'll glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

We should be willing to suffer for Jesus Christ. Not only just to do it and to patiently endure it, but actually to rejoice, to be glad, to leap for joy. As extreme as that sounds. But not only that, we should give with gladness. We should be a generous person who gives unto others with gladness. Not because we just feel that we have to, but that we generously give unto others with gladness.

It says in verse six "But this I say, he who soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly and he who soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purpose within his heart so let him give. Not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver and God is able to make all grace abound toward you that ye always having all sufficiency in all things may abound to every good work as it is written. He hath disbursed abroad. He hath given to the poor. His righteousness remaineth forever. He that minister hath seed to the sower both minister bread for your food and multiply your seed sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness being enriched in everything to all bountifulness which causeth through us, thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God."

He's saying here that when people are poor and the saints have necessity and we're going to be generous unto people and give unto them and help them, the Bible says we should do it willingly, not grudgingly because God loves a cheerful giver. A cheerful giver. Serving the Lord with gladness. And when we give, let it be with gladness. If we're generous, let us be generous and be glad to be generous. Not do it grudgingly. "Yeah, we'll pick up the tab." We should want to do it out of the goodness of our heart and realize that God's going to provide all our need according to his riches and glory by Christ Jesus.

Flip back just a few pages to Romans chapter 12, a few pages to the left in your Bible. Starting at verse number six the Bible reads "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, where there proficy, let us proficy according to the proportion of faith, or ministry, let us wait on our ministering, or he that teacheth on teaching, or he that exhorteth on exhortation. Watch this, he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity, he that ruleth with diligence, he that showeth mercy with cheerfulness."If we give, if we show mercy on the poor, if we're going to help someone out in any way shape or form, we should do it with cheerfulness.

Verse nine, let love be without dissimulation. What's dissimulation? Just take off the dis. What's simulation mean? What's a simulator? Is it real? No. The simulation is when it appears to be real, but it isn't real. When God says let love be without dissimulation, he's saying your love should be real, not fake. You don't give and in your heart you're grudging. Like the guy in proverbs who says eat, eat, but his heart is not with thee.

It says here that love should be without dissimulation. We should have real, genuine love and be generous and give from the heart. It says "uphoard that which is evil". That means hate that which is evil. Cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love in honor preferring one another. Not sloughful in business. Fervent in spirit serving the Lord. Not serving the Lord dragging our feet making it a drudgery, but having fervency in our spirit. Fervent comes from the same root word as the word fire. Fervent, burning desire to serve the Lord from the heart. Distributing to the necessity of the saints. I'm sorry, I skipped verse 12 because it says "rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer, distributing to the necessity of saints, given to hospitality." How should we be given to hospitality? How should we distribute to the necessity of the saints? How should we show mercy? With cheerfulness, with gladness from the heart.

Flip over to Acts chapter two. While you're turning there, I'll read for you what the apostle Paul wrote in Hebrews 10 about people who had helped him out when he was in need. He said in Hebrews 10:34 "For yet compassion of me and my bonds." Meaning when he was in prison. "And took joyfully the spoiling of your goods knowing in yourselves that you'll have in heaven a better and an enduring substance." He said you joyfully gave what you had to me when I was poor, when I was in prison, when I was in bonds because you know you have a better bank account in Heaven. "Lay not out for yourselves treasures upon the earth. Lay out for yourselves treasures in Heaven."

But seventhly and lastly this, how about soul winning with gladness. The Bible says in verse 46 of chapter 2 "And they continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. Praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

Now go to Deuteronomy chapter 28 for the conclusion. "God wants us to serve him with gladness." That's a direct quote from Psalm 100 when he commanded us "Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before his presence with singing." Yes, come to church. Yes, come to church three to thrive. Here's what they say, three to thrive, two to survive, one to backslide. Okay, but I want to look at church as something that I like going to. I'm coming back tonight because I want to be amongst God's people not because I have to. We should look forward to it. I can't tell you how many times I've been having a bad day or a bad attitude and I came to church, and it lifted my spirits. Why? Because I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord. Going to church with glad of singing praises to God with gladness. We've got family relationships, being a good husband with gladness, being glad to be a wife, glad to be a child, parent, etc., suffering for Christ with gladness, giving and being generous with gladness, not because we feel that we have to, soul winning with gladness.

Here's the conclusion. Look what God said in Deuteronomy chapter 28 verse 45. "Moreover, all these curses should come upon thee and shall pursue thee and overtake thee til thou be destroyed because thou harken it's not unto the voice of the Lord thy God to keep his commandments and his statutes, which he command of thee." In this passage, he's talking about curses coming upon the children of Israel because of their lack of obedience in his commandments and because they've turned away from the Lord.

Look what he says in verse 46, "They shall be upon thee for a sign and for a wonder and upon my seed forever because thou serveth not the Lord thy God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things. Therefore, shalt thy 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 hath destroyed thee."

What's the Bible saying here? Look, you got two choices in life, you can serve the Lord with gladness, you can enjoy it, you can live a happy life in service for the Lord praising him every step of the way, glad to do it, making a joyful noise, being happy and thankful for all the blessings and the fullness of all things that he gives us. Or you can go through life not serving God, having a bad attitude, and then he says you want to be miserable, you're going to be miserable and you're going to end up serving people on this earth that you don't even want to serve. Or you could be serving me with gladness and joy and happy. Real joy and gladness is found in serving the Lord. Let's serve him with gladness. Let's get the right attitude where we realize that the Christian life is the life that has the real blessing in it. Even if sin has the pleasure for a season, the real joy is found in serving God. He kind of lays two choices there. Serve the Lord with gladness or be under my curse and then there's nothing to be happy about when I bring all these curses upon you and I all these bad things happen to you.

We should serve the Lord, yes. But let's not go through the motions. Don't go through the motions in your marriage, don't go through the motions in any area of life. Even at your job don't go through the motions. We're supposed to serve even our masters according to the flesh, we're supposed to serve them as unto Christ. Everything we do, we should do it heartily and we should do it with gladness.

Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer.

Father, we thank you so much Lord for all the wonderful things you've given us. Help us not to be unthankful Lord. Help us to be grateful for the things that you've given to us and to never lose sight of all the blessings that we have Lord. In Jesus's name we pray. Amen.

All right, let's go ahead and sing 162. I'll lead this one. We broke the record. How many people do we have here? 174. We had thought that we had broken it at 175 one time, but it was actually 173 because there was a miscount. Today we have broken it at 174 people and every time we break the record on Sunday mornings, we have ice cream after the service. But we don't want to send you into a diabetic coma because we already gave out Krispy Kremes before the service. Are there still Krispy Kremes left back there? There's a ton of Krispy Kreme back there. Pretend it's ice cream. For breaking the record on Sunday morning and let's go ahead and sing 162. I'll lead us on this one. To God be the Glory.