Monday, January 21, 2013

Serving Our Lord and His Church with Gladness

The Lord be with you

Pastor Frank Ciampa is the called ministers at Christ our Savior Lutheran Mission in Camden, SC ( Like so many of us pastors, he has a regular newsletter. This is the lead article for their January/February newsletter, that I thought I’d share with you.

Serving Our Lord and His Church with Gladness: Those who serve God miserably or mechanically or reluctantly, are obviously doing something they find unpleasant. Such people mechanically do what outwardly appears proper, but inwardly there is no joy, no sense of mission, no presence of the Spirit. They serve God like slaves. But God does not want slaves to grace His throne; He is the Lord of love, freedom and joy. God has invited us to the Feast of Victory, not to the bottom of a galley to row in darkness and misery. We have from knowing our sins are forgiven and that we are loved children of God. The angels serve God with songs, not with groans. Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon wrote, “That obedience which is not voluntary is disobedience, for the Lord looketh at the heart, and if He seeth that we serve Him from force, and not because we love Him, He will reject our offering. Service coupled with cheerfulness is heart-service, and therefore true. …If a man be forced into battle, he is no patriot; but he who marches into the fray with flashing eye and beaming face, singing, "It is sweet for one's country to die," proves himself to be sincere in his patriotism.”

Some days serving God may not be (or feel) very joyful, our faith is not perfect, but in good times and bad the Joy of the Lord is always there to provide us strength and protection from the friction that robs us of divine joy. In the joy of the Lord we are strong – God’s joy can remove mountains of difficulties and His joy in us is a witness to the world. So, when the world looks at your service or your giving to the church – do they see joy and freedom or do they see sad compulsion and slavery? By the power of spirit and faith, I pray that our service at Christ Our Savior Lutheran is also done in joy and always brings us joy.”

If you are in the Lugoff/Camden/Kershaw area, I encourage you to join the members of Christ our Savior for worship. They meet at Patterson Plaza, 1053 Hwy 1 South in Lugoff, on Sundays at 10:30 AM. Christian Education begins at 9:30 AM.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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