“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 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. 4 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” (Psalm 100: 1-5).
The Psalmist of old exhorted God’s people to “make a joyful noise unto the LORD.” Likewise, we are gathered today to express our joy in the Lord, as we remember His goodness and grace upon us in the work of the ministry for the past 16 years. Our heart’s desire is to labour on in extending His kingdom and exhorting our people to love and serve Him.
The Great Reformer Martin Luther aptly calls Psalm 100, “A Psalm of Thanksgiving.” In verses 1, 2 and 4, we are called upon to praise God and to rejoice in Him.
“The Lord He is God”
Like the Psalmist, we, too, can “come before his presence with singing” (v 2). We acknowledge that “the LORD he is God” (v 3) – the Sovereign Ruler, the Almighty Creator of us all for “it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves”. We are His people, redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb (I Pet 1: 19). As our Great Shepherd, the Lord is our rightful Owner; we are “the sheep of his pasture”. What a wonderful prospect to be under our Heavenly Father’s watchful care! The Lord is our bountiful Benefactor; He sustains us, and gives us all good things richly to enjoy. He is a God of infinite mercy and goodness, of truth and faithfulness: His truth endures to all generations (v 5).
“Serve the Lord with gladness”
Always consider it our blessed privilege to serve the Lord. In every duty, great or small, let us serve God with a joyous heart; do it as unto the Lord (Col 3: 23-24). Serving God in this happy way puts a spring in our work and a song in our heart.
“Let there be joy in this service. Let it not be with the fear of slaves; not as a matter of compulsion and force; not with reluctance, moroseness, or gloom. Let it be a cheerful, happy service; let it be freely rendered, let it be an occasion of joy to the soul. The service of God is a source of the highest joy that man knows” (Albert Barnes).
May the Lord find us faithful in loving and serving Him. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor 15: 58). To God be the glory. Amen.
Thank God for Mothers
A mother is one of God’s best gifts. Her presence in the home is a mark of divine blessing. She works uncomplainingly. Though tired and weary, she is always there to attend to our every need. A mother loves us with an unconditional love, and gives of herself sacrificially for the happiness of her family. It does not matter if she does not have enough rest or that she has less to eat so that her family’s needs can be met. Such is the loving and tender devotion of a mother’s heart.
A mother’s touch
God has endowed our mothers with unique qualities: 1) a loving and caring heart for her husband and children; 2) a compassionate and kind spirit to comfort and soothe her loved ones. Someone noted rightly that a mother’s touch is very special: “We all agree that our mother’s bed made us feel better even though our own was equally comfortable; that hot cocoa could go from package to ‘gourmet’ when she prepared it; and that it was nothing short of amazing to have a breakfast of ‘cereal and milk’ be transformed to ‘cereal and cream’ in her hands. There’s something special about a mother’s touch; something exceptional God gives through her hands.”
A high calling
To many, the role of a mother may appear to be a passive one. Yet none can deny that she, as a helpmeet to her husband, plays a vital supportive role in the family. As homemaker, she guides the children in the right path (I Tim 5: 14). More than just caring for her loved ones, a godly mother can be a powerful influence in the home through her daily testimony and life. Indeed, motherhood is a high calling; it is considered the chief blessing for women throughout the Scriptures.
Honour our mothers
On this special day set aside to honour that extraordinary woman in our lives, let us thank God for our mothers. Our lives have been richly blessed because of their sacrificial love and devotion. They deserve our love, respect and appreciation. Never take their loving care and concern for granted.
May the following thoughts from American President, Theodore Roosevelt, speak to our hearts: “When all is said, it is the mother, and the mother only, who is a better citizen than the soldier who fights for his country. The successful mother who does her part in rearing and training aright the boys and girls, who are to be the men and women of the next generation, is of greater use to the community, and occupies, if she only would realise it, a more honourable as well as a more important position than any man in it. The mother is the one supreme asset of the national life. She is more important, by far, than the successful statesman, or businessman, or artist, or scientist.”
Wishing all mothers a blessed Mother’s Day.