“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”

Psalm 5:3

Serve the Lord with Gladness

(Please read Philippians 4:4-9)

September 18

For a month or so each year, we hear many songs expressive of the joy the world should feel at the knowledge of the coming of a Savior. And the Bible account makes it clear that the news of His coming was truly “good news of a great joy.”

But, really, this news is not seasonal; the joy brought by that Savior should shine brightly all year long in the lives of those who love and serve him. Indeed, love and joy go hand in hand and no characteristic is more closely associated in the scriptures with the religion of our Lord than the joy of his followers. It’s hard to read New Testament verses about joy and go away with a sour disposition, a dour expression, or a grudgeful attitude.

But why discuss joy? If our religion is supposed to bring us joy, why is it necessary to talk about it? Our text indicates that the Philippians needed to be reminded to rejoice. And if they need such reminders, we need them too.

We have so many reasons for delight, beginning with the very fact of our salvation. The word “gospel” itself gives a clue to its message and the nature of the people who accept it, for it is glad tidings.

So let’s not confine that joy to a particular season of the year, but let it find expression in our faces and actions every day. Happiness is the best advertisement of who we are. And if you feel like singing “Joy to the World” in April or September, by all means sing it — with exultation in your heart.

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