God of Kindness and Grace Cause Us to Serve with Joy
By Rev Samuel Tam
November 5, 2023
Once in a fellowship meeting, brothers and sisters shared their thoughts on the topic “Live in peace and contentment with a happy family life.” Some fellowship members thought that having a stable accommodation and a stable income will go a long way to relieve financial pressure and woes. Some others chose to establish a harmonious relationship with family members of different generations who would trust and help each other out, thus savoring the bliss of a family. Now supposing we think deep along these lines, how would we make arrangements for a stable worship life at church? In our connection with various communities within the church, how would our interactions with one another relate to our service to God?
Today, disasters are everywhere. Wars are rampant. Many people will ask: Is God still loving and gracious? In good times, it is relatively easier for us to praise God. But when hardships and adversities strike, our faith can easily fade away. Hear the psalmist’s firm proclamation: “Blessed be the LORD: for he hath shewed me his marvelous kindness in a strong city” (Psalm 31:21, KJV). We will wonder: What is the “strong city”? This reminds me of David’s testimony: “I rejoiced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.’” (Psalm 122:1, NIV) This we can see: Going to church for worship continually and drawing close to God consistently is the source of joy in our spiritual life. This is why the church of the eternal God is referred to as a city which is “a name of joy’ (see Jeremiah 33:9, KJV). I had seen a brother who was distressed before he entered the Main Church for the worship service. But when the worship service ended, he wore a smile of relief on his face! We believe that God is willing to impart His amazing lovingkindness to His people during worship. It is true. Worshiping in His courts, listening to His holy word, giving thanks and seeking His grace is a sure way to receive goodness and blessings in our life (see Psalm 65:4).
Before the passion of our Lord Jesus, He commanded His disciples to love one another. He also reminded them: If they keep this command, not only will they always remain in God’s love but the joy from the Lord will also remain in them. With this joy, there will be contentment in their lives (John 15:9-11). We can also see this: that if we learn to love one another, the church community will then take care of one another and “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). Years ago, I heard the voice of brothers and sisters who serve cancer patients and the disabled fellowships: “Don’t let tears restrain us or obstruct the flow of grace from God. He has entrusted us with the ministry. Stand up! Let us proceed shoulder to shoulder with one heart.” This helps us understand better that God still gives grace to His church and encourages us to spread the aroma of Christ everywhere.
May our generation see how abundant are the good things that God has stored up and bestowed for those who take refuge in Him (Psalm 31:19)! And may God accept our worship and impart on us His wondrous love and grace. We will not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is our strength for serving (see Nehemiah 8:10).