Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you. 1 12:24 Samuel  

Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Romans 12:11  

Serving the Lord – what kinds of things does that mean we should be doing? First of all there is faith, belief in the Lord that has, as  Samuel says, done great things for us. He is giving his farewell address, as Saul is to be crowned king. No longer will there be prophets and religious leaders in charge, there is now a king like every other nation. Samuel is concerned that the people will forget their Lord, the one they should truly focus on and serve in their desire for an earthly king.  

Paul tells us that we are to not to “lag in zeal” also translated as “business.” Basically whatever our work is, we can do it well as part of serving God. Then the word ardent or fervor. Apparently this refers to actively boiling water – so involved in serving the Lord that we are actually boiling over with words and activity and service. One commentator says: “There cannot be too much fervor. There may be too little outlet provided for the fervor to work in. It may all go off in comfortable feeling, in enthusiastic prayers and ‘Amens!’ and ‘So be it, Lords!’ and the like, or it may come with us into our daily tasks, and make us buckle to with more earnestness, and more continuity.”  

We can serve the Lord daily, in our usual work, in our helping the hungry or homeless. In advocating for laws to ensure justice in our world. And, yes, we can serve by shouting Amens too.  

Good and gracious God, our hearts are overflowing when we realize the great things you have done for us. Energize us with increased zeal to serve you. Have mercy, Lord, when we allow the burdens and cares of the day to weigh us down. Remind us of your love, revive us with your spirit, and renew us for service in your name. Amen.  

Chris Gabel