Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Progression of Thanksgiving

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. Psalm 100:4 
Thanksgiving Thoughts
The Progression of Thanksgiving
The psalmist shows us that the state of thanksgiving in our hearts and lives has a progression to it.  Thanksgiving takes on a note of praise.  The words of John Henry gave proof that our praising God is a privilege both public and private.  The private or personal invades to enhance the public and the public praising creates a host for personal praise.
Public Praise ... Enter into His gates
Corporate worship is the time we enter into the gates ... the opening of praising God. What is your attitude in worship . . . get it over or I can't get over it?  Are you thankful the service is over or are you thankful to be serving?  Public praise worship is the real barometer of our personal worship of God.  The heart and voice attitude is . . . "We praise You God!"
Personal Praise ... And into His courts
The gates made entry into the presence and the courts lend themselves to our private or personal times of praising God.  Do you have those times?  Take the extra time to just worship with free abandonment.  No one is watching, no one but you and God.  Open your heart and let the worship pour out.  The heart and voice attitude is . . . "I praise You God!"
Privileged Praise ... Be thankful and bless His name
If our hearts are geared to the public and private arenas of praise we will discover the privilege of praise.  It truly is a privilege to praise God.  It is intended for Him, but we gain so much out of it as well.  Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.  Hebrews 13:15  There are times when it is a true sacrifice to offer praises through the pain we feel.  It is a sacrifice to begin with but there is great healing in praise through pain.
Never Take Your Blessings for Granted
Warren Wiersbe states, "I have felt for a long time that one of the particular temptations of the maturing Christian is the danger of getting accustomed to his blessings.  Like the world traveler who has been everywhere and seen everything, the maturing Christian is in danger of taking his blessings for granted and getting so accustomed to them that they fail to excite him as they once did."
Emerson said if the stars came out only once a year, we would all want to stay up and see them.  But because we see the stars all the time we don't take the time to look at them.
Sometimes we take God’s blessings and gifts for granted. 
Why did only one cleansed leper return to praise and give thanks to Jesus?

One waited to see if the cure was real.
One waited to see if it would last.
One said he would see Jesus later.
One decided that he had never had leprosy.
One said he would have gotten well anyway.
One gave the glory to the priests.
One said, "O, well, Jesus didn't really do anything."
One said, "Any rabbi could have done it."
One said, "I was already much improved."
                                                                  (George Mikes, "How to be Decadent")
Do they sound like us?  Have we become accustomed to God's blessings?  The progression of our thanksgiving will lead us to see it as a privilege in both public and personal praise.
Scripture to Claim:  I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.  Psalm 7:17  

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