Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Right to Enter

A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 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. 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.  Psalms 100:1-5 KJV

One of the very first passages of scripture I memorized was the 100th Psalm out of the King James Version of the Bible.  I recall the time very vividly because I worked hard to get it down during Vacation Bible School at Parkland Baptist Church.  That Psalm has been with me almost sixty years.  Remembering is not one of best attributes anymore.  So many things have faded away but that scripture has remained clear.
I’m certain I did not understand the depth of this Psalm as a young boy in Tulsa. Oklahoma but today it is a wonderful invitation to come before a Holy God with praise and gratitude.  What a privilege and a blessing such an opportunity provides.
The right to enter a private place usually requires some form of credential or authority.  You don’t just walk in to a private place without invitation and recognition.  We pass by many places that are comfortable and provide help and provision each day but we have no right to enter.
On a recent golf trip to Arkansas our foursome had traveled over five hours and then played a round of golf and were anxious to get to the house we had rented after dinner.  Leaving the restaurant we were at the mercy of the GPS system for directions.  While we felt certain the turn from the restaurant parking should be to the right for the main gate the system said go left.  So we did.  We traveled quite a distance and had a lot of reservations about whether we were going the right way.  The last few turns the GPS gave led us deep into the woods.  We were almost certain we could hear the banjo from the movie Deliverance playing in the trees.  Finally we came to a gate but we did not have a card to enter.  We were less than two blocks from the house but could not pass the gate.  In order to get there we had to drive completely around to the main gate where we had a pass to show and get through.  Frustrated is an understatement for the way we felt at 11:00 at night.
As we backed down that dark road I thought about this Psalm and the invitation that God gives to Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. It is only His grace that opens the gate and allows us access.  Jesus told of a wide road that leads to a wide gate and destruction and a narrow road that leads to a narrow gate that leads to life.  That gate is the cross and it alone is our key to the kingdom.
As we sat outside that gate it was sad to know that just inside was rest and comfort but we did not have the key.  Too many will travel a long way only to discover they have no access the Kingdom of God.  They will try all of their earthly keys of good works, sacrifice and religion but none will open that gate.  I thank God for the key to the Kingdom…the Cross of Jesus Christ!
Scripture to Claim:

Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.  Matthew 7:13-14 NASB

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