Thursday, November 15, 2018

Five Thanksgiving Commands

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations. 
Psalm 100 A Psalm for Thanksgiving
Psalm 100 was written as a Psalm for Thanksgiving to God.  It gives us five specific ways we can show thanksgiving to God. 
Five Thanksgiving Commands
The first command - "Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth…"It means to "shout with the force of a trumpet blast,"a shout of joy to the Lord that comes from the very depths of your being.  Maybe He solved your problem. Maybe He has given you the direction to go. Maybe He has provided a blessing, and you realize that it has come from God.  So, from the depths of your being, proclaim your praise.  This is the Psalmist saying. "Suddenly you realize that God has been so good to you that you can't keep it inside any more. From the depths of your being you shout your joy unto the Lord." 
The second command - "Serve the Lord with gladness…"  It doesn't say "serve the church."It doesn't say "serve the preacher, or serve the leaders, or serve the organization."It says, "serve the Lord." The Bible teaches that if we witness on behalf of the Lord, if we feed the hungry, if we clothe the naked, if we do the work of the Lord, whatever it might be, we are serving the Lord.  Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me."  I'm not sure that we grasp that. Maybe we serve at times out of a feeling of obligation or a fear of guilt if we don't serve, or maybe even because we want to draw attention to ourselves.  It's natural for us to desire appreciation when we do something that is worthwhile. But the Psalmist says, "In whatever you do, serve the Lord with gladness."
The third command - "Come before Him with joyful singing..."Another passage says, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." Have you noticed? In these first 3 commands, God has said, "I want you to be happy. Shout with joy, serve with gladness, and come with joyful songs."  Take a moment and look at the people around you. Do they look happy? Or are they just sitting there with scowls on their faces?  What do they see when they look at you?  Are you serving gladly?  The Psalmist says, "Come before Him and serve Him and sing His praise with joy in your heart." 
God loves us and desires us to be happy, and He know where we can find true happiness.  Praising Him and giving thanks takes the focus off ourselves and puts it where it belongs – on Him.  Tune in tomorrow for the last two commands.

Scripture to Claim: It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; Psalm 92:1

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