Living a Life of Thanksgiving to the Lord
For God's people, Thanksgiving is far more than a special day on the calendar. The Bible urges us to live a life of thanksgiving each day. Being thankful to God for all of His blessings is truly a mark of the Christian. So let me give you four biblical ways to express your thanksgiving to the Lord at this wonderful season of the year. The base I want to build on is Psalm 100, a song of praise to God as our Creator, Sustainer and Redeemer.
I see at least four ways that Psalm 100 instructs us to praise and worship God. Some may be a little scary to those who are not used to joyously expressing praise, but I encourage you not to be afraid!
1. Don't Be Afraid to Shout Praise to the Lord. The Bible says, "Make a joyful shout to the LORD" (Ps. 100:1). In the Bible, shouting is associated with great achievement or joy. Joshua told Israel to march around Jericho for six days and on the seventh day to lift a great shout. When they did, the walls fell down (Josh. 6).
When you are thanking and praising God, don't be afraid to be a little loud. God loves to hear our praises, and it will also make you biblical!
2. Don't Be Afraid to Serve the Lord with Gladness. "Serve the LORD with gladness" (Ps. 100:2). Gladness means mirth, gaiety and happiness. No service to the Lord, whether great or small, should be done grudgingly.
Sincere and true delight in service to God should accompany our words and deeds of worship. When you are serving the Lord, don't be afraid to do it with a glad heart—and don't be afraid to smile!
3. Don't Be Afraid to Come into the Lord's Presence. "Come before His presence with singing" (Ps. 100:2). God calls us to come into His presence privately each day and together in corporate worship. "Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice" (Ps. 55:17).
It was said of the fledgling New Testament church that they met daily in the temple for teaching from the Word, fellowship, worship and praise. Little wonder that Hebrews 10:25 begs us not to fail to regularly assemble with other believers in thanksgiving, hearing the Word and worship.
4. Don't Be Afraid to Get to Know the Lord. The rest of Psalm 100:3 says, "Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture" (emphasis added). The psalmist calls the people to recognize and "know" God's words, works and ways.
He wants us to know that He is Jehovah God and we are not, that He is the Creator and we are His creatures and that we are His sheep and He is our Shepherd. The heart-longing of every godly person is to get to know God more intimately.
Let's make it our determination to praise and worship God this holiday season!