Thanksgiving Living Psalm 100
Psalm 100 was probably a double call to worship. It was used as a processional hymn for the pilgrims coming to Jerusalem. It would be sung as the Jewish people would come to the Temple for Passover or another of the feast days of the Lord.
In verses 1-3, we hear the first call to worship which may have been sung by a choir outside the Temple gate. Then in verse 4, 5, a second call to worship was given as invitation from another choir within the Temple walls. The worshipers, approaching the gates, were invited to continue their worship by entering the gates and then the courts. – adapted from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary
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.
LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the
Let me give you two examples of thankfulness to begin this morning. The first is about a man who was writing at the post office desk was approached by an older fellow who had a post card in his hand. The old man said, "Sir, could you please address this post card for me?" The man gladly did so, and he agreed to write a short message on the post card, and he even signed it for the man, too.
Finally the man doing the writing said to the older man, "Now, is there anything else I can do for you?"
Finally the man doing the writing said to the older man, "Now, is there anything else I can do for you?"
The old fellow thought about it for a minute, and he said, "Yes, at the end could you just put, 'P.S. Please excuse the sloppy handwriting.'"
A little four-year-old girls was standing on a kitchen chair pulled close to the wall, intensely staring at the familiar "Our Daily Bread" painting of the older man giving thanks over a small loaf.
"What are you doing, Honey?" her mother asked.
"Looking," she said with a catch in her voice.
Noticing tears under her dark lashes, She probed deeper. "What are you thinking?"
With a heartfelt sigh, she replied, "He doesn't have any peanut butter."
100:1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing
As the people would join the procession into the Temple they would hear the first choir outside the gates sing, and within that song there would be three things, three actions that the people as children of God and as God’s nation should do.
First they were told to “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord”
This was a call from a choir outside the temple grounds
Then, to the Lord with gladness
Part of the invitation to worship included a call to service in the temple
Finally there were to their praise, “Come before His presence with singing.”
Worship of God involved the temple and all the people coming together to sing and praise God.
Can we draw comparisons between our worship today and the worship of these Old Testament believers and if we do, how does it compare? Is our worship involved and active or is it isolated and passive? Do we make a joyful noise?
Do we sing today as if we were calling those on the outside to come and join us for worship? Is my worship and praise the expression of a joyful heart inside a child of God who has experienced the great blessings of God?
I wonder if had a great mirror at the front of our church and you could see yourself singing, what would you think? Would you come to church with someone who looks like that when they are in God’s house worshiping the King of the Universe? You know it’s more than the song you sing today, more importantly its the life, the blessed life, the eternal life that gives voice to the song. That song, the song of my life is heard every day by those around me. Am I calling others outside of a relationship with God to come and worship my God with the song of my life?
You know the other great lesson I see in these opening verses of Psalms 100 is that greatest worship is always a shared experience. Worship should not be a spectator sport! We need to sing, to say amen, hallelujah or praise the Lord when we should. We need to come forward for prayer, to ask a friend to walk forward up with me. We should pray. We should praise. We should pay attention as the Spirit speaks through God’s Word.
We are called into God’s House and to God’s purpose for my life and that purpose will always be to Sing, Serve and Show the love and blessings of God. We need to really think about how we worship.
Worship is like seeing the Grand Canyon or experiencing the Grand Canyon.
In some ways worship is like experiencing the Grand Canyon. For some they just look at pictures. “Well… I’ve seen it on T.V.” Some drive there, get out a couple of times and then head for the gift shop. There they buy a T-shirt that says “I hiked the Canyon.” Some want to hike along the rim and begin to experience the wonder of God’s creation. And some walk down the path into the very depths of the Canyon. They spend days, taking in the wonder of God’s handiwork. They become a part of God’s masterpiece and are changed by it.
So it is with worship. Some sit and home and watch the TV. “Preach it, Bro. Osteen Preach it Bro. Hagee. Amen!” Some drive down to the church come inside and try to stay awake till the end. Maybe we should hand out T-shirts in the lobby that say, “I worshipped God today!” But some walk the paths of God’s word in the sanctuary of His house and they truly experience His presence through praise and prayer. And some take in the wonder that is worship and truly become a part of it. They are changed every week by their worship of God.
Next in Psalms 100 we come to the acknowledgement of why we worship and who we worship. Look at verse 3.
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.
Not a god or my own idea of god but the only true God. God who has revealed Himself through His word and will hold us accountable for that revelation.
To Him we owe our existence, our being. He is our creator, our sustainer. The very air I breathe is because God has allowed it. The next beat of my heart is by His design and permission.
The Bible says we share a special relationship with God. Just as the people who entered Jerusalem all those centuries ago, knew that they were God’s chosen people through the covenant of Abraham, we are God’s chosen people through the covenant of Grace. We are under His eternal love, protection and care. We are His people.
Years ago when I first got involved reaching out through the internet, before My Space or Facebook. I was on a site called Experts.com. I was a Bible and religion expert. I tried out for the nuclear science expert but it didn’t work out. I looked for it as I was prepping this sermon but it is no longer there. I guess they weren’t experts at keeping their website going.
One day I got an email on Experts.com letter and it was about God. A man wrote me a very long e-mail it contained 12 questions all of them lengthy. It was filled with problems, girl problems, money problems and most of all personal problems like loneliness. I wrote back and tried to answer his questions. Mostly I tried to get him to acknowledge his need of God and the fact that most of his problems were the result of sin. Here is one of his 12 questions and it reveals what many people think of when it comes to praising God.
He asks, “God knows everything that has happened. If he wants us to praise him how can we when he allows all of these things to happen? How can one praise when one feels so beaten and defeated?”
I wrote back “You are right God does know everything, He especially knows that praise doesn't come from giving us everything we think we want or desire. Like a spoiled child we will turn on the one who has given us all we asked for. God will be praised because He is God, not because He needs or wants it, it is His by right. We can come to Him on His terms, as the creator of all and our Lord and Master or we reject Him, but the Bible says one day all will bow before him, either willingly or forcefully. The choice is ours.”
The choice is ours. Have you acknowledged who God is?
He is all powerful, all knowing, omnipresent, Holy, Just, Loving.
Have we stopped to really consider who and what God is? When we do it will then compel us to really worship Him.
We should also acknowledge a special relationship with Him.
Are we joined with God by the sacrifice of his only Son? Are we his people through grace and faith? Are we members of His house of worship? Do we live our lives and follow His purpose daily?
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar (unique) people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
Why I Believe in God by Danny Dutton age 8
Written by Danny Dutton, age 8, from Chula Vista, California, for his
third grade homework assignment to "Explain God".
One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grown-ups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way, He doesn't have to take up His valuable time teaching them to talk and walk, He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.
God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because He hears everything there must be a terrible lot of noise in His ears, unless He has thought of a way to turn it off.
God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So, you shouldn't go wasting His time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.
Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in Chula Vista. At least there aren't any who come to our church.
Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of Him preaching to them and they crucified Him. But He was good and kind like His Father and He told His Father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said OK.
His Dad (God) appreciated everything that He had done and all His hard work on earth so He told Him He didn't have to go out on the road anymore, He could stay in heaven. So He did.
And now He helps His Dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones He can take care of Himself without having to bother God. Like a secretary only more important. You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to hear you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the times.
You should always go to Church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God. Don't skip church to do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong! And, besides, the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.
If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist, you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared in the dark or when you can't swim very good and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids.
But you shouldn't just always think of what God can do for you. I figure God put me here and He can take me back anytime He pleases.
And that's why I believe in God."
Transition: Worship we have seen involves the actions of serving, singing and showing ourselves before God. True worship acknowledges who God is and what God has done. Finally, let us look at the attitude of worship.
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.
At this section of the Psalms a choir inside the Temple would begin to sing and give invitation to enter the Temple grounds and worship God.
Those in the procession would enter with an attitude of thanksgiving expressed in their praise. This thanksgiving would be vocal and public. It would flow from their lips because God’s goodness, mercy and truth had flowed into their lives.
What is your attitude when it comes to your relationship with God? I used to be a training supervisor at the UPS hub in Dallas Texas. One of the things that we used to watch for when we were training people was their attitude. Their attitude, the way the approached the job, their co-workers and their boss would often make all the difference. More than once I went out on a limb and hired a person whose performance may not have been 100% but his attitude told me he would more than make up for it.
It’s still true as a pastor and as a church member. The right attitude will make all the difference in your worship and in your life. You may not have the best singing voice, I may not be the best preacher you’ve ever heard. (Hopefully I’m in the top 10.) You may not have $100 or more to drop in the offering plate each Sunday. But your attitude towards the things of God are more important than those things.
So what kind of ‘tude are you sportin’? (That’s what all the cool kids used to say.)
We live in a country that is the richest, most powerful country that has ever existed. We enjoy freedom that is unparalleled in history. As a child of God you have been forgiven of your sin, given a home in heaven and promised you’ll never die. You have a heritage that is older than time itself, you are part of a royal family and have been counted worthy to be a soldier in the most important struggle that has ever been fought. You have a direct relationship with the God of all creation, you are a child of the King. Now shouldn’t that give me an attitude of thanksgiving no matter what else may be happening in life.
Quote said, “Careful for nothing, prayerful for everything, thankful for anything”- Christian Reader, Vol. 32, no. 4.
Paul spoke of this attitude in In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
In He adds us, Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Thanksgiving is the attitude every Christian must have, praise is the expression of that thanksgiving from our lips and the natural progression of those things must be to “enter his gates.”
What does that mean to us today? The same as it did then. It means enter into the place where praise is most precious in the ears of God, his house.
Unthankful Christians can go weeks without praise or prayer or hearing God’s word, but thankful Christians are faithful to God’s house because they want to praise God. They must praise God who has given them everything. They must express their thanksgiving in His House with His people.
Scripture: And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!
Illustration: The Ten Lepers and the One who shows thanks.
You remember the story, Jesus heals ten lepers and then tells them to show themselves to the priest. When they leave they haven’t been healed but on the way to the temple the Bible says they are cleansed. Nine go on their way, but one, a Samaritan, returns to fall at the feet of Jesus and say thank you. Jesus’ reaction shows us the heart and mind of God when it come to our being thankful. He asks the man at his feet, "Were there not ten of you? Where are the other nine?"
Doesn’t that story strike deeply into you. I does me. I can’t help but ask, which group would I be in, the nine or the one. Could that story be an actual ratio of Christians today? Do 90% go through their Christian life without expressing through their life, their actions and their praise, thankfulness to God? Are we of that tithe of thankfulness like the leper that returned? Will I be in that precious to Jesus remnant that turns over my life and words as a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God?
The thankful leper
While on a short-term missions trip, Pastor Jack Hinton was leading worship at a leper colony on the island of Tobago. A woman who had been facing away from the pulpit turned around.
"It was the most hideous face I had ever seen," Hinton said. "The woman's nose and ears were entirely gone. She lifted a fingerless hand in the air and asked, 'Can we sing Count Your Many Blessings?' "
Overcome with emotion, Hinton left the service. He was followed by a team member who said, "I guess you'll never be able to sing that song again."
"Yes I will," he replied, "but I'll never sing it the same way." -- The Pastor's Update (5/96). Fresh Illustrations for Preaching & Teaching (Baker), from the editors of Leadership.