Worship Involves Thanksgiving

Psalm 100 is a great description of how to worship God. Verse 3 tells us why we are to worship God. It says in Psalm 100:3 (NKJV): “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.”

God Created Us

We are dependant on God for our very existence. We did not come into existence just by chance as some are trying to tell us. We are not here by chance. We are here by design. We are here because God created us to have fellowship Him.

Let me ask you a question. Which is easier to believe? We just happened to pop into existence because, out of nowhere, matter and life just appeared. Or that there is a great and wonderful God that wanted to create a being to have fellowship with.

Psalm 100:3 says very emphatically that it was God who created us and put us here on this earth. And then, just to make sure that we understand what is being said, it adds “and not we ourselves.”

And then, to help us understand what our relationship is to the God who created us, the passage adds: we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.” Yes, we belong to God, and just as a shepherd takes care of his sheep, God will take care of us because we are the sheep of His pasture.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t know why you are alive here on this earth. You know why because the Bible tells us. And this truth is nowhere more clearly expressed then here in Psalm 100:3.

How Can We Relate to God?

How can we relate to God? He is a pure spirit that lives in heaven, a spiritual world. We cannot even comprehend such an existence. It is far beyond even our imagination. We live in an environment where there are always beginnings and endings. The spiritual world is eternal, it is outside of time. The question is: “which is a more real environment?”

This is one of the reasons that Jesus came to the earth. He came to help us identify with God. Through Jesus, we can have a handle on who God is and how we can relate to Him. Jesus showed us that we can relate to God just like we relate to other Human beings. The only difference is that we cannot see God.

Because we were created in the image of God, we can know that God appreciates the same things that we appreciate. We appreciate sharing our love. We appreciate receiving heart-felt thanks. We appreciate knowing that we have made someone happy. God appreciates the very same things.

Thanksgiving Is Important To Express

Psalm 100:4 then tells us what we need to be doing because God did create us and gave us life. Psalm 100:4 (NIV): “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

Nothing could be clearer than this verse. We are to enter into the presence of God with thanksgiving. And this is not just a superficial “Thanks.” This involves a true feeling that comes directly from our heart.

Think about how you feel when someone expresses thanks to you. If you give someone a gift and all they do is softly say “Thanks,” does it make you feel good? However, what if they shout “Thank you, this is really great,” would you feel any different?

Remember, we were created in God’s image. Genesis 1:26 (NIV): “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness.” This means that we were created to even feel like God does. If we feel a certain way because of a certain event that took place, we can know that God feels exactly the same way.

In other words, if we feel good about receiving heart-felt thanks, God feels exactly the same way. God feels thanks and praise exactly the same way we do. If you can feel that a person’s “Thanks” is heart-felt or not, remember that God can feel the same thing.

How Can We Express Our Thanksgiving?

We express our thanksgiving to other people by talking with them. By physically telling them how we feel about what they did. If we cannot physically talk with them, we write to them to let them know about how we feel. Can we do the same thing with God?

Yes, we can express our thanksgiving to God in this very same way. We can talk to Him in prayer. We can even write down how we feel. God knows what we are writing.

However, Psalm 100 tells us that there is a much better way to express our thanksgiving to God. And this is through praise.

This word for praise comes from the Hebrew word “halal.” This is a root word that means being sincerely and deeply thankful for and praising someone who is superior to yourself. How do we express this kind of praise?

First of all, it must come from deep within our heart. In other words, it must come from our very being, from who we really are. It must come from more than just the words that we speak. God does not just hear the words that we speak; He looks deep down inside us to determine what we really mean.

What Are You Thankful For?

If you stand (or sit) in a worship service and do not feel that you are in the presence of God, then you are probably not feeling very thankful. If this is where you are, then it is time to stop and “count your blessings.”

Remember what Psalm 100:5 says: “For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (NIV). No matter how bad our life seems to be, we need to remember this verse.

Yes, life may throw some terrible things at us. And we may think that God has deserted us. But God never abandons us. Remember God does not force anyone (even evil people) to do what they do not want to do. This would take away their free will and God will not do this. (We wouldn’t want Him do take away our free will, would we?)

Instead, when bad things happen to us, He will stay with us, support us and help us to know how to respond to these bad things happening to us. God is good and faithful and will help us through every circumstance. This is where all our thanksgiving can start.

Once we realize and accept this, we will be amazed at what we realize what we can be thankful for. Take time to count your blessings and you will be able to worship God with the thanksgiving and praise that He deserves.

S




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