Praise and Thanksgiving

We are celebrating 30 Days of Thanksgiving this month of November. It is a time to enjoy the blessings of God in our life and to express our praise and worship to God. It is a time of reflecting and appreciating all that God has given and done.

We should always be thankful and cultivate a thankful heart (as per last week’s message “Cultivating a Thankful Heart.”)

There is a powerful chapter in the book of Psalms that will help shed some light on our praise and thanksgiving we should offer.

Psa 100:1-5

(1)  A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

(2)  Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

(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.

(4)  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

(5)  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

These verses show how we are to enter into God’s presence. It helps us to see that we are to be joyful, glad, with singing. It helps us see that God is god and we are not. He is the one who made us. We are God’s people and the sheep of His pastures. He is our Shepherd. He is our high priest and we enter in to his presence with thanksgiving and praise. We are to bless the Lord with our words and actions. The Lord is good and we need to remind ourselves of His goodness.

We could sit on these verses and look at them individually, but I want to zero in on verse four.

Psalm 100:4

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”

Enter into His gates…

We are to enter into life and our relationship with God with thanksgiving. Coming with a thankful heart and offering the sacrifice of praise to Him. It is a privilege to come and worship God. It is an honor to have God in our lives. It’s an honor to know God.

In the Old Testament people were required to come to the temple and offer sacrifices for they sins. They brought their offering to the Priests and the priests would in turn offer their sacrifice to God for the people. Thank God we do not have to do that today because Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice who willing went to the cross. That is why the veil was torn. We no longer needed a high priest to offer our sacrifice or petition to God like the priests did. Then, the priests would enter the Holy of holies on behalf of the people. Today, we can enter into God’s presence on our own because of what Christ did for us.

The word enter in the Hebrew means: “To go or come, abide, apply, or attain, be, bring, call, carry, come, depart, or employ” (Strongs Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries).

We are to come or employ ourselves into God’s presence with thanksgiving. We are to come and bow before God in worship.

Psalm 95:6

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.”

It is coming with a humble and thankful heart. Being thankful is the key to entering God’s presence that’s why Philippians states giving our requests to God “with thanksgiving.”

Php 4:6-7  (KJV)

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Emphasis added)

We are to magnify God with our Thanksgiving.

Psalm 69:30

“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.”

Believe it or not the word “thanksgiving” is a form of worship. Thanksgiving in the original Hebrew means: “With extended hands, to revere in worship.”

Imagine every time you are thankful and expressing that to God you are actually worshipping Him! So long as we are receivers of mercy we must be givers of thanks.

Psalm 100:4

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”

The word “gates” refers to an outer perimeter of something that is on the inside. Gates in the Hebrew is translated “an opening, door, gate: city, door, gate, or port.”

When Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem he also rebuilt the gates too (Nehemiah 3:1 – 32) Some of the gates they repaired were: The Sheep Gate, The Fish Gate, The Old Gate, The Valley Gate, The Refuse Gate, The Fountain Gate, The Water Gate, the Horse Gate, The East Gate, and the Miphkad Gate. Each one of these gates had a meaning and were important to the overall walls of Jerusalem.

Gates signify the outer edge to enter into something more personal or intimate. It allows access. You have to enter through a gate so you can be in more of an intimate setting as you walk through the courts to go into the Holy Of Holies. The same is true when you “enter into His gates with thanksgiving.”  Again, Thanksgiving is the key in entering into God’s presence.

Whether with our families, in public, or in secret we come and give God praise and thanksgiving (worship). It is an honor and privilege to do this.

This verse in Psalms 100:4 refers to public worship. We are to join joyfully in public worship to God. Gates take you from one realm to another. They are there to help and guide you into something new, or something precious.

If you read a verse about a gate being left open this is often referring to being yielded or surrendered to God. It can also mean that the gates are open to receive new converts or people into the house of God, and it shows free access in and out with no hindrances.

Isaiah 60:11

“Therefore your gates shall be open continually; they shall not be shut day or night, that men may bring to you the wealth of the Gentiles, and their kings in procession.”

Isaiah 60:18

“Violence shall no longer be heard in your land. Neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; But you shall call your walls salvation, and your gates praise.”

God is constantly bringing peace into our borders and because we are His children He watches over our land.

Psalm 100:4

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”

“…and His courts with praise…” We are to enter God’s courts with praise. In His court is where He is. It is the beginning stages of truly going into the Holy of Holies in worship. The courts of the Lord can also be His house, or His church.

Psalm 84:2

“My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”

I don’t know about you but I long to be with God constantly everyday. When we give God praise and thanksgiving we are giving ourselves access through His gate to come and be with him in His courts.

Praise is a powerful weapon. Praising God can release any fear, anxiety, or insecurity we may have. There is power in Praise. Especially when we praise God in hard circumstances.

I can think of Kim, who just lost her Dad this week. I was talking to her on the phone the day her Dad went to heaven and shared; “We can praise God in this storm!” She said she thought of that song earlier that day and was doing just that.

Video:  “Praise You In This Storm

I am thankful when it is sunny and when there is a storm. Praising God in the middle of a hardship is truly a sacrifice of praise. God is worthy when things are going good and when we struggle. Praising God gets our mind off of ourselves and onto the One who can calm us down. ~ Pastor Kris Belfils

We will become what we worship. The more we worship God, the more we become like Him.

The more we worship God the more we get to know Him. If you ever wanted to know God more, give Him praise! If ever you wanted to go deeper in God, worship and adore Him and He will take you farther than you have ever dreamed.

This is where I am right now. This is what I’m experiencing. I want more of Him so I worship Him. I am captivated by His presence. I just want to stay there. As I do, God imparts new revelations of Himself to me.

Every time we praise God for who He is and all that He has done, it unleashes His life-changing power in our lives.

Lets meditate on Psalm 100 during this Thanksgiving season and all year through.

Psa 100:1-5

(1)  A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

(2)  Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

(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.

(4)  Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

(5)  For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

God is the strength of our life and He is worthy of our praise and thanksgiving!

Your sister in Christ,

Pastor Kris Belfils

www.krisbelfils.com

www.krisbelfils.wordpress.com

www.hopefellowshipspokane.com

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