Psalm 100:4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!
In his book FOLK PSALMS OF FAITH, Ray Stedman tells of an experience H.A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited him to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, “Do you have a headache?” Ironside replied, “No, I don’t.” The other man asked, “Well, is there something wrong with your food?” Ironside replied, “No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat.” The man said, “Oh, you’re one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don’t have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!” Ironside said, “Yes, you’re just like my dog. That’s what he does too!”
When it comes to life and the rich blessings we have received many simply plow on through only taking notice when what’s expected isn’t manifested immediately. The response varies from mild annoyance to downright rage. Yet Scripture states that the creation is in the midst of praise to Him: Isaiah 55:12 “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”
My second favorite Greek word in the Bible is found in John 4:24 God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). The Greek word for worship as used here is proskineo. It means”meaning to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand), to fawn or crouch to, homage (do reverence to, adore): worship.” It occurs 59 times in the New Testament. It originally carried with it the idea of subjects falling down to kiss the ground before a king or kiss their feet. Mountains, hills, trees and dogs are all seeming to be thankful praising His Name. And Jesus adds in Luke 19:40 “He replied, I tell you that if these keep silent, the very stones will cry out.” Even rocks can’t help but give thanks and praise His Name.
There are plenty of gates we can enter into through life but the Gates of Thanksgiving lead us into His very Presence. Are you entering into His Presence?
Todays’ Challenge: Give thanks to God throughout the day like you are deliriously out of your mind. Give thanks repeatedly throughout the day until you know that you have entered into His Presence through it’s practice. Give thanks through the day imagining that you are joining in with the rocks, trees, mountains, hills, and even the dogs. Yes, even dogs praise Him.
What ten things are you, or could you be thankful for today?