November 9, 2017
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
Thanksgiving to Jesus
The hymn “Old Hundredth” (“All People That on Earth Do Dwell”)
is based on this psalm, as is the familiar “Doxology.” Thanking the
Lord is something we must do with our lives as well as with our lips.
How shall we do it?
By serving (2). “Enter to worship-depart to serve” should be
written clearly above the door to the church sanctuary. Too many people
serve themselves and not the Lord, and too often we do not serve the
Lord “with gladness.” The Lord loves a cheerful servant.
By submitting (3). As creatures, we submit to the Creator who
made us. As sheep, we submit to the Shepherd who died for us and now
leads us in His paths. He not only made us, but He is making us as we
yield to Him (Eph. 2:10). Submission means fulfillment.
By sacrificing (4-5). As priests, we are privileged to offer
spiritual sacrifices to the Lord (1 Pet. 2:5). They include our songs of
praise (Heb. 13:15), good works (Heb. 13:18), and material gifts (Phil.
4:15-18). Because of who He is (v. 5) and what He does for us, He is
certainly worthy of our joyful thanks. [Chapter by Chapter Bible
Commentary by Warren Wiersbe]
What Happens When We Praise God?
Praise is an evidence of life (vv. 1-2), not just physical
life, but the life of God in the heart. In heaven, it is all praise;
in hell, there is no praise; here on earth, you must make a
Praise is an encouragement to faith (vv. 3-4). When you have
faith in somebody – your doctor, for instance – you praise that person
to others. When your faith is low, your praise will gradually
subside, but when you major on praise, your faith will grow.
Praise is an encouragement to hope (vv. 5-7). When your hope
is in the Lord, you can praise Him no matter what the circumstances
may be. Faith is the upward look, and hope is the forward look.
Praise is an encouragement to love (vv. 8-10), your love for
God and others, and God’s love for you. When you love someone, you
trust that person, and greater trust brings greater love.
Life, faith, hope, and love-all are bound up in the experience
of praise. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe
Perhaps no book exemplifies the spirit of praise and worship
more than the Book of Psalms. It records more verses of praise than
any other book of the Bible. Obviously, God wants the praises of His
God tells us to give Him thanks in everything (1 Thess. 5:18),
even when things press against our souls. We may not understand what
is happening; we may never understand. But God’s will in each
circumstance is that we praise and thank Him.
But why? It’s because praise is the clearest and most direct
means by which you declare your dependence on God. It repeats your
trust in Him in the midst of darkness. It confesses your allegiance
and devotion to the One who was crucified for you and to whom you
are eternally joined.
Consider a few of the specific benefits we derive from
praising the Lord:
Praise magnifies God: Praise puts our focus on God, not on our
problems. God’s power, presence, and ability transform our thinking.
Praise humbles us: When we worship God, we gain a right view
of ourselves. Praise deflates excess pride and ego. We gain a
healthy self-image, based on God’s view of us. By removing pride, praise
strengthens us against temptation.
Praise reveals our devotion to God: If I love Christ, I will
praise Him. If He has first place in my life, I will honor Him with
worship and thanksgiving.
Praise motivates us to holy living: Praise opens our hearts to
want to live the way God desires–holy and separated unto Him, to do
His will above our own, to want to be like Him more than like anyone
else. The more we worship Him, the more like Him we will become.
Praise increases our joy: Joy is the constant companion of
praise. If we feel depressed or discouraged, praising God will soon
bring us joy.
Praise establishes our faith: The greater we see our God, the
smaller we see our problems.
Praise elevates our emotions: Worry, fear, and doubt cannot
survive for long in an atmosphere of praise.
If you want to see a difference in your relationship with
Christ and in your walk with Him, start to praise Him today. Continue
even when you feel prone to give up. Commit yourself to a life of
praise and fellowship with Jesus–and experience the fullness of what
God means by “joy.” [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley]
In order to serve Him aright, we must be born of the divine
Spirit. This will purify the heart and renew the mind, giving us a new
capacity for knowing and loving God. It will give us a willing obedience
to all His requirements. This is true worship. It is the fruit of
the working of the Holy Spirit. DA189
It is working together with Christ that is true worship.
Prayers, exhortation, and talk can be cheap fruits, which are frequently
tied on; but fruits that are manifested in good works, in caring for
the needy, the fatherless, and widows, are genuine fruits, and grow
naturally upon a good tree. 2T24
Delight in divine service is a token of acceptance. Those who
serve God with a sad countenance, because they do what is unpleasant
to them, are not serving him at all; they bring the form of homage,
but the life is absent. Our God requires no slaves to grace his
throne; he is the Lord of the empire of love, and would have his
servants dressed in the livery of joy. The angels of God serve him with
songs, not with groans; a murmur or a sigh would be a mutiny in their
ranks. That obedience which is not voluntary is disobedience, for the
Lord looketh at the heart, and if he seeth that we serve him from
force, and not because we love him, he will reject our offering.
Service coupled with cheerfulness is heart-service, and therefore true.
Take away joyful willingness from the Christian, and you have removed
the test of his sincerity. If a man be driven to battle, he is no
patriot; but he who marches into the fray with flashing eye and beaming
face, singing, “It is sweet for one’s country to die,” proves himself
to be sincere in his patriotism. Cheerfulness is the support of our
strength; in the joy of the Lord are we strong. It acts as the remover of
difficulties. It is to our service what oil is to the wheels of a railway
carriage. Without oil the axle soon grows hot, and accidents occur; and if
there be not a holy cheerfulness to oil our wheels, our spirits will
be clogged with weariness. The man who is cheerful in his service
of God, proves that obedience is his element; he can sing,
“Make me to walk in thy commands,
‘Tis a delightful road.”
Reader, let us put this question–do you serve the Lord with
gladness? Let us show to the people of the world, who think our religion
to be slavery, that it is to us a delight and a joy! Let our
gladness proclaim that we serve a good Master. [Charles H. Spurgeon,
Morning and Evening]
Our Lord would have all his people rich in high and happy
thoughts concerning his blessed person. Jesus is not content that his
brethren should think meanly of him; it is his pleasure that his espoused
ones should be delighted with his beauty. We are not to regard him as
a bare necessary, like to bread and water, but as a luxurious
delicacy, as a rare and ravishing delight. To this end he has revealed
himself as the “pearl of great price” in its peerless beauty, as the
“bundle of myrrh” in its refreshing fragrance, as the “rose of Sharon”
in its lasting perfume, as the “lily” in its spotless purity.
As a help to high thoughts of Christ, remember the estimation
that Christ is had in beyond the skies, where things are measured by
the right standard. Think how God esteems the Only Begotten, his
unspeakable gift to us. Consider what the angels think of him, as they count
it their highest honour to veil their faces at his feet. Consider
what the blood-washed think of him, as day without night they sing
his well deserved praises. High thoughts of Christ will enable us to
act consistently with our relations towards him. The more loftily we
see Christ enthroned, and the more lowly we are when bowing before
the foot of the throne, the more truly shall we be prepared to act
our part towards him. Our Lord Jesus desires us to think well of
him, that we may submit cheerfully to his authority. High thoughts of
him increase our love. Love and esteem go together. Therefore,
believer, think much of your Master’s excellencies. Study him in his
primeval glory, before he took upon himself your nature! Think of the
mighty love which drew him from his throne to die upon the cross!
Admire him as he conquers all the powers of hell! See him risen,
crowned, glorified! Bow before him as the Wonderful, the Counsellor, the
mighty God, for only thus will your love to him be what it should.
[Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening]
Whoever said religion is stiff and boring never read the book
of Psalms. They literally overflow with joy. Similarly, your love
for God should overflow into praise. Praising God and thanking him
for his goodness takes your mind off your problems and shortcomings,
causes you to consider and appreciate God’s character, and lifts your
perspective from the earthly to the heavenly.
Don’t let feelings of self-consciousness interfere with your
praise and thanksgiving. You’re doing it for God, not for others.
Praise the Lord enthusiastically, whether in public or private. Hold
your hands up in the air, fall to your knees, sit still with your
eyes closed–whatever form your praise takes, keep your focus on God
and keep it genuine. Thank him for all his blessings. Acknowledge
that he is God and that you are dependent on him. Rejoice in the fact
that he is perfect, holy, and awesome, and yet he draws near to you
in your frail condition; rejoice that he is your Father; rejoice
that he provides for your every need. Don’t miss out on the joy and
excitement of a life that is full of praise. [The One Year Bible for New
This God we sing to, He is Lord of all creation! We were lost
without the power to save ourselves, and He saved us! We were lonely,
and He became our friend. We were hungry and He fed us food from
heaven. We were powerless and He has caused us to have great success. .
. . So remember the Rock of our salvation. Sing with all your
heart to your God. Haleleu-Jah! [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom]
All the paternal love which has come down from generation to
generation through the channel of human hearts, all the springs of
tenderness which have opened in the souls of men, are but as a tiny rill to
the boundless ocean when compared with the infinite, exhaustless
love of God. Tongue cannot utter it; pen cannot portray it. You may
meditate upon it every day of your life; you may search the Scriptures
diligently in order to understand it; you may summon every power and
capability that God has given you, in the endeavor to comprehend the love
and compassion of the heavenly Father; and yet there is an infinity
beyond. You may study that love for ages; yet you can never fully
comprehend the length and the breadth, the depth and the height, of the
love of God in giving His Son to die for the world. Eternity itself
can never fully reveal it. Yet as we study the Bible and meditate
upon the life of Christ and the plan of redemption, these great
themes will open to our understanding more and more.