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White Oak Baptist Church

Three Ways to Give Thanks to God

Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving

Psalm 100

Introduction

*          If you had the chance to give a shout out of thanksgiving to God and praise His name what would you            say? I want us to think about that question throughout this message and I’ll come back to this at the end           of the message.

*          This week we carry out a tradition that is as old as America. In 1621, after a terrible year in which half       the Pilgrims died of starvation or disease, they set aside three days in December to praise the Lord for a     bountiful corn harvest.

*          Many years later in 1789, President George Washington proclaimed November 26th as a national day of    Thanksgiving to the Lord. This was in response to God's granting American independence from Britain.

*          In 1863, Abraham Lincoln revived this old tradition of rendering thanks to the Lord, and finally in 1941, the United States Congress decreed that the fourth Thursday in November was to be a national day   of Thanksgiving to the Lord.

*          Throughout the generations, Thanksgiving is a day when families gather together and eat more than they           should, some watch the Cowboy’s football game, and it is a day when we do not have to go to work.       And for our shoppers this year, Black Friday starts on Thanksgiving night and not the day after.

*          I hope that Thanksgiving means more to us than that! In truth, we must never be guilty of allowing our            thanks to wait until the day of Thanksgiving to be expressed. We are to be thankful to the Lord every        day of our lives and in every circumstances of our lives (1 Thess. 5:18).

*          There are scriptures like the one we have read this morning in which we can find, not only a challenge   and a call to be thankful, but also plenty of reasons why we should thank the Lord.

*          Overall, Psalm 100 teaches us two reasons why to be thankful: 1) we are to be thankful for God (vv. 1-         3), and 2) we are to be thankful for God’s goodness (vv. 4-5).

*          Therefore, since we are in the week of Thanksgiving, let's take a few minutes to look into these verses             and discover why we are to give thanks to the Lord and praise His name.

I.          Give Thanks Because He is God: (vv. 1-3)

*          Give Thanks by Shouting: (v.1)

            *          Some translations will say, "Make a joyful noise"; this comes from the Hebrew word (rua/roo-                                   ah/7321) which means "to shout, blow an alarm, cry out, make a joyful noise, to sound an                               alarm”. Figuratively, it means to split the ears with sound.

               *          How do we "shout and make a joyful noise"? The Psalmist says by simply shouting with joy!

            *          Lifting our voices to the Lord through joy is a tremendous way to bless His name and to exalt                               Him. In fact, every child of God ought to possess joy in the soul (Ps. 66:1).

            *          This is not talking about shouting for joy in the heart; it’s talking about shouting out load! We                                   should shout for joy because of who God is and what He has done for us!

            *          How come we do not shout in our worship? Why do we think remaining quiet is more                                       worshipful and reverent?

            *          The doors opened up and I went in the church. They handed me a bulletin and guided me to sit                           down. Everyone was waiting, no one made a sound, and I thought to myself, What if I said Jesus                         real loud?What if I said Jesus real loud? What if I just lifted up my voice and shout? Would                                they think I was a prophet? Would they still want me around? What if I said Jesus real loud?

            *          Someone shout Jesus! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Ruah! See, it didn’t kill us.

            *             Vocal praise to the Lord is not practiced so much in the Baptist church these days, however, it                                should be. When we verbally declare our praise to God, it glorifies His name and brings us                               into His presence and brings spiritual excitement in the room.

            *          This week I went to the playoff game for the WO Roughnecks and there was a lot of shouting                                 going on. Why do we get excited and shout about games that have no eternal significance and                                     then remain quiet about great things God has done?

            *          Christians should shout because we have something to shout about! Amen? (Ps. 47:1). May                                  God give us all a shout of joy today, a roo-ah, in the presence of the Lord.                         

*          Not only are we to shout for joy, but we are to worship with gladness!

*          Give Thanks by Worshipping: (v.2)

            *          Some translations will say, “Serve the Lord with gladness”; this come from the Hebrew word                                (abad/aw-bad/5647) which means “to work, to labor, to serve.”

            *          However, when this word “abad” is used is reference to the Lord, like it is here, it is not speaking                       of toilsome work, but of a religious service-worship. In other words, we are to come into the                                 presence of the Lord and serve, work, labor in context of worshipping with gladness. 

               *          How do we "worship with gladness"? The Psalmist says by simply by coming before Him in                                    joyful song. In fact, every child of God ought to possess a song in the soul (Ps. 68:32).

            *          David had a song when God delivered from the miry pit (Ps. 40:1-3), Jonah had a song when                                 God lifted him from the ocean depths (Jonah 2:9), Mary had a song at the birth of Jesus because                                  He came to save His people from their sins (Luke 1:46), the 24 Elders, the angels and all people                                  had a song (Rev. 5:9-14), and the 144,000 redeemed from the earth had a song (Rev. 14:3).

            *          Did you notice the common denominator in all those verses of why they were singing?                                     Redemption and salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ! If that doesn’t put a joyful song in our                                 soul I don’t know what will.

            *          Contemporary Christian artists, Phillips, Craig and Dean have song called “Favorite Song of                               All” and the bridge and chorus says, It's not just melodies and harmonies that catches His                             attention. It's not just clever lines and phrases that causes Him to stop and listen. But when                              anyone is set free, washed and bought by Calvary begins to sing that’s His favorite song of all.                              Is the song of the redeemed; when lost sinners now made clean lift their voices loud and strong.                                 When those purchased by His blood lift to Him a song of love, there's nothing more He'd rather                              hear, nor so pleasing to His ear, as His favorite song of all.”

            *          What does your soul sing about? Are you singing the joyful song of redemption? (Ps. 69:30).                              May God give us all a joyful song to sing in the presence of the Lord.

*          Not only are we to shout for joy, worship with gladness, but now we are to know that the LORD is God!

*          Give Thanks by Knowing: (v.3)

            *          The Hebrew word for “know” (yada/yaw-dah/3045) appears more than 947 times and means                                 more than just knowledge, it means "to know relationally and experientially."

            *          It is similar to the Greek word for “know” (ginosko/1097), which means to "know by                                             experience," and often is practically synonymous with love and intimacy (I know my wife).

            *          In other words, we are not just to know God in knowledge, but know Him in intimacy through a                             personal relationship. When we know who God is and what He has done for us then it takes on                               new meaning of gratitude and thankfulness, when the knowing comes from the heart rather than                          the head.

            *          How can we know that the LORD is God? The Psalmist says by simply by knowing that He is                             our Creator (It is he who made us), Redeemer (and we are his people), Shepherd (the sheep of his               pasture).

            *          Andrea Crouch in his song “My Tribute” says, “How can I say thanks for the things You have                                  done for me? Things so undeserved yet you gave to prove your love for me. The voices of a                                million angels could not express my gratitude. All that I am, and ever hope to be I owe it all to                                Thee. To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory for the things he has done                         With his blood he has saved me, with his power he has raised me. To God be the glory for the                                  things he has done.”

            *          What about you?  Do you know God or do you know about God?  Do you have a personal                                   relationship with Him or would you say your relationship with the Lord is more like an                                        acquaintance?

            *          (Ps. 126:1-3). May God give us personal, intimate, knowledge of who He is and what He has                                 done.

*          First, we are to give thanks because He is God (vv. 1-3), now let us look at giving thanks because He is good (vv. 4-5).

II.        Give Thanks Because He is Good: (vv. 4-5)

*          Give Thanks by Thanksgiving and Praise: (v. 4)

            *          In the first three verses the thought of giving thanks was by shouting, worshipping and knowing                              who God is. Here, we see a transition in thought of giving thanks and praise because of God’s                                  goodness, love and faithfulness.

            *          The words, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise" provide us                               with a dramatic picture of the attitude in which we should come to worship.

            *          We come with “thanksgiving”; this is the Hebrew word (todah/to-da/8426) which means “an                                offering of thanks or a sacrifice of thanksgiving”, and we come with “praise”; this is the Hebrew                           word (tehilla/te-hil-law/8416) and means “to praise.” It is a derivative of the word “halal” from                           where we get the word “Hallelujah” which means “praise the Lord.”

            *          We see a picture of the temple when we speak of “gates” and “courts”; the courts being the                                  inside area and the gates leading in from the outside area. We could say as we come to worship                          and recognize God’s goodness, love and faithfulness may we be filled with thanksgiving and                                 praise on the inside and outside of God’s temple-our body.

            *          How do I enter God’ presence with thanksgiving and praise? The Psalmist says by simply giving                        thanks and praising His name (Ps. 103:1).

            *          When we come to worship entering His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise,                              all of our problems will seem to disappear. But, how many   times do we come to worship and we                        fail to know that the Lord is good and we come filled with our problems, our circumstances,                             worries, fears and concerns and miss praising and giving thanks?

            *          Christian singer, Russ Taff, many years ago sang a song called, “Praise the Lord”, and the                                    chorus says, “Praise the Lord, He will work through those who praise Him praise the Lord, for                            our God inhabits praise. Praise the Lord, for the chains that seem to bind you, serve only to                                   remind you, that they drop powerless behind you, when you praise Him.”

            *          May we enter God’s presence with thanksgiving in our hearts and His courts with praise and                                   praise His name, praise Him for His love, and praise Him for His faithfulness. Amen.

Conclusion

*          I want to close this message as I began it. Let’s go back to the question I first asked: If you had the              chance to give a shout out of thanksgiving to God and praise His name what would you say?

*          I want us to take a moment and shout out our thanksgiving to God and praise to His name in our worship   this morning. Who will be first to give thanksgiving and praise, stand up?

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