Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanks Giving 2014

Psalm 100:4-5

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting, and His faithfulness to all generations."

I'm sure that during this time of year people's ears can become calloused to the words "give thanks".  After all, it's a phrase used for marketing especially during this season.  But Psalm 100:4-5 tells us to enter God's gates and courts with thanksgiving and praise.  It's a natural part of authentic worship.  

As I was saying good night to my children tonight, I asked them this question, "How do you think I would feel if I gave you a gift and you said,'Thanks', then just set the gift down and never looked at it again?".  Their response was immediate, because the answer was obvious to them.  

Unlike God, my gifts can miss the mark and be just another "thing" sitting around taking up space.  But with God, all things are good.  He knows how to give good gifts to those who ask of Him, and he is gracious even to those who do not worship Him.  When God gives gifts, it's because of His goodness and mercy toward us.

He's given us many gifts.  But one of the most precious is the gift of being able to come to Him in prayer and worship.  Through Jesus, anyone who would come to God can approach Him without hesitation.  What an awesome gift!  But many people have a hard time praying.  They struggle with what they should say.  They struggle with remembering that they should or can pray.  And there are ever so many distractions that keep us from seeking God in prayer.  Yet, it's  one of the greatest privileges we've been given.  

My kids have at various times confessed to me that they just don't remember to pray. I'll tell you what I tell them.  If you are aware right now that you should pray more, start right now.  And before you stop praying, ask God to draw you close and remind you to seek Him.  God is interested in you seeking Him.  He's given you this gift because He wants you to have it!  But if you say a glib "thank you" and then set the gift down and walk away, your "thanks" is disingenuous.  Instead of getting into the habit of setting aside the gift of prayer, take it up right now and put it to use!  Night or day, busy or not, tired or energized...God is there waiting for you.  
Today's call for thankfulness does not end with the setting sun.  Be thankful continually.  And enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.  It is the worship you were created to give.  It is the gift and privilege He died to give you.  

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