A CALL TO THANKSGIVING
Psalm 100:1-5 (NKJV)
A Song of Praise for the Lord’s Faithfulness to His People
A Psalm of Thanksgiving.
1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has 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 to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
Definition : Thanksgiving
noun: Thanksgiving Day
1. the expression of gratitude, especially to God.
“he offered prayers in thanksgiving for his safe arrival”
2. (Thanksgiving Day in North America) an annual national holiday marked by religious observances and a traditional meal. The holiday commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrim Fathers in 1621, and is held in the US on the fourth Thursday in November. A similar holiday is held in Canada, usually on the second Monday in October.
This Psalm concludes a series of Psalms that began with Psalm 91 and which look ahead to the advent and coronation of the King, the Lord Jesus Christ. This Psalm has its true setting in the millennial Kingdom during the reign of Christ. A time when all the world will be filled with righteousness and all men everywhere will exalt the Name of the Lord. A time when His praises will fill the earth as they should at all times. That blessed time will be a time when the glory of Jesus Christ will literally fill all the earth. Thank God, as Christ believers, you and I that are saved will get to share in that glorious Kingdom some day.
While these things, and that time, are future, there is still an application in this Psalm for everyone here (on earth) this evening. Because this Psalm is a call to Thanksgiving. The title literally reads, “A Psalm Of Shouting.” It is a plea from the psalmist to the hearts of his readers to look to the Lord and to exalt His Holy Name!
On Thanksgiving Day, Americans carry out a tradition that is as old as America. In 1621, after a terrible year in which half their number died of starvation or disease, the Early Pilgrims set aside 3 days in December to praise the Lord for a bountiful corn harvest. Many years later in 1789, President George Washington proclaimed November 26 as a national day of Thanksgiving unto 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 unto the Lord, and finally in 1941, the United States Congress decreed that the fourth Thursday in November was to be a national day of Thanks Giving unto the Lord God.
For many in America, this is a blessed day when family gathers together, eats an enormous meal, watches football or favorite shows on TV, and, most important of all, it is a day when they do not have to go to work.
I hope that it means much more than that…. all the food and celebration!
In truth, we must never be guilty of allowing our thanks to wait until Thanksgiving Day or a special day and occasion to be expressed. We are to be thankful to the Lord every day of our lives. God goes so far as to say that being thankful to Him is His will for our lives – 1 Thes. 5:18. Yet, I am afraid that we are a very ungrateful people! Children are ungrateful to parents, people are ungrateful to one another and to the nation, and worse of all, people are ungrateful to Almighty God.
Thankfully, there are portions of Scripture like the one we have read this evening 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 for His goodness toward us.
Let’s take a few minutes to look into these verses and try and understand what they teach us about praise to the Lord and about being thankful unto Him. As the Lord gives liberty, I am going to preach for a while on the thought, “A Call To Thanksgiving.”
I. V. 1-2 OUR ENTRANCE INTO HIS PRESENCE
(Ill. The Psalmist opens this Psalm by issuing a call to worship and praise before the Lord. He teaches us how we are to come into God’s presence. By the way, nothing brings us into the presence of the Lord like lifting His Name! He promises us that He will “inhabit the praises of His people”, Psalm 22:3. Notice 3 ways great manifestations of praise that bring us into the presence of God.)
A. V. 1 Enter With Shouting – “Make a joyful noise” comes from one Hebrew word which means “to shout.” Vocal praise unto the Lord is kind of out of fashion in our world, but it is still in vogue in God’s economy and in His Presence! When we verbally declare our praises to Him, it glorifies His name and brings us into His presence. May God give us all “a shout in the soul” that will find expression on the lips! Psalm 47.
B. V. 2a Enter With Service – We are challenged to “serve the Lord with Gladness.” That is, we are to never allow our labor for the Lord to become a drudgery and pain. We are not to grow weary in well doing – Gal. 6:9. The word “gladness” literally means “mirth or joy.” That is. We are to look upon our service to the Lord as a cause for rejoicing. Instead of seeing it a chore, we are to view it as a privilege afforded to those who have been redeemed by grace and who have been chosen by the Lord to do His work and will in the world. (Ill. Paul – 1 Tim. 1:12)
(Ill. Do you realize that obedience is an expression of worship unto the Lord? When you consider that Jesus tells us that we prove our love for Him by our obedience, then it becomes crystal clear! John 14:15)
C. V. 2b Enter With Singing – (Ill. This word literally means “a ringing cry”.) Lifting our souls unto the Lord through song is a tremendous way to bless His name and to exalt Him. In fact, every child of God ought to possess a song in the soul, for we are commanded to sing our songs of praise unto Him – Psa 68:32, “Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah:”
(Ill. In Psalm 40:1-3, King David declares that along with salvation came a new song of praise unto the Lord. Never hesitate to lift the songs of the heart unto the Lord. It glorifies Him when His people are simply willing to exalt Him in their songs of rejoicing.)
I. Our Entrance Into His Presence
II. V. 3 OUR ENLIGHTENMENT CONCERNING HIS PERSON
(Ill. Every truth learned about the Person of the Lord results in a new reason for praise and adoration! God help us that we never reach the place where we fail to be amazed at the Person of God! Because, everything we do, very thing we are, everything in our lives rises or falls on our perception of just who God is. Therefore, it is imperative that we never forget who we are serving. We are the servants of the Living God. Much better than that, we are the children of the Living God. Let us then learn all we can about Him and rejoice in all that we learn.)
A. A Word About His Power – This reminds us of the creative power of God. We are in this world because the Lord, in His great power, formed man in His image. That is something for which to praise Him. However, beyond His great creative power, there is also His great re-creative power. When we were marred by the stains of sin, thank God, He redeemed us and remade us afresh and anew in the image of His darling Son Jesus Christ – Ill. Paul – 1 Cor. 15:10. (Ill. 2 Cor. 5:17; 2 Cor. 4:7)
(Ill. Just the fact that His power is revealed in the creation of the world is reason enough to praise and glorify Him forever. However, when you add to that the fact that He has the power to take old, hell bound sinners and save them by His grace and transform them into the image of His precious Son and take them to Heaven when they die, well, that just sweetens the pot considerably! Amen!)
B. A Word About His Purchase – The Psalmist says that “we are His people.” That is, we are His personal possession, Titus 2:14. We are His by virtue of the fact that He paid the price to redeem us from our sins. When we were sold under sin, praise His Name, He came and died for us paying the ransom price to set us free. Hallelujah!
(Ill. There are 3 words that are translated “redeemed” in the New Testament. These three words are very telling. Notice:
1. Revelation 5:9 – Redeemed = agorazo – This word literally means, “To buy in the marketplace.” It has reference to purchasing a slave right off the auction block. That is what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. He paid the full price that we might go free from the penalty of sin. Redemption through the blood of Jesus Christ is a reason to shout!
2. Galatians 5:9 – Redeem = Exagorazo – This word means “To take off the market.” In other words, Jesus paid the price for us and we are no longer up for sale! He bought us and He intends to keep us. The fact that we are His, and His forever is a good reason to shout praises unto Him!
3. 1 Peter 1:18 – Redeemed = Loutron – This word means “To release after the payment of the purchase price.” It pictures one who buys a slave and then turns that slave loose. This is what Jesus did for us! He bought us off the slave block of sin. After He redeemed us, He removed us from the sale and then set us free, not free to go and sin, but free to go and serve the Lord our God. Being redeemed from sin to kingdom service is a good reason to praise the Lord!
Thank God, we are His Redeemed people! That means that we are special. Never let anyone tell you that you aren’t someone very important. After all, you are a child of the King!
C. A Word About His Provisions – This verse reminds us that we are His flock. As such, we are under the protective oversight of the Good Shepherd. That is, He has promised us several things that ought to encourage us to glorify His Name:
1. His Presence – Heb. 13:5
2. His Peace – John 14:27
3. His Provision – Phil. 4:19
(Ill. All of these things are summed up wonderfully in the words written by David and recorded in what we call the 23rd Psalm. “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” That covers it all!)
(When all these great truths about His Person are looked at and considered, they certainly do give us ample reason to praise the Name of the Lord.)
I. Our Entrance Into His Presence
II. Our Enlightenment Concerning His Person
III. V. 4-5 OUR EXPRESSION OF HIS PRAISES
(Ill. These verses give us three great ways that we can express our praises for the Lord. If He is worthy of our praise and if we are supposed to glorify Him, then we had better know how to do that properly. Then, when we know, we are going to be held accountable for what we do with the truths we have received. Notice these three great means that we are to employ in glorifying the Lord.)
A. Praise Should Be Visible – The Psalmist said that we are to enter His gates and His courts with praise. This isn’t an activity that was to be done in a corner where one could be hidden from the view of others. Simply put, there should be no shame attached to our worship of the Lord.
(Ill. It may help us to look at Hebrew worship practices and see how they visibly praised the Lord.
1. Clapping – Psa. 47:1, “O clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph.” This does not convey the idea of applause, but of a sudden, loud clap that draws attention to the fact that God is receiving praise from a worshiper.
2. Lifting of Hands – Psalm 63:4, “Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.”; Psalm 134:2, “Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.” When the hands were lifted toward Heaven, it was a sign of adoration and praise. It was symbolic of lifting up the Lord and glorifying Him.
3. Dancing – 2 Sam. 6:14, “And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.” When David contemplated the presence and greatness of the Lord, he got a case of happy feet and praised the Lord unashamedly before all those present.)
(Ill. There is nothing wrong with any genuine, visible expression of praise and glory toward the Lord.)
B. Praise Should Be Vocal – In verses 1 and 2, the Psalmist used words like “noise” (which means to shout) and “singing”. Neither of these can be done in silence! True praise to God manifests itself in a vocal expression! There is nothing wrong with being vocal in our praise for and to Him! Actually, I kind of imagine the Lord likes it!
(Ill. Billy Bray was an old proud sinner that God saved by His grace. Billy used to praise the Lord every where he went. Once, he was praising the Lord as he usually did, when someone came up and told him that he needed to calm himself down. They said it wasn’t proper for a preacher to be shouting all the time. Billy Bray responded by saying, “I can’t help myself. You see, I put down my right foot and it says, “Hallelujah.” I put down my right and it says, “Amen.” With that, he marched down the street shouting a chorus of “hallelujah’s” and “Amen’s.”)
(Never let anyone steal the shout that God has placed in your soul!)
C. Praise Should Be Volitional – That is, it is to be an act of the will. According to verse 5, God is good, He is faithful and His truth will stand forever. When these things are considered then we are to make a rational decision to praise His Name because of the reality of who He is.
(Ill. I have seen TV preachers work a crowd into a frenzy. I have seen folks so stirred up that they would shout on command. That is fanaticism. True praise looks at God, recognizes His greatness, remembers the reality of His blessings and bursts forth from a soul that adores the Lord.)
(Ill. What I mean by all that is this, praise the Lord, because of who He is to you and for what He has done for you. Praise Him for who He is. Praise Him because He is God. Do it, but do it because you love Him and He will bless your praise life.)
A good example of praise is set forth for us by the prayer of an elderly saint of God at a prayer meeting one evening. He said,”O Lord, we will praise Thee; we will praise Thee with an instrument of ten strings!” People wondered what he meant, but understood when he continued, “We will praise Thee with our two eyes by looking only unto Thee. We will exalt Thee with our two ears by listening only to Thy voice. We will extol Thee with our two hands by working in Thy service. We will honor Thee with our own two feet by walking in the way of Thy statutes. We will magnify Thee with our tongue by bearing testimony to Thy loving kindness. We will worship Thee with our heart by loving only Thee. We thank Thee for this instrument, Lord; keep it in tune. Play upon it as Thou wilt and ring out the melodies of Thy grace! May its harmonies always express Thy glory!”
Tonight, as we look into our spiritual lives, is our praise life up to par this evening? I say we have sufficient reasons to praise His Holy Name. Now, I call you to come before Him and to glorify the Name of the Lord. I also call upon each one of us to be more active in the praises of our God.
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!
To God be the Glory!