A life void of thanksgiving is the absence of gratitude, and closes and locks the heart, portals and courts. in and through it.
Thanksgiving opens gates that are closed because it takes a grateful heart to appreciate who the Creator really is.
In everything give Him thanks, in the good times, and the bad times, be thankful, so that you can bless His name. Nature shouts very loud who He is, I call all of nature the Creator's relentless prophecy, declaring all, and who He is to us through nature.
All nature shouts glory, even through changing, and tumultuous seasons. The terrestrial embraces resurrection from season to season, without the demonstration of resistance. We as creatures can learn from nature, how to endure adversity, in silence.
All that occurs, and happens in our lifetimes of valleys, and mountains can only prepare us for a life song of thanksgiving, depending on our perspectives. I am learning through, and by nature, and the divine; how imperative a heart of gratitude really is, and the gates that can open which grant the permissive rights to enter into the courts of praise; and what beauty lies beyond them, as we enter into His presence.
Thanksgiving is a key to unclog pathways and unlock closed passages, such as the heart and soul. Closed gates are ones that the key of thanksgiving is not being used, and closed courts are those in which the key of praise are not utilized. The way into the kingdom is seen through the life of a earthlyan earthly king, named David, who left us instructions on how to enter the King of King's Kingdom...Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and proceed into His courts with praise.
We should search for Him with humbleness, meekness, awe and with an unassuming nature. When we acknowledge the blood that Jesus shed, it humbles us, and we know that we can only approach the throne of grace, because of His shed blood, and His sacrifice, and not on our own accordance. It is how we choose to see ourselves in light of who God is, that determines whether we will truly seek to worship Him as holy.
We should always realize, and know that He is holy regardless of our inabilities, and shortcomings. Repentance is the way we say, I believe You are holy, and that You cannot look upon sin. We can’t seek His face without first seeing His holiness.
This attitude should be our daily approach entering into worship and prayer. We need to see that He is a holy God, and we are shrinking and decreasing, as we prepare to go into the presence of His holiness, and that this shrink and decrease is the humility necessary. When His holiness is what we perceive and realize, our hearts change and we examine ourselves for any regard of iniquity that offends Him and we take the precautions of repentance with us as our cleansing to proceed into worship.
Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (Psalm 29:2).
Give to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! (1 Chronicles 16:29).
“Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and unto his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; and his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100 - KJV).
The Book of Psalms is a wealthy compilation of pure counsels. The psalmists learned the abundance of the life song, which is gratitude and praise, as well as prayer, repentance, and the holistic values of worship on every level. The Psalms counsel and advise us how, why, where, and when it is applicable to worship God as Creator, Lord, Savior, and God. There are myriads of counsels in this book. It is evident why King David was a man after God’s own heart. His honesty and the desire for purging of heart is clearly seen.
In this psalm comes instruction and it inculcates that we receive, and maintain a teachable spirit, that is open to ascertain truth. It counsels our spirits and gives us lessons in praise and on the postures for worship. I am adamant about posture in my own life. Approach to God is not something I am willing to take lightly, in that a clean heart through the spiritual act of repentance is a precursor to entering into God’s presence for my life personally. Praise ye the Lord counsels me on how to orchestrate my intents, motives and desires so that they are in alignment with prayer, and praise.
Approach echoes, He is holy, cleanse yourself and purify your heart, and proceed with caution. The psalms are instructional, because they are instructing us to do something; in this opening verse it is advising us to, make a joyful noise. (Make being an operative word meaning, action is needed to perform it, we know it as a verb). In the second aspect of the verse, it is still providing instruction; come before his presence with singing. (Come being an operative word also meaning, action is necessary to perform it).
The Scriptures tell us to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. When this psalm is read, it is read with the premise of selah, (pause to think) even though this psalm doesn’t have a pause to think indication,, the term selah is missing, but the inference isn’t . You can infer that pausing to think about what you have just read will assist in performing or doing it; making the being a doer of the Word reality, for and through us.
Let your praise be joyous, in all the lands, the entire universe and everyone therein. Serve God with gladness and come into His presence with singing. When we are preparing to enter His presence we are instructed that it should be with singing. We are instructed to make melody in our hearts. This of course is a personal directive, and only we as individuals can bring it into manifestation, and entail that praise materializes through us. What does God mean to you? Shout it, sing it, and you praise Him for yourself, I can’t praise Him for you, nor can you praise Him for me. King David was and still is a worship leader. Following his lead is always prosperous for each and every one of us.
This verse speaks of knowing Him as Adonai (Lord) and Jehovah (God) but it also speaks of knowing Him as Creator. It gets lost that He is the Creator. It is He who has created us and not we ourselves, we didn’t, nor can we create ourselves. We are His people and He is our shepherd. All of nature relentlessly, and regardless of its opposition in climates, seasonal changes, and weather declare the Creator’s glory openly, and nothing prohibits nature from silently making an announcement that the Creator is magnificent. Nature sings this song best, "How Great Thou Art". Silently and loudly does all nature proclaim the Creator’s greatness. Being born naturally somehow veils our eyes from ascertaining, perceiving and knowing how great He is, as it is relative to all that He created. The born again spirit awakens and arises to comprehend His greatness as our Creator. Do you know and experience Him as Creator? Have you thanked and praised Him as the Creator of all the worlds and everything therein? If you haven't up until this point, it is not to late.
The Bible begins with God creating the world, the name for God in this text in Genesis is "Elohim" which means Creator. This acknowledgement is before the fall. It appears that after the fall the acknowledgement of God as Creator disappears.
Entering into His gates would entail thanksgiving first and foremost and being thankful to Him.
Enter in through the opening, or across the portal with thanksgiving and gratitude to God, and immediately after thanks have been given, we can enter into his courts with praise, and we can bless His name. The courts seem to denote an atmosphere of space; and a yard, which is enclosed by a fence, and is surrounded by spiritual walls, which imply there is plenty of room for praises to be given, and that safety and liberty are there, as well. The place of praise is significantly different, from the place of thanksgiving. This verse contrasts the difference between the two, and the places we are entering are in fact different. Enter gates with thanksgiving and enter courts with praise. These are two paths into His presence. After we give thanks, we proceed into His courts to give Him praise.
Repentance is the heart fixer
We all have an entry through the door, Jesus Christ. Gates are entrances, accesses, doorways, and openings. Gates suggests a portal that has to be crossed in order to enter into the courts.
Repentance of our transgressions would be the path we would tread to get to the place to enter into thanksgiving. Gates begin to open like those automatic doors do, when we push the open door button, prior to entering across the portal.
Repentance paves the pathway, but the blood of the Lamb opens the door. Once we enter the gates, the first thing that we are instructed to do is to give thanks and to be thankful unto Him. Beyond the gates are His courts, we will enter with praise, and is where we will bless His name. Gates and courts are different and distinct places where two different things occur. In order to get into the courts with praise, we must first enter the gates with thanksgiving.
In the summation of this psalm, the psalmist gives the reasons why we should make a joyful noise, come before His presence with singing, know that the Lord is God, and Creator, and that alone is a reason to worship Him; because the Lord is good, and His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures throughout all generations.
You will know when you are in His presence! Thanks, and praise will spring forth out of you, just like living waters, and you will sense His welcome into the gates and courts.
In closing, I was thinking during this year (2015) about the celebration of Thanksgiving day and the parallel it has to the Day of Atonement. Once a year the High Priest would atone for the people. The once a year is the facet I would like to focus and zoom in on. What happened the other days of the year? In Christ we have a different focus concerning repentance, we can't repent once a year, or the closet will be full of skeletons and even we would not be able to get in there to pray. So how is it that we think that thanking the Creator of the universe once a year is adequate? Every day is thanksgiving day for all who believe. Try going a day without giving God thanks, or repenting in your own relationship with Him. How do you think you will feel? Those that only narrow in on to give thanks on Thanksgiving Day, what do they do the rest of the 364 days of the year? Thanksgiving Day shouldn't be a crescendo of thanks targeted for one day, but one day is better than no day at all.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, but I encourage you to make everyday a day you give thanks to the Creator. Grace and Peace.
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