November 7 2013 by
Troy Rust, writer, Hurdle Mills
Focal Passage: Psalm 100:1-5
Prosperity and ingratitude seem to go hand in hand. The more we have the more we assume we should have, so thankfulness to God gives way to a sense of entitlement.
The Psalmist exhorted God’s people to shout joyfully to the Lord, serve Him with gladness, and come before Him with joyful singing. In the midst of this musical worship, he urged, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving.” We cannot worship God without hearts overflowing with gratitude to God.
In order to serve God properly, we must continually reflect on His goodness toward us. If not, we will begin to believe that God has not blessed us or loved us in clear and tangible ways.
How often do you give thanks to the Lord? Do you wait until He sends a new blessing, or do you realize that you could spend the rest of your life giving thanks to God for the things He has already done? We should give thanks to God for our most basic blessing, life itself. Not only has He created us, but He has also called us to be the sheep of His pasture. By God’s grace we have heard the voice of Jesus, our Good Shepherd, and followed Him as recipients of eternal life.
When I pray I often find myself mixing adoration of God’s character with gratitude for what He has done. While there is a clear difference between these two aspects of worship, the Bible calls us to do both. In fact, we understand the character of God largely through what He has done, especially through giving us His Word.
Consequently, we too can say, “The Lord is good.” Do we ever pause to thank God for His inherent goodness? While Israel lived amid pagan neighbors who worshipped angry and unpredictable gods, God’s people praised their God for His goodness made evident through His lovingkindness (covenant faithfulness) toward them. As recipients of God’s grace, we can take great comfort in knowing that His favor is everlasting to every generation of His people.