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 steadfast love endures forever, and His faithfulness to all generations.
"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise." That is what we do when we gather for worship. We receive the gifts of God, His Word, and Sacraments, and we respond. We respond with joyful thanks and praise for all He has done for us in Christ our Lord, and for all He does for us each day. In Psalm 100 the psalmist gives even more reasons for our praise: God made us; we are His. He is good and His steadfast love and faithfulness endure forever—the gifts of God overflow in our lives.
We, of course, are not the only ones, nor the first, to offer up our praise before the throne of God. When we enter His gates to worship, we are joining in praise that echoes back to the foundation of the world and will continue through eternity. At creation "the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy" (Job 38:7). The prophet Isaiah was given a vision of the Lord on His throne, attended by seraphim, calling out to one another their shouts of praise: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts!" (Isaiah 6:3). The angels' praise of God's majesty spilled onto earth, into the fields around Bethlehem, on the night Jesus was born. The praise rebounds back from earth to heaven whenever a sinner repents—an event that causes the angels to rejoice (Luke 15:10).
When John is given a glimpse into heaven's throne room, he sees and hears the saints and angels—myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands" of angels—join every creature in heaven and on earth to cry out before God's throne: "To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!" (see Revelation 5:11-13). On Sunday mornings and whenever we gather to worship, we blend our earthbound praise with the joy of heaven. "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!" That is what we do when we worship together, and that is what we will do for all eternity. When Jesus returns on the Last Day, we will be raised up from death, transformed, and glorified, to join in the endless praise that surrounds God's throne. But for now, in worship, in song and service, we offer up daily praise to God, practicing for our place in the eternal chorus.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, bless our worship and accept our grateful praise for all of Your gifts, especially the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler.
1. Do you generally feel grateful to God for your life and how it's going? Do you tell Him so?
2. How does God's faithfulness play out in your life?
3. When times are difficult, is there a way to see past your circumstances and still praise God? What does that look like in your life?
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