November 11, 2018-A Season of Praise, Worship, and Thanksgiving Lesson Title: “A Psalm of Praise, Worship, and Thanksgiving”
Scripture: Psalm 100:1-3
As a grade-school student in the 1960’s, in Town Creek, Alabama, I thought Psalm 100 was as much a part of the recognition and celebration of Thanksgiving as Plymouth, pilgrims, and pumpkin pie. I can still remember having to memorize Psalm 100, as part of a Thanksgiving assignment. I am sure, as most grade-school stu- dents, my greatest attention was to the fact that Thanksgiving meant holidays, which meant days out of school. In our public school, back in those days of yesteryear, Psalm 100 was as much a part of Thanksgiving as Luke 2 was to Christmas. Today, and next week, we will look at the timeless truths of this great Psalm of praise and Thanksgiving.
Have you ever noticed how parents quickly teach their children to express their gratitude and say thank you? Most parents can remember the first time their child said thank you without any prompting or bribing. It was truly one of those memorable moments. Parents delight in their children expressing their gratitude and appre- ciation. A simple “thank you” can be a great blessing.
Question: How long has it been since you spent just a few minutes with your Heavenly Father to express your gratitude and appreciation to Him? How long has it been since you spoke with Him with no request being made, no petitions being offered, just to express your heart’s genuine gratitude by saying, “Thank you?”
Why not take a few minutes from your busy study time, pause, take a deep breath, clear your mind, and voice to Him your thank you? Just let the gratitude flow from the fountain of a grateful heart.
Psalm 100:1 “Make a joyful shout (noise) to the Lord, all you lands.”
Psalm 100 is a wonderful testimony of thanksgiving, gratitude, and praise. The theme is worship. It is primar- ily a call to worship. “The Psalm was sung at the entry into the temple” (Weiser). The Psalm opens with a call to sing the praise of God with shouts of joy. It is a call to worship Him, a call for all people from “all lands” to worship Him.
The words “joyful shout,” in the Hebrew language are an energized command with reference to public praise. There is certainly an appropriate time and place to honor Him with the joyful shout of public praise. The ap- propriate time and place should be defined by all honor to Him, all glory to Him, and led by the Holy Spirit, as He moves in the hearts of His people.
Have you ever been directed by someone to “give or lift to Him a handclap of praise?” Have you ever been encouraged to lift your praise to Him through a joyful shout? How did you respond? Why is it so difficult for
us to express our praise with a joyful shout? Why is it difficult for us to show forth any public expression of praise?
(v2) “Serve the Lord with gladness.”
With a gladness of heart, the worshippers of God were instructed to express their worship. In verse two, we find the motive, aim, and spirit of the service rendered to God in worship. It is to be done with a joyful heart expressing gladness. The people of God attracted others to worship Him by the manner in which they wor- shipped. Worship was to be joyful and done with a gladness of heart.
Question: Why is it so very difficult for some to express their worship with a joyful heart? Answer prayerful- ly.
My experiences in Guatemala have taught me many wonderful truths, but the single most important lesson the believers there have taught me is how they collectively worship the Lord. From the smallest child, to the most aged senior adult, they truly participate in worship, joyfully singing with hearts of gladness and praise. I wish I could teach our congregation what they have learned about worship. A joyful heart, a singing heart, has nothing to do with talent or impressing others. It has nothing to do with material possessions or blessings, for most of these dear people live day-to-day very simple lives. They have no modern conveniences. Many live in small houses with dirt floors and no running water, but, oh, how they worship Jesus! I wish I could simply transport our congregation to observe their worship. We would observe what it means to “make a joyful shout to the Lord” and “come before His presence with singing.”
Question: What are some of the excuses we, the MHBC family, offer for not participating in worship with singing?
Question: What does a simple smile say about the heart of a worshipper?
(v3) “Know that the Lord, He is God”
These words are a declaration and confession of a genuine faith. From the Old Testament mindset, this state- ment is the most important thought of the entire Psalm. It literally means, “Yahweh alone is God.” Please read Deuteronomy 6:4-7.
“It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”
As we worship Him, we (true believers) experience the reality of who He is and that we are totally dependent upon Him He is our creator and maker. Without Him, we are nothing. But He has graced us that we might be called His children.
Oh for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
Oh for a thousand tongues to sing My great redeemer’s praise The glories of my God and King And triumphs of His grace
My gracious Master and my God Assist me to proclaim
To spread through all the earth abroad The honors of Thy name
So come and sing out Let our anthem grow loud There is one great love There is one great love, Jesus
Jesus the name that calms our fears That bids our sorrows cease Tis’ music in the sinner’s ear Tis’ life and health and peace
He breaks the power of canceled sin He sets the prisoner free
His blood can make the foulest clean His blood availed for me
To God be all glory, praise, and love Be now and ever given
By saints below and saints above The church in earth and heaven (Wesley).