“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”
– Ps. 100:4 ESV
Ask yourself this, what does God value as we enter His presence?
One might answer the question with saying, “gratefulness.” For the purpose of this devotional of Thanksgiving, you’d be right. Our culture puts a high value on being “real” as we come before God. Genuine. Vulnerable. Authentic. The Psalmists don’t hesitate to tell God when life is a mess and they’re struggling. (Check out Psalm 13, 42, and 88). But in a society where self-expression is often hailed as the ultimate virtue, I’m not sure that “being real” before God is our problem. Being thankful is.
Ask yourself this, why is God so concerned that we be grateful?
There are a number of reasons. Heres one. Thankfulness makes God bigger in my eyes.
“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.” (Psa. 69:30, ESV)
Gratefulness maximizes what God does and minimizes what I do. My friend, C.J. Mahaney, writes that “God is placing sticky-notes in our lives as daily reminders of His presence and provision.” (Humility: True Greatness, p. 71) Am I aware of them? Did I notice how God provided for me yesterday? Am I rushing into my time with God with a laundry list of requests without noticing that He has already revealed his loving care and wise sovereignty in countless ways? Most importantly, am I overflowing with thankfulness that God has solved my greatest problem and met my greatest need through giving His own Son as a sacrifice for my sins? My present problems become smaller and God becomes bigger as I rejoice in what He’s already done.
God of wonderful light, we recognize that You have chosen us and called us, ordained us and set us apart, treasured us and protected us so that now we can declare Your praises along with our church. Thank You for Jesus and how He gave Himself so that now we can be part of Your family. Thank You for bringing us from darkness to light, from death to life and for making us Your people. Help us to lead Your people this weekend in declaring Your praises so that many more would move from darkness to light by knowing Jesus. Amen.
Over the last 30 years, Worship Leader Magazine has been blessed to have many different contributors on the editorial team - this is their archive.