What does it mean to worship the Lord with gladness? Do we ever stop to consider what this is? How can we know if we are doing this if we don’t know what it means? What better time to do this, than right after we have stuffed ourselves with turkey, dressing, gravy, and all the dessert that could possibly fit on our plate! God’s faithfulness extends from generation to generation and we are invited to enter joyfully into His presence.
Psalm 100, which is only five verses long, tells us to remember God’s goodness and dependability, and that we should praise Him because of this. Verses 4-5 say, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.”
Many people today live as though they created themselves and the world around them. We must remember that God is our Creator. When we don’t, our mind-set leads to a greedy possessiveness. We become fixed on the things around us, and what we must do to obtain, or keep, what we desire. This will also lead to a loss of hope if our possessions are taken away. But when we realize that God, our Creator, has given us all that we have, then we will want to give to others as He has given to us.
God alone is worthy of our praise. What is your attitude of worship? How do you worship Him? Do you willingly and joyfully come into His presence, or are you simply just doing what you’ve always done. Do you reluctantly attend church because of what others may say or think, or does the opportunity to bring glory to Him excite you?
When we come before God with a thankful heart, acknowledging Him for all we have, then we are entering his gates with thanksgiving. When we testify to others with our words and actions of God’s provision, then we are entering his courts with praise. Thanking and praising God is not a certain set of words, nor simply attending a church service, but the way we live from day to day. It is something that can be seen.
Verse 2 of Psalm 100 says to “serve the Lord with gladness” …do we? A thankful heart is not easily hidden. If we are not “glad” to serve Him, then we are not thankful, and if we aren’t thankful, we can not praise. Let us take inventory of the blessings our Father has given, and let our life song begin to sing!
I pray, “Lord I thank You for life. I thank You for sending Your son, Jesus, to take my place on a cross and paying a debt I could not pay. I thank You for the resurrection and the place he went to prepare. I thank You for this day and every opportunity it brings for me to worship and glorify You. I want to honor You in all I say and do because You alone are worthy. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.”
Rev. Cathleen N. Cathcart is pastor of New Life Worship Center in Spartanburg.