Living in Gratitude
Today’s Text: Psalm 100:3-4
Written some three thousand years ago, the 100th Psalm has been incorporated into our family’s American and Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations for more than 40 years. The psalm is a call to genuine thanksgiving and was penned to accompany thanksgiving sacrifices in the Temple of Jehovah in Jerusalem.
Today’s text written by King David gets to the heart of gratitude:
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
In these few verses, David urged pilgrims to enter the gates of the city of Jerusalem with heartfelt thanksgiving building up to a crescendo of exuberant praise as they passed into the courtyard of the temple.
The reality that God is truly the One-true God of creation is reason enough to motivate our hearts to praise Him in thanksgiving. Our very existence is dependent upon Him.
Not only did God initiate our existence, He sustains our very being like an attentive shepherd (v. 3). The apostle Paul affirms, “For by Him all things were created . . . He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Col.1:16-17).
The call for genuine and spontaneous thanksgiving permeates Scripture. God’s holiness demands our reverence and awe; and, the New Testament is replete with admonitions to give Him our thanks. Here are two familiar examples:
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6).
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6-7).
Thanksgiving is also prominent in the worship of the elders and the angels who surround the throne of God. Echoing throughout the throne room of heaven, their reverberating voices declare:
“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might,
Be to our God forever and ever.
Amen” (Rev. 7:12).
In my own experience, the emphasis on the need to embrace a thankful attitude stems from man’s propensity to take God’s goodness for granted. Devoting a particular day to express thanksgiving—for the godly heritage that makes our nation unique, for the sacrifices made to keep our nation free and for the privilege to worship without fear of reprisal—is an acknowledgment that the many blessings we enjoy do not originate with us.
Our Lord’s own brother is quick to remind that,
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (Jas. 1:17).
Today is not only an opportunity to focus on God’s goodness and express heartfelt gratitude, but also a good time to start making thanksgiving part of our daily routine. God will bless your expressions of gratitude—whether audibly spoken or merely whispered in depths of the heart—because those words acknowledge dependence upon Him for all we enjoy in the scope of life!
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving filled with gratitude and blessing.
Charles E. McCracken is an international Bible teacher, long-time friend of Israel and advocate for the Jewish people. Rev. McCracken is known for authenticity in communicating biblical truth that makes his presentations relevant for those seeking to understand the significance of Israel and the church in Bible prophecy. He staunchly supports the nation of Israel and the Jewish people’s right to exist and live in peace.
© Charles E. McCracken 2016, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author via contact form. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Emphasis added.)
1) Golden Gate Panorama as viewed from the Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, Israel. © Charles E. McCracken Collection Archives.
2) The Golden Gate viewed from the steps of The Church of All Nations, Jerusalem Israel. © Charles E. McCracken Collection Archives.