Here is another great piece from our “47 Days of Prayer” booklet. Jane is a leader and teacher in our body, and a great blessing to all who know her.
A Psalm for Thanksgiving.
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.
Psalms 100:1-5 NASB
One day during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln a woman was brought into his office. Lincoln noticed she carried a basket and he asked her what he could do for her. She replied that she wasn’t there to ask for anything. She simply had heard that he was fond of cookies and she had baked a basket full for him. As the president listened, his eyes welled up and he said, “Your thoughtfulness and unselfish deed moves me. Thousands have entered this office but you are the first to enter asking for nothing.”
I wonder how God would like us to enter His presence. Psalm 100 invites us to approach Him with shouts of joy. Why? Because He is God. He has created us and those who trust Him belong to Him forever. That’s cause for celebration! The Psalm continues to tell us what pleases God as we enter His presence. We are to come thanking and praising Him because He is good-all the time, and because His love and mercy are always available, regardless of our circumstances.
Why don’t we, like the woman in the story, enter God’s presence where our only agenda is to show gratitude, love and awe for all He’s done for us.
Yesterday, after I blogged about prosperity, I had a great day. I meditated on the word and everything I put my hand to prospered, just like Psalm 1 promised.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.
So I decided to do a little experiment.
Late in the day, I decided that rather than glory in my wonderful Lord and Savior, I would feel sorry for myself. A couple of stupid circumstances that were out of my control, or perhaps I should say were the result of my inaction, got up in my face and said to me:
“Isn’t life unfair?”
Well, I decided to agree with them for a bit –
just as an experiment you understand
in the interest of science
for you, my readers
And I am happy to report back to you that the Bible is exactly correct! (who would have thunk it, eh?)
It was as though these little, stupid (can I say stupid in a G rated blog?) circumstances had a 200 horse power leaf blower and they pointed it right at my day’s prosperity.
All my joy blew out of the room.
All of my motivation seemed to be tumbling toward the door with it.
My productivity, my focus, my drive, my plan all cycloned together and exited, stage left.
The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
To test my theory just a little further, I went to bed with my eyes directly on my own plight – self-pity central.
You won’t believe what happened!
When I woke up I was right there in my funk. Can you believe it? A good night sleep didn’t clear things up at all.
So here is the big secret.
The gates that lead to the presence of the Lord, where there is ample joy, pleasure, productivity, prosperity and life for all of us to enjoy, say “To enter be THANKFUL”
Inside those gates there is one of those automatic door buttons with a sign above it that says “press here to exit.” The button itself read “Self-Pity.”
The great news is that I did eventually wise up, get up off the ground where I had been rolling in – well – you know – shook myself and began to thank God for everything I could think of.
And here’s the best part – I could here His voice almost immediately – “Welcome back son, how did that work out for you.”