Saturday, April 24, 2010


God has two dwellings:
one in heaven, and
the other in a meek
and thankful heart
Izaak Walton

How do we become a lifestyle worshiper? Where is the starting point? Worship begins with saying, "THANK YOU." Psalm 100:4 says, "Enter His gates with thanksgiving ..." In other words, GRATITUDE is the gateway to worship. We enter the gates with thanksgiving, then we cross the courts with praise. Hebrews 12:28 says, "Be thankful, and so worship God acceptably." It all starts with saying THANKS.

"Thank you." Two simple words that can be, at times, oh so difficult to say. THANKFULNESS IS A DISCIPLINE. It is a learned BEHAVIOUR. Giving thanks is a way for us to declare the glory of God. It keeps us in a heart-posture of surrender and humility. It reminds us that our lives are in someone else's hands. THANKFULNESS helps us recall God's wonderful acts of mercy and grace, and to recognize that these very acts are born out of His unchanging nature.

God's actions are demonstrations of His character. He does what He does because of Who He is. He saves because He is the Saviour. He creates because He is the Creator. He heals because He is the Healer ... As we thank God for what he does, we soon begin to worship God for Who He is.

The are 137 verses of Scripture about offering thanks to God. THANKFULNESS is important to Him. It should be important to us. Even worship of heaven as described by John in Revelation includes expressions of thanksgiving:
And the twenty-four elders, who were on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: "We give THANKS to you, Lord God Almighty, the One Who is and was, because you have taken Your great power and have begun to reign." (Revelation 11:16)
If worship in heaven includes THANKSGIVING, so should the worship on earth.

So here is a question that we must prayerfully ask ourselves everyday: Are we thankful? Are our hearts full of gratitude or resentment? Gratitude and resentment cannot co-exist. Resentment is indignation toward God. It takes offense at apparent mistreatment. Resentment is the attitude that I did not get what I deserve - that I have somehow been unfairly injured or mistreated.
Resentment is rooted in pride;
it is watered with tears of self-pity;
it bears the fruit of bitterness;
and it scatters seeds of envy.
The resentful heart cannot say thank you for what it has been given, because it can only look at what it does not have. And therefore, the resentful heart cannot be a place of worship, because thanksgiving is the beginning of worship (Psalm 100:4). In order to be a worshiper, we must learn to say thank you. Even in hard times.

Especially in the hard times. If we have truly surrendered our lives to God, then who are we to say anything but thank you for what comes to us from the Father's hand? As Job said, "Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" (Job 2:10). I have walked with the Lord long enough to know that many things I call "trouble" turn out for my good, and many things I perceived to be "good" have proven otherwise. If we truly believe that "In all things God works for the good of those who love Him" (Romans 8:28), then we can say thank you in every joy or sorrow, every success or failure, every gain or loss. It isn't always easy. Sometimes it really is a sacrifice. But it is necessary.

The prophet Jonah, from inside the belly of the fish, said:
"But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes form the Lord." (Jonah 2:9)
Jonah's sacrifice in the midst of his trial was a simple song of thanksgiving. He said thank you before he was set free. But it was not until Joanh said thank you that God brought about his deliverance

The Apostle Paul wrote, "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). God's will is that we give thanks in ALL circumstances

In the Gospel of Luke we read an encounter Jesus had with ten lepers (see Luke 17:12-10). Ten men called out to Jesus. Ten men were healed. Only one of them said thank you - and he was a Samaritan, the least likely of the bunch. Did it matter to Jesus? Yes. He asked, "Where are the other nine?" Apparently, there is a 90% chance that we will forget to say thank you. Surely there is something we can be thankful for today - And yet, how much do we take for granted.

Worship begins with two simple words: Thank you.
(An extract from - The Way of a Worshiper by Buddy Owens)
You may wish to see related blog post - January 16 & 23 - A Deeper Gratitude and Goodbye Grumblings)

Be Thankful! (Colossians 3:15)

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