Weekly Encouragement for November 18, 2012

Praise: The Gateway to Gratitude

In preparation for this Sunday’s Thanksgiving Together worship gathering, I felt that
we need to have the opportunity to express exuberant praise to God. This thought
came to me as I was taking mental inventory of many of the popular “thanksgiving”
songs. They generally have a slow to moderate tempo and express deep heartfelt gratitude,
which is entirely appropriate. But, think about it. When we receive a gift or experience a
blessing, our first response is usually one of excitement and, for lack of a better word,
praise. We extol the gift; we exalt the giver; we blurt out excited thank you’s. Then as we settle down a bit, thankfulness settles into our heart, and we’re
able to articulate our gratitude. It is a God given process.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100)

Each of the above stanzas of this Psalm begins with praise and conclude with an articulation of
what we can be thankful for.

I hope this is helpful for you as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.

Grace and peace,

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