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Inspire Encourage

” Praise! ” by Marjorie Kinnee.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4).

The tabernacle in the wilderness had both gates and an outer courtyard. To enter, one had to first pass through the gates. The courtyard was just beyond the gates and served as the starting point for everything else that went on, whether it was sacrifices, offerings, consecrations, anointings, or corporate worship.

Being thankful is key in our approach to God. How can we expect to receive anything more if we’re not thankful for what we’ve already been given?

But the same verse that tells us to enter His gates with thanksgiving also says to enter His courts with praise. (See Psalm 100:1-4.) Praise is an outward expression. It enumerates and evaluates the things we’re thankful for, and then emancipates us, setting us free to give our good God the recognition He deserves. In so doing, we magnify Him and His goodness. By our praise-filled testimony we lift Him up so others can see how good He really is.

Praise is His due. All of nature praises Him from the birds that sing and squawk to the trees that wave in the breeze and the waves that beat against the shore. The heavenly host praises and worships Him. All these were created for that very purpose. Yet His heart yearned for praise given on a deeper level. Praise from beings created for that purpose is not the same as praise coming from a thankful heart that chooses to do so just because.

That’s where we come in. When we praise God out of a heart filled with love for Him, He responds to our praise. It draws Him like a magnet and opens His eyes and ears to our situations. This kind of praise is not out of a desire to push Him into doing something for us, or to gain credit in the eyes of our peers. It springs up and out of an overflowing heart. No wonder the psalmist connects thanksgiving and praise; they belong together like salt and pepper!

Early in the day, before its challenges, before its daily-ness, before its highs and lows, we need to approach Him with His goodness in mind. Just remembering His mercies is enough to keep us thinking and moving in the right direction.

(Information from: UPCI Ladies Ministries – ladiesconnections@upci.org)

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