Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Enter His Gates!

Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

112015 Ray McDonaldI’m not sure how everyone prepares for worship – but for me this passage comes to mind almost every time I prepare. Like most everyone – I imagine – Sunday mornings do not always arrive with everything in order – every circumstance perfect. I mean – personal issues – family issues – issues at work – issues with others – all don’t magically go away because it is time to worship God – on Sundays or at other times either. Some issues take a lot of time and some take mutual desire and hard work. But when I enter into worship – I strive to put them all aside and enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.  Putting our minds in a place where we can worship is so important.

For me – and again I would imagine for many – coming into the presence of God in personal or corporate worship is bigger than what is happening in my life at the moment. Let’s read the entire Psalm together. Psalms 100:1-5 – 1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 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. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

The Psalm seems to be an instruction manual for worship. At times I think we need to be reminded of how we are to worship. Some of our worship leaders have mentioned that at times they are not sure the congregation is into worship – but rather simply attending. This is more than some demonstrative behavior. Let’s see what this Psalm says about worship and maybe we can all learn how we should present ourselves in worship.

First it starts with a call to shout out or cry out to God when we worship. We should be speaking with God – calling on Him and seeking an audience with Him. Next the Psalm says we are to worship God with gladness – coming before Him with joyful – happy – uplifting songs. In worship we are to be reminded and continually realize that God is God and we are not! He is the creator and the creation is not greater than the creator. We are like sheep in His pasture. When we enter God’s presence – when we come into worship – we should enter with thanksgiving for the opportunity to be present. Praise and thanksgiving should be paramount in our worship of God. God is good – all the time the phrase goes – and we should be reminded of His love that lasts forever. God’s faithfulness has never been questioned – for generation after generation.

I strive to remember this each time I come before God in worship. I try to get beyond my issues and even the issues of those who might be in the worship setting. I try to come into God’s presence and seek His face while I desire His grace. I invite others to think about how they enter into worship.  This morning – and each time we enter worship – let us enter His gates with our hearts wide open to receive what God has for us!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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February 28, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Lenten Thought, Outreach, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , ,

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