Summary: Thanksgiving is Powerful (see message 1) but praise takes us to the next level.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psalms 100:4 (KJV)
Review of last week – the Power of Thanksgiving
What is Implied?
I am blessed
I am not the source of my blessing
I have identified the source
I am acting on that awareness
So the power of thanksgiving:
It breaks the enemy’s hold on you
It is the first step towards wholeness (circle first step)
It was our text that we used as a reference for that last point… It is the first step TOWARDS wholeness. Our text tells us that we enter his gates with thanksgiving. The gate is not the door to the throne room… You have to get through the gate before you stand in his presence – so thanksgiving is a positive and powerful step.
But today – I want to encourage you to go farther. Too many Christians are content to remain just inside the gate, and not enter his courts. We come to His house, but don’t come before His throne!
ENTERING THE THRONE ROOM
The principle – God dwells with men
And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony… Ex 25:22 (KJV)
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Heb 4:16 (NIV)
Consider what it means to be in His Presence.
He is LIVING
Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 1 Tim 6:17 (NKJV)
He is NEAR
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalms 145:18 (NIV)
He is ATTENTIVE
This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him. Psalms 34:6-8 (NIV)
God is always these things… But praise increases our awareness of these realities.
Psa 22:3 – thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel
PRAISE: GOING BEYOND THANKSGIVING
Note: These words are often interchangeable. One blends into another – often the difference is not apparent. In this message, I am using these particular words to illustrate concepts – levels of maturity in our expression.
Thanksgiving is a REACTION
Praise is an ACTION
Thanksgiving focuses on WHAT GOD HAS DONE
Praise focuses on WHO GOD IS
Thanksgiving is rooted in EXPERIENCE
Praise is rooted in FAITH
As you can see – Praise is higher. Praise is more consistent. Praise is not because I feel like it.
What happens when we praise? When we magnify Him? We see Him better!
WORSHIP: THE END OF PRAISE
23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:23-24 (NIV)
Thanksgiving: What God has done (God loves me)
Praise: Who God is (God is love)
Worship: Directed to God (I love you, God)
You cannot get to “I love you, God” without first getting to “God loves me”
We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (KJV)
Example: “Our God is an awesome God” – praise
“How great thou art” – worship (and praise)
But worship goes beyond just talking to God.
Greek word proskuneo – Means kneeling or prostrating oneself in homage – to fall upon the knees and touch the forehead to the ground as an expression of profound reverence
What is implied?
Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Psalms 84:4 (NIV)