Summary: Let our Thanksgiving Days be public, purposeful, passionate, and perpetual in remembering the One from whom all blessings flow.
Reading: Psalms 100
What do you think of when you think of Thanksgiving Day?
For some Thanksgiving Day is all about the food. Turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, yams, mmm good!
For others, Thanksgiving Day means FOOTBALL!!! They stay glued to the tube as one game is followed by another while the women and kids clamor to see the parades!
For still others, Thanksgiving represents a LONG WEEKEND, a time to rest, unwind and relax.
Some think of the Thanksgiving Day as the day to prepare for the busiest shopping day of the year, what the media has taken to calling “Black Friday.” It’s time to hit those sales and get those Christmas presents bought.
For some, Thanksgiving Day is a time for family. It represents a family reunion when mom and dad, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunts and cousins gather together.
For some Thanksgiving represents history. They think of the founding of our country, pilgrims, Indians and Plymouth Rock. The first official proclamation of thanksgiving in America was made by George Washington in 1789. It was made a national holiday by President Lincoln in 1863 and permanently made the fourth Thursday of November by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941.
For those of us who profess to follow the Lord, Thanksgiving Day is not just a time for food, football, fellowship and family. It’s not just a holiday every fourth Thursday in November. It’s not limited to a day at all. For God’s people everyday ought to be Thanksgiving Day!
Psalm 100 is an OT song of Thanksgiving. It is subtitled “A Psalm of Thanksgiving. It is an invitation, an invocation for people who recognize the Lord and His goodness to publicly acknowledge Him. Not only does it call upon us to praise the Lord with thankfulness but it also describes to us the nature of what our thanksgiving should contain.
Let’s examine the qualities of thanksgiving as presented by the psalmist...
Our Thanksgiving is Public (vv.1-2).
A.We are to Shout to the Lord.
1.V.1 begins, “Make a joyful shout to the Lord.” The KJV says, “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD.” Whether we translate the word “shout” or “noise” the meaning is volume! We are to vocally proclaim our joyful thanks!
2.In English, the word “thank” means to “express gratitude or appreciation.” However, there is no Hebrew word with this meaning. Rather, the Hebrew word yadah means literally “to make public acknowledgment.”
3.In the Hebrew mindset, it was never enough to thank God quietly or privately. In the mindset of Psalm 100, true thankfulness cannot be kept quiet.
4.Somehow many Christians have developed the idea that in order to worship the Lord; we must be quiet and solemn. Certainly there are times when we consider the Lord in quiet wonder, but when God’s people get together, we are to “shout to the Lord” with great joy!
5.Some will say, “Sure I’m thankful, but that’s just between me and God. It’s private.” That’s like saying, “I’m thankful that I had two great parents, but because it is private, I would never tell anyone how great they are.” It’s like saying, “I have a wonderful wife, but our relationship is very personal, so I can’t tell anyone how wonderful she is.”
6.Hey, when we have true joy, it shows. The question is not whether or not we “shout.” The question is whether or not we are “joyful.”
B.We are to Gladly Serve the Lord.
1.The Psalmist also says, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” Originally this referred to the service in the Jewish temple, the service of worship.
2.God has done so much for us! We have so much for which to be thankful. We should be willing servants.
3.We’ve all seen people serve the Lord with their hands or their head but not with their hearts. Underline that last word “gladness.” We serve Him because we are thankful.
C.We are to Sing to the Lord.
1.We are to “come into His presence with singing.” We know that God is omnipresent, that we are always in “His presence.” However, the writer of this Psalm has in mind the special sense of “His presence” when God’s people worship together.
2.You can tell a lot about the life of a church by listening to the singing.
3.We sang the hymn “We’re Marching to Zion,” recall this verse:
Come we that love the Lord and let our joys be known,
Join in a song with sweet accord, and thus surround the throne.
Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God;
But children of the heavenly King may speak their joys abroad.
Then let our songs abound, and every tear by dry;
We’re marching through Immanuel’s ground to fairer worlds on high.
4.Every believer should be a singer! You don’t have to sing well (KJV - “make a joyful NOISE”) but sing you must!