“Shout with joy to the LORD, all the earth! Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation” (Psalm 100:1-5, NLT).
Yesterday I posted some observations regarding Psalm 100. Within this call to corporate worship are five reasons why we should give thanks and offer our praise to God. The Psalmist’s list may not look exactly like your recently composed list of blessings from last week, but he certainly gives us plenty that we can agree with.
1. God has made us
The Psalmist makes no bones about the fact that we are not self made. The first declaration the Bible makes about God is that he is creator. As creator, he knows us intimately. But more than that, his work is ongoing. He’s not finished with his creation. Philippians 1:6 affirms that “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” It’s vogue to say, “I’ve never forgotten where I came from.” It’s better to say, “I’ve never forgotten whom I have come from.”
2. We belong to him
Using the imagery of sheep and shepherd, we need to remember that we belong to God. We belong to him because he has redeemed us. No matter what happens to us in life, we belong to God. He calls us his own.
3. God is good
The gods and idols of David’s contemporaries were brutal and exacting. Those pagan worshippers lived in fear of their gods. Their servitude to those idols was more about superstitious belief than true worship. But God is different…He is good! The first thing the Bible wants us to know about God is that he is creator, but the second thing it reveals is that God is also good. Our fundamental conviction about God is that at the very core of his being he is good.
4. His love endures forever
This is a hard one to get, because our love is generally conditional and performance based. Conditional love is love that says, “I’ll love you if…” Performance based love is love that says, “I love you because you…” God doesn’t love us that way. His love is unconditional. It’s not based on our performance. It is totally impartial. We can’t do anything to cause him to love us anymore than he does and we can’t do anything to cause him to love us any less.
5. His faithfulness never waivers
God stays with us, never abandoning us. He is not only for us, he is with us.
Psalm 100 is one of my favorites. It’s simple and direct, and reminds readers that while it is appropriate to give thanks for the wonderful blessings that come from God, we should also focus on the nature and character of the giver of every good and perfect gift.