“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4).
Recently, I received an invitation to an Unbirthday party of McKenna, a friend. Alice in Wonderland was the theme. You could come dressed as anyone from the story. The invitation was playfully presented. The date and time were clear.
My wife and I were not able to attend. However, I did arrange for a FaceTime call. When I called, I had a video feed of the event. People were dressed in costume. Laughter and chattering were heard. I saw that all who responded to the invitation were participating in the joy. Yet, I was only a distant observer.
I spoke to “Alice” and sung the “Merry Unbirthday” song to her. We spoke for a moment, and McKenna was back to the party. I continued on with my evening, five hundred miles away.
In verse four, we read of the believers’ invitation to God’s house. He calls us to the gates and courts of the Lord. The gates are the entry point to His house. The courts are the place between the gates and His dwelling place.
The invitation of this psalm speaks not only of where we are to come. It tells us what we are to wear and what we are to do upon arrival. We are to come wearing garments of thanksgiving and of praise. When we arrive, we are to express words of thankfulness directly to Him. We are then to bless His name.
The invitation of our Host must be heeded. He asked us to come to His presence, whether it is in personal or public worship, wearing thanksgiving and praise. He asks us to arrive and be thankful. He asks us to bless His name.
Today, as you stand in His courts, look around you and reflect on Him. I urge you to reflect on His grace. He applied grace to your life when you believed in Him. None deserved His salvation. As you stand in His courts to praise Him, remember His goodness to you. He meets your every need. He always does what is best for us. Lastly, in this moment of intentional reflection, rejoice in His glory. When you rejoice in His glory, you remove yourself from the spotlight of attention and taking credit for your talents and skills. You place Him in the spotlight and you give Him the attention and praise for everything.
Reader, today I urge you to praise Him. Let thankfulness and praise be confirmed with the words you speak and the attitude you display. Then, you should bless His name. The idea behind the English word “bless” is to bow and praise Him.
For my friend McKenna’s party, we were to wear what was asked. We were to come and celebrate her birth and life. We were to come dressed to celebrate. The believer’s invitation to God’s presence is no different. Psalm 100:4 says we are to arrive to His presence with thanksgiving and praise. When in His presence, we must express thankfulness and blessing.
Do you give greater attention to an invitation to a party than you do to God’s presence? How often do you come to His presence in the way His invitation asked?
Today, accept His invitation to “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.” Wherever you are right now, why not just say aloud to God, “I know You are here and I am thankful I am not alone. Thank You for Your presence.”