There are a lot of great scriptures passages that talk about worship in the Bible.
Some of these are Romans 12:1-2, John 4:23-24, and Mark 12:29-30. These point to some of the foundational parts of worship.
But one of my favorite passages is Psalm 100. Only 5 verses long, it paints a picture of where worship is to begin. Specifically, take a look at verse 4:
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Israelites, their worship began with thanksgiving.
And the same is to be true of us. Beginning with thanksgiving helps us to keep a proper perspective. What God has done and who He is isn’t because we “deserve” something, but because He is amazingly gracious to us and loves us. So much of our life is to be characterized by thanksgiving and gratitude toward God. The Apostle Paul, in Philippians 4:6, points us to the vital role of thanksgiving as we deal with the realities of life. It is to be present even in times of petition and prayer.
I believe that when we worship without a foundation of thanksgiving, our worship risks becoming more about us than about God.
David understood the vital role of thanksgiving in his life. One of the psalms he wrote, Psalm 103, is a huge expression of thanksgiving and gratitude toward God. It begins with these words:
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
If that’s not reason enough to worship, well then…
It’s out of this psalm that 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) by Matt Redman and Jonas Myrin came. I had been aware of this song, but it was really my wife who brought it more fully to my attention. We’ve been working at teaching this song to the congregation we are currently serving. It’s such a great song that captures so much of where I believe worship should begin.
And where it should continually flow from.
I was curious about the background of this song, so I went looking to see what Matt Redman had to say about it. And thanks to the wonder of the Internet, found this great video clip as he talks both about the song itself and the importance of thanksgiving. Take a look:
“If you wake up one day, and you can’t think of a reason to thank Him or bring Him an offering of some kind, then there’s something wrong with your spiritual outlook. Our lives are absolutely full of His glory and goodness.”
May we not be people who take for granted who God is and what He is doing.
May we be people who are aware of the glory and goodness of God in our lives.
May we embrace every reason, all 10,000 of them, to worship and give thanks everyday.
Let worship begin.
What reasons do you have to give thanks today and bless the Lord?