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Worship in gladness

Psalm 100: 1. Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 2. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name. 5. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

I first learned this Psalm in Sunday school back in 1980 or so. I was forced to memorize it and recite it under the scrutiny of Mrs. Elsie (we will leave her full name out of it). That one Sunday school teacher that looks like a Sunday school teacher, knows her Bible from cover to cover and can whip a passage of scripture out of thin air and “whack” you with it when you are out of line. She was great at that recitation and memorization piece of things, but not so much at application. This Psalm is a list of instructions and words of encouragement and promises.

1. Make a joyful noise. Everybody shout with joy. Be happy. Share God’s goodness to all the world. Life tour voices to him.

2. Serve Him with gladness. Not with a grudge, not with an attitude, but with gladness. Serve him and worship Him with the right attitude and heart.

3. Come before his presence with singing. Lift songs to Him, whistle to Him, sing to Him.

4. Know that the Lord is God. Study Him, spend time with him, accept Him into your life; have fellowship and relationship with Him.

5. Give Thanks/Praise/Thanksgiving/Be Thankful. In all things be thankful to God. Trust in God. Praise God and give thanks to Him.

Five commands or instructions for our relationship with God. And we are given two reasons to act this way before him: It is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. This reminder that God placed us here and we are His people. He cares for us. His sheep. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. There is your promise. These are the reasons to come before the Lord as instructed.

Let me give you my paraphrased, not Mrs. Elsie version of this text:

“Everybody be thankful to God, worship Him and serve him with a happy heart. Sing to Him, praise Him and give Him your best, because He made us, He cares for us, and His goodness will last forever.”

Each day, through praise, through songs, through words, give thankfulness to God. Because He is good, His mercy is everlasting, and His truth has and will endure. Be His people and be a people of Thanks. REV. BARRY VASSAR is pastor at Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist. He can be reached at fitzgeraldmemorial@gmail.com.