Oh Lord, Thank You Jesus

Bible Book: Psalms  100
Subject: Thankfulness; Thanksgiving; Worship

Oh Lord, Thank You Jesus!

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, www.pastorlife.com
Introduction

Psalm 100

Somewhere I read the story about a teacher from the city was sent to a small rural area in South Louisiana to help a little community that didn’t have a teacher. She began teaching phonics and helping first grade children to read. After a while, she gave her little students the words “Thank you” in print for them to read. She went to this one little girl in the class hoping that the student would use some of her newly learned reading strategies. The teacher gave the girl plenty of time to work out the words herself. The little girl just sat there, staring at the words and saying nothing. So after a few moments the teacher decided to help her and so she read the first word for her. “Thank,” the teacher said. When the child didn’t respond, her teacher said more emphatically, “Thank.” The little girl responded in her native dialect, “I AM thanking, Ma’am! I AM thanking!”

Well, it is apparent that the little girl got her phonics mixed up and couldn’t see the difference in the word “think” and the word “thank.” If we are actually thinking as we should, we will be “thanking” as we should. I want us to think about thanking – to concentrate today on Psalm 100 and how we ought to be as Christians a thankful people.

The passage before us deals with the thankful worship we as God’s people come together to share. But it reveals that one who is unthankful all week is unlikely to be thankful in God’s house on just one day. We must live thankfully if we wish to worship thankfully.

This passage contains seven imperatives or commands. I am only going share about five of them, and I may not have time to get to all five of them in this message – but I hope to do so. I assure you that we will be thankful if we regard seriously what is in this great Psalm.

Now, before we get into the text, let me point out that the wording above this Psalm, which was placed there by the author of it states, “A Psalm for Giving Thanks.” In other words, this is a Psalm for renewing and recommencing thankfulness in our lives and worship.

Think with me about the first imperative in Psalm 100 …

I. Make

The text tells us to, “Make a Joyful Noise.”

If we are to thank God properly, our expectation must be right. You see, this is not just about thanking God for what He has done, but it is also about thanking God for the fact what that we can trust Him to do what is best and right in our lives. Now, you might wonder how I come to this conclusion from this one word. Let me explain.

You recall, I am sure, the shout God’s people gave when they marched around Jericho. Well, the same word used in this text today is the word used when God commanded the people to shout on the seventh day that they marched around Jericho (Joshua 6:5). It was a shout of thankfulness even though the walls had not yet collapsed. It was a shout of expectation, since the people were fully trusting God to do what He promised to do. And be sure that you recognize this one fact – there is no way that the people could have expected the walls of that great city to collapse unless they were trusting their awesome God to carry out an astounding miracle. We read in Joshua 6:20 that God did exactly what He promised. We must realize that praising and thanking God for His nature, His power, His love and His promises, even when things look bleak and impossible, is a part of seeing God do what He has told us He will do.

The word “make” used in this passage can speak of:

1. War Cry (2 Chronicles 13:15)
2. Applause (Psalm 47:1 has clap and shout in same verse)
3. Joyful Impulse (Ezra 3:10)
4. Distress (Joel 2:1)
5. Victory (Isaiah 42:13)

However it is used, it speaks of joy in the presence of God regardless of the circumstances. So, thanking God is not just for those who have everything they need or want, but for all those who trust the mighty God who saved them to never leave them or forsake them.

Now, look at the next command in Psalm 100 …

II. Serve

“Serve the Lord with gladness!”

Not only must our expectation be right, but our hands must be right as well. Let me explain. The word “serve” in Hebrew means – “not wait for it” – the word serve means – SERVE!

The word “serve” in this passage is used at times in the Bible to speak of tilling the ground, building a wall, planting a garden, and any type of work that requires energy, time and skill. We are to work for the Lord. We are to carry out our duty in His service.

The last church I pastored was in the Atlanta metro-plex and was an incredible place with tremendous people and amazing growth. I thing that helped us in that process was that we asked every new member to take place of service. We didn’t not want people just joining – we wanted them serving the Lord.

What are you doing with your hands, your abilities and your time for Jesus? What we do proves how thankful we are! It is not just noise that reveals thankfulness, it is service that reveals our gratitude for God’s blessings upon our lives. “Serve the Lord with gladness!”

Now, the third imperative in Psalm 100 …

III. Come

“Come before His presence with singing”

Do you note here that we must have our Attitude right when we come before the Lord? Now, don’t miss the part about gladness in our worship and service. We aren’t to moan and groan about our service. We are to whistle while we work. We are not to look like as though we were baptized in pickle juice when we got saved.

When the word used for coming into God’s presence speaks of “face.” It is the Hebrew paniym, and here it speaks of the face of God. When we come to His House we are to be aware that we are coming before the “face” of God. We are to do so joyfully, gladly and thankfully.

Now, I know some people can’t sing very well, and when you read that you are come before His presence with singing, you might think that singing might not please Him. But, I assure you that a joyful noise is better that a scowling face. Some people just shift from one foot to the other while others are singing on Sunday morning. The least you can do is put on a happy face. Think of where you are and the One you are worshipping. Our hearts ought to sing even if we don’t have the gift of singing!

The next command of thankfulness is found in the word …

IV. Know

We must know that He is God. In other words, ur head must be right – we must be thinking properly in order to be thanking properly.

To know is to perceive, to understand, to be taught or teach. It is used of knowing by seeing – by experiencing. It means to acknowledge that which we know. That is why it is sometimes used with the idea of teaching, because it means to declare what you know to someone else who might not know. It is yet another way we worship and thank God. We KNOW Him and we KNOW that He has saved us, we KNOW that He is with us, we KNOW that He mighty, we KNOW that He has blessed us – we KNOW, we KNOW, we KNOW. Thank God for what we know.

I read an interesting statement by an author, though I don’t remember who it was, but the thought stayed with me. He said, “As Christians, we are not nicer people than others, we are just better informed.” He went on to say that we can hold it together when the whole world is falling apart. Why? Because we KNOW who He is. We KNOW we belong to Him. We KNOW He is ultimately in charge. We KNOW He will work all things together for good. I can’t help but praise Him because I KNOW!

How can we not express what we know about Him with shouting, clapping, and singing! “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy name!”

I know He made me. It speaks of God WORK in my life. Now, listen to this carefully. The previous command was that I SERVE or WORK for Him. Why? Because I KNOW that HE has WORKED for me. He made me, sustained me, guided me, saved me, kept me, is with me and promised a home for me with Him one day in the future. He did not promise me a home that I built or paid for, but rather He promised me a home that Jesus paid for and Jesus is building (John 14:1-6).

We are HIS people. That alone is a cause to shout, sing and serve! How can He love us and make us His own – His family? We are sinners. His love overcame our sin and He brought us into His family. We must think on this when we worship. In fact, you can’t thank unless you think! If you think about God, you cannot help but thank Him.

We are His sheep. Poor sheep! They are so helpless without a shepherd. Yet, when they are led and fed, they are happy, safe and produce milk and wool to bless many. Our Shepherd loves us, protects us, cares for us and we have lives that are meaningful and filled with purpose.

Now, let me hurry to one last imperative in Psalm 100 …

V. Enter

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise!

Now the Psalm is closing and the last thing mentioned is Thanksgiving. We are to enter into His gates – a place of absolute safety; and into His courts – His perfect presence – with thanksgiving.

This means PRAISE that is a public adoration.

“Who is like our God?” is the question in Exodus 15:11. He is glorious, fearful and He is always doing wonderous things.

David says in Psalm 22:25, “My praise shall be in the great congregation.” We enter into HIS courts, not simply into our church. We enter into HIS presence, not just the presence of our beloved congregation. Our duty is to look to Him and praise Him, and not to let our minds meander down the backroads when we are in worship.

I once had church member who worked the night shift every Saturday at his job. He left his workplace at 7 AM on Sunday. By 9:30 AM he was teaching Sunday School and then he sat about three rows from the front to hear me preach during worship every Sunday. He was always wide awake. Every Sunday – and this never failed – every Sunday he spoke to me about something that blessed him in my message. One day I said, “How can your work all night each Saturday, teach Sunday School on Sunday morning, then always be so alert that something from a sermon blesses you?” Here was his answer: “Because I determine to do it. I make myself do that.” Oh, I pray that every Christian might so focus when in God’s house that no outside matter or thought can interfere with true worship and gratitude.

We are to enter His courts with thanksgiving. The word thanksgiving in this passage carries with it the meaning “to confess.” It comes from a word that means to “throw or cast.” In other words, in worship we are to throw forth from our hearts the confession of God’s goodness in our lives!

The word “bless” means “to kneel” down before Him. We are to “bless” His holy name.

Conclusion

Why do I thank Him? Why do I praise Him? Not because everything is going my way, or that I’m without problems or hardships. I praise Him because:

i. He is Good – Is anything good? You can be sure it comes down from Him, we are told that in James 1:17

ii. His (Mercy) Love Endures Forever – I am His – He loves me – He may discipline me but He will never disown me. His love endures forever!

iii. His Faithfulness is to All Generations

Now let me tell you why I chose the sermon title I sued today. I was inspired by a pastor named H.B. Charles (Pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Church, Jacksonville, Florida), who told the following story in a sermon:

“My pastor was here a week ago and he told me about a woman in church. Every week she prayed the same prayer: "O Lord, thank you Jesus." Every week that was her prayer. "O Lord, thank you Jesus." Kids laughed because they knew what she was going to pray every time: "O Lord, thank you Jesus." Finally somebody asked her, "Why do you pray the same little prayer?" She said, "Well, I'm just combining the two prayers that I know." She says, "We live in a bad neighborhood and some nights there are bullets flying and I have to grab my daughter and hide on the floor, and in that desperate state all I know how to cry out is, 'O Lord.' But when I wake up in the morning and see that we're okay I say, 'Thank you Jesus.' When I get to take my baby to the bus stop and she gets on that bus and I don't know what's going to happen to her while she's away, I cry, 'O Lord.' And then when 3:00 P.M. comes and that bus arrives and my baby is safe, I say, 'Thank you Jesus.'" She said, "Those are the only two prayers I know and when I get to church God has been so good I just put my two prayers together, "O Lord, thank you Jesus

Anybody here today who has a desire to say, “O Lord, thank you Jesus!” Well, the altar is open to you. And perhaps someone here has never turned from your sin to trust the One who died on the cross and rose from dead – even Jesus – you can do that right now.