“Make a joyful shout to the Lord , all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.” Psalms 100:1-5
We’ll continue our teaching series on gateways to the realms of new dawn and this morning we’ll be taking a look at thanksgiving and praise as another gateway to the realms of new dawn.
There is no stopping of people who praise God. The only things that can stop people who praise God are the things that can stop God. Can you imagine that God will be coming and a gate will be shut against him? They would rather be lifted up. (Psalm 24:9) When the children of Israel left Egypt with praise every obstacle on their path gave way. The sea some them and fled. Mountains skipped like rams and the little hills like lambs because they carried God through praise. (Psalm 114)
Please note that we’re not just talking about praise and thanksgiving as an act but as a lifestyle. Praise is not just what we do, it is what we live. So also is thanksgiving. It is not just what we do it is how we live our lives. It is an attitude. It is the attitude of gratitude that enhances our altitude. You will never find a thanksgiver where you left him. Level changes as praise goes up.
They left Paul and Silas in the prison for doing what is right but an attitude of gratitude and praise changed their position. Praise continually increased the early church. “So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47) A day without praise and thanksgiving is a lost day. You will always have reasons to praise and God and give Him thanks. All through the year 2018 no new day will meet you where you were the previous day in Jesus’ name.A day without praise and thanksgiving is a lost day. -@DavidOyedepoMin #ANewDawn Click To Tweet
Lifestyle also means addiction, something you cannot do without, something that has become part of you. David was a man addicted to praising God. (Psalm 119:164) He made it a lifestyle. (Psalm 34) Watch it, any day you wake up without a song you have lost the day.
We’ve seen an example in the life of our father. He’s always finding reasons to thank God and praise God. Look at Paul the apostle, he was ever thankful and ever triumphant, ever praiseful and ever fruitful. All his epistles began with praising and thanking God. He couldn’t do without it. (Ephesians 5:20. 1Thessalonians 5:18)
I heard God’s servant say many years ago that if you have lost anything God is the reason you haven’t lost everything. So give Him thanks as a lifestyle. Returning from Kaduna in those days, his luggage got lost between the airport and home. Not knowing how it happened, he turned to praise and thanksgiving. According to the story, mama suggested listing the items but he replied that the new owner should be listing it.
On the day the liberation mandate was delivered to him, he went to see some friends and didn’t meet them. Rather than getting dejected he praised God, declaring that all things work together for good for them that love God. Then God spoke to him, “Find a quiet place. I want to talk to you.”.
Now let’s look at Jesus our perfect example. Jesus was an addicted thanksgiver. He gave thanks every time and in the most unusual circumstances. (John 6:11, John 11:41, Luke 10:21).
What is thanksgiving?
1. Thanksgiving is acknowledgement of God’s work in our lives. (Malachi 2:2)
2. Thanksgiving is appreciation in anticipation. We don’t only thank God for what we have seen. We thank Him for what we want to see. Jesus demonstrated that very clearly. In John 6:10-11 he thanked God for five loaves of bread and two fishes. What was insufficient then became what could be distributed. We know the story of Lazarus in John 11:39-44. Jesus said, “Let’s thank God first that it was Lazarus alone that died, Mary and Martha are still alive.” As he gave thanks God inspired Him on what to do.We don't only thank God for what we have seen. We thank Him for what we want to see. -@DavidOyedepoMin Click To Tweet
Thanksgiving is focused on God’s acts/power while praise is focused on His person. We need both. Praise is the celebration of God’s faithfulness and constancy. (Malachi 3:6) It is the celebration of the integrity and infallibility of His word. (Psalm 56:4,10)
People who praise God are not easily moved regardless of their circumstances. We see an example in Sarah who judged God faithful despite the deadness of her body (Hebrews 11:11, Romans 4:20). Praise injects life into faith. Praising God will naturally strengthen your faith.
Things that happen when you live a life of thanksgiving and praise
1. Thanksgiving, being the will of God, will entitle us to all the promises of God. God’s promises can be likened to bullets in a gun. It is praise that pulls the trigger. (1Thessalonians 5:18, Hebrews 10:36, John 6:11) It was when Jesus had given thanks that he distributed the bread to the disciples, not before. Every promise God has made to you will find speedy fulfilment.
2. Thanksgiving and praise will facilitate the results of our labour. (Proverbs 12:14) There is a connection between your mouth and your hand. (Hebrews 13:15). What goes out of your mouth determines what comes into your life. When it’s as if things are not working, thank Him. When things are working, thank Him. Your thanksgiving must not be conditional. It must be constant.
3. Access to praise and revelation. Thanksgiving and praise facilitate access to revelation. (Galatians 2:2, 2Corinthians 12:7). Paul was a man of abundance of revelation, he was also full of thanksgiving and praise. It is the revelation we access that determines our change of level (Psalm 16:11, Acts 2:30, 2Corinthians 3:18). Revelation is inaccesible without thanksgiving and praise. Thanksgivers are never short of insights and revelation. As we thank God and sing praises to Him, He shows us what to do. (2Kings 3:15-16, Isaiah 30:29-30)
4. Access to strength. By praising and thanking God we gain access to health and vitality. (Psalm 100:4, Psalm 84:7) Without thanksgiving you cannot appear before Him and without appearing before Him you cannot go from strength to strength. (Psalm 42:5, Psalm 43:5). Our countenance changes with thanksgiving and praise. Everything around us responds to the praise that we offer to God. A bright countenance is health. Sickness is synonymous to frowning. One place you will never find people smiling is in the hospital. You want to get a man out of the hospital? Get him to smile. In no time he will be discharged.
5. Praise is a vital force for the new dawn. Every time you’re praising God you are inviting new dawn into your life. (Habbakkuk 3:17-19) You can only have happiness in things, it is only in God that you can rejoice. If you want to get to high places, give God high praises on a continuous basis. (Psalm 149:6) With high praise you can never miss your high place. (Acts 16:25-26) Paul and Silas prayed and when it looked as if the answer was not coming fast they changed gears to praise. Prayer may bring answers gradually but praise will bring answers suddenly.
What are the media of thanksgiving and praise?
1 Clapping our hands. (Psalm 47:1) When we clap we are applauding God for His extraordinary performance in our lives.
2 Shouting (Psalm 47:1). Shouting cheers God on to do more. Psalm 47:5 says the Lord is gone up with a shout. Keep cheering God to do more.
3 Our testimonies. Every time we are sharing testimonies we are glorifying God. (Psalm 92:1-2)
4 Singing. A song is a combination of words and melody. Words with melody are more moving than words without melody. Songs go with emotion. Every time we sing we are moving God’s emotions. Every time we are singing the Holy Spirit moves on the wings of our songs.
5 Dancing. It can be described as articulated body movement. (2Samuel 6:21). Sing and dance to God in your local way. Your culture is good enough to reach God.
Receive grace today for a lifestyle of thanksgiving and praise.Your thanksgiving must not be conditional. It must be constant. Habakkuk 3:17-19 -@DavidOyedepoMin #ANewDawn Click To Tweet
Life takes on a whole new meaning when you become a member of God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ. If you have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, or if you want to rededicate your life to Him, please pray this prayer with the whole of your heart: “Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Saviour. I want to serve you always.”
PS: For further guidance on what it means to follow Christ, connect with us at Living Faith Church or join a community of Christ followers near you. You can also visit GodLife.com to get useful resources and connect with someone to guide you and pray with you.