Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Aug 11 2019 - Psalm 100 – Enter his gates with thanksgiving

Psalm 100 is quite short, but it is a fitting response to yesterday's reading in Isaiah 35.

This psalm calls upon all the earth to join together in joyful praise of God. He is deserving of praise because he is our creator; we owe our life and breath to him along with the innumerable blessings of this present life. In the words of the twenty-four elders in Revelation 4:11 we acknowledge:

You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honour and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created  and have their being.

And in recognising that "It is he who made us" (Ps 100:3), we recognise that he is the creator of everything and that all things owe him their thanks and praise.

Secondly, we worship the Lord because he is our great redeemer. The Lord Jesus laid down his life for the sheep and is risen from the dead to be the great Shepherd of his people. In the words of Revelation 5:12, we come before God with thanksgiving and praise saying:

Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,
    to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength
    and honour and glory and praise!

Our God is good and his love endures for ever. That love has been most clearly displayed in Jesus. It is love that will not let us go, a love that will bring us safe to glory and then embrace us for all eternity (Romans 8:38-39). We are thankful that we have experienced the greatness of God's love and we want all the earth to come into the embrace of that love.

If our lives were dominated by thankfulness towards God and characterised by a spirit of praise, do you not think that they would attract others to Christ as a pot of honey attracts wasps? How might praise change our lives and transform our witness to Christ?

Billy Bray was born in Cornwall in 1794. After a life of hard work and drunkenness, he came to a knowledge of salvation through the preaching of Methodists and the Hymns of Wesley. He was soundly converted and his life was transformed. It is well worth reading an account of his life. Here is a short extract from one brief account:

Happiness now became a marked feature of Billy's life. His happiness was real, and he did not try to conceal it. Some did not like him shouting and singing for joy. But Billy would reply, "The Devil would rather see us doubting than hear us shouting… If they were to put me in a barrel, I would shout 'glory' out through the bunghole. I can say glory, glory: I can sing glory, glory: I can dance glory, glory."

This happiness characterised Billy even as he was walking along the street: "I lift up one foot, and it seems to say 'glory', and I lift up the other, and it seems to say, 'Amen': and so they keep on like that all the time that I am walking."

Billy told everyone he met how happy he was. He told them because he wanted them to seek happiness in the same way.

Billy Bray's life made a deep impression on others and he was used to draw many to faith in the Lord Jesus. What might God do through our lives if they were marked by similarly irrepressible thanks and praise?

Lord, I am rather reserved and not keen on attracting attention by shouting out with joyful praise of you. By your Spirit make me like those first disciples who could not but speak of the things they had seen and heard. So use me for the extension of your kingdom and the glory of your name.

Peter Misselbrook