Elements of True Thanksgiving

“Then the trees of the forest will sing, they will sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.  Cry out, “Save us, O God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, that we may glory in your praise.”  Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting.  Then all the people said “Amen” and “Praise the Lord.”  ( 1 Chronicles 16:33–36)

             We’re learning about the true meaning of worship in our Bible study this week. We were asked to read 1 Chronicles 16 and list the elements of true thanksgiving. To be honest, I assumed this would be a simple, fairly call-on-my-brain knowledge of past sermons on how to worship. Wrong! The list of elements became so long (and surprising) that I ended up using an additional blank piece of paper to capture the essence of 1 Chronicles. I’ve listed below a few elements of true thanksgiving I discovered:

  1.  Give thanks to the Lord
  2.  Call upon His name
  3. Sing to God praises
  4. Tell of all His wonderful acts 
  5. Rejoice! 
  6. Remember miracles and wonders God performed in the past 
  7. Proclaim His salvation day after day [shout it from the mountaintops!] 
  8. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever [His love never quits] 
  9. Give thanks to His holy name, that we may glory in your praise 
  10. Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! 
  11. Then all the people said, “Amen” and “Praise” the Lord (vs. 37)

     Wow! That’s quite a list! And I thought the list would be small enough to be contained in the tiny white space under the question. I not only underestimated elements of true thanksgiving, but I had it all wrong. I never thought of worship in this way before…not in all my years of sitting in services—how sad and how far I missed the mark. It’s not about what songs were sung/played, or who participated in the service. It’s not about what I got out of the service. Rather, I need to ask myself: What did I bring to the worship service personally?  

Reality check time:  

  • Did I give thanks to the Lord and call upon His name?(or, am I still trying to get situated in my seat)
  • Did I sing praises to God (or check to see if my neighbor was singing on key?)
  • Did I enter His sanctuary with a spirit of rejoicing? (or, was I grumbling under my breath because so & so did or did not sit next to me?)
  • Am I remembering God’s miracles and answers to prayer from the past (or, do I dwell on a current relationship gone sour?)
  • Do I proclaim His salvation daily? (or only when I get my way and life sails smoothly)

     Becky Reynolds, author of our study suggests we…Make a list of some of the things you would like to see accomplished during: 

  • My private times of worship,
  • Our public worship services, and
  • How can I help these desires become reality?

Copyright © 2010 Teresa Kay Lasher; 11/18/2010 8:47:20 AM

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