Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: 2023

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Giving Thanks is the Foundation of All Genuine Worship


 The commandments of the hundredth Psalm should reflect the innermost reality of the heart of every truly born-again child of God.  We should live our lives in humble adoration and gratefulness for the love of God that shows to us when He reached into this sewer of decadence that we call humanity to rescue us from an eminent destiny of eternal condemnation. 

Every verb in Psalm one hundred is an imperative (a command).  Psalm one hundred is a statement that flows from a real faith in God.  Psalm one hundred is a testimonial statement to the reality of our understanding of Who He is and what He has done to redeem us.  If there is no desire to obey from the heart the spirit of this Psalm as a reality of our lives, our lives are missing something that should be a critical part of every true believer’s life (real faith expressed in constant worship/praise/adoration).  The spirit of this Psalm reflects a genuine spirit of worship.  The spirit of this Psalm reflects a heartfelt attitude of praise and thankfulness to God.  Praising God and being thankful should be natural outcomes of genuine faith. 


1 <<A Psalm of praise.>> 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 {because} the LORD is good; {because} his mercy is everlasting; and {because} his truth endureth to all generations” (Psalm 100:1-5).

           The Apostle Paul in II Timothy warns all believers how unbelief will manifest itself in individual lives in the last days prior to the second coming of Christ.  Among the list of sins grievous to God is the sin of being unthankful. 

 1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (II Timothy 3:1-5).


          Saying “thank you” is not equal to being thankful! We cannot read the words of Psalm one hundred without a sure understanding that the Lord, to Whom the Psalm directs our praise and thanksgiving, was real to the Psalmist in every way.  Those who listened to the Psalm and did what it said from the heart revealed a real and personal relationship with the LORD.  Being thankful is a heart issue flowing naturally/normally/effortlessly like blood through our veins from understanding Who God is and what He has done and is doing. 

A real relationship with God is not one of endless obligations lived in pretension.  A real relationship with the Lord is a source of joyful, exuberant celebration that floods believers’ lives.  When we have not generated real knowledge of God that results in real faith in God, the lives of our children will be described more by II Timothy 3:1-5 than Psalm one hundred. 

          Very few Christians rise to the heights of the worship reflected in Psalm one hundred!  The words of this Psalm reflect an attitude of thankfulness and praise that translates the person truly believing in the God of the Bible into a thanks-living, God praising, soul winning celebration of life.  It is a joy to be around the kind of person whose life exudes Psalms one hundred.  The genuine joy overflowing from their lives touches everyone.

          Everything that this kind of Christian says and does translates into a Praise the Lord testimony.  There is a fountain of joy and enthusiasm for life that springs from their souls.  Nothing seems to be able to damper their joy and enthusiasm because the source of these emotions is a sweet and precious relationship with their heavenly Father that is able to transcend any problem that the world throws at them.  The world and its adversaries may be able to knock them down occasionally, but they will be back on their feet in a few hours or days with a new smile on their faces and praising the Lord.  This describes a person with real faith in the God of the Bible.  Real faith is joyously and thankfully evident in the lives of those who genuinely understand the relationship God offers. 

          We all may occasionally allow the cares of this world, the troubles, trials and pressures of life, difficulties, and failures to steal away from us the joys of knowing the Lord Jesus and the joys of serving Him.  However, Psalm one hundred is the Psalm of the way things ought to be.  When the attitude of Psalm 100 is the natural, unforced, unpretentious attitude flowing from in-depth knowledge of Who God is, what He has done, and what He is doing in our lives, there will be a righteous exhibition of a life lived in celebration of that relationship.  This is the true spirit of worship that eradicates the humdrum and droll of our “under the sun” existence and translates life into a moment-by-moment fireworks celebration of praise to the glory of God.

          If your Christian life has become mundane, it is because your focus has been misdirected to the mundane things of life.  Learn what it means to worship God and you will learn what it means to celebrate life.  Worship that is not a celebration of praise to God is a warped distortion of what real worship should be and a warped distortion of what real Christianity is all about.

 “1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing” (Psalm 100:1-2).


            The words “make a joyful noise” are from the Hebrew word ruwa` (roo-ah').  Ruwa` means to shout out in rejoicing like people that are giving a standing ovation in applause for a great performance.  The idea is that of an impulsive shout of joyful exuberation that cannot be restrained.  Neither can a true “joyful noise” be manufactured.  A true “joyful noise” bursts forth from a heart that is illuminated by the Holy Spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit, and motivated by the Holy Spirit.


22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law {limit or restriction}” (Galatians 5:22-23).


          A true “joyful noise” is spontaneous rejoicing that overflows from a heart filled with joy in the Lord.  The word “joy” in Galatians 5:22 is from the Greek word chara (khar-ah'), which refers to a cause or occasion for joyous celebration.  We can blame no one but ourselves if we allow anything or anyone to rob us of the joy of our salvation and the joy of living in intimate fellowship with the Creator of the Universe.  This kind of relationship with God will not happen by accident in anyone’s life.  It must be cultivated.  It must be exemplified in every facet of our existence.  It must be something we do ON PURPOSE!

 6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ” (Galatians 4:6-7).

           He is a fool who allows anything to interrupt this intimate fellowship with his heavenly Father that is his through the Blood of Jesus Christ (I John 1:7).  Once a Christian has experienced this joy, he will never be satisfied with anything less.  However, this kind of joy will only be experienced by Christians who habitually live fully surrendered to God’s will.  If you have this kind of joy in your life, it will not be a burden to be in Sunday School or in a preaching service.  You will long for any opportunity or vehicle to truly lift your voice in praise to God and make a joyful noise.  Again, real faith like this is evident in a person’s life.  Ministry is another vehicle to express praise and appreciation to the God of our salvation.

 Serve the LORD with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).

           Nothing will wear you out faster than trying to force a smile on your face when there is no smile in your heart.  There is no harder, more unpleasant task than the task of doing something you hate to do.  The oil of “gladness” and “thanksgiving” can lubricate almost any impossible task.  When you truly love someone, doing things which normally you will not find joyful suddenly become miraculously pleasant if you know those things bring joy to the person you love.  We need to be brutally honest with ourselves about this.  The central reason why doing what God commands is a burden to us is because we do not really love Him the way we should.

 1 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I John 5:1-3).

           We will never learn to serve the Lord with gladness until we get the joy of our salvation out of our heads and into our hearts.  Sometimes I think Christians think Psalm 100:1 says, “Make a doleful noise unto the Lord.”  What is the source of this wellspring of joy and gladness?  What is the source of this spark of life that jumpstarts our hearts to sing praises to God?


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” (Psalm 100:3).


           The source of all genuine praise, worship, and thanksgiving is an intimate, personal/relational knowledge of God.  The source of this joy and gladness is knowing the Lord as a personal friend, as a father, and as a companion in all circumstances of life.  The source of this joy and gladness is knowing this One Who knows everything there is to know about you and who continues to love you anyway.

          People everywhere are seeking joy and gladness in every avenue of life except the one avenue that can provide it.  There is no joy or gladness in this life apart from knowing the Lord and loving Him.


10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2:10-11).


          If your life and your Christianity do not overflow with joy and gladness and is not a celebration of praise, perhaps you have lost your focus.  Perhaps you do not know the God of the Bible the way you think you know Him.  If worship and serving the Lord are a burden to you, perhaps you need to seriously re-examine the intimacy of the professed relationship you say you have with the Lord.  If coming to church services is a burden to you, you will never give God the worship He deserves.  If obedience to God’s will and faithfulness to servicing Him is forced labor for you, the problem is that your relationship with God is forced and pretentious.

          If a person does not want to spend time with the Lord, he is deceiving himself about both the reality of his faith and the reality of His love for God.  You do not love someone if you do not want to spend time with him or if you do not want increased intimacy with him.  You do not love someone if you do not find joy in being with him.  You do not love someone if you do not want to make him as happy as he makes you. 

“But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee” (Psalm 5:11).


1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for {because} he is good: for {because} his mercy endureth for ever. 2 Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy. . .” (Psalm 107:1-2).

Anonymous comments will not be allowed. Numerous studies and series are available free of charge for local churches at: http://www.disciplemakerministries.org/ Dr. Lance Ketchum serves the Lord as a Church Planter, Evangelist/Revivalist. He has served the Lord for over 40 years.