By Rev. Ron Purkey
Read: Psalm 100:1-5
“For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” (Psalm 100:5)
The hymn “Old Hundredth” (“All People That on Earth Do Dwell”) is based on this psalm, as is the familiar “Doxology.” Thanking the Lord is something we must do with our lives as well as with our lips. How shall we do it?
First, we show thanksgiving by serving (Psalm 100:1-2). “Enter to worship — depart to serve” should be written clearly above the door to the church sanctuary. Too many people serve themselves and not the Lord, and too often we do not serve the Lord “with gladness.” The Lord loves a cheerful servant.
Second, we show thanksgiving by submitting (Psalm 100:3). As creatures, we submit to the creator who made us. As sheep, we submit to the shepherd who died for us and now leads us in his paths. He not only made us, but he is making us as we yield to him (Ephesians 2:10). Submission means fulfillment.
Third, we show thanksgiving by sacrificing (Psalm 100:4–5). As priests, we are privileged to offer spiritual sacrifices to the Lord (1 Peter 2:5). They include our songs of praise (Hebrews 13:15), good works (Hebrews 13:16), and material gifts (Philippians 4:15–18). Because of who he is (Psalm 100:5) and what he does for us, He is certainly worthy of our joyful thanks.
Insight: The famous American editor, Horace Greeley, once told of receiving a letter from a woman who wrote: “Our church is in dire financial straits. We have tried everything to keep it going: a strawberry festival, an oyster supper, a donkey party, a turkey dinner and finally, a box social. Will you please tell us, Dr. Greeley, how to keep a struggling church from disbanding?” Dr. Greeley wrote back to her a message in two words: Try Christianity.
What did he mean by that? Look at it in this way. The ancient world failed to help men and women meet the problem of life, because, although their wise men could teach, they could not supply the power to put it into practice. The Old Testament prophets could explain the Law of Moses, but were unable to provide the power needed to fulfill it. Then, into the midst of the ages, came this man Jesus and, before the wondering eyes of men and women, he declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” These people saw truth coming alive in his amazing personality; and, when his enemies finally killed him, his great spirit was liberated to be wherever needy souls cried out for him. In all the ages since, for all those who have received him as the bread of life by committing their lives to him, the Lord Jesus Christ has brought power over their every weakness, victory over every failure and conduct and character that have made the world a better place in which to live.
Read Ron Purkey’s free Bible study outlines at rcpbibleoutlines.com. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist minister for 50 years.