WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
SEPTEMBER 15, 2022
TOPIC: ENTER HIS GATES WITH THANKSGIVING
BY T. O. BANSO
“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (Psalm 100:4 New King James Version).
When people pray, they are naturally eager to pour out their minds to God. They want to say quickly what is bothering them. But which is better: To enter someone’s house and stand in his presence to make your request or to stand outside his gate and be talking to him, not minding whether he is hearing you or not, let alone listening to you?
It appears that many people do not get into the presence of God before they start presenting their requests to Him! It is wise to get into God’s presence before we start making our requests. Only then can God hear our prayers and grant our requests. How do we do this?
Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (New King James Version). The Contemporary English Version puts it this way: “Be thankful and praise the Lord as you enter his temple.”
When you pray, don’t start to ask God for anything until you have thanked Him. Thanksgiving opens the gate or doors into the presence of God. Psalm 95:2 says, “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms” (New King James Version). The writer of Psalm 116 says, “I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD” (verse 17 New King James Version). Offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving as you go to God with your requests.
Psalm 147:7 tells us: “Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praises on the harp to our God” (New King James Version). Also, Psalm 50:14 says, “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High” (New King James Version).
Don’t be ungrateful. It is not rushing to make your requests known to God that will get you the required answers. He has the answers. Come first into His presence with thanksgiving; secure His attention. Be specific in your thanksgiving. Don’t just say, “I thank You.”
Before you ask God for anything, always thank Him for what He has already done. Don’t stand outside His gates, making your requests! Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. When you thank Him, you magnify Him, and He listens to your prayers. David said, “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving” (Psalm 69:30 New King James Version). Singing songs of thanksgiving is one of the ways of thanking God. There are other things you can do to express your gratitude to Him.
Jesus set for us a good example to follow during His earthly ministry. Each time He prayed to His Father, He would first give thanks to God. At the tomb of Lazarus, He gave thanks and prayed; Lazarus came out of the grave alive (John 11:40-44). Also, in Matthew 15:36, He gave thanks before His miracle of the feeding of 4,000 men with seven loaves and a few little fish, not counting the women and children.
Before this, He had fed about 5,000 men with five loaves and two fish, not counting the women and children. He first blessed the loaves and fish and gave the disciples to give the multitudes (Matthew 14:19). He must have thanked His Father while blessing the loaves and fish. Furthermore, at the last supper, He gave thanks before giving the disciples the cup to drink and bread to eat (Matthew 26:27; Luke 22:19).
In general, you should live a life of thanksgiving. Let your attitude be that of gratitude. If you think a situation is bad and, therefore, there is no reason to thank God, you lie. Thank God. Thank God that things are not worse than they are! Things could have been worse without God! Thank God, not for that situation, but in that situation.
No matter the pain, the loss, the situation, etc., you can still thank Him. There is always something you can thank God for. “No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18 The Living Bible). Thank God in every circumstance. Ephesians 5:20 says to give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:17).
Hear what God said in Psalm 50:14-15: “What I want from you is your true thanks; I want your promises fulfilled. I want you to trust me in your times of trouble, so I can rescue you and you can give me glory” (The Living Bible). The New King James Version renders it thus: “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”
Cultivate an attitude of gratitude. Enter His gates with thanksgiving.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, if I have a thousand tongues I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me. Thank you, Father, for the gift of life, the salvation of my soul, health and healing, provision, deliverance, favour, and everything. Holy Spirit, help me to always be thankful to God, no matter what happens. Father, I pray that all Your children will develop an attitude of gratitude, particularly in their relationship with You.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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