Psalm 100 is a short Psalm, but one of the most powerful. Out of all the Psalms, there are only two that are specifically designated as Psalms "of praise" - this one and Psalm 145. In it we find the psalmist listing seven ways to praise the Lord, then giving seven reasons why God's people should do so.
Seven Ways to Praise God:
1. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
2. Serve the LORD with gladness:
3. come before His presence with singing.
4. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
5. and into His courts with praise:
6. be thankful unto Him,
7. and bless His name.
How many of these seven ways of praising the Lord have you actually done in your walk with Him?
The phrase, "make a joyful noise" figuratively means "to split the ears (with sound), i.e. shout (for alarm or joy)." Have you shouted out in joy or sang aloud in praise? His Word tells us to make a joyful noise. While there is a place for skilfull playing and singing, God doesn't demand that. He wants praise flowing out of our hearts - even if it is noise to the ears of those who cannot see our hearts, to the Lord it is a joyful noise, and He is pleased with it.
Webster's 1828 Dictionary defines gladness as "Joy, or a moderate degree of joy and exhilaration; pleasure of mind; cheerfulness." Then he adds this comment, "Gladness is rarely or never equivalent to mirth, merriment, gayety and triumph, and it usually expresses less than delight." Have you been serving the Lord with gladness, or with drudgery? Have you been going through the motions out of duty, or has your service been one that sprang forth from a glad heart?
Are you entering into His presence (whether with other believers or on your own) with singing, with thanksgiving, and with praise?
Thanksgiving is defined by Webster's as "The act of rendering thanks or expressing gratitude for favors or mercies." Are you grateful and thankful for the Lord's mercies and goodness in your life? Have you been expressing that to Him? Too often we (myself included!) get too caught up in merely giving our concerns and needs to the Lord in prayer and we forget to thank or praise Him. When was the last time you told your Heavenly Father you loved Him, or truly thanked Jesus for saving your soul and washing your sins away, or praised the Holy Spirit for the work that He is continuing to do in you?
Praise is defined by Webster's as "1. To commend; to applaud; to express approbation of personal worth or actions. 2. To extol in words or song; to magnify; to glorify on account of perfections or excellent works. 3. To express gratitude for personal favors. 4. To do honor to; to display the excellence of."
Praise and thanksgiving are part of worship. It is interesting that the word worship indicates that the person being worshipped is worthy, as that is the root of the word.
Have you poured out your heart in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord - not only for what He has done in your life, but for who He is?
Have you blessed His name? Jesus' name means "the Lord is salvation." Do others know what His salvation means to you?
According to Webster, bless means "To praise; to magnify; to extol, for excellencies." The Way Of Life Encyclopedia defines bless as "To be thankful for and to bestow benefits upon something in a general sense; to speak well of and to desire God's blessing upon." Are you boasting of your Saviour, are you speaking well of Him to all those around you? Webster's defines magnify as "1. To make great or greater. 2. To make great in representation; to extol; to exalt in description or praise. 3. To extol; to exalt; to elevate; to raise in estimation." Are you praising the Lord Jesus Christ and magnifying Him in your life? When others look at you and your walk with the Lord, do they see Jesus, or do they just see you? As John the Baptist stated in John 3:30, He must increase, but I must decrease.
(Preached May 19th/07)
Behold the Lord, the Lamb of God
Who died upon the tree
We magnify Thy Holy Name
And worship only Thee.
Sevenfold Praise - Part Two (Seven Reasons To Praise God)
60 Day Devotional Series: Numbers In The Bible
For more studies that use passages in the Psalms as the springboard: