In a civilized society, saying “thank you” is considered to be a customary politeness. From the youngest ages, most people are taught to respond to the actions of others with a “thank you”. Not saying thank you when someone has done you a favor, or has gone out of their way for you or has given you a gift is considered rude. Why? Because gratitude without expression is empty, just like love. Translation: You can’t just “feel” thankful, you have to say it- otherwise it doesn’t count! After all, what benefit is it to the other person if you just feel thankful, but never express it?
Hearing “thank you” feels good and in terms of worship- it’s actually no different! God is a Person. He has feelings. He LOVES YOU! And yes, while God knows your heart and yes, He knows when you feel thankful, it is not the same as actually saying it. When it comes tp praise and worship, thanksgiving is the point of origin. It’s where you begin to enter into His dwelling place. (Psalm 22:3) If you’re not thankful to the Lord for anything, why would you worship Him at all? In Psalm 100:4, the Lord said that thankfulness is the key to opening the gates of His presence.
In Psalm 50:23 the Lord said, “Whoever sacrifices a thank offering glorifies Me and makes a way; I will show him the salvation of God.” In the original Hebrew, the word “towdah” (one of the 7 Hebrew words for ‘praise’) refers to the sacrifice of thanksgiving. In reality, there’s nothing anyone could ever give the Lord that He needs- but there is something He wants: Thanksgiving, expressed through worship. Why? Because praise and worship are how He connects with you on a deeper spiritual level, and more than your “thank you”, He really just wants more of you.
Giving Thanks to God Starts in the Heart, but Don’t Let it Stay There!
Scripturally speaking, thankfulness is expressed in two ways: physically and verbally. Remember, the point of praise is to minister to the Lord from a heart of thanksgiving, and through the body. That is the physical act of thanksgiving. Clapping. Raising your hands. Playing in instrument and singing. Testimony. Saying ‘thank you’ to the Lord as you praise Him. These are not Sunday morning activities, but are daily acts of love shown to the Lord on a one-to-one, intimate basis, just you and Him. That is what creates a spiritual flow and a greater intimacy with the Lord, the everyday acts of love, just like He shows to you.
David expressed his thanks with his mouth and his body, going beyond “feeling” grateful and going out of his way to show it saying, “I will give thanks with my whole heart, I will declare…” The word “give thanks” in this verse is another one of the seven Hebrew words for praise Yadah, which is a physical act of worship where you lift your hands up to Him and make confessions to God about His greatness. The only way to declare something is to open your mouth! You can give your grandma a hug and say “thank you”, but since you can’t exactly do that with God, what do you do? WORSHIP. Take time to lift up your hands and praise Him, show Him that you’re grateful, and yes, say “thank you” to the Lord. He delights in you, and He loves to show you how He feels, and He’s hoping you feel the same way!
Thought for today: Worship is an Everyday Kind of Love
You already know that there isn’t anything you could ever to do repay God or give to Him anything that compares to what He gave you- but He didn’t ask for that anyway! Worship is how God’s people express their thanks to Him. Psalm 50:14 says, “…Whoever sacrifices a thank offering glorifies Me.” Focus on speaking your thanks to God today. Maybe you can even be alone with Him for a minute and raise your hands as you say “thank you”, so show the Lord how you feel for what He has done for.
All true worship begins with gratitude – not love. Maybe that sounds new and strange, but think about this: When you got saved, you didn’t know enough to love the Lord. You didn’t even know Him in any real or meaningful sense. You approached the Lord knowing that He loved you, and in return your chose to submit your life to Him. Why? Because you were grateful that He sent His Son, Jesus to save you. Love develops over time and as you know someone more and more- it’s the same with the Lord. That is why you must maintain your relationship with the Lord through daily time spent with Him. And as you develop a habit of daily, moment by moment expressing your thanks to God for every thing, yes, every little thing as an every act of love, you’ll start to notice how much more He is doing all around you. In terms of acts of love and kindness, God isn’t that much different than anyone else who loves you- He likes to hear “thank you” too!
Learn More About Living a Life of Everyday Thanksgiving
- “40 Reasons to Give Thanks to God”
- “Thankfulness is Worship in Action”
- “Finding the Presence of God Through Praise”
Don’t forget to pick up a copy of The Way of the Worshipper on Amazon – and AVAILABLE NOW you can also purchase The Way of the Worshipper: A Devotional Workbook for deeper study, personal examination and spiritual growth!