In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.
This month's Lesson from the Psalms comes from
Psalm 100. But first:
Interesting facts From the Book of Psalms:
Today's interesting fact from the book of Psalms is that in
Judaism, the book is traditionally broken up into 5 different sub-books
and is known as the "five books of David". We still see this division in
many of our current Bibles.
from the Psalms focuses on
Psalm 100, a Psalm that provides a
formula for praise.
As an introduction, please go back in time
with me about 10 years, to a time when my family had been instructed to
pray about which high school our oldest son, "D" would attend. There
were three candidates, one of which was the local public high school,
Centennial high. Join our family around the breakfast table one Saturday
Mom: "So did you all pray about the high school?"
Younger brother shrugs...
Dad starts to answer but is cut
D: (Jumping in) "Yup! God gave me
Rest of family,
staring blankly for a full minute, then finally, as one: "And? What does
Psalms 100 say?"
didn't read it..."
Mom, speaking forth what the looks of
puzzlement around the table were all trying to communicate: "How do you
know that God spoke to you through
Psalms 100 if you didn't even read
D: (Grinning) "Don't you get it?
Psalms 100? What's the French word
for 100? 'Cent', right? God was telling me I should go to 'Cent'ennial
It's an amusing story, one that illustrates how God can
speak to us in different ways; but when I went back to actually read
Psalm 100, I realized something
powerful about motivation for prayer, something that might have helped
us in our dilemma about the high school, had we made the effort to
follow the guidance of
First of all,
Psalm 100 is an outline for how
we are to praise God. It says:
with joy to the Lord, all the earth!" (vs. 1
2. "Worship the Lord with gladness."
(vs. 2a NLT);
3. "singing with joy."
(vs. 2b NLT);
that the Lord is God!" (vs. 3
5. "Enter his gates with thanksgiving..."
(vs. 4a NLT);
6. "...praise His name."
(vs. 4b NLT).
Most of us don't get quite this "into" our worship.
We may sing, but do we shout? Do we sing for joy? Do
we acknowledge that Jesus is the Lord? Do we have
thanksgiving on our lips? Do we sing our praises because
of His glorious name? Or do we praise God as an adjunct to our list of
I don't know about you, but my tendency is the
The Psalm goes on to tell us who should praise
Him: "...all the earth." (vs. 1 NLT). Notice
that it doesn't specify that only those with answered prayers should
praise Him. It tells us that we all must praise Him, no matter
what our circumstances!
The Psalm then tells us where
to praise Him:
1. "Come before Him..."
(vs. 2b NLT);
2. "Enter His gates..."
(vs. 5a NLT);
3. "go into His courts..."
We may not have a physical temple with gates and courts
anymore, but we are the temple of God, for His Spirit
dwells in us (See
1 Cor. 3:16-17;
2 Cor. 6:17-18, etc.). When we go
to the Lord in our quiet place for prayer, for meditation and
reflection, to simply sit at Jesus' feet, we are, in essence, entering
"...His gates..." and going "...into His courts...".
Finally, the Psalm also tells us why we should praise
1. "He made us..." (vs. 2a NLT);
2. "...and we
are His. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture." (vs. 3 NLT);
3. "For the Lord is good..." (vs. 5a NLT);
unfailing love continues forever..." (vs. 5b NLT)
faithfulness continues to each generation." (vs. 5c NLT)
especially special note is that the primary reason most of us praise God
is not listed in
Psalm 100: It does not
tell us to praise God because we want something from Him or that He has
just answered some prayer. In fact, unlike many of the Psalms, there are
absolutely no reference to prayer requests in this Psalm
It all made me think...Does praise even get 50% of my
prayer time? I seriously doubt it...
I believe the vital lesson
to be learned from the lack of "requesting" and the total focus on
Psalm 100 is that when we praise
God, we should be doing it out of love and adoration, out of His
goodness and mercy. We are to praise Him, as stated in the Psalm, for
His goodness and love and faithfulness, not because we are trying to
turn His hand.
This is what I realized when God spoke to my son
through the Psalm title. We are to go before the Lord in thanksgiving
and praise--without any other agenda. Perhaps if we had all not been so
busy seeking God's guidance, we might have been more inclined to spend
time praising God for Who He is. Then we would have been open to His
voice speaking His wisdom to us. Fortunately, there was someone in our
family that day who had this insight...
Friends, stop seeking God
with to-do lists. Instead, put aside for a bit your own concerns and
seek Him in the
Psalms 100 way: With nothing but
praise and thanksgiving on your agendas! I guarantee you will be blessed
And--quite probably--you will also receive
the guidance and blessings you seek...
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire "Lessons From the Psalms" mini-series,