This is the second blog post on the topic of a spiritual Boot Camp of Christ, the Commander of Heaven’s army. His boot camp assists us in becoming more like Him so that we can represent Him well here on earth. In the previous blog, Boot Camp 1, we began to explore “My Top 10 List” by expounding on the first item on the list – Submission. Gratitude and Praise are the focus for today.
Psalm 100:4 (NLT) “Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name.”
Entering heaven – while we live on earth. Communing with the King at His throne. Hearing and being heard in the courts of heaven. How can our hearts move in that direction?
Colossians 1:12 (TPT) “Your hearts can soar with joyful gratitude when you think of how God made you worthy to receive the glorious inheritance freely given to us by living in the light.”
Gratitude pours from a thankful heart. My husband and I just celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary, and I expressed to him my deep gratitude for weathering the ups and downs of life with me. I am so very thankful that he is my partner for this journey into marriage, careers, parenting, ministry and more. The addition of the Lord as the third cord in our relationship added strength to our union (Ecclesiastes 4:12).
The old saying “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” has been applied liberally throughout our marriage resulting in drawing us closer together. Our hearts, which are thankful for one another, move us toward expressions of gratitude (honey) rather than bitterness (vinegar) and continue to strengthen our bonds of unity. Similarly, hearts which are thankful for the nature and provisions of the Lord, express gratitude and praise to Him, thus bringing the favorable result of being ushered into His presence.
Praise is a move of our heart and spirit in response to gratefulness for what is done, said, given, or expressed to us in some meaningful way. It is a means to celebrate and bless others. What a wonder it is to see those around us grabbing hold of how much we value and appreciate them as we offer them praise for an accomplishment, for their character, for an act of selflessness or bravery, for their obedience or love.
We praise the Lord when we glorify, worship, bless, extol and exalt Him, when we testify of His character – faithful, loving, merciful, just, holy… What beautiful ways to acknowledge and honor the Lord. He is certainly worth it!
As David wrote repeatedly in Psalm 103, “Bless the Lord , O my soul!” I suggest that you, warrior of Christ, read through that Psalm and sing it as praise to the Lord as you express gratitude from your thankful heart. He doesn’t mind if you sing off key, He just wants to hear from you.