"Enter His gates with thanksgiving
His gates...His courts... I pondered what exactly that meant as I studied the passage today. I have always heard it used as a reference to church, and sometimes, heaven, but is that all? I turned to my old friend, Matthew Henry to get his perspective. As always, he did not disappoint. Here's what He had to say:
"A strong invitation to worship God; not that God needs us, or any thing we have or can do, but it is his will that we should serve the Lord, should devote ourselves to his service and employ ourselves in it; and that we should not only serve him in all instances of obedience to his law, but that we should come before his presence in the ordinances which he has appointed and in which he has promised to manifest himself (v. 2), that we should enter into his gates and into his courts (v. 4), that we should attend upon him among his servants, and keep there where he keeps court. In all acts of religious worship, whether in secret or in our families, we come into God's presence, and serve him; but it is in public worship especially that we enter into his gates and into his courts. The people were not permitted to enter into the holy place; there the priests only went in to minister. But let the people be thankful for their place in the courts of God's house, to which they were admitted and where they gave their attendance."-Matthew Henry (emphasis mine)
We, of course, are no longer compelled to worship in the temple, and there are no longer the Old Testament distinctions on who can go where in the churches that have taken the temple's place. Best of all, we ARE allowed into the Holy Place because Hebrews 10:19-22a says:
No matter where you are in the "courts" in life, consider this: through Jesus, you are past the gates, you have access to the throne. How can you thank God today for where He has you in life right now? Are you thankful that You can offer Him praise no matter where you are?
Looking for the printable scripture writing plan? Or another day of the "Thankfulness: From Hand to Heart" study? Find them here!