WHY WE SHOULD ALWAYS BE HAPPY TO APPROACH GOD

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WHY WE SHOULD ALWAYS BE HAPPY TO APPROACH GOD

There is a famous hymn that goes,

“I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart.
I will enter His courts with praise.
I will say, ‘This is the day that the Lord has made.’
I will rejoice for He has made me glad.”

Sung that hymn before? I’m sure you must have. Now, here’s a question for you, how did you feel each time you sang that? Do you always enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise? Do you always look forward to going to church and praising Him? Are you always glad for the day that our Father has made?

You know, if we are honest, we don’t. We don’t always go to church filled with thanksgiving in our hearts. Sometimes we don’t even look forward to going to church at all. And did you know that God made Mondays too? How many of us are thankful that He made Mondays? You get what I mean.

When things are going well, we go everywhere with a spring in our step and a song on our lips. When things are rosy, all that is easy. But when things are not going well, we wonder just what kind of day the Lord has made, and why on earth is He putting us through it.

But beloved, there is a good reason why we should enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. And the best bit is, it’s not fantasy; what’s on offer is our reality. So let’s take some time to remind ourselves just what our reality in Christ is.

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.” Psalm 100:4

Pause for a moment and think. When we enter our Father’s gates and when we come into His courts, what is there to greet us?

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

We find the throne of grace. But we are not there because of pity. Grace is extended to us not because God decided that He was in a good mood. We have a righteous foundation to the Grace that our Father dispenses. God has a comprehensively justifiable reason to dispense unmerited favor on us; as it is written,

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

“Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].” Hebrews 4:16 [AMP]

Beloved, did you ever realize that it is a privilege for us to be able to approach the throne of God’s gracious favor? That means that it is a privilege for us to be able to go to church and meaningfully worship God.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Anyone can walk onto the church compound and into the church building. In fact, anyone can sit through a worship service. But being able to feel a connection to our Father during the service, now that’s a privilege, isn’t it? Because there are those who can sit through service without once lifting their eyes off their mobile games.

So from here you can see that it is not about what we have done that earns us the privilege of being able to connect with our Father. All we ever had to do is one thing, and that is believe. Believe in Jesus and the fact that Jesus died for our sins. Because in the end, the reason why we are saved, the reason why we can have the privilege of entering into His presence, is because of what Jesus has done, as Jesus Himself so eloquently put it,

“Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” John 6:28-29

So because Jesus has secured our righteousness for us through His death and resurrection, we have the privilege of approaching the throne of Grace. And why would we want to approach the throne of Grace?

“…so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].” Hebrews 4:16 [AMP]

A few pointers to take note of when it comes to blessings, though beloved. Often, people see God as an automated teller, the kind the banks use to dispense money. When we want a new car, we ask God for it, and we expect it to drive itself up our driveway when we get home. When we want a new job, we expect the phone to ring and our prospective employers to call the minute we finish praying. And we get disappointed when things don’t happen according to our plan.

But the author of Hebrews is clear about this. Help will come. And it will come through an appropriate blessing, which comes at the right moment. You may think it is that car that you want, but God has something else better in store. You may think it is that job that you want, but God has something else better in store. You may think it is that person that you want for a spouse, but God has someone else better in store. And how can we be so sure that when things don’t go as planned, He has got something else better in store? Because we have a double clad guarantee. And here it is.

For God our Father said,

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

And Jesus said,

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

Between the plans to prosper and the life more abundant, you can bet your bottom dollar that when things don’t go as we planned, God has got something better in store for us.

Indeed, beloved, we must always look back on our Father’s faithfulness in our lives and realize that

“…the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100:5

Not only is the Lord good, not only is His mercy everlasting, His truth, the words you read in your Bible, all the promises that you hold onto each and every day, they will endure to all generations.

And the way that we constantly remind ourselves of this is when we

“Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His].
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” Psalm 100:3 [AMP]

Beloved, indeed we are His, as Jesus said,

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.” John 10:11

“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.” John 10:14

When we look back at all that He has done for us, it is clear through every miracle that He is God, Almighty and All powerful. And when we remember that it is He who made us, we will then realize that it is not for us to toil or to worry, just as Jesus said,

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:31-33

Indeed, your Father knows exactly what you need and when you seek His kingdom, when you enter His gates and come into His courts, His supply will be there for you, appropriately and coming just at the right moment.

So let us enter His courts with thanksgiving in our hearts and His courts with praise. Let us rejoice in every day that the Lord has made for each new day is a new opportunity for us to come boldly to the throne of Grace, to obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

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