Let Me Be Frank… 1-15-20

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
    and His courts with praise;
    give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
    His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5

I was frustrated.  I had been trying to get into Bailey’s apartment complex for about five minutes, sure that I had the right passcode.  It didn’t matter what I typed in, the gate was not moving.  I guess I could have climbed over the gate which, most likely, would have resulted in another funny story about me to share as a sermon illustration.  I figured I had enough material so I stayed in the truck and waited patiently.  (Maybe patient isn’t the right word…)
Bailey texted back and confirmed my suspicions…  I had mixed up a six and a nine.  I usually don’t make mistakes like this (okay, I make mistakes like this all the time) but I put in the correct passcode and the gate began to move.  I was allowed inside.
Sometimes, as Christians, we think we need a secret passcode to enter God’s gates.  We try every combination we can think of, say the “right things” in order for Him to hear and respond, and wait impatiently for Him to respond.  How do we get the gate to move?  Why are we shut outside?
Here’s the thing…  His gates were never locked.  They were never closed.  Thanksgiving is not the magic unlock to get God to hear us, it is the posture of our heart.
Are we thankful that God is in control?  Are we thankful that He is with us?  Are we thankful that He is our light and salvation?  Are we thankful that He will finish the good work that He began in us?
“More than anything that you can do, Lord.  I just want You.”  Do we pray in order to get something in return or do we pray, in thanksgiving, because He is Lord of our lives and worthy of our praise?
Start each day with a grateful heart.  Finish each day with a grateful heart.  Practice this daily.  Thanksgiving is the way we come before God to ask Him to work in our lives.  The practice becomes routine, and the routine becomes a way of life.  And each day we look a little more like Jesus.
We are Central… and we’re in this TOGETHER!