What motivates your participation in the mission of God? It seems to me there are various things that might focus our minds on being and sharing the good news of Jesus: obedience (Matt. 28:18-20) is one; love and conviction are others (2 Cor. 5:14-15). But what about joy and thankfulness?

I was speaking at Hillview Evangelical Church in Gloucester on Sunday on Psalm 100. Such a great Psalm:

A psalm. For giving thanks.
 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
 2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
       come before him with joyful songs.
 3 Know that the LORD is God.
       It is he who made us, and we are his [a] ; [Or and not we ourselves]
       we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
       and his courts with praise;
       give thanks to him and praise his name.
 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
       his faithfulness continues through all generations. (NIV)

The preceeding psalms have been full of the assertion and celebration of God’s kingship, packed with praise and joy but also with an eye on the nations and all creation (see Ps. 96:3-4, 10-13; 97:1; 98:1-9).

Perhaps thankfulness motivates us in two ways:

1. We reckon with who God is and what he has done and is doing, in contrast with who we are and what we deserve. And so we want to share this message of hope with others.

2. We get caught up in a vision of the nations (100:1 ‘all the earth’) also rejoicing in the works of the Lord and this inspires us to be part of God’s purposes for seeing that multiculural thankful and worshipping community come about.

What practical steps can we take to cultivate a ‘missional thankfulness’?

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