First Things First
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.
The first word of this passage, “Enter,” indicates our first action. For instance, if your mom tells you to take off your shoes when you enter the house, that means it’s the very first thing you’re going to do. Mom doesn’t want you to get a snack first and then take off your shoes; you’ll have already tracked in the dirt. Scripture indicates the very first thing I should do when I spend time with God... Enter his gates with thanksgiving.
I must embarrassingly admit that often I enter into a time of interaction with God with complaints, worries, and frustration. I let him know what’s on my mind first, and then thank him for being who he is such that I can come to him with all my junk anyway. I need to get into a better practice of first things first. And the first thing out of my mouth when I wake up, when I pray, when I eat, and when I go to bed should be to thank Him. Otherwise, it’d be like tracking dirt in the house to get a snack first.
Today is Thanksgiving. So I say, “THANK YOU!” Thank you for all you have done for me! Thank you for your goodness and grace, for good rest and for waking me up this morning, and thank you for family that we get to be with today! We have a couple of places to visit, and I pray that the first thing for me upon my entrance to anywhere – a house, a kitchen, a conversation, and a prayer – would begin with thanking you for how amazing you are and for all the wonderful things you have done for me and for everyone I know. I love you so much. Help me get first things first. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.