Love for The Lord

Psalm 116:1-4 ESV

I love the Lord, because he has heard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
The snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”

This is not just once. This is forever! Our salvation is not a one-time event in our lives. It has a beginning, but it is continuous, and when our Lord returns, it will come to completion.

The Lord didn’t just deliver us once. He delivers us on an ongoing basis.
We all need continuous mercy. We need the Lord to hear our cries daily. The snares of death visit us on a regular basis, for Satan is always working to destroy us.

We regularly suffer distress and anguish as each day brings new challenges into our lives. And, every day we need to be calling on the Lord to deliver us from all evil and to direct our paths.

And, if our hearts are in the right place, and we are sincere in our prayers, and if we are willing to listen to the Lord and to do what he says, he will help us. And, he will strengthen and empower us to overcome all obstacles that come our way and to be able to walk righteously before him all our days.

Psalm 116:5-9 ESV

Gracious is the Lord, and righteous;
our God is merciful.
The Lord preserves the simple;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your rest;
for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.

For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.

Our Lord watches over and keeps those who trust in him with simple childlike faith, who are sincere in their trust in the Lord, and who are not conniving and mischievous to get what they want, but who wait on the Lord for him to answer their prayers for mercy.

When we go through trials and tribulations which test our faith, he saves us when we call on him. He keeps us from fearing or caving to our circumstances and from fretting over what other humans may do to us or say about us.

When we are going through difficult times which cause pain and suffering to come into our lives, he keeps us from stumbling, if we will listen to him, and if we will heed his counsel to us. And, he fills us with his peace.

He lifts us up out of the pit of despair, and he puts a new song of praise on our lips and in our hearts. For, He is amazing! He can do what no other can do in mending our broken hearts and in turning our sorrow into joy.

Psalm 116:10-11 ESV

I believed, even when I spoke:
“I am greatly afflicted”;
I said in my alarm,
“All mankind are liars.”

I hate lies! God hates lies! I think that one of the most painful things we can go through in this life is to be betrayed by those we love and by those who we trusted with our hearts and with our emotions. For, those who have that childlike faith often are those who love others sincerely, and who are prone to having their hearts stomped on, too.

I have to say that I sympathize with this statement, “All mankind are liars.” Now, I know that not everyone practices telling lies. But, there is so much deception right now going on in the world, and within the church, too, that it is difficult to believe anyone these days. And, that is a sad, sad situation.

Psalm 116:12-14 ESV

What shall I render to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.

When we put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are entering into a covenant relationship with Almighty God, much like a marriage covenant between a man and a woman. For, we who believe in Jesus are his bride and he is our husband.

When we enter into this covenant relationship with our Lord, we do, in essence, take vows of fidelity, too. For, when we believe on our Lord, we agree with him to die with him to sin that we might live with him to righteousness.

Thus, we willingly leave our “single” lives behind us in order to enter into this marriage relationship with our Lord, and to become united with him in heart and in mind.

Our vows to the Lord, then, in order to come after him, are that we agree with him to deny self and to take up our cross daily (die daily to sin) and to follow him (to walk with him in obedience). And this is daily, one day at a time, each day choosing to say “No!” to sin, and to say “Yes!” to God.

Psalm 116:15-19 ESV

Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
O Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and call on the name of the Lord.
I will pay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
in the courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord!

Oh, indeed! When we choose to follow our Lord in death to sin daily, and to walk daily with him in his righteousness and holiness, this is precious to him in his sight. For, this is the reason he died for us on that cross, that we might die with him daily to sin and self, and that daily we might walk with him in holiness and purity.

For, Jesus didn’t die that painful death on a cross merely to forgive us our sins, and definitely not to then give us carte blanche to continue living in sin. When he died on that cross he put sin to death on our behalf that sin might be put to death in our lives, and that we might now be free from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin. Amen! Glory to God!

Too many people these days are taking God’s grace for granted. They think of his grace as free license to continue in their sinful practices, only now without guilt or need for remorse. Thus, they deride God’s precious gift of salvation to us which was intended to deliver us out of our bondage to sin.

Nonetheless, we are to honor our Lord, and to thank him daily for dying for our sins so that we might be delivered from our slavery to sin. And, we do this by walking in obedience to his commands and by serving him with our lives. We do this, too, by forsaking our sinful lifestyles to now walk with him in purity of devotion to him. And, this is our expression of love for him who saved us from our sins.

I Need Thee Every Hour

Hymn lyrics by Annie S. Hawks, 1872
Ref. by Robert Lowry, 1872
Music by Robert Lowry, 1872

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee every hour; stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is vain.

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessed Son.

I need Thee, O I need Thee; every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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