Monday, June 17, 2019

Kept from stumbling

Ever begin a day proclaiming God's grace and end it assured he has displayed his grace time and time again throughout that very day? I have and I know that it was God who set things right in that day, not me! It makes me want to 'repay' what I have received so generously, but there is not way to 'repay' God for his grace! The only thing we can do is to be grateful and strengthen our resolve to live obediently to all he commands.

What can I give back to God for the blessings he's poured out on me? I'll lift high the cup of salvation—a toast to God! I'll pray in the name of God; I'll complete what I promised God I'd do, and I'll do it together with his people. When they arrive at the gates of death, God welcomes those who love him. Oh, God, here I am, your servant, your faithful servant: set me free for your service! I'm ready to offer the thanksgiving sacrifice and pray in the name of God. I'll complete what I promised God I'd do, and I'll do it in company with his people, in the place of worship, in God's house, in Jerusalem, God's city. Hallelujah! (Psalm 116:12-19)

Lift high the cup of salvation! In other words, we need to put the grace of God on display in our lives. Be a living testimony of the deliverance of God. In so doing, we proclaim the greatness of God's love and the faithfulness of his provision. Pray in the name of God. That may seem like a "given" to you, but in the times these words were written by our psalmist the nation was surrounded by all kinds of false gods. Religions abounded, giving "choice" to man as to who deserved the "glory and honor" for what had occurred in their day. There were gods for the seasons, gods for fertility, gods for the weather, and even gods of war. To the psalmist - there is but ONE God - and to him he will pray! Today, we are afforded a whole lot of "other" sources for what occurs. We have the god of Wall Street to blame or thank for our financial status. We have the god of media to fashion our thoughts and frame our ways of acting. You name it, we've got a 'god' for it! It is the intention of the psalmist's heart to have no other God before his one true God! It should be the intention of our hearts, as well.

Complete what we promise God we will do - and do it alongside your brothers and sisters in the Lord. Our commitment to God should be "lived out" in our regular and ordinary daily life. In the moment of truth, will we step up to what we promised God we'd do? In our comfort, we seldom remember the promises we make in the times of our greatest distress. Whenever we make a promise (a vow), we are committing to a set course of conduct. We need to follow-up on that commitment - and we will not do it alone - we have our brothers and sisters alongside in the journey. When we are weak in our fulfillment of our vows, perhaps we'd do well to simply invite another to stand alongside as we take the steps toward faithfulness that we have promised! That relationship of another can go along way toward helping us be faithful! Desire to be of service to God. The outcome of our soul's deliverance is that we should desire to be of service to the one who has done so much in redeeming us and keeping us safe along the way. There is nothing more rewarding to God than to see his children lifting hands in praise to him. The heartfelt worship of our Lord stirs his heart as we lift him high in exultation. We connect with God through heartfelt worship.

We often forget the many blessings of our God. That is one reason that I journal my studies and why I share what God does through the written word we share in this blog. God has done much to transform this sinful soul and he deserves the honor due his name! Man cannot "repay" God for the many blessings in his life, but he can give two things in return: his heart and his commitment to fulfill his vows. The heart connects him with God - the desire to fulfill the vows he has made is a direct result of his gratitude toward his Lord. These next words suggest that we can be at peace and our soul can be at rest. This is not because of what we have done, but because of the faithfulness of what God continually does! Let this be our prayer of both meditation and praise on this day. See if it doesn't change your perspective a little today to "relax and rest" by remembering that it is God who is in control, who delivers, and who sets all things right! Just sayin!

I said to myself, "Relax and rest. God has showered you with blessings. Soul, you've been rescued from death; Eye, you've been rescued from tears; And you, Foot, were kept from stumbling."

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