There must be Ignition and Fire

Psalm 116

I love the Lord,
because he listens to my prayers for help.
He paid attention to me,
so I will call to him for help as long as I live.
The ropes of death bound me,
and the fear of the grave took hold of me.
I was troubled and sad.
Then I called out the name of the Lord.
I said, "Please, Lord, save me!"

The Lord is kind and does what is right;
our God is merciful.
The Lord watches over the foolish;
when I was helpless, he saved me.
I said to myself,
"Relax, because the Lord takes care of you."
Lord, you saved me from death.
You stopped my eyes from crying;
you kept me from being defeated.
So I will walk with the Lord in the land of the living.
I believed, so I said, "I am completely ruined."
In my distress I said, "All people are liars."

What can I give the Lord for all the good things he has given to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation,
and I will pray to the Lord.
I will give the Lord what I promised in front of all his people.
The death of one that belongs to the Lord is precious in his sight.
Lord, I am your servant;
I am your servant and the son of your female servant.
You have freed me from my chains.
I will give you an offering to show thanks to you,
and I will pray to the Lord.
I will give the Lord what I promised in front of all his people,
in the Temple courtyards in Jerusalem.

There must be Ignition and Fire

SITUATION After a close call with death, this unknown psalmist thanked God for answering his prayers and praised God for his deliverance.

OBSERVATION Praise should be the natural result of answered prayer.

INSPIRATION Worshiping in spirit is the opposite of worshiping in merely external ways. It is the opposite of empty formalism and traditionalism. Worshiping in truth is the opposite of worship based on an inadequate view of God. Worship must have heart and head. Worship must engage emotions and thought.

Truth without emotions produces dead orthodoxy and a church full (of half-full) of artificial admirers (like people who write generic anniversary cards for a living). On the other hand, emotion without truth produces empty frenzy and cultivates shallow people who refuse the discipline of rigorous thought. But true worship comes from people who are deeply emotional and who love deep and sound doctrine. Strong affections for God rooted in truth are the bone and marrow of biblical worship.

Perhaps we can tie things together with this picture. The fuel of worship is the truth of God, the furnace of worship is the spirit of man, and the heart of worship is the vital affection of reverence contrition, trust, gratitude, and joy.

But there is something missing from this picture. There is furnace, fuel and heat, but no fire. The fuel of truth in the furnace of our spirit does not automatically produce the heat of worship. There must be ignition and fire. This is the Holy Spirit . . .

Now we can complete our picture. The fuel of worship is a true vision of the greatest of God; the fire that makes the fuel burn white-hot is the quickening of the Holy Spirit; the furnace made alive and warm by the flame of the truth is our renewed spirit; and the resulting heat of our affections is powerful worship, pushing its way out of confessions, longing, acclamations, tears, songs, shouts, bowed heads, lifted hands and obedient lives. (From Desiring God by John Piper)

APPLICATION Have you ever been in a desperate situation? Did you ever thank God for saving you? It is never too late. Thank him if you are at a loss for words, read them this psalm as you prayer to God.

EXPLORATION Thankfulness -- 2 Chronicles 7:3; Psalm 8:2; 30:11-13, 107:31-31; Luke 17:15-16; 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing the Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado General Editor, New Century Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers

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