Furnace, Fuel, Heat, Ignition and Fire

Thanksgiving for Escaping Death

Psalm 116: "I love the LORD,
because He listens to my prayers for help
He pays 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..."

Furnace, Fuel, Heat, Ignition and Fire

READ Psalm 116:1-19

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 the 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) or 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 though. 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 bone and marrow of biblical worship.

Perhaps we can tie the 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 heat of worship is the vital affections 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 true vision of the greatness 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 in confessions, longings, 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 even thank God for saving you? It is never too late. Thank him, if you are at loss for words, read this psalm as your prayer to God.

EXPLORATION Thankfulness--2 Chronicles 7:3; Psalm 8:2; 30:11-12; 107:31-32; Luke 17:15-16; 1 Corinthians 15:56-57; 2 Corinthians 1:10-11; Ephesians 5:19-20.

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

1 comment:

christy rose said...

Great devotion! Worshipping in spirit and in Truth! God teach us more! Thanks for this Charlotte!

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