I Will Praise Him

"I will praise you with an upright heart
     as I learn your righteous laws.
I will obey your decrees;
     do not utterly forsake me."  -- Psalm 119:7-8

God’s Promises inspire My Response.

            When I observe the way things work in this world, I see that God’s ways are true.  I’ve lived long enough to test the validity of scripture.  God really does bestow life and soul-security on those who obey His laws. I do see my need of Him to help my wayward soul in this. Further, I have experienced God Himself through the power of Jesus and His Holy Spirit. I know Him to be true and all love.

            So my heart now turns to a decision.  It is a decision of intent and this is crucial: I choose Him. I don’t wait on circumstance, I set my volition toward the goal of Christ.  It makes sense in light of all that I know is true.  So what is it that I choose? 

            Praise.  God desires our worship.  He doesn’t desire perfection from created beings.  Only He is perfect.  He has made a way for us in our failures through the cleansing of the sacrifice of Jesus. He doesn’t desire our works, because anything we can do is far less than what God can do.  He doesn’t need us, we need Him.  What God desires is our love.  When I praise Him, I am simply telling the truth about God.  I am saying out loud Who He is and what He has done.  I am saying that He is all that I place in front of me; He’s my goal, my desire, my hope, and all that is good. He is worthy to be praised above all else in this world. I choose to worship Him. How can I worship Him?

            Learn.  I will set my mind and heart and body to learn all that He has given me to learn in His Word.  If His Word is truth, and if He gives all good things from the riches of His inheritance to those who take the effort to learn from Him, then I’m in! I’m ALL in.  His laws are righteous (right, correct, good, perfect).  I will open my Bible and I will study on my own and with other believers.  This decision to hear God speak to me through His Word straightens out my crooked heart; I become upright, aligned with God Himself, more and more.  I want this! I will it. 

            Obey.  How do I learn His laws, after I have read them?  I put them to practice.  It doesn’t make good sense to be knowledgeable about truth and then deceive myself through sloth in obeying that truth.  Because God’s Word is true, I will “walk in it”.  That means, every step forward, every decision in my life is going to be guided and evaluated by the light of His Word.  Not only that, but going “higher up and further in”, all my thinking and feeling I choose to be guided by this same truth.  I cannot allow thoughts or feelings that are not righteous – no exceptions.  I now no longer live for myself to please or comfort my own self, but I now live for the Christ who has loved me and given Himself for me. I live to serve.

            Confession and Promise. The final prayer is a confession and a request.  I Need God.  While it is the highest decision I can ever make to point my will toward obedience and praise of God in Christ, I need help even in this.  If God turns away from me, I am undone.  Thankfully, because Christ Himself has answered our psalmist’s prayer, we have the security of knowing that if we seek Him with all our heart, we shall surely always find Him, “thus saith our Lord”:

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.” — Jeremiah 29:11-13 Berean Study Bible (BSB)

Isle of Skye, Scotland
"_______ are those whose ________ are ________,
     who ______ according to the ______ of the ______. 
_______ are they who _______ his __________
     and _______ Him with ________ their _______–
     they do no _______
     but _______ His ways.

____, that my _____ were ________
     in ________ your _________!
Then I would not be put to _______
     when I ________ your _________.

I will ______ you with an _________   _________
     as I _________ your _________   _______. 
I will ______ your ______;
     do not ________    __________ me!"
                   -- Psalm 119:1-8

Thanks for taking this memorization challenge with me. We have been memorizing Aleph. There is more to come! — Tamara

Worship with Me!

If with all your hearts”, recitative of Obadiah from “Elijah”, by Mendelssohn.  Performed beautifully by Ethan Bremner with the Brookline Chorus, Lisa Graham conducting. Uploaded by Ethan Bremner, Dec 30, 2009. [YouTube; 3:45 min.].

This recitative begins at 1:13 minutes into the clip. The lyrics for both the recitative before it and this one are given below from fbcradio.org. This song from a classic oratorio a bit different than we normally have here, but a most heart-satisfying reminder from the ardent craft of Mendelssohn and the truth of God to our hearts.

Ye People, Rend Your Hearts (No. 3 from Mendelssohn's "Elijah")
Ye people, rend your hearts, rend your hearts and not your garments
For your transgressions the prophet Elijah has sealed the heavens, through the word of God. 
I therefore say to ye, forsake your idols;
Return to God, for He is slow to anger and merciful and kind and gracious,
     and repenteth Him of the evil.

If With All Your Heart (No. 4 from Mendelssohn's "Elijah")  (at 1:13 min.)
If with all your heart ye truly seek Me,
Ye shall ever surely find Me,
Thus saith our God.                        (repeat)
Thus saith our God. 

Oh, that I knew where I might find Him,
That I might even come before His presence.  (repeat)

If with all your heart ye truly seek Me,
Ye shall ever surely find Me,
Thus saith our God.
Ye shall ever surely find Me,
Thus saith our God.  

N.B. an “oratorio” is a larger, usually sacred choral and orchestral composition that tells a story using music instead of spoken words, but without costumes or props like opera.

Psalm 119:1-8 scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered by Biblica, Inc.®

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