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Grace to Worship Properly

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.  Rom. 1:21-23

What might it look like for me to be more consumed with the power, authority, control, beauty and majesty of God than with my own lust for power, authority, control, beauty and majesty?  This deep inclination in the fabric of my heart, which gained the seemingly unstoppable momentum of an addict after Adam and Eve acted upon it, sets my most natural disposition at enmity with God in favor of my own fame and rule.  Were it not for His restraining grace, I would be totally enslaved by my own ego.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Rom. 5:6-8When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. Rom. 6:20-22

Grace powers through not only my powerlessness, but even my total antipathy toward submission of my rights, honor and praise for the praise, glory and adoration of another.  Twas grace that taught my heart to fear and grace my fears relieved.  It is the person and work of Jesus, necessary in the present tense both now and in the future on this earth, that inclines my heart to sing His praise, and that is good.

Praise the Lord.

How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!

The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.

Sing to the Lord with grateful praise; make music to our God on the harp.

He covers the sky with clouds; he supplies the earth with rain and makes grass grow on the hills. He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call.

His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse, nor his delight in the legs of the warrior; the Lord delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.  Psalm 147:1-11

I cannot heal the brokenhearted nor can I attempt to bind the wounds of the soul.  I can’t remember the names of people who live down the street from me, least to say know, cherish and remember the number of stars in the heavens.  My understanding is limited and I tend to want to cast the humble to the ground in my own battle for the survival of the fittest.  Oh that I could one day be unwavering in my hope in his unfailing love.  What would my whole countenance look like if that were so?  How would I interact with others if my hope rested in His unfailing love rather than their particular responses to me or my ideas?  How pleasant and fitting it is to sing praises to Him indeed, how sensible and enduring that object of affection beyond any other.  One Day it will be so permanently, but may I taste of it in greater measure even now.

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