“Return to your rest, O my soul, for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” (116:7). There goes David again, talking to himself. He kept himself in shape doing that, didn’t he?
Encapsulated in this set of psalms is a concept which has been very special to me. Sometimes people get the idea that it is selfish to pray for their own needs. We can always find someone worse off than we are, so these people feel that they are being selfish to “bother” God with their own needs.
Not me! I think that my God is big enough to take care of those worse off … and me. He loves us all.
In fact, I look at it from a different perspective. “What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I shall lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.”(116:12-13)
Jesus paid a big price to set us free from sin and sorrow. He suffered a horrendous death – and He did it for us. Not just so that we could go to heaven but so that we could live an abundant life here on earth as well. So how do I repay Him? I partake of what He has done. That’s what He wants from me. He wants me to receive all that He paid the price for.
What if you gave your child an expensive present; one for which you had worked long, extra hours to pay for? Then, what if your child refused to open it because they thought they didn’t deserve it? Wouldn’t you say, “Open it!?”
Well, that’s exactly what Jesus is saying. “Open the package I brought you! Lift up the cup of salvation and drink from it!”
Then Psalm 118 has a similar tone. “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner-stone. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes…This is the day which the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (118:22-24)
Many people take the last verse here and say it in speaking of a new day – maybe first thing in the morning. There is nothing wrong with being joyful and rejoicing in each day, but I think that this verse means something much more meaningful. This verse is speaking of the Day which the Lord prepared for us by going to the cross. That Day is speaking of a season – in fact a new dispensation – which Jesus paid for by His death, burial, and resurrection.
What should we do in response to this new Day? We should rejoice and be glad in it!
I Corinthians 7:1-19
In chapter 7, Paul gives instruction concerning marriage. Through Paul’s own experience, he thinks that people are better off not being married – unless they don’t have self-control. When a man is a believer and his wife is not, or vice versa, troubles arise in the marriage. The two are unequally yoked because they don’t follow the same inner voice.
I have seen over the years how hard it can be for people to be unequally yoked. When a person becomes born again and hears the voice of God, their thinking will be different from one who doesn’t. The unbeliever thinks that the believer is foolish, and the believer thinks that the unbeliever is mean.
So if you are a believer and not married, I would highly recommend that you marry a believer. When the two of you are following the same voice – the same drummer, if you will, your life will be much easier. You will be free to run with the Lord together, with one accord.
Further, when one is weak, the other will build him up – not tear him down. You will be able to pray for each other and understand each other.
However, if you are already married to an unbeliever, pray for the salvation of your spouse. Be patient and expect God to work on your behalf. I have seen Him do it many times – in the most unusual circumstances.