Join The Journey http://wmcc.jointhejourney.com Watermark Community Church - A Journey Through the Psalms and Proverbs en-us PRAYER OFFERED AND ANSWERED, ENDURING LOVE, ASSURED SALVATION http://wmcc.jointhejourney.com/log/111903 Today's Passage: Psalm 116 & 117

"Gooood morning, Vietnam!!" But wait, this is JTJ 2017.

Along with praying almost daily since 2001 with Roddy, my devoted bride of 47 years, I have attempted to serve the maturing body of Watermark, primarily through ReEngage, the marriage ministry, and Summit, the men's Bible study. Blessed to contribute to JTJ these past 10 years, this is likely my final input to this amazing disciple-building tool. With a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease called ALS, I write, not in a morbid sense, but of answered prayer, enduring love, and assured eternity with Jesus. "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever." (Isaiah 40:8)

 

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PRAYER OFFERED AND ANSWERED, ENDURING LOVE, ASSURED SALVATION

KEY VERSE

For you have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
. . .
Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his saints.
(Psalm 116:8-9, 15)

CENTRAL TRUTH

Loving communication and prayer produce devoted relationships. A relationship of love with the Father is manifested by prayer and results in life eternal and "in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the Lord, in your midst, O Jerusalem." (Psalm 116:18b-19a)

REFLECTIONS

"I love the LORD" (verse 1a) captures a blessed declaration of every believer who experiences the assurance of redemptive love through prayer. Charles Spurgeon taught that "answered prayers are silken bonds which bind our hearts to God."

Rich in interpretation, this psalm’s theme is love for God fostered by answered prayer. Picture it in the context of the Israelites’ freedom from Egypt or immunity during the Passover. Moreover, hear our Lord singing it at the Last Supper. Bondage to salvation, God’s chosen protected, obedient death as a precursor to life—all a product of prayer.

Serious as it is, when I compare my "great affliction" (verse 10) with Jesus’ preparation for the cross—the scope and scale, anguish, desertion—it pales in comparison. Jesus knew His prayer would be heard; and He would be raised from the dead and sit at the Father’s very right hand. While our prayer these final few months is for my disease progression to slow, our true desire is for God to be glorified. Prayer yields love and Truth, equating to Jesus, equating to Life.

"The Lord watches over [His saints'] dying beds, smooths their pillows, sustains their hearts, and receives their souls. Those who are redeemed with precious Blood are so dear to God that even their deaths are precious to Him. . . . If we have walked before Him in the land of the living, we need not fear to die before Him when the hour of our departure is at hand." (Spurgeon on verse 15)

However God answers my prayer, I trust in His love and am persuaded, without fear, that life eternal in the presence of Jesus is my future. 

As a simple bit player on the eternal stage, my room in the mansion of all mansions may be small and quaint, but the face of God is what I seek. For heavenly reasons, "[p]recious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." (Verse 15) But most emphatically, it is the day of the final, grand answer to prayer when I am face to face with Jesus and hear Him express His love, "Well done, good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:21)

I pray I hear it so, and "I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living." (Verse 9)

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. Can you honestly claim to love the Lord? How has He answered your prayer? How did it make you feel?

2. Examine your prayer life. What is the focus? Self or servant; your gratification or His glory? To take ground today, what will you do?

3. What are your "great afflictions"? How has the Lord responded to your prayer? What are the outcomes?

4. Husbands: Are you loving your wife "as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her" (Ephesians 5:25)? Are you praying with your wife daily? If not, what will it take to convince you of the sheer necessity of daily prayer with her?

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http://wmcc.jointhejourney.com/log/111903 2017-06-23T06:00:00