After I read a passage of Scripture, I like to close my eyes and see it come alive in my mind; the picture gives me more understanding of the words.
Today, I saw Psalm 116 in three different stages:
1. The psalmist is captured and he is crying out for help. "The cords of death encompassed me, and the terrors of Sheol came upon me; I found distress and sorrow... I cried, 'O Lord, save my life.'" (v. 3-4)
2. The Savior hears his cry and delivers! "I love the Lord because He hears my voice...the Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me...He has loosened my bonds." (v. 1, 6, 16)
3. The psalmist then cannot help but give thanks and praise for His Savior's grace and compassion. He says, "I shall pay my vows (of thanksgiving) to the Lord, oh may it be in the presence of all His people...Praise the Lord!" (v. 18-19)
This psalm is the cycle of life, is in not? What cords are tied around you today? Worry, fear, doubt, pride, shame? Cry out to your Savior right now. He hears your voice and will faithfully cut these constricting chains. Leave these strongholds at the foot of the cross; don't pick them up again. And then, with free hands, loosened feet, and a full heart, GO to many and tell them what the Lord has done for you. Praise Him today for the continuous and redemptive act of love manifested at the cross. Yes, praise the Lord!
(see other posts: Picture Scripture, Picture Scripture II, III, IV)
(Paul defends himself before Agrippa), "So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. This is why the Jews seized me in the temple courts and tried to kill me. But I have had God's help to this very day, and so I stand here and testify to the small and great alike." Acts 26:19-22
When we hear from you, whether it's directly from your word or through someone's biblical teaching or by the prompting of your Spirit, give us the desire to obey your commands. Make us willing to speak about who you are so others can come to know you as Savior. Prevail in, through, and around us. Amen.