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In Praise Of God

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The psalmists praised the Lord for many things. The psalmist in Psalm 111 praises God for his eternal actions:

The works of his hand are faithful and just;
all his precepts are trustworthy.

They are steadfast forever and ever,
done in faithfulness and uprightness.

He provided redemption for his people;
He ordained his covenant forever –
holy and awesome is his name. (Ps. 111:7-9)1

As Futato remarks, “Praise the Lord for who he is: Glorious and majestic, gracious and merciful, just and good. Praise the Lord for what he has done. He has provided the full ransom and the instruction needed to live a life of purpose and significance.”2 Thus, the Lord’s word is praised and shown to be basic to the believer’s life:

Your word, O LORD, is eternal;
it stands firm in the heavens.

Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
you establish the earth and it endures. (Ps. 119:89-90; cf. Ps 111:9).

The psalmist, King David, points out that the Lord has “granted him eternal blessings” and “made him glad with the joy of the Lord’s presence” and that because he “trusts in the Lord” and therefore, the unfailing love of the Most High will not be shaken” (Ps. 21:6-7). Furthermore,

You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand. (Ps. 16:11; cf. Ecc. 12:5b).

The Old Testament passages find even greater fulfillment in the life of Jesus, as attested in the book of John. There Jesus tells his disciples:

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one (Jn 10:27-30; cf. Jn. 12:49-50).

It is of great interest to note that Jesus declares his oneness with God the Father. As Kostenberger observes: ”For Jesus to be one with the Father yet distinct from him amounts to a claim to deity (cf. John 1:1-2) … Jesus’ unity with the Father later constitutes the basis on which Jesus prays that his followers likewise will be unified (John 17:22)”.3

Granted the assurance of this fact, today’s believers are challenged to live in harmony and unity with fellow believers. Even so, John has spoken of Jesus’ assurance that “whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; for he crossed over from death to life” (Jn. 5:24; cf. vv. 39-40). Yes, Jesus is the ultimate source of mankind’s eternal life. As Jesus told Nicodemus, the Pharisee, “Everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (Jn. 3:15-16). The singular importance of this fact lies behind the Apostle John’s further teaching that, “The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him (Jn. 3:35-36). As Jesus said elsewhere, “My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn. 6:40; cf. Jn 17:1-2). As Kostenberger remarks “Precisely because the believer’s future raising up by Jesus is a certainty, it can be said that they have eternal life already in the here and now.”4 So it is that the true believer is assured of eternal life with the Lord (cf. Jude 1-2). Thus, Jude goes on to say:

Dear Friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. (Jude 20-21).

May each of us, then, who are genuine believers wait expectantly, enjoying intimate fellowship with the Lord. As I have pointed out elsewhere, as Christ’s followers, believers should be faithful in all things, even such matters as the course of their daily tasks and contacts. This should be their constant, consistent goal and desire throughout their lives. … May each believer be ever faithful to the end, mindful of the resurrected, risen Christ’s charge to the church in Smyrna: “Remain faithful even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life itself” (Rev 2:10).5

As the hymn write says:

True-hearted, whole-hearted, faithful and loyal,
King of our lives by the grace we will be.6

1 All scripture references are from the NIV.

2 Mark D. Futato, “The Book of Psalms”, in Cornerstone Biblical Commentary, ed. Philip W. Comfort (Carol Stream, Il., Tyndale House, 2009), VII:353.

3 Andreas J. Kostenberger, “John” in Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2004), 312.

4 IBID, 212.

5 Richard D. Patterson, “Faithful to the End”, (Bible.Org, 2015).

6 Frances R. Havergal, “True-Hearted, Whole-Hearted”.

Related Topics: Christian Life, Devotionals

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