We just wrapped up what I think is one of the most incredible activities I’ve been part of at FBCA (certainly one of my favorites), Proclaiming the Word; where the Scripture is read aloud around the clock from the pulpit over the last few days of 2013 and the first few days of 2014.
God’s word, we read in Isaiah 55:11, never returns void. The opportunities I had to read were divine affirmation of an entire month I just spent in the Psalms. Day after day, I was immersed in these ancient cries of praise to the Lord, then just a few nights ago, I read aloud from the pulpit, beginning with Psalm 108 and concluding with the entirety of Psalm 119 – the longest chapter in the Bible.
Anyone desiring to see God a fresh and new should spend time in Psalms. They are so rich, for one reason, because they are the expressions of numerous people who have walked in the knowledge of the Lord. Compared to the riches of this world, there is nothing that can compete with interacting with so many testimonies of deliverance and the resulting heart of praise.
Spurgeon, no wonder, refers to the Psalms in his monumental commentary on them, as the “Treasury of David” – truly, they are a great treasure.
And for me, after spending a dedicated time in that treasury, one truth has emerged amidst in the myriad of blessings that come from God’s word.
It is a simple truth. It is quite apparent in Psalm 119, too. But one that, properly considered, is perspective setting.
It is the truth that Salvation belongs to God. Maybe you’re like me and you haven’t given too much thought to it, but Salvation doesn’t belong to you, or to me. Nor does it belong to one church or any one faith denomination. It is God’s. He is the author of it and he makes it perfect.
Over and over again, we read that salvation is utterly and completely belonging to God and to God alone is the right and ability invite whosoever to enjoy His salvation.
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!
MORE GLORIOUS THAN WE COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE
One reason I find significance in this truth is not just that God’s salvation is the only one that matters – though it is – but it’s that God’s salvation is more glorious than we could possibly imagine!
20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
When Jesus opened his earthly ministry he began by preaching that the kingdom of God was at hand. Salvation followed him everywhere he went. The blind were given sight, the lame were healed, the deaf could hear. The Word of God was revealed!
I have a dark horse favorite Chris Tomlin Song called Salvation Spring Up From the Ground (YouTube Version below):
Salvation, spring up from the ground
Lord, rend the heavens and come down
Seek the lost and heal the lame
Jesus, bring glory to Your name
Let all the prodigals run home
All of creation waits and groans
Lord, we’ve heard of Your great fame
Father, cause all to shout Your name
Stir up our hearts, Oh God
Open our spirits to awe who You are
Put a cry in us so deep inside
That we cannot find the words we need
We just weep and cry out to You
And in the Psalms, when God’s Salvation is experienced, the response is always the same as this chorus, all-abandoned cries of praise!
A Prayer for 2014
Can I tell you what I passionately desire and am praying for in 2014? I’m praying for an outpouring of God’s Salvation in our midst. I’m praying that your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, the guy who served you lunch, and the barista at Starbucks enter into this glorious Salvation. And for that family member, who you have prayed over for years to come into the saving grace of Jesus Christ, would join you at the altar of praise this year. And that when we would see such an outpouring of God’s Salvation we would have no other response than to truly weep and cry out to the Lord.
Salvation Spring Up From the Ground (Performed by Charlie Hall at Passion)