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Singing Psalm 118 you find lasting love

Singing Psalm 118 you value lasting love more than anything

Levels of love and allegiance come to mind when singing Psalm 118. You wonder how you could have settled for less for so long. Ingesting a cross section of God’s epic rescue story, you become more confident and more in love with the Lord whether you are alone with him or gathered with others.

The parable of the 10 virgins comes to mind (Matthew 25:1-13). They cared for those that didn’t plan well, but there is no question that their allegiance was weighted heavily toward their bridegroom. 

Five prioritized their meeting with him and chose to direct the other five to do as they planned in advance rather than to jeopardize this all important meeting. Five were not about to risk making themselves not ready to meet their bridegroom by giving the other five any portion of what they might need to be prepared for his coming.

When you care for others more than your Lord and doubt in his goodness and love in your heart, singing Psalm 118 makes you aware that you sometimes think that your love surpasses his. You would not come out and say it, but you ask God on their behalf as if he’s a cruel master that you want to rehabilitate into one who cares for them as much as you do.

The parable of the talents comes to mind (Matthew 25:14-30). This paints a picture of an unattractive, disinterested deity that no one would want to serve. Indeed, you inadvertently view the Lord as he isn’t nor ever was nor ever will be. Through this lens, your service to him appears to be a burdened chore which, not surprisingly, is neither attractive nor intriguing. As you attempt to imitate his lasting love, it twists into trusting yourself and those you care for too much as if they could redeem themselves if only you or they will it enough.

You are carried in song through shame to hope, learning in measures to value his lasting love.

Singing Psalm 118 you trust and wait for the one who offers lasting love

Just because the triune God does not do the same kinds of miracles and with the frequency that he did them in the times of Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and when Jesus lived for a while among us does not mean that he is not actively leading you each moment. 

He expects you to rely on him and not on yourself or others. He waits with lasting love to be gracious to you. Anytime he turns the heart of anyone from darkness to light, he “performs great deeds of valiant might!” v. 15-18

Remember how many times you rejected the Lord and his ways before he began to rescue you from your rebellion and how continually he still seeks you when your heart goes astray?

How long were you blind to his beauty before he opened your eyes to it?

“When to the LORD, distressed, I cried,The LORD replied and freed me.Because the LORD is on my side,From fear I have been set free. 

“Why should I fear what man can do?The LORD stands by to help me.I’ll look in triumph on all thoseWho hated and opposed me.

“O better far to trust the LordThan on man’s help rely.Yes, better far to trust the LordThan men whose rank is high.” ~ Psalm 118:5-9

If he hasn’t brought those you have on your heart to himself yet, he either will at some future point or he won’t. Will you trust the maker of all things to do what is right? He is not at all impaired but will impart his lasting love where he would. It is a test of your trust in God to see your family and friends in a lost state and to continue to bring their names before the throne of grace without losing your joy.

You take every opportunity to persuade them of his goodness that you intimately know, how he has taken such loving interest in you to discipline you to make you worthy and able to receive lasting love. You, a redeemed sinner, eat with the tax collectors and “sinners” just as the Lord Jesus did. Except in your case, you know you aren’t better but are merely pointing them to the one who is making you better than you were.

You put your hope fully in the grace to be given to you, and to all those who put their trust in him, when he reveals himself again. Yes, you ask him on their behalf with hope, not with craven fear as the man who was given one talent and convinced himself that he was more loving than his master. Your trust in him and your love for him that surpasses your love for anything or anyone shines through from the deepest innermost parts of you. Perhaps your asking in hope is the means God planned all along to bring your loved ones to himself. 

You trust him fully to make himself and his lasting love found. Attractive and intriguing, that trust changes the way you are perceived by those who would find him. You rejoice that he connected himself to you not only intellectually but also emotionally and made you willing to have a part in helping others find lasting love. The Lord cares not only about what he helps you know but also about what he helps you desire.

You can’t imagine not being with those you love in the new world? But you don’t know that you won’t. That new world is greater than you can imagine. He has prepared it so. Will you give him that? Will you allow the triune God to be patient with your friends and family as he was and is with you?

From of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him. ~ Isaiah 64:4

“But, as it is written, ’What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’ — “None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:8-10

“That stone is now the cornerstoneThat builders once despised.This is the doing of the LORD,And wondrous in our eyes. 

“This is the day the LORD has made;Let us be glad and sing.Hosanna, LORD! O give success!O LORD, salvation bring!

“You are my God, I’ll give you thanks;My God, I’ll give you praise.O thank the LORD, for He is good;His love lasts endless days.” ~ Psalm 118:22-25, 28-29

It is easy to be deceived, not acknowledging that he loves more than you ever could and woos each one that he made in his image to come to him with tailor-made opportunities to do so. Each person chooses everlasting life or death by either their acceptance or rejection of the Lord’s gracious offer. Each person chooses either to be the Lord’s bride or spurns his lasting love and chooses to be an adulterer. God’s electing love is his choice from eternity past. We choose those we will love every moment of every day.

Usually you aren’t faced with a time-sensitive consequential choice as the wise and foolish virgins were. You can take every opportunity that comes your way to lend a hand without partiality and without slighting the Lord. You can share the good news that you have been privileged with, the good news of receiving undeserved lasting love because Jesus offered it in exchange for your adultery. He changed you so that now your heart is for him. Rather than be bitter at unrequited love past, his compassionate, gracious love endures for you instead. This strikes you as in another league higher than human, and no one has to urge you how to rank the triune God on your relationship list.

With the right ranking of your allegiance you have lasting love for others more than you would if you loved them first and most.  Ask him to give you opportunities to winsomely steer the conversations that begin around money and what it can buy, around celebrities, or around human fixes to what ails us. May it be obvious to those you care for that you think of the Lord Jesus, who is lasting love and life everlasting, as a treasure more wonderful and beyond anything that anyone could ever imagine.

Singing Psalm 118 you fight to bask in God’s lasting love

Embracing him, taking him in, and delighting in him more than in any person, substance, food, or drink, the life he gives you is never depleted but only enhanced for the asking. Though you metaphorically consume him, he is never consumed. You give him heartfelt thanks for his desire for you, for his steadfast love, his faithfulness, his lovingkindness, and his tender mercies.

“I’m thankful You have answered me; My Savior you have been.” ~ Psalm 118:21

There is always more of him to meet your need for love and relationship, for life and everything else. You were made for a relationship with him. Although he is never depleted of his lasting love and life, you don’t use him as a means to simply fill yourself up even with other relationships, but you desire him as an end in himself. Even if all else is lost, he is enough. Psalm 118, this love song that he has given to you, you sing to him from your heart. You sincerely respond to his lasting love with an unshared allegiance. 

Those you hope to be chosen by him might very well be among those who look in triumph on those spiritual forces of evil and who will one day hate them as you do. You trust that Jesus will bring all who are his to himself not missing even one. Anyone who comes to the Lord must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) You cannot come to the Lord, the great and good triune God, only believing that he exists but then doubting that he rewards those who seek him. If that’s the case, what are you doing more than the demons? (James 2:19) You avoid setting up alternative places of refuge, idols of the heart, when you keep in mind your God — your exceedingly great reward now and forever — and all that he has prepared for you.

When you care and are willing to help those you love to find lasting love, and yet are clearly on a path with your Lord in whom you take pleasure and with whom you will continue to walk with or without them, that is attractive and intriguing. They see that you are not looking to them as your hope and joy but to the Lord who you trust without reservation. Your trusting him and basking in his lasting love is something they are not accustomed to since, though unfounded and a gamble, they tend to trust in themselves and other humans and take pleasure in lesser or fleeting love. “Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away. “ ~ Hosea 6:4b

You battle with the spiritual forces of evil and parley with those you love who don’t yet know or love the Lord all the while seeking the Lord, sometimes with tears but always in hope. Your sorrow in the battle is tempered by joy that comes when you remember Jesus. He has won the war and, in the process, the hearts of his people.

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” ~ Isaiah 35:10

Singing Psalm 118 you relax in his lasting love, depending on him alone, not yourself or others. You are given the stuff it takes on the inside to make his counterintuitive way attractive. You seek and savor Jesus, confer with those that are lost as you have opportunity that they might be found, and are at war only with the spiritual forces of evil. Though they surround you, you will overcome them as you fight to bask in God’s lasting love following the Lord Jesus who reveled in his Father’s lasting love and has overcome them before you.

“His steadfast love endures forever!” ~ Psalm 118

August 27-September 2, 2022


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