"Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD...He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths." Micah 4:2

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Psalm 111 "Thankful Whole Hearts"

"I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart...
Just asking 5 questions gives us such rich teaching about WHOLE hearts able to give thanks...
1. WHERE is whole heart thanks given? the Company of the Upright the Congregation
It's amazing how specific God's Word is about the assembly that gathers to give thanks to the Creator. It is a special group. A people that has received from God changed hearts by their reception of His Son's blood atonement for the forgiveness of sin. They are whole hearts now recognizing God's gifts. They humbly grasp their reliance on His hand for every good thing.

Just this thought shows how vital the instruction in Hebrews 10:25 given to whole-heart people.  It is these gatherings where whole hearts consider how to stir up one another to love and good works. We're instructed not to "neglect to meet together", where whole hearts find encouragement in uncertain times. In togetherness times, this community hears God-focused praise with thanksgiving which causes unity in Christ, and builds confidence in hearts.
So, the congregation is a gathering of God's people, redeemed with His Son's blood, forgiven, and made complete in Him. Each has been made whole. When Christ makes a person whole, the power of God enables thanksgiving. (Jn 13:10; 2 Cor 7:1; 2 Tim 3:17; Heb 10:14; Jas 1;4)
We see a distinct contrast in Romans 1 describing the degenerate heart. Those who are perishing have calloused, divided, unbelieving hearts. They do not honor God as God, nor do they give thanks to Him. Their foolish hearts are darkened.
Darkened hearts are only made whole through the "LIGHT", Jesus Christ who came into the world to bring those in darkness to his gracious and merciful God. His redemption cleanses them of all unrighteousness, creating a new heart in them. This wholeness enables them to turn and give thanks. (Lk 17, Jn 13:10; 2 Cor 7:1; 2 Tim 3:17; Heb 10:14; and Jas 1;4) Cleansed hearts who have been made whole unite with others to proclaim with thanksgiving the goodness of their faithful and just God!

2. WHO should receive whole heart thanks?
The Lord receives thanks.
            Prayer (communication with the LORD or vertical speech) is made in the company of the upright, the congregation. This gives each one in the congregation opportunity to HEAR and agree with other whole hearts, thanking and praising God. This creates spiritual unity where Christ also promised to be in the "midst of them".
            Precise vertical speech is directed to the LORD in the presence of the congregation for the building up of the body of Christ.
            Proclaiming vertical speech "attains the unity of the faith"
            Prepared vertical speaking shares "the knowledge of the Son of God and gives the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, maturing all to manhood".
Just think...little ears hear the wisdom of God and will learn praise through imitating the prayers they hear! They will learn through prayer to proclaim the Word of God. They will experience the unity of the faith, encouraging them to mature to manhood. (Ephesians 4:11-13)
Whole hearts give thanks to God, benefiting the hearers.
3. WHY do whole heart give thanks?
In order for thankfulness to spill out of mouths, there must be a study of His Works, His Word and spoken in His Wisdom. Simply from this one Psalm, we learn that those delighting in the LORD'S works speak to the LORD in prayer (1 Timothy 2:8-9) in the presence of the congregation, proclaiming His goodness and greatness.
Each one speaking one attribute or action of the LORD mentioned here would cause agreeing hearts to be wholly participating in His Praise directly from His Word...
      1. The LORD is gracious and merciful.
      2. The LORD provides food to those who fear Him.
      3. The LORD remembers His Covenant
      4. The LORD has shown His Power
      5. The LORD sent Redemption.
      6. The LORD commanded His Covenant.
      7. The LORD'S name is holy and awesome.

4. HOW does a whole heart give thanks?
      1.True thanksgiving only flows through the whole heart given in Christ by salvation. Then God places this new whole heart in "the company of the upright" for the opportunity to join the chorus of thankfulness.
      2. Gathering together in the congregation, whole hearts delight to hear the works of the Lord. Thanksgiving erupts as God causes His wondrous works to be remembered and those who bear His Name recall how gracious and merciful is their LORD.
      3. Praise verbally communicated by his people proclaims His Provision and Power shown to them in very personal ways.
      4. Whole hearts agree as they hear His attributes spoken directly to Him in prayer.
      5. Whole hearts consider the works of his hands.
Just pondering creation emphasizes afresh His grace in creating their whole hearts to see His works.
      6. Whole hearts hear His Word read in company time. They are taught - equipped to perform His Word.
      7. As they perform His Words, whole hearts are empowered with His Wisdom.
When the congregation comes together to hear the studies of those who delight in the LORD'S works, the LORD graciously opens the eyes of whole hearts to see His greatness and goodness.

In Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 14:24-25), the congregation will even see the response of any outsider or unbelieving heart who wanders into this company. Unbelieving hearts become convicted and called into account by all because the secrets of his heart will be disclosed. He will fall on his face and worship God, declaring the Presence of God among this congregation. Even the promise of opening the outsider's eyes reveal this thanksgiving only comes from God's people. He will see his degenerate heart and his own personal need to be made whole. This exposure will lead him to receive the gift only God can give.

by "Sharing the power of Jesus"
Through thanksgiving in the congregation, whole hearts learn more how to please God. By faith, they gain confidence to go back into the world because the Church, the congregation, has accomplished its responsibility. (Ephesians 4:12)
Each member has been equipped to do the works of ministry in the marketplace. They will have been reminded...
      1. His WORKS.....are to be PRAISED.
      2. His WORDS....are to be PREFORMED.
      3. His to be PRACTICED
5. WHAT should result from Whole Heart thanks?
      His Praise endures forever...on the lips of his "whole heart" people!

Taking the time to delight in His Word, I pause to thank God for all I have IN JESUS. I am especially filled with gratefulness for the whole heart HE gave me to see "His wonderful works to the children of men."

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