How do we appreciate the Lord?
|Nathan's "God and Family" pizza box project |
made a parable for his Boy Scouts' project
What makes a person say, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart.” (Ps. 40:7)? Look at the verses around this one and remember the word “appreciate”. Appreciation is a funny word. It can mean understand (“I do not believe you appreciate the danger you are in”) or it can mean increase in value (“my stocks appreciated”) but most typically it means to be grateful (“I appreciate your kindness”).
First we need to understand that God is in charge of us (sovereignty). “In the scroll of the book it is written of me.” God opens our ears to His good news (Ps. 40:6). God writes the name of every true believer in the Book of Life (Phil. 4:3, Rev. 21:27), before the foundation of the world! Rev. 13:8 says unbelievers were never written in the book, but believers and unbelievers are written in the book of the living (Ps. 69:28, Exod. 32:32-33).
Second we need to increase our value of what God has done. He delivers us (v. 2), gives joyful new songs (v. 3), innumerable blessings (v. 5), and has forgiven us (v. 11-13). We should “raise our praise” as we increase our value of our Lord. Again the phrase “the Lord be magnified” is used in verse 16 as it was in Ps. 34:3, 35:27, and will be again in 69:30, 70:4 (NKJV).
Third, we need to appreciate or be grateful that “The Lord thinks upon me. You are my help and my deliverer; do not delay, O my God” (v. 17) By waiting for the Lord (v. 1) we are refined, tested. A 10-year-old Boy Scout named Nathan came to my office today and showed me his “God and Family” book, which describes our spiritual life together as being like a pizza. All the ingredients come together, but the pizza is only truly ready when we bake the pizza, by the testing of the fire and heat. The Psalmist David waited for the Lord but only after the fire could he truly appreciate the Lord.