30 Days of Thanks & Praise! Day #14 Praise from a Grateful Heart (Psalm 119:108)
Praise from a Grateful Heart (Psalm 119:108)
Psalm 119:108, “Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments.”
This verse addresses the issue of our adoration. If it is your desire to be faithful to the very end, it would be helpful to nurture an attitude of praise and gratefulness in your heart. It is difficult to be bitter when you are grateful and praising God. The two don't go together. Praise and gratefulness are like fragrant pine cones to a blazing fire. They fuel the fire of dedication and devotion to God.
1. The acceptance of the offering. "Accept... the... offerings of my mouth."
The psalmist wanted his offerings to be acceptable before God. We need to be primarily concerned that God approves and accepts our offering. The psalmist wanted the Lord to accept the freewill offerings from his mouth even though he was facing difficulties in his life. All throughout the book of Psalms, we find the importance of offering our praise and thanks to the Lord. May our tongue be an altar in which we can present to the Lord words that will bring honor and glory to Him and be pleasing to His ears. Those who embrace the Scriptures will be more inclined to give than those who do not embrace and show devotion to the Scriptures. May our prayer be like the psalmist in Psalm 51:15, “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.” With our mouth, may we make an offering to Him. Psalm 34:1, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Psalm 40:3a, “And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God.” Psalm 145:21a, “My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord.” Psalm 109:30, “I will greatly praise the Lord with my mouth; yea, I will praise him among the multitude.” May the passion of our heart be, "With my mouth I will make an offering!"
2. The attitude and articulation of the offering. "…offerings of my mouth, O Lord, and teach me thy judgments."
There are more offerings than monetary or tangible. There are the offerings of the mouth which include praise and thanksgiving. Hebrews 13:15, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” The psalmist looked upon his vow to obey God’s Word without compromise as an offering or sacrifice to the Lord. The psalmist humbly asked God to accept these acts of worship and, in return, to teach him His Word more intimately than ever before. This undoubtedly tells us of his thirst for understanding of God’s Word. The psalmist's objective is to learn more and understand more about the Word of God. The difficult and often treacherous path he had chosen required God’s help, and he knew that only God’s Holy Word would sufficiently meet his deepest needs. As we present our lives to the Lord, we need to ask God to teach us His Word, just as this psalmist did. Ask God to accept your worship and to teach you His Word, as you need His help on your journey in this life. We cannot fulfill our promises to Him without His help. God’s Word will not only produce holiness in us and transform our minds, but it will also meet our every need as we take up our crosses and follow in the footsteps of Christ.
The Word of God challenges us to offer our lives as living sacrifices to the Lord. Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” While some believers may be called to die for Christ, all are called to live for Him (Romans 12:1). We should strive to live in such a way that God will be pleased with us, that our lives will be acceptable to Him.
Your love to me did not cost me; but it cost You Your life. You willingly and freely gave Your life on the cross at Calvary. What a delight and joy You truly are. Your free flowing love is not only a principle but also a pattern for me to follow. Let the stream flow in the full tide of affectionate devotedness. May my service be Yours, and no other's. May others know that I am captivated by Your love and consecrated to Your labor. I know that it is only by Your grace that you are willing to accept my service. For what have I to offer to You, that is not already "Your own?" Teach me Your Word that I may be instructed to present a purer offering to You.
Prayer: Lord, though I sincerely desire to live for You and am committed to be obedient to Your commandments, I often find myself in a dilemma in decision making. Don't let me resort to my own wisdom and insight but let me always be guided by Your Word. In Jesus name, amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.