English Standard Version, David Cochran Audio Bible
1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise!
2 I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word!
3 On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased [you made me bold in my soul with strength].
4 All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
5 and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord!
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands!
When we read the Scriptures with our hands and souls open in prayer, we should notice as we read them, they speak to us. Sure some passages have a phrase containing a favorite verse and we will look to it as our favorite spot in our home or yard. Yet sometimes, you read a passage, and part of it leaps to you, your eyes are opened to the Scripture.
When I've read Psalm 138, sometimes it Is the joy of God. Or another day, the thrill of a situation solved. In times of difficulty, the promise of the LORD who says to me, He would never forsake me, I am the work of His hands. This is the Scripture being living and active to us.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
I was part of the team that fixes the light meal for our Wednesday Church Service. It fits yesterdays readings so well!!! And today's! Let me share part of Clark's sermon with you:
You made me bold in my soul with strength
Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
This is a true story. Susan opened her door one day to find her next door neighbor, Betty, there. Her neighbor said, "We've lived next door for some time, we haven't known each other well, but I've come to tell you we are moving away."
Susan asked if it was a job transfer. No, replied Betty, nothing like that. Susan was filled with concern with the look on Betty's face, Betty was staring at the floor with a woebegone, stricken look. Susan asked if Betty would share the trouble with her.
Betty said, "I guess the main trouble is my husband and I are hopeless alcoholics. We've tried therapy, but really don't have the money for years of help. We've tried Alcoholics Anonymous, but we can't find the strength to stick with the program. We are loosing the house, they are coming to take away one of the cars today. We will divorce. We just aren't good for each other." Betty's voice cracked. "If it weren't for my son, I don't know if I'd care, but I don't know what will become of him to be from such a broken home."
Susan said to Betty, quietly. "There is a solution."
Betty looked up to see Susan, "What solution would that be?"
Susan said, "Jesus heals people. Jesus saves people."
Betty replied, with some scorn, "Oh, religion. We've done that from time to time. Well, I mean I believe in God, but He hasn't been around much or seemed to care much really."
Susan said, "Well, you really want to change is what you are saying. Isn't it? You want help with all of your heart. You want the solution, isn't that the truth in what you are telling me?"
"I've never heard it put exactly that way, but yes. Yes, it is what I am saying." Betty said.
Susan asked Betty to ask Jesus into her heart. Betty said she didn't know how. Susan and Betty got down on their knees together and this is what they prayed, "Father God, I am a sinner and an alcoholic. I need You. I cannot give up alcohol on my strength alone. I need Jesus to come and live in my heart. I am about to loose my marriage, my house, my car and I don't know what to do. Please help me. Please help me to see a way forward. I ask for your help in Jesus' name. Amen."
3 nights later, their neighbor Bill, Betty's husband, came over. He said, I understand Betty came over here. She is completely different and things are changing in my household. I don't know what you did to her, but I need that too. That night Sam, Betty and Bill knelt for prayer on their hard kitchen tile and prayed for Bill to have Jesus live in his heart. Bill surrendered his life to Jesus.
And what happened? The marriage was saved. Their son did not grow up in a broken home. The house was saved. The job was saved. Betty and Bill were saved. Forever. Eternally.
That is what Jesus does. He saves the broken, the bruised reed. The undeserving. He is the Light that Shines.
Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up
For great is the glory of the Lord!