One Year Bible: I Samuel 26:1-28:25, John 11:1-53; Psalm 116:1-19; Proverbs 15:22-23
A Near Death Experience
I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
There’s nothing like coming face to face with death to bring clarity to what is most important in life. The psalmist had either come through a literal near death experience, or he had gone through something spiritually that was so intensely difficult that death would have been a welcomed option. Whatever the reason for this deeply personal psalm, staring the grim reaper in the eye led the writer to this bottom line: I love the Lord!
I don’t wish a near death experience for you, me or anyone, but I do pray that we would voluntarily come to the same overriding conclusion of what is first and foremost in life: The extension of God’s mercy to us and our response of love to the Lord. Tell me, what else in life is more important than that?
Now I understand, as do you, that love is a term used rather loosely in our world. We love our favorite food, or a certain TV show, or a song or a celebrity—we even love our pets (dogs I can understand; cats I can’t). And when we are teenagers, we love our best friends one day and hate them the next. Love is a pretty squishy thing in our culture.
But when a near death experience peels all the false “likes” and faux “loves” back from the core of what love truly is, we find a response of love for God that expresses itself in very real terms and quite practical actions. The psalmist mentions several: Prayerful dependence on the Lord in daily life (Psalm 116:3), calm assurance in the face of death (Psalm 116:15), heartfelt gratitude for God’s goodness (Psalm 116:17), ruthless follow through of our vows to obey God’s law (Psalm 116:18), and vocal, even visible and thoroughly authentic demonstrations of public praise for the God we claim to love (Psalm 116:19).
Do you love the Lord? I do! How about we not just say it, but show it today in one of these practical ways. After all, in his mercy he has saved us from a great deal of bad stuff in life (Psalm 116:4,8) and from even worse stuff after death (Psalm 116:15).
Wow! Now that I think about it, I really do love the Lord!
Take a moment to express your love for the Lord. Here is a link I would recommend you use to aide your praise. Enjoy it…and most of all, enjoy the Lord!
“I have learned to love you late, Beauty at once so ancient and so new.”
~ Saint Augustine