A Thankful Heart in Praise of God

Dear brethren, we have much to praise God for He has shown such wonderful mercy to call us to do His will as part of Gethsemane B-P Church. It is His goodness that has added more souls and ministries to our church. It is He who has opened the doors of the Gospel before us year after year. It is the Lord who has provided us with all the necessary resources, and permits from the authorities to purchase 33 Ubi Crescent to house our Gospel work.

We must exalt the Lord with much thanksgiving of heart in the coming weeks and months, as we embark on the renovation works of the new premises. During our Tuesday night prayer meeting, we must get together to exalt Him for answering our petitions before Him. We had sought the Lord for His help with fasting and prayer; He has enabled us to meet all the needs and to overcome all the challenges over the past 5 years in the accomplishment of this task. Please write down your thanksgiving to the Lord and come prepared to share them with the brethren. We will start the testimony session (of thanksgiving for the new premises) this Tuesday night onwards.

To help us prepare for the thanksgiving sessions, I hereby publish the following devotions based on Isaiah 25:1 – “O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee. I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things; thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.”

The prophet Isaiah gives himself wholly to the worship of the LORD. He appears to be totally consumed by the desire to glorify the LORD. Nothing is more important to Isaiah than exalting his God. Every child of God must be gripped and driven with this singular passion to exalt the LORD.

Like Isaiah, Moses said in Exodus 15:2, “The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” Similarly, David said in Psalm 34:3, “O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together”. In Psalm 99, the psalmist twice exhorted, “Exalt ye the LORD our God” (vv. 5, 9).

What place has the worship of God in your life? Have you consecrated yourself wholly to praise and magnify the LORD? Do you promptly join the church to worship the LORD? Do you joyfully participate in the service of God? Are you mindful to exalt the LORD as your God through daily private and family worship? Have you been mindful to speak of the LORD’s goodness before your family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbours? Oh, how greatly it would please the LORD, if you would dedicate yourself to glorify Him! Jesus exhorted us, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

Isaiah’s consecration to exalt the LORD proceeded from his love for the LORD. With great delight, he said, “O LORD, thou art my God”. He unreservedly acknowledged the LORD as his God. There was no hesitation on Isaiah’s part to declare his allegiance to the LORD. It was his absolute joy, honour and privilege to have the LORD as his God.

Like the prophet Isaiah’s testimony, the testimony of God’s people should be heard and seen everywhere. Every believer must be ready always to testify that the LORD is his God. Let our attachment to our God be known to all, both friends and foes. None of His people should be reluctant in affirming his relationship with the LORD. Our heart’s love for the LORD must be openly confessed. He takes note of our open avowal of love and adoration for Him, and shall speak of it even in eternity. Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32; cf. Luke 12:8).

Praising God is the outflowing of a thankful heart. When a heart is full of gratitude towards God, it hastens to bless His name. A thankful heart is resolute to praise God’s name, just as Isaiah said, “I will praise thy name”. Here the prophet was determined to praise God. Isaiah was about to proclaim the great wonders which will occur upon the establishment of the LORD’s kingdom on earth. In chapter 25, Isaiah (speaking in the first person) described the great wonders which will occur when the LORD’s kingdom is established on the earth. His heart, being full of adoration and thanksgiving, was greatly excited to express itself to magnify the LORD. It is those who are so stirred up within themselves to praise God that will stir up others also to do the same. Isaiah thus began with an intensely personal affirmation that the LORD is his God. He had already laid claim that the LORD is his God; he had earlier said, “O LORD, thou art my God”. Such acknowledgment of the LORD as one’s God provides the desire and motivation to exalt Him.

Having in his heart the knowledge of the great wonders of God which will occur when the LORD’s kingdom is established on the earth, the prophet determined to praise God. Here he gave two specific reasons for praising the LORD. The first reason for exalting the LORD is that He “hast done wonderful things”. In fact, Scripture presents our God as “the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things” (Psalm 72:18). Even when the LORD acts to chasten us or try our faith, we must confess that all His works are wondrous. His works are perfect, great (cf. Psalm 92:5), marvellous (cf. Psalm 139:14), powerful (cf. Psalm 111:6), merciful (cf. Psalm 145:9), holy (cf. Psalm 145:17), and in truth (cf. Psalm 33:4).

The second reason for Isaiah’s dedication to the LORD’s praise is that His “counsels of old are faithfulness and truth.” The ancient counsels of God’s Word are perfectly trustworthy. All that God has revealed in the days of old remain steadfast and true even today. Not a word of His revealed counsels shall fail. The fact that His promises and prophecies continue to be fulfilled assures us of the veracity and profitability of all the counsels of the Scriptures. Isaiah later declared that “the LORD of hosts… is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working” (Isaiah 28:29). Praise the LORD!

We thank God that the purchase of 33 Ubi Crescent by Gethsemane Bible Witness Limited (GBWL) has been completed on 15th November 2018. The Board of Directors (our church elders) will now proceed with the tender, with the help of the team of church brethren whom the Session has appointed to work on the renovation matters. Please pray for all the renovation works to be completed in good time and for the operation of GBWL to begin at the soonest viable date.

Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy, 18 November, 2018