Before I go any further I want to clarify what I meant when I included an ‘Experiment’ in yesterday’s title. Just so you know, I usually just start writing and writing, and then come up with a title for the entire thing only after it’s all been written down. So the last portion of yesterday’s set of words composed of what ChatGPT came up with as a sermon outline, combined with some of my own insights.
The experiment was to see if this outline was effective for delivery in an actual Sunday Service… and, well, it was a successful venture. I couldn’t have done it on my own – or, well, technically I could have but I’d probably have a lot of lost time and focus along the way. ChatGPT couldn’t have formulated everything – unless I asked it to produce an actual transcript instead of just an outline.
Anyway. Just wanted to share that before I kept going.
I’d like this done quick. Exhaustion notwithstanding I need to run through the Word I’ve held off on writing about since Saturday up to yesterday. My body may be drained, but I want my mind to be properly cleared as well.
O LORD, in your strength the king rejoices,
and in your salvation how greatly he exults!
So much to unpack and to take in from just one verse. The Psalmist refers to a king, but I’d like to claim this for myself, even if I’m clearly not royalty, at least by this world’s standards. For indeed, I do rejoice in the strength that God gives me – and it’s more than strength that is merely given or imparted. Lest we forget, because of God’s everlasting love for us He sent us His Son, and in the process of reconciliation we recognize, appreciate and celebrate what has been made true for us, here and now: That is, that Christ is alive in me, and I am alive in Christ. We are as close as we could be to each other, much to the point that any strength that we do possess is not merely given from Christ… but Christ Himself is strong, and therefore, we are strong as well.
And see there – it’s only because of the salvation that Christ paid such a price for us to have, that we are able to say we are strong! In other words, it’s here that we realize, that because Christ has saved us, we are strong. Because Christ is our salvation, apparently, Christ is also our strength; to realize salvation and strength on their own would inspire us to praise and worship, for sure – but when we realize how strength and salvation come together in Christ, then, indeed, we would not only appreciate it, but out of the overflow, we shall rejoice and exalt His name!
The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Our hearts shall burst in song, for Christ is not only our strength, but our shield. As we continue down this treacherous road of life, and as we continue to exist in this finite and fragile reality, we see more and more opportunities to place our trust in God… and we do not cry out in vain!
As I continued to see more verses to expound on Psalm 21:1, I stumbled upon Psalms 140:7:
O LORD, my Lord, the strength of my salvation,
you have covered my head in the day of battle.
Earlier we spoke of how Christ is our strength as much as He is our salvation, but here we see that Christ is the Strength OF our Salvation, which opens our eyes to more perspectives of just how good our Good Shepherd is – see, the way I see it, the Psalmist is also saying that there is more than validity and credibility to the salvation we say we have – There is strength!
You have given him his heart’s desire
and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
For you meet him with rich blessings;
you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
He asked life of you; you gave it to him,
length of days forever and ever.
His glory is great through your salvation;
splendor and majesty you bestow on him.
For you make him most blessed forever;
you make him glad with the joy of your presence.
For the king trusts in the LORD,
and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.
And here’s the thing. We’ve only been talking about strength. We’ve only been talking about salvation, and its ties to strength and power.. But if you keep on reading, you’ll see that this salvation that Christ has paid a great price to have (as He IS our literal Salvation) has left us with so much more reason to rejoice.
Christ, who is our Salvation, is our Strength. He fills and satisfies our hearts down to our deepest desire, by way of what He has done for all of us; The Lord of Lords has satisfied the most ultimate of yearning of our beings, the desire of all our desires being met at the cross, and proven at His resurrection. With Christ we’ve been blessed with more than the riches of blessings, and we’ve been filled with endless, everlasting life to the very last day, and beyond.
I could have gone on but the rest of those verses were pretty beautiful. Christ has saved us, and by that God is glorified. We therefore rejoice in Him, enjoying His presence. In His presence do we take in and enjoy God’s steadfast love, and all the while we are bestowed with splendor and majesty.
Going through all this, it’s no small matter to proclaim what we’ve always been taught to memorize – whosoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.
This salvation we have in Christ is no trivial thing to glance over in this finite reality; in fact, it’s something for us to behold – an infinite love that cannot be contained, only trusted. If there’s anything I’ve picked up from all this, it’s that more than what we get out of the salvation we have in Christ, we get Christ Himself – and because we have Christ, and He has us, we are absolutely certain; we are confident, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Creator of the Universe, of all that is infinite and finite – He is for us, and not against us.
That’s more or less what I’m starting this week with. Until the next post, God bless you.