A God Worth Praising!

Bible Readings for the day: Psalm 103:1-12, 2 Corinthians 1:1-11, 2 Chronicles 26:1-28:27
Meditational Reading: Psalm 103:1-12
Pastor's Ponderings Illustration1  Of David.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
2  Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,
3  who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases,
4  who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5  who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6  The LORD works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
7  He made known his ways to Moses, his acts to the people of Israel.
8  The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9  He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.
10  He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

The idea of my meditational reading is to find a single, great idea in God’s Word and think on it, let it speak to me (let the Lord speak to me, after all, it is his Word!).  Today’s Bible readings all spoke to me in special ways.  Looking for the single great thought, I was confronted by multiple great thoughts!  The kings in the Old Testament reading were interesting in seeing their reactions to the Lord; it’s worth reading again!  Paul wrote of comfort in the New Testament reading; I had never “seen” this before.  The idea intrigued me.  A quick look into the original Greek and I learned that the word was paraklesis, the same word from which we get Paraclete, one of the names for God the Holy Spirit.  But everything came together for me in the Psalm!

And as I think on the Psalm it becomes even greater.  The superscription tells us that it is a Psalm of David.  We don’t know when David wrote it; we don’t know the circumstances underwhich he wrote it.  But he starts with a call to God’s people, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!”  Some translations call upon us to “Praise the Lord…”  But that isn’t what intrigues me.  David tells us, “”Bless the LORD, O my soul”.  In using that word “soul”, David calls upon us to worship the Lord with our whole being, with everything we’ve got.  But, I ask myself, why should I worship the Lord?  Why should I bless, praise, his holy name?

Take a look at all of the good things the Lord gives us in the Psalm.  He not only gives us the things to live life in the world; but the gives us the things we need to live with him forever.  He forgives my iniquity (v.3); he redeems my life from the pit (v.4); he does not deal with me as I deserve (v.10); he forgives my sins (v.12).  And there (in verse 12) I find the enormity of God’s love for me!  There I find the overwhelming reason to praise the Lord.  God removes my transgressions, my sins, from me and he sends them away (as far as the east is from the west).  He sends them so far away, that they can never come back!  When God forgives (me); he forgives (me) totally and completely, without reservation.  He doesn’t give me a shot in the arm and tell me that I have to do something more in order to be forgiven.  Not at all!  He forgives, he removes the sin from me and sends it away, way far away!  That sin, those sins, no longer exist!  God has banished them!

How did God do that?  Paul tells us how in 2 Corinthians 5:21  “For our sake he (God the Father) made him (Jesus) to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him (Jesus) we might become the righteousness of God.”  God the Father didn’t just send our sins away; he placed them upon his one and only Son, who took those sins to the cross where he suffered the punishment for those sins (my sins!); he suffered the damnation I deserved and gave me his sinless, his perfection, his righteousness, in their place!

A prayer:  Lord God heavenly Father, you, indeed, deserve our praise for you have done great things for us!  But the greatest thing you did was sending Jesus to be my Savior so that I can be yours forever!  You don’t look at me in my sin, but you look at Jesus and what he did for me on the cross.  Not only do I praise you, but I also thank you for your great love for me, a love so great that it cost you your Son, in whom I have forgiveness and eternal life.  Lord, thank you for your great love for me!  Amen!

Should you wish to access Pastor Kerner’s sermon archive, you can do so at https://gslcsuffield.wordpress.com/2010/12/08/sermon-archive-2010-2011/

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 585 South St. (Route 75), Suffield CT 06078 USA  http://www.gslcsuffield.com 

If you liked this post in any way, please think about sharing it on your social media sites.  This is an effective way to evangelize on the internet.  You can also friend me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/james.kerner

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