Summary: For family thanksgiving. God deserves our highest praise.
Theme: Bless the Lord: Forget not His Benefits
Text: Ps. 103: 1-5
A) Today, we be giving thanks to God and shall bless the Lord this morning as a family because His abundant blessing upon us is overwhelming. We might have undergone difficult years, but our God is faithful to carry us through. To God be the glory.
B) Our Scripture this morning is found in Psalm 103: 1-5. It reminds us to bless the Lord from our innermost being. It says, “Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me.” Do we need to bless God when He owns everything?
C) The word “Bless” here means “to speak well of, or to utter an appreciation.” God is worthy of our appreciation, thanks, and our highest praises.
T.S. I want us this morning to ponder on the benefits of God as reasons to bless Him. We should not forget that:
A. The Benefits are His.
-That’s what the Psalmist is declaring: “Forget not His benefits”. It’s in a possessive case. It means that every good thing is a blessing, a benefit from God. Benefits in life did not come to us by means of chance or by mere accumulation. They have their source in God. Actually, we doubly owe God for everything we obtained. First, because everything is God’s by creation. Second, because it is God who gives men the ability, wisdom and capacity to obtain things.
Many people failed to comprehend this very important truth. Instead of giving God the credit of every achievement, success, and increase, they credit it to themselves. But you know, it is the enemy of God, the devil, who fooled these men into thinking that they have it all by themselves.
Perhaps you would ask me the motive of the devil why he does that. It’s all because he wants people to be self-centered, and eventually become independent from God. It’s all because the devil wants people to brag themselves and rebel God. The devil also knows that when people never recognize their stewardship before God in everything they have, they will become irresponsible to the things God has allowed them to have and use these resources for the satisfaction of their body only and not for the glory of God.
But praise God, our family thanksgiving celebration this morning indicates that we are a family that recognizes the Ultimate Proprietorship of God in all that we possess.
B. The Benefits are Graciously Given.
-It means that God gives His blessings free of charge! His benefits are free! You don’t have to pay some amount in advance and wait for the maturity period to receive benefits. It doesn’t need membership and monthly premiums. It doesn’t need you to undergo some sort of mishaps to receive benefit claims. And most wonderful, it’s not difficult to claim –all you need to do is pray! God doesn’t require you clearances to enjoy His benefits. That’s very wonderful indeed!
-Verse 4 gives us the twofold reasons of the outpouring of God’s blessings, it says, “Bless the Lord…He who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion.” The first reason is the character of God –He is a loving, compassionate, gracious, merciful and generous God. It is God’s nature to give, to bless, and to build up. If we have seen devastations in this life, they were just direct or indirect consequences of man’s willful disobedience to God.
The second reason is our value being created after the likeness of God. Once, this Psalmist asked God: “What is man that you are mindful of him; what is the son of man that you have crown him with glory?” This is a reference of our value before God. We are so precious in His sight. Every time He looked at our faces, He saw His own image. Yes, it’s true that we are gravely marred with sin, nevertheless the reality never changes –we are created after the likeness of God. This is the reason why God is so passionate to save us. This is the reason God showed His great favor on us by giving His blessings without measure. He wants us to realize how much He loved us. He wants us to see His great mercy and turn back into fellowship with Him.
C. The Benefits are Countless.
-It means that God’s favor is without limit; it is boundless. In our passage, the Psalmist just mentioned few but very important blessings. I want to just expound three of them, they are:
a. Forgiveness of sins.
This is no accident that forgiveness is first mentioned. We all sinned and fall short of God’s glory. We were separated from Him because we chose to disobey His divine will. We will only be restored to Him through forgiveness. Without spiritual restoration with God life is vain and all other blessings are meaningless. You may have everything this world can offer, but it can never fill the longing & the emptiness inside your heart that only God can satisfy.