Summary: Give thanks to the Lord by praising Him for what He has done.
Bless the Lord, O My Soul
November 18, 2007 Morning Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: Give thanks to the Lord by praising Him for what He has done.
Focus Passage: Psalm 103
Introduction: In his book FOLK PSALMS OF FAITH, Ray Stedman tells of an experience H.A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited his to have a seat. Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don’t." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat."
The man said, "Oh, you’re one of those, are you? Well, I want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don’t have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!"
Ironside said, "Yes, you’re just like my dog. That’s what he does too!"
I. Count your blessings (instead of your burdens)
b. Now, David was singing the ancient Hebrew version of "Count your blessings."
II. Life lived in Relationship to God is whole and healthy. Vs 3
a. But he also sees believers as people who have been made whole because of their relationship with God. Verse 3b - who heals all your diseases - remember that he is addressing his soul. So what kind of healing is he speaking of here. Many take this to mean physical healing. I affirm that God heals, physically. While healing is a sermon in itself, suffice it to say that God is the great physician to whom we can take all of our physical needs and petitions. He made us and has the power to save us.
b. James 5:14-15 "Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will salve the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven."
c. But physical healing is not the kind of healing being spoken of here in our text. If we are to do justice to the interpretation of this passage, we cannot simply assign to it any meaning we would like, we must understand it in its proper grammatical context. Contextually he is talking to his soul and is telling his soul that God heals all the diseases of the soul, sin being the chief among them. Does the soul have its diseases? Indeed it does. Fear, doubt, depression, anger, lust, hate jealously, pride, greed....and the list goes on and on. These soul diseases can all be traced back to our fallen nature and the effects of sin upon the human race. But God can give permanent healing to the soul which is diseased. Only He can heal the soul. Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
III. Life is meaningful when lived in relationship with God. Verses 4-5
a. Look in verse 4. Because He forgives our sins, because He gives us relationship, because He heals our souls’ diseases, then we see that life is meaningful.
b. How do you praise him? With your life. But we must be careful not to fall into the rut the Israelites had fallen into of saying one thing and doing another. Isaiah 29:13 "The Lord said: Because these people approach Me with their mouths to honor Me with lip-service – yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship consists of man-made rules learned by rote…"
1. Be aware - forget not his benefits - notice all the things about you, don’t just notice the bad, notice all the good.
2. Be honest - don’t be a phony, don’t put on an act, phony Christians turn people off and it is hypocritical.
3. Be grateful - there is nothing that encourages praise like gratitude, have a thankful heart.
4. Be vocal - tell someone - singing someone’s praises - bless someone with a testimony.
5. Be natural - praise God in a way that is natural for you when you get excited ( ball games -vs-church)
6. Be consistent - make it a part of your every day experience.
Invitation: David said I will praise Him with all that is within me. That means, praise Him with my attitudes, my actions, my family, my finances, my words and my work, my religion and my relationships, my voice and my vocation, my church and my children, my hobbies and my habits, I will praise Him not only in word but also in deed. I will praise Him with everything that is within me.