Summary: We bless God by recalling the good things he does for us.
Title: Blessing the Bless-er
Text: Psalm 103:1-5
Thesis: We bless God by recalling the good things he does for us.
How do we bless the bless-er? What does it mean to bless God?
When we bless someone:
ƒæ We praise them
ƒæ We exalt them or lift them up
ƒæ We honor them and may even be in awe of them
ƒæ When we bless someone we make them the focus of our attention
The Psalmist chose to bless the Lord or praise the Lord by remembering and recounting the things God does for him¡K and for us.
Perhaps this is an appropriate time to ask what it is that we say of a person who forgets good things that are done for him¡K what are you if you forget to remember what someone has done for you? I think we would think of that person as an ¡§ungrateful¡¨ person. The Psalmist is blessing God by remembering to remember to be grateful to God for all the good things God has done.
Some would say that a lack of gratitude is a ¡§sign of the times.¡¨ Paul wrote in II Timothy 3:2ff, ¡§In the last days there will be difficult times. People will love only themselves and money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self control; they will be cruel and have no interest in what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God.¡¨
The failure to remember to remember and be grateful for good is an indication of the degeneration of human civility and cultural decline. Our text today calls us from our forgetfulness and reminds us to remember the goodness of God.
¡§Praise the Lord, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me.¡¨ Psalm 103:1-2
The first benefit for which we may express gratitude to God is the benefit of forgiveness.
I. Forgiveness for our sins
¡§He forgives all my sins¡K¡¨ Psalm 103:3a
Sins or iniquities are just errors in judgment or mistakes. They are thoughts, words and deeds that are contrary to the will of God. They reflect a deliberateness on our part, to act out in ways that are contrary to the ways God would have us think, speak and act.
I like the response of the little boy when asked by his Sunday school teacher, ¡§What do you have to do if you want God to forgive you for your sins?¡¨ The little boy answered, ¡§Well, first I have to sin.¡¨
Many states statutes enacting Three Strike Laws that legislate mandatory and extended incarcerations to persons convicted of criminal offences on three or more occasions. A person convicted of the same crime three times is considered an habitual offender or incorrigible or chronically criminal. Three strike laws are designed to be tough on crime and allow no leeway for common sense, alternative penalties or extenuating circumstances. However, at some point the common good is deemed important enough to remove a person from society for an extended time.
The recent hit and run tragedy that took the lives of three members of the Frank Bingham family last weekend is a striking reminder that drunk drivers kill people and that three strikes may be two strikes too many.
But, the point this morning is not the pointing of fingers and identifying the sins of others¡K the probing question is more personal and the finger pointing is directed toward oneself.
The Psalmist was a realist and he knew he was a sinner who had benefited from the graciousness and forgiving spirit of God. He was the recipient of numerous forgivings. He wrote in Psalm 103:10-12:
¡§He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does he deal with us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.¡¨
The first benefit for which we may readily express our gratitude is the benefit of forgiveness of sins.
The second benefit we receive from God is spiritual health.
II. Health for our souls
¡§¡Kand heals all my diseases.¡¨ Psalm 103:3b
It is true. God does heal us physically and we give God credit for our physical health. But, it is important that we remember to whom David is speaking in this text. He is talking to his own soul, so when he speaks of healing all his diseases, he is speaking of diseases of his soul.