Summary: In Psalm 103, verse 1-5, the writer mentions 5 blessings that we should be thankful for.

Five Kernels of Corn

Ps 103:1-13

1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

2 Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits--

3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,

4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:

8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.

9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever;

10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.

11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;

12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

The Pilgrim fathers who landed at Plymouth Rock over 300 years ago knew nothing of the affluent times which you and I enjoy today in this great country of ours.

The next time you and I are tempted to complain about inflation and the state of our economy, remember the following:

During that first long winter at Plymouth Colony, seven times as many graves were made for the dead as home for the living.

The ship which was to bring food and relief brought 35 more mouths to feed, but not an ounce of provisions.

Touching indeed is the picture of William Brewster, rising from a scanty Plymouth dinner, consisting of a plate of clams and a glass of cold water, to thank God “for the abundance of the sea and the treasures hid in the sand.”

The Pilgrims didn’t have much, but they possessed a great gratitude and it was upon this very thing that America was built. These stalwart people, strong, devout and sincere were the timbers upon which our nation was founded.

They had a custom of putting 5 kernels of corn upon each empty plate before a dinner of “thanksgiving” was served. Each member of the family would pick up a kernel and tell what they were thankful for. It was to remind them that the first Pilgrims were in such dire straits that their allowance was only 5 kernels of corn per person each day.

We have many reasons to be thankful. Let’s take 5 grains of corn, and using Psalm 103:1-5 as a basis, think of 5 things to praise God for.

In this Psalm David calls upon his body, mind, soul, and spirit to join in one grand symphony of praise for the benefits God has so graciously bestowed upon him. Can you see the 5?

1. The Kernel of Forgiveness

Verse 3a: “…who forgives all your sins…”

One day a fellow was visiting with his pastor in the parsonage. He picked up a book that was on a stand and began to read. Suddenly he shouted, “Glory! Praise the name of the Lord!” The pastor asked, “What’s the matter with you?” The visitor replied, “This book says that in certain places the sea is 5 miles deep!”

“Yes, that’s right,” said the pastor. “What of it?” The visitor answered, “Why the Bible says that my sins have been cast into the depth of the sea, and if its that deep, I’m not afraid of their coming up again. The pressure of the water is so great there that if the largest battleship could be sunk to that depth, it would be crushed like an egg shell.”

There’s no mistaking it—God offers forgiveness. All any person must do is repent and forsake his sin, and God will forgive him and revoke the penalty of sin.

This forgiveness is a…

 Promise of the Father

 Provision of the Son

 Proclamation in the Bible

 Required practice in the church

From the depths of our hearts, a sense of gratitude should well up. Gratitude should ascend like incense to the throne of God.

2. The Kernel of Redemption

Verse 4a: “…who redeems your live from the pit…”

The London Times publishes the prices paid for art objects in all of the salesrooms of the world. If a painting is sold in New York or Paris or Rome or London, The Times gives the full details of the sale. You can judge the value of the painting by the price paid for it. And we can judge our value by the price Jesus paid for us—the depths into which He had to reach in order to redeem us.

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Evan Adams

commented on Nov 20, 2006

Your message inspired me to write a devotional I'll be presenting tomorrow to my Sailors. Thanks for posting and sharing such a marvelous message on Thanksgiving.

Frederick Baker Ii

commented on Nov 10, 2007

Thanks for the help I received from this sermon.

Pete Dorn

commented on Nov 12, 2007

very convicting and insightful giving one a broader perspective on what the rest of the world goes through. Telling those of us who tend to complain to rethink your circumstance in light of what others go through.

James Bohrer

commented on Nov 17, 2007

Thanks for the clear call to challenge people to consider God's blessing in all circumstance!

Mickey Christy

commented on Nov 8, 2008

My Church is hosting a Thanksgiving Service with several neighboring Churches. This message will be perfect. I will fashion five kernels of corn to give to each person before the message is presented.

Robert Hurst

commented on Nov 17, 2008

This message has been a great help in remembering the blessings of God that we have today. Thanks.

Edward Hawkins

commented on Nov 19, 2008

thanks for this sermon. I espcially like the 5 kernels of corn relates well to our farmers.

James Milner

commented on Nov 22, 2008

Excellent sermon. The fives kernels are a graphic example of what we need to be thankful for. Forgiveness, redemption, healing, compassion and renewal cover all our needs.

James Harrington

commented on Nov 26, 2008

Thanks for the thoughts on Psalm 103. I appreciate your insights using the five kernels.

Richard Hertsel

commented on Nov 10, 2009

I knew the Pilgrims had a rough time when they came to America. Pastor Howell''s message brought out just how tough a time they had. May we never take the blessings of America for granted again. Thanks Pastor!!

Linda Hawkins

commented on Nov 22, 2009

Great message

Chris Supper

commented on Nov 5, 2010

Very good sermon, and very practical. Enjoyed reading it very much, especailly loved the introduction with pilgrims, and title.

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