Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: How does God really see us?

PSALMS 103:6 The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. 9 He will not always strive with us, Nor will He keep His anger forever. 10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, So great is His mercy toward 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 pities his children, So the LORD pities those who fear Him. 14 For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it, and it is gone, And its place remembers it no more. 17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting On those who fear Him, And His righteousness to children’s children 18 To such as keep His covenant, And to those who remember His commandments to do them.

Have you wondered what God really thinks about you? Our greatest barrier to knowing God better may be how much we know about how much God knows about us. We struggle with God because we feel so bad about ourselves, and if we know the truth about ourselves, think of how much God knows us! We can’t fool him. Sometimes we don’t want to pray or read the Bible or think about God because when we look in the mirror, we feel like saying, "You’re a big disappointment" or "You ought to be a lot better by now." Or "Why aren’t you a better Christian than you are?"

We’ve all felt that way from time to time, and I imagine that many people may feel that way right now. This is a rough time of year for some. It’s been a hard week, or a bad month, and now we’re near the end of what seems like another wasted year. I think we run from God rather than to him because we know our own hearts all too well and his barely at all. Perhaps no other chapter in the Bible so clearly reveals God’s compassion for his people than PS 103. If you’re wondering what God thinks about you, let’s look at these seven liberating truths about God’s heart.

1. He Loves to Help the Needy. Vs 6 The LORD executes righteousness And justice for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel

Who are these "oppressed"? The "oppressed" are those who can’t help themselves. In the Old Testament the word especially referred to widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. When we are tempted to take advantage of others because we are strong and they are weak, God says, "Think about that first." He takes the side of the weak. Our God keeps his eyes on the helpless, and when others hurt them, he moves to balance the scales of justice. It’s been said that "The arm of the universe is long but it bends toward justice." There are days and times when this is hard to believe, especially in light of events like the terrorist bombing in Mumbai. But this truth stands like a solid rock for the believer.

If all of history is a book, we haven’t reached the final chapter yet. We’re somewhere near the end, but we’re not sure how far away we are. But we know this much. Eventually God will bring everything to light, and he will judge with impartiality. In that day there will be no hiding, no excuse-making, no bribes, and no way of escape. All of us who labor for a better world and a more just society and to those who stretch out a helping hand....you have to believe this or you can’t go on. Are you needy? The answer is yes whether you know it or not. You are needy and God is on your side. That’s a great place to start.

2. He Shows Mercy to Those Who Don’t Deserve It. Look at vs 8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

Here are the four great attributes of God in this verse: 1) The Lord is compassionate-He pardons us. 2) The Lord is gracious-He gives us what we don’t deserve. 3) The Lord is slow to anger-He is patient with us when we fall. 4) The Lord abounds in love-He loves us more than we can imagine.

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