It’s so easy for us to go through our lives and just take everything for granted. We forget how abundantly we’re blessed every day. When’s the last time that you gave thanks, and how important is it that we be a grateful people?
ROBERT >> Good morning. I’m so glad that you’ve joined us today for The Truth In Love. It’s so easy for us to go through our life and just take everything for granted. We forget how abundantly we’re blessed every day. When’s the last time that you gave thanks, and how important is it that we be a grateful people? Stay tuned. I’ll be back in just a moment.
>> Speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth, speaking the truth in love.
ROBERT >> There are many passages in the Bible that talk about thanksgiving, but I want us to consider a word today from Psalm 103:1-5. And I want you to notice here in this chapter of the Psalms that the psalmist cannot keep himself from blessing the Lord and reminding us of our blessings from the Lord. Read together with me here in Psalm 103. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. I want you to notice a few things about these verses in regards to thanksgiving. I want you to notice first of all how the psalmist here calls upon himself to praise, to bless, to give thanks to God. It’s though the psalmist were taking himself and talking with himself. I know we all do that sometimes, we talk to ourselves; and I understand that’s okay, as long as we don’t talk back. But that’s what the psalmist is doing. And he’s calling upon himself to bless God, to give thanks to God. He says here in verse 1, Bless the Lord, O soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! You see, God wants us to bless him, to give thanks to him. It’s not that God needs our blessing, that God needs our praise; but he deserves it. Above all, God deserves our praise and our thanks. Of all, he is the only one that is truly worthy of such blessing and worship and honor. And of course we need that. We need to be a people that bless God, that praise God, that give thanks to God, because in doing that we are drawn to God, we’re drawn closer to God, and we’re strengthened in our soul because of that. In fact, our whole being is transformed. In our worship to God, in our giving thanks to God, we become more like him, we become more and more like our God in every way. And so the psalmist says I need to take hold of myself and I need to bless God and I need to praise God. And then notice what he says in verse 2: Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. You see here how the psalmist reminds himself not to forget. Don’t forget how God has blessed me, is what the Psalmist is learning here. He’s got to keep asking himself, how has God blessed me? What has God done for me? What are the thanks that I owe him? Have you ever had to remind yourself? I know I often say to myself, now, don’t forget so and so. And we’re so prone to forget. And so we must constantly remind ourselves of all God’s benefits and not take them for granted and fail to appreciate them, but as the psalmist says, remind yourself so that you don’t forget about that. So the psalmist now is taking himself in hand, and he’s calling upon himself to bless God and not to forget to give thanks to God. And then notice what the psalmist does here in verses 3 through 5. The psalmist makes a list. He says, Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. You see how the psalmist writes it down? That’s what I have to do. If I don’t write it down, I’m going to forget it. And so look at David’s list, and look what all he included. First of all I want you to notice that David thanked God, blessed God for his forgiveness. You’ll notice in verse 3 he says, Who forgives all your iniquities. Remember, David was the king over God’s people, David was a prophet of God, and David was a man after God’s own heart. But we also note that David was a sinner. Most of you are probably familiar with this dark time in his life when he committed adultery with Bathsheba, when he had her husband Uriah murdered. And of course there were many other times in the life of David that he sinned against God. But though he was a man after God’s own heart, this one who’d been set over the people of God, a prophet of God, still he was a sinner; and he knew that only God could forgive his soul. We need to be reminded today that it’s God who offers his forgiveness to us all. I want to read this passage to you from Hebrews 8:12, where the Hebrew writer reminds us of the new covenant that Jesus Christ has provided for us and the forgiveness that’s found in that covenant. Here in Hebrews 8:12 the Bible says, For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more. That’s God’s promise to us. We have his forgiveness. He says I’m going to put it out. I’m going to no longer hold it against your account. I’m granting you forgiveness. We need to be careful to bless God and to thank God for his forgiveness, and not just rapidly go through our prayers, Father, forgive us our sins, and thank you for the forgiveness of our sins, but to truly stop and think about how much and what all and each time that God has forgiven us. But I want you to notice also from this psalm that David mentions healing. And you see this here also at the end of verse 3, Who heals all your diseases. David suffered in the flesh, but he acknowledged God as the one from whom all healing comes. You know, in the New Testament it’s revealed to us that Jesus Christ is the great physician. He’s the great healer. He’s the great physician for all who would come to him for healing. There’s an interesting passage in Mark the 2nd chapter where Jesus emphasizes this very point. As he had just begun his ministry, there were many that were coming to him, and of course he was teaching them and he was healing them physically of many physical diseases; but we find that he was also interested in the healing of their souls. And here in Mark 2:17 the Bible says, When Jesus heard it, He said to them, Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. There were some, like the Pharisees, who could not see their sinfulness and could not see their need for a savior, and so they rejected Christ, they rejected the great healer, the great physician; but Jesus Christ is available to be your savior and to bring healing to your heart when you come to him. There’s something else that we need of course to be thankful for that’s associated with this healing, and that is redemption. You’ll notice in verse 4 back in Psalm 103 where David writes, Who redeems your life from destruction. David’s life was often in jeopardy; but God delivered him each time. Many of you are familiar with the life of David, and you remember those times when God was there for him. For example, when he stood before that great Philistine giant, Goliath, he went in the power of the Lord, and that giant fell. God was there to redeem him, to deliver him. And of course later on, King Saul chased him all over the desert. He had to hide in caves, he was constantly watching out for his life as Saul sought to destroy him. But each time, God delivered him and finally brought him to sit upon the throne that Saul once occupied. And then of course David’s own son, Absalom, turned against him and wanted his throne and tried to kill him; but again God was there for him, to redeem him, to set him free, to rescue him, to deliver him. God is still the great deliverer. And of course the greatest deliverance that he has brought to mankind is that which is found through Jesus Christ: The deliverance from our sins, from the guilt and from the power of sin in our life so that we can live a new life. God has provided through Jesus Christ a means of being rescued, of being set free, of being delivered. But it came at a great price. I want to read this passage to you from 1 Peter 1:18-19, where Peter tries to encourage us all to turn away from sin and to live an obedient life before God our father. And in doing that, he reminds us of the great price that was paid in order to redeem us from our sins, to pay the price, to buy us back to God, to deliver and to rescue us from that old life. Here’s what he says, 1 Peter 1, beginning in verse 18. Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. You see, Jesus Christ had to leave heaven, come to the earth, become one of us, and live a perfect life in this flesh. As the Hebrew writer said in chapter 4 verse 15, He was tempted and tried just as we are, and yet without sin. That perfect one gave his life at the cross of Calvary. There his blood was shed for the sins of the world. You cannot put a price tag on our redemption. You can’t measure it in silver and gold. It involved the precious blood of that perfect lamb, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us. 1 Timothy 2:6 reminds us that He gave himself a ransom for all. That’s for me, and that’s for all of you who are listening today. Jesus Christ died for us all. And it’s for that great sacrifice that we need to be so thankful. David also mentioned some other things back in Psalm 103. As you continue down his list, I want you to notice how he talks about a crown. He says at the end of verse 4, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies. Of course David as king of Israel had been crowned, and he’d been crowned for some time. It must have been a wonderful, glorious, golden crown that he wore upon his head. But he doesn’t speak of that crown here; no, he speaks of a crown of lovingkindness and tender mercies, a crown that God had bestowed upon him. It is a crown that is everlasting. It’s not material and earthly, it doesn’t fade away; but it is a crown of grace, it’s a crown of love, of mercy and kindness. Certainly God had blessed David with all of these and provided him with a successful reign in Israel and provided him with a life of blessing, a spiritual blessing, of eternal blessing. And you know, Jesus Christ promises those of us who would be faithful to him that great kind of crown: A crown of eternal life, a crown that will be given to all those who are faithful. In Revelation 2:10 Jesus makes this promise to Christians that are being persecuted severely. Some of them are being dragged into prison, being tortured, and even being put to death. But he wants to encourage them as he encourages us today as we fight the good fight of faith, as we strive to follow after him even in the face of persecution, even in the face of death. Listen to his promise at the end of this verse, Revelation 2:10. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. It’s not a crown that’s going to disappear someday or something that would fade away, something that one day would corrode or be consumed. It’s not something that some thief can break in and steal from you. But rather this is the grown of life, a spiritual crown, an eternal crown. When you are faithful to Jesus Christ, faithful until death, faithful in the very hour of death, even in the face of death, Jesus Christ promises you a great crown, the greatest crown of all, the crown of eternal life. And for that we ought to be thankful. But still David mentioned some other things in his list in Psalm 103. He mentions satisfaction. Here he says in verse 5, Who satisfies your mouth with good things. I can imagine that David as king of Israel must have daily fed upon the delicacies and the delights of a king. Whatever he wanted was there at his fingertips, it would be provided for him. And yet there’s a greater satisfaction that God provides for us. God will fill the hearts of all who hunger and thirst for righteousness. In Matthew 5:6, as Jesus speaks of those who would make up his kingdom, those who would enjoy the blessings of the kingdom of heaven, he gives us this beatitude, Matthew 5:6, Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. You see, if you have this great desire in your heart for the righteousness that God provides for us through Jesus Christ, it’s in that great desire and it’s in that seeking and that searching for righteousness that our hearts are filled, that we are truly satisfied, that our souls are content. What a blessing God has given us through Jesus Christ, for which we ought to be thankful. But then I want you to notice this last thing on David’s list here in Psalm 103. Look at the end of verse 5, where he speaks of renewal. So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s, he says. David had experienced time and again God’s strength, God’s vigor that kept him alive, that kept him active throughout his 40-year reign as king of Israel. And that kind of renewal is available for all who wait on the Lord. There’s such an encouraging passage in Isaiah 40:31 that reminds us of this life and energy and vigor, this renewal that the Lord can bring to us. In Isaiah 40:31 the Bible says, But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. Don’t ever give up on the Lord. Don’t ever become discouraged. In faith, continue to wait on the Lord, and he will always come through for you, and he’ll grant you that newness of life. God help us to bless the Lord. Let’s not forget all his benefits. You make your own list, and you remember what God has done, what God is doing, and what God will do to forgive and to redeem and to heal and to crown and to satisfy and to renew your soul. I don’t want to believe you today without giving you a few lessons that we can learn from this psalm. I want to leave you with four important lessons about thanksgiving: That thanksgiving comes from within us. We read that in verse 1 of Psalm 103. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless His holy name. It’s not just saying thank you, but the expression of a heart filled with gratitude. Mere words mean nothing. That is hypocrisy. It must come from within us, from our hearts. Number two, thanksgiving is a remembering. In verse 2 of Psalm 103 he said, Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits. It is a deep impression upon the mind that’s not easily forgotten, but constantly replayed over and over again. Only the ungrateful will forget. We need to take time to reflect. Count your many blessings and let your requests be made known to God, with thanksgiving, as Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6. Let’s not spend all our time asking for things, but let’s remember to give thanks for the things that we have. Number three, thanksgiving is all-encompassing. We notice this at the end of verse 2 here in Psalm 103. Forget not all His benefits. You see, we must not pick and choose, but acknowledge each and every blessing. As James reminds us in chapter 1 verse 17, Every good and every perfect gift comes down from the Father of lights, in whom is no variation nor shadow of turning. God is reliable, he is dependable, and every day he pours out his abundant blessings upon us. We must acknowledge those, each and every one. As Paul said in Ephesians 5:20, Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ. A truly grateful heart will always say thank you. And be specific and take nothing for granted. I love how my children used to pray at the table. They would open their eyes, and they would thank God for the fork and the spoon and the napkin, and they would look around and thank him for the plate and thank him for the salt and pepper shaker, everything that was there. And we need to open our eyes and look around and remember to thank God for every breath that we breathe, for every day that we are alive, for the food that we receive, for our families, for the church, for God’s word, for the precious blood of Christ and the eternal life we have through him. Let me say, thanksgiving seems so inadequate. It’s such a small thing to say thank you when compared to what we have received. Have you ever said to somebody, I don’t know what to say, I could never repay you, or, I can’t thank you enough. That’s the way every one of us ought to feel towards God. We can never be too thankful to our God, the one who provided eternal life through the death of his only begotten son and through the power of his resurrection that third day. We must all say with the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 9:15, Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. I hope you can say thank you to God, that you’ve said thank you not only with your words, but with your life, that you’ve given yourself to Jesus Christ, turning from your sin, confessing your faith in him, and giving yourself, immersing yourself into Christ Jesus so that you might know the greatest blessing of all.
>> On Zion’s glorious summit stood a numerous host redeemed by blood. They hymned their king in strains divine. I heard the song and strove to join. I heard the song and strove to join. While everlasting ages roll, eternal love shall feast their soul, and scenes of bliss forever new rise in succession to their view, rise in succession to their view. Holy, holy, holy Lord. God of hosts on high adored. Who like me thy praise should sing, oh Almighty king? Holy, holy, holy Lord. God of hosts on high adored. Holy, holy, holy.
ROBERT >> Thanks for watching our program today. We’d love to hear from you. Let me encourage you to contact us with your questions, comments, or requests at The Truth In Love, P.O. Box 865, Hurst, Texas 76053. You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call our toll-free number, 800-819-2966. And also, please visit our web site at www.ttil.tv. All our materials and services are absolutely free of charge. We just want to do what we can to help us all towards heaven. So let us know how we can help you, and please join us next time right here on The Truth In Love.
>> Sing to me of heaven, sing that song of peace. From the toils that bind me it will bring release. Burdens will be lifted that are pressing so, showers of great blessing o’er my heart will flow. Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all. Sing to me of heaven tenderly and low till the shadows o’er me rise and swiftly go. When my heart is weary, when the day is long, sing to me of heaven, sing that old, sweet song. Sing to me of heaven, let me fondly dream of its golden glory, of its pearly gleam. Sing to me when shadows of the evening fall, sing to me of heaven, sing the sweetest song of all.