“And Forget Not All His Benefits!”

Sermon Notes (Sunday November 22nd, 2015)

Rev. Mouris Yousef, Pastor

And Forget Not All His Benefits!

Psalm 103:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

Psalm 103 is a great Psalm! Artur Weiser, a German scholar, calls it “one of the finest blooms on the tree of Biblical faith.” Charles Spurgeon wrote in his Treasury of David, “There is too much in this Psalm for a thousand pens to write, it is one of those all-comprehending Scriptures which is a Bible in itself, and it might almost suffice for the hymnbook of the church.”

 

The Psalm begins with David exhorting himself to praise God. He addresses the Psalm to “my soul, all my inmost being.” King David knew he is a sinner saved by grace, touched by God, and rejoicing in the personal nature of God’s dealings with him. He wants to thank God for what he has done in his own life. But by the end of the Psalm, he is inviting the entire universe to join him – “his angels, you mighty ones … all his heavenly hosts … you his servants …all his works.” The praise of one person is nowhere near sufficient to worship God as He deserves.

 

The reason for this call to praise God is that we so easily “forget all His benefits.” The longer we have been Christians, the easier it is to take God’s love and God’s grace for granted. We get on with our lives day by day, aware deep down that we are safe in His hands, that our eternal future is secure, but less and less eager to express our deep, soul-felt gratitude for that. Sometimes we live our lives as if nothing particular has happened, as if the amazing work of Jesus Christ has not really changed us in any way. So Psalm 103 is a great corrective to that. It reminds us yet again of how great God is, how great is His love in our lives, how great is the grace He has shown us, and how thankful we should be. As we look together this morning at Psalm 103:1-5, we see five things we are not to forget:

 

First: God Forgives our Sins

In Psalm 103:2-3 the Psalmist says, “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all His benefits — who forgives all your sins.” God forgives our sins – no, He forgives all our sins. There is nothing that is beyond the reach of God’s forgiveness, no sin that is too great for Him to deal with, no deed, word or attitude that has not been dealt with by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. No one is too bad for God. No one is outside the orbit of God’s love. Friends, how often do we thank God for His forgiveness? David looked at his life and couldn’t help by thank God for His forgiveness.

 

Second: God Heals our Diseases

Again, Psalm 103:3 says, “Who heals all your diseases.” What is the meaning of this benefit? Tony Campolo, an American sociologist and pastor, tells a story about being in a church in Oregon where he was asked to pray for a man who had cancer. Campolo prayed boldly for the man’s healing. That next week he got a call from the man’s wife. She said, “You prayed for my husband. He had cancer . . . He died.” Compolo felt terrible. But she continued, “Don’t feel bad. When he came into that church that Sunday he was filled with anger. He knew he was going to be dead in a short period of time, and he hated God. He was 58 years old, and he wanted to see his children and grandchildren grow up. He was angry that this all-powerful God didn’t take away his sickness and heal him. He would lie in bed and curse God. The more his anger grew towards God, the more miserable he was to everybody around him.” But the lady told Campolo, “After you prayed for him, a peace had come over him and a joy had come into him. Tony, the last three days have been the best days of his life.’”

 

I think that more than physical healing is the healing of the sin-sick soul, the healing of a spiritual brokenness, the healing of unhappy marriages, and the healing of broken relationships. God heals all our diseases. It’s up to His good and perfect will in our lives to choose what kind of healing He graciously offers us.

 

Third: God Redeems our Life

In Psalm 103:4, David says that God “redeems your life from the pit”, the “pit” being a metaphor for the grave. In Hebrew thought this was the place of despair, darkness and destruction, away from the warmth of God’s smile, away from the place of His favor. But, by the grace of God, we can know release from that. David was no stranger to despair and to what we might even call depression – just read through some of the other psalms which are really cries from the depths of his heart for release from his anxieties and his many troubles – but here he recognizes that the follower of God can know freedom from such anxiety and a glorious hope for the future.

 

How many times has the Lord saved you from the pit? How many times has the Lord saved you from a place of despair, darkness, and destruction? Sometimes we think of the things that happened to us, but think of what did not happen to you this week. Think of all the bad things that could have happened to you this week that didn’t; because the Lord preserves you from the pit.

 

Fourth: God Crowns us with Love and Compassion

In verse 4 we read, “who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion.” The verb “crown” actually means “to surround.” We are surrounded by two things: God’s love and God’s compassion. As believers, we are totally secure in God’s love in Christ Jesus. Because of God’s compassion, He has not dealt with us as we deserve. David marveled at this thought in verses 10-12, “He has not dealt with us after our sins…” If God dealt with us as we deserved, we would be without hope! But He hasn’t. Because God crowns us with His love and compassion, He continues to show faithfulness despite our unfaithfulness. Because God crowns us with His love and compassion, He continues to be so compassionate about each one of us. Compassion here is the Hebrew word “racham” means merciful, always tender, gentle, and loving.

 

Fifth: God Satisfies our Desires with God Things

In verse 5 we read, “Who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” The truth of the matter is that we will never find true satisfaction in life as long as we fail to give God His rightful place in our lives. If you are not satisfied, ask yourself this question, “What place am I giving God in my life? Am I putting Jesus Christ first place in my life?” We will never be satisfied until we do. God promises to give us what we need: strength, comfort, courage, guidance, whatever. He knows our needs. He delights in satisfying us. David says that God fills us to satisfaction “with good things.” These are the things of God so graciously given to us. It is the gift of God Himself. And when you are satisfied with God himself, then you will live a strong, vibrant, and youthful life, like the eagle.

 

Friends, we need to learn to bless God for our blessings. We need to learn to forget not all His benefits. God forgives, heals, redeems, crowns, and satisfies. Some Christians need to repent and ask God to forgive us for our ingratitude, for taking His blessings for granted. We are a blessed people! The benefits of God are so many. We have tasted five this morning. How should we respond? We respond by blessing God with our lips, but most importantly, by blessing Him with our lives. We respond by not forgetting all His benefits. Happy and blessed Thanksgiving Church of Jesus Christ!

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