Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Have You Forgotten?

by Stephen Altrogge@

Psalm 103
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits...

I'm a forgetful man. I forget to take out the trash. I forget to return phone calls. My dad's birthday was last week (he turned 117). Sure enough, I forgot. But more seriously, I forget the blessings of God, which is why I so appreciate Psalm 103. The Psalmist knows that we're quick to forget the many blessings of God and so he reminds us to "forget not all his benefits". We must daily call to mind the many lavish ways that God has blessed us or we're doomed to forget them. What are some of these blessings?

who forgives all your iniquity...

How merciful God has been to us! He's forgiven ALL of our iniquities. Ponder the glories of this truth for a moment. Every sin I've ever committed has been forgiven by God. My "little" sins, and my great perversities. Gone. Forever. Washed away in that great crimson flood that flowed from the cross. Jesus was crushed beneath the awful weight of my iniquities so that God could extend the hand of forgiveness.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

who heals all your diseases...

In addition to having my sins forgiven, I've been healed of the disease of sin. I was once a slave to sin, ruled by my sinful passions, unable to love what was truly good. I was a miserable, hopeless, helpless slave of sin, and I had no hope of escape. Apart from divine intervention, I was doomed to a life of increasing misery and an eternity. But God intervened! He turned my heart of stone to a heart of flesh, and now I have the vibrant, pulsing, joy-giving life of God within me.

who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy...

Because I am God's child, my life is now full of the love and mercy of God. Each morning I awake to new mercies. What a wondrous thought! Each day I am guaranteed the extravagant mercy of God. I can get out of bed each morning, knowing that I will soon be encountering the mercies of God. God has been so kind to me.

What about you? Have you forgotten the many mercies of God? Have you forgotten his innumerable blessings? If you lack joy, it's likely that you've forgotten the many blessings of God. As you go about your day, remember the specific blessings that God has shown to you. Recall your salvation. Recall the many kindnesses you've experienced from the hand of God. Experience fresh joy today by remembering.

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