Psalm 103:1-5 ESV
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 iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
To bless the Lord is to praise him on bended knee – in humility, submission, and in honor of him, in devotion to him, and in sincere worship of him. And our sincere worship of him is us giving our lives to him fully, holding nothing back, to live lives which are holy (set apart from the world and unto him) and pleasing to him – no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed in heart and mind away from sin to follow Jesus Christ.
Our praise is not to be merely with our lips, but it is to be from the very depths of our being – from our heart, mind, body, and emotion, i.e. from all that is within us – our whole being, our whole lives and faithfulness. For, our praise of our Lord is not just with our minds, but with the way we live each day. The way we conduct our lives is to be for his glory, honor and praise.
We also bless the Lord with our thankfulness for all that he has done for us, and for all that he is yet to do for us. For, Jesus Christ gave his life up for us on a cross so that we might be delivered out of our slavery to sin (the pit), and so we might walk with him in victory over darkness. And, he fills our lives with all good things – love, joy, peace, purity, and holiness, and his faithfulness, compassion, counsel, guidance and forgiveness, etc.
Psalm 103:8-10 ESV
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
We are not saved from our sins because of our goodness. No amount of good works that we might do will ever save us from our sins. We can never earn nor deserve our own salvation. For, it was while we were yet sinners that Christ died for us. It is only because he shed his blood on that cross for our sins, and because he rose from the dead in victory over sin and the grave, that any of us can be forgiven our sins and have life eternal with God.
Yet, this should never be taken to mean that what we do does not affect our eternal security. But, it is not what we do in the flesh that matters. What matters to God is our heart response to his call to us to leave our lives of sin behind us to follow him in obedience to his will and to his ways. But, even our ability to do this comes from God, for we can only come to faith in Christ if the Father first draws us to Jesus. And, even the faith to believe in him is a gift from God (Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).
So, it is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin, who draws us to faith in Jesus Christ, who then moves us to surrender to Jesus, who then transforms us in heart and mind, and then who empowers us to walk in Christ’s righteousness and holiness. What we do is just surrender. We let go of our selfish desires, and we let God take over the control of our lives. And, we just follow him wherever he leads us – but only in his strength within us.
Psalm 103:11-14, 17-18 ESV
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust…
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
So, who are the recipients of all these benefits bestowed upon us because of God’s grace to us? Three times here it tells us that the recipients of God’s love, his grace, his forgiveness and his delivering us out of the pit, out of our bondage to sin, are those who fear him. And, to fear God is not to be afraid of him, but it is to honor, value, worship, obey, respect and adore him.
Yet, we don’t do this to earn or to deserve his salvation. But, we can’t be delivered out of our bondage to sin unless we surrender our lives to him, and unless we submit to his purposes for our lives, and we yield control to our Lord. But, remember here that we can only do this if the Father first draws us to faith in Christ, and he gifts us with the faith to believe. So, all this is for his praise and glory, and we get no glory for ourselves.
And, the last time that it mentions “to those who fear him,” it adds, “to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments.”
Now, I am well aware that this passage of scripture is in the Old Testament, and that this was written when God’s people were the Jews, and when they were under the Old Covenant Relationship between God and his people.
But, the Bible teaches that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:17). So, what we do when we read the Old Testament is we interpret it and apply it to our lives today in light of the New Covenant.
New Covenant Teaching
So, does the New Covenant teach the same? Yes, it does! We are taught in the New Testament that God’s mercy is for those who fear him, and that those who fear him and who do what is right are acceptable to him. We are also instructed to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in us, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
And, we are instructed to cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God. In addition, we are taught to offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire (Lu. 1:50; Ac. 10:34-35; 2 Co. 7:1; Phil. 2:12-13; Heb. 12:28-29).
On the subject of his commandments and keeping (obeying them), we are taught that if we love Jesus, we will keep his word, and that obedience leads to righteousness. We are instructed that Jesus became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him. And, we are taught that we have been chosen for obedience to Jesus Christ, and that the way in which we know that we have come to know him, and that we love him, is if we keep his commandments (Jn. 14:23-24; Rom. 6:16; Heb. 5:9; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 Jn. 2:3-6; 1 Jn. 5:3).
So, we need to humble ourselves before our Lord, bow before him, worship him, surrender our all to him, and follow him wherever he leads us.
Praise Be Told!
An Original Work / December 28, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures
He was pierced for our transgressions.
He was crushed for all our sin.
Our chastisement was upon Him.
By His stripes, we now are healed.
He has witnessed all our trials,
And the sins we choose to wear.
Yet, while we were dead in our sin,
Jesus died, our sins to bear.
He himself bore all of our sins
In His body on a cross,
So that we might die to our sin,
And live for His righteousness.
By faith in the pow’r of Jesus
And His blood shed for our sins,
We can be forgiven our sin,
And have life with God in heav’n.
He will lead us and He’ll guide us
In the way that we should go.
He will comfort and protect us,
Because Jesus, we do know.
Though He disciplines for our good,
He will heal us – Praise be told!
Do not fear, your Lord is with you.
Just have faith in Christ your Lord.
Wednesday, May 29, 2019