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.”
Amen! Thank you, Jesus! Yes! And, all that is within me bless his holy name. All, not part, but the whole. With all my emotion, thought, passion, heart, mind, body, time, talents, gifts, and any other resources the Lord has given to me, I want to give him praise and glory for the things he has done.
Wow! This is such a wonderful description of God’s amazing grace to us in the gift of his Son given for us to die on a cross for us so that we might be delivered from the pit of hell, and from the pit of our sinful lifestyles (from slavery to sin). He brought us up out of that pit. He didn’t leave us there to continue in sin. Praise His Name! (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24)
For, He turned us from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God that we might receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
Now we have new lives in Jesus Christ, not like the old lives he delivered us from. Now we can walk in victory over darkness. Now we can be healed in our minds and hearts from all those things which once held us captive to sin. Now we have purpose and direction for our lives. Now we can be used of God to minister his love and grace to other people, too.
And, he is our great physician, too. So, we should go to him with all our troubles, with all our heartaches, and with all our sicknesses, too. We should not run first to the medicine cabinet, and we should not run first to a counselor, but we should pray for healing, and we should depend on the Lord for our strength to help us in our times of need.
Psalm 103:8-14 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.
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.”
We are so undeserving of God’s love and grace. For, we are all born into this world with sin natures. We have all sinned and have come up short of attaining God’s divine approval and his righteousness. We can never be righteous in our own sight, of our own doing. Not one of us can earn our own salvation via good works. We are all hopeless without God.
But God, in his love and mercy, made a way for us to be delivered from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so that it would no longer have power over us. God the Father sent his Son Jesus to die for us that we might no longer live to ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. In his death he put our sin to death that we, in his power, might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Pet. 2:24).
So, what must we do to be saved? We must believe in Jesus Christ. And, involved in that belief is that we must turn away from our lifestyles of sin (repent), and we must turn to our Lord to walk in obedience to his commands. This is what it means to “fear him.” We must revere, respect, and obey him (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).
Psalm 103:15-19 ESV
“As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
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.
The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.”
We are only on this earth for a short time. Not one of us is guaranteed today or tomorrow. We live, and then we die. And, so we should consider our days, that they are numbered, and we should think about the shortness of time, and we should not waste the time God has given us on this earth living for ourselves and for the sinful pleasures of our flesh.
God created us all with a purpose in mind, which is for his glory and praise, not for ourselves. We aren’t here for us. We are here for him. He saved us, not just so we could escape hell and so we could go to heaven when we die. He saved us to transform us, and that we would now be for his glory, and that we would now live our lives for him, to do his will, not our own.
So, we need to understand here that the steadfast love of God is for those who fear him, who honor him with our lives, and who follow him in his ways, and who do what he says as a matter of practice (lifestyle). His righteousness is for us who keep (obey) his commandments as a matter of course, which is the way in which we conduct our lives, day in and day out.
The righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who WALK according to the Spirit of God and who no longer walk according to the flesh. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, not have eternal life with God (Rom. 8:1-17; Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6; Gal. 6:7-8; Rom. 2:6-8).
Not too many people believe that, though. Not too many people are putting that into practice in their lives. Too many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are believing a lie that says they are forgiven their sin and they are bound for heaven, but that they can continue living in sin without guilt.
But Jesus died to free us from our slavery to sin so that would now become slaves of his righteousness. And, we are slaves of the one whom we obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
So, making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ is not enough. Saying that we believe in him is not enough. Even the demons believe, and they shudder, James said (Jas. 2:19). But they do not have salvation from sin.
So, it is critical that we understand what it means to believe in Jesus. It means to fear him (to honor, respect and obey him). It means we leave our lifestyles of sin behind us and we now live for the Lord, and we do what he teaches us we must do. And, it means we surrender our lives to him, to be lived for his purposes, and for his glory and praise, all the time.
But God gets the glory, not us, for what he does in us and through us.
By Andraé Crouch
Just let me live my life,
Let it pleasing, Lord to Thee,
And if I gain any praise,
Let it go to Calvary.
With His blood He has saved me,
With His power He has raised me;
To God be the glory
For the things He has done.
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