Friday, May 6, 2016

Created to Praise

Psalm 103

Thanksgiving for God’s Goodness

A Psalm of David.

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 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 as long as you live[a]
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works vindication
    and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
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 for ever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor requite us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heavens are high above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father pities his children,
    so the Lord pities those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
    upon those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his word,
    hearkening to the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
    his ministers that do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
    in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! RSV https://www.biblegateway.com

   Do you ever wonder why you exist? Day-to-day activities and worries pull us in so many directions that most of us seldom think about the goal of life. But our Creator made us with a purpose: to glorify Him (Isa. 43:7).
   In His Word, God is emphatic that we are to testify to His faithfulness and His mighty works. Jesus Christ considered this important as well -when teaching His disciples how to communicate with God, He began His well-known prayer with adoration of His Father (Matt. 6:9).
   Why, then, do we tend to give so much attention to our petitions but so little to praising God? Perhaps some believers consider themselves too time-constrained to spend "extra" prayer time praising he Lord. Others may feel awkward expressing their gratitude to Him. Yet no excuses are acceptable. Psalm 103:2 tells us to remember God's benefits so we will humbly glorify Him. This psalm also explains how to lift the Father up with words - specifically, we should praise God for His character and for His work in the past, present, and future (vv. 2-8, 19).
   The Old Testament's primary words for "praise" refer to spoken words, music, and gestures like raising hinds and dancing. But we can also glorify Him in other ways, such as through actions, thoughts, and creativity.
   Praise may be something foreign to you. But it's the very purpose for which you were created. Observe how the Father is exalted in the Psalms and throughout the Bible. Then worship Him with praise as you spend time basking in His presence today.
Stanley, Charles F. In Touch: Daily Readings for Devoted Living. January 2016. Atlanta, page 8.




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