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Psalm 103:1-5 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Do you KNOW where you are going?

Opening: Two friends were traveling through Louisiana when they saw a sign that said, (and I’m going to spell this):

5 Miles

How do you think you’d say that word? Unless you were born there, you probably wouldn’t know it’s pronounced Nack-a-tish. It’s a French word. Well, they began to argue about how the name of the town was pronounced. When they got to town, they pulled into a fast food restaurant and went inside. After ordering their meal, one asked the cashier, “Can you settle an argument for us? Very slowly, tell us where we are.” The cashier leaned over the register and very slowly said:

Burrrgerrr Kinnnng”

America has lost its way. People don’t know where they are. Our current President said are 54 states in the union. A past President said there were 57 states. One reporter asked people on the streets of New York city simple questions like “Where is Mount Rushmore”. Several thought it was in Korea.

As a nation we’re having trouble getting people to work. Many young people today have said – I’ve heard it – “Just print more money and give it out. Let everybody have 75,000.00 dollars a year!” Millennials (those born from1981 to 1996, and who reached adulthood after 2000) and Generation Z (born from 1997 to 2012) have been taught that everyone deserves a paycheck whether they work or not. The Apostle said:

2 Thessalonians 3:10 If any would not work, neither should he eat ..

The mentality that pushes Socialism over Capitalism
has horribly afflicted our country.

Many businesses are putting out signs now – flags fluttering – proclaiming to the world the need for workers. I passed by a gas station the other day that had these huge self standing banners out front, 5 or six of them. The ones that caught my eye said:

Join our Team!
Great Benefits!
High Starting Pay!
Wonderful Retirement Plan!

I nearly pulled over myself and went in to get an application!

I began to think along these lines. Why don’t we have signs like this outside of every Church in America? We serve a great God! I think the reason is what Clay Hallmark, the President of the Tennessee Baptist Convention preached during our recent Annual Meeting. The Baptist & Reflector notes:

“In a sermon titled, “We are the mission field,” Hallmark declared, “The largest mission field in Tennessee right now is sitting in … Tennessee Baptist churches” because “Tennessee Baptist churches are filled with cultural Christians who are not committed to Jesus Christ.” … While crime, suicide, pornography and other social issues continue to rise across the state, the greater tragedy is that churches are powerless because they have “substituted the power of God for programs, processes, and personalities” Hallmark said.”

We need to return from where we have fallen. We need to get back to Jesus!

The World Desperately Needs Jesus

Illustrate: Not too long ago a shooter went into a LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs, Colorado and killed 5 people, injuring 19 others. Christians were blamed for the attack. It was later revealed that the shooter was not Christian, but a self identified non-binary named Anderson Lee Aldrich. Major news networks were “left speechless” at the revelation because they couldn’t blame the Christian. Don’t be surprised. The early Church was blamed for burning Rome, though the evil Emperor Nero was the culprit. The darkness will always try to suppress the light. Jesus told us this. He said:

John 16:33, “in the world you will have tribulation. But take courage, I HAVE OVERCOME the world”.

We cannot find our solace in politics, social networks, or tribes. When Adam fell, he brought thorns and thistles into the world. We tried from Adam – through Noah – through the Law given at Sinai – up until the time of Christ’s coming to find peace.

We all need Jesus! Not just a little Jesus, but Jesus every day. Billy Graham said: “The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement”. He still needed Jesus. Knowing Jesus does not take away all pain – but gives us confidence even in trials. The Psalmist sang:

Psalm 103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul…

As creatures made in the image of God (James 3:9), we have bodies and souls. Those who are in the family of God have a place to turn when in suffering. Notice the Psalmist doesn’t say, Bless the Lord, O MY BODY. There are times when the sin riddled world Adam gave to us brings forth “thorns and thistles” (Genesis 3:18). I mentioned this earlier. Why thorns AND thistles. Thorns is the bad stuff you can see, but thistles are the bad things you can’t see.

Thorns are the bad terrors you see coming.
Thistles are the hidden terrors.
The cancers. The lupus. The diseases.

There are times when we say in our bodies, “O me! O my!” Nonetheless we are encouraged by God’s Spirit to say Bless the Lord, O my soul. He is the Lord. Whatever comes my way as His Child is His responsibility.

Psalm 103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and
all that is within me,

We do not curse God when we who are saved suffer. We run to Jesus. We know that our completion is in Him. We don’t just bless the Lord for what we consider good. We bless God for what we consider bad. It all serves a purpose for the Christian. If we believe the Scripture of

Romans 8:28, ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER for good to those who love the Lord,

Trials purify Christian faith, but putrefy the Charlatan!

Have you ever prayed, “Lord, make me more like Jesus” ? If so, know that God makes Children through the trials of life. It is through the carving of pain that we become the workmanship of God. Once you understand this, you begin to praise God for your pain and suffering. The Apostle suffered terribly for the faith once delivered, but nonetheless said:

Romans 5:3-5 (ESV) … we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

We REJOICE in our sufferings”. Everything that comes to the believer in Christ comes for a purpose. It comes to make you more like Jesus. What else? One of the first martyrs of the faith James wrote:

James 1:2-4 (ESV) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

James 1:12 (ESV) Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

I mentioned that grand old Saint Job this past Sunday. Consider his example in suffering. Losing all that he had he “fell on the ground and worshiped” God, saying:

Job 1:21 The LORD gives and the Lord takes away, BLESSED be the Name of the LORD

When later his wife encouraged him to Curse God and die, Job rightly told her,

Job 2:10 You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive {the bad}?

The Greatest Blessing You Can Receive From God Is Christ

Psalm 103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

What is the highest good that God can give to you?

Money? The devil can give money.
Fame? The world can grant fame.
Good health? Medical science can aid us with our health.

There is something God can give you that neither the devil, nor the world, nor science and technology can give you. Do you know what that is?

Only God can offer forgiveness of sin.
Only God can make us acceptable to Him.
Only God can impute to us Holiness.
God is HOLY!

Listen Beloved, “Bless His HOLY Name”. God is HOLY. He is RIGHTEOUS. His ways are PURE. His JUDGMENTS RIGHT.

When Isaiah was graciously shown into the gates of glory, he cried out in shock: Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5). When we are compared to the holiness of God of God we fall so far short that we should be horrified. Consider all His commandments. Consider what Jesus said:

Matthew 22:37-38 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment”

Do we love God above all else? Does God hold first place in our hearts? I think we can all say that we fall short of this standard. But until we love God and put Him first, we will not love our neighbor who is created in the image of God. Jesus said:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39)

God calls us to His side. Until we see Jesus as the greatest gift, and others through the eyes of Christ, America will flounder.

God calls us to repent and believe on the name of Jesus. When we come to God through Christ, bending our knee to Him, He forgives us our sins and shortcomings. The Psalmist said:

Psalm 103:2-3 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities …

God is holy. But we are fallen creatures. We must have Jesus!

We are imperfect, prone to sin. We are, as the Psalmist said in another place, wicked from the womb” (Psalm 58:3). We think we are good, but the Law of God convicts us of sin. What did our Lord Jesus teach? He plainly said:

…there is none good, but ONE, that is, God” (Mark 10:18)

Illustrate: In our humanity we believe that we are fine. It’s like the young student who burst into his college professor’s office. He said, “Professor, I don’t believe I deserve this ‘F’ that you gave me!” The professor said, “I agree. You don’t deserve the ‘F’. Unfortunately, an ‘F” is the lowest grade I can give you.”

The God of the Scripture is Holy, Righteous, and Just. The Bible says that

Habakkuk 1:13 God is of purer eyes than to behold evil, and can not look on iniquity.

God is Holy – and we are not. God would be entirely justified in destroying this world and all that is in it. And yet, God does not.

Psalm 103:8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

God cannot call sin “good”. God must judge sin.
He must punish sin. But God delays. He offers us all an alternative.

Jesus is the alternative. Jesus said:

John 14:6 I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me

When Jesus said these words, His disciples had no concept as to how horrible and yet wonderful this statement would be. God cannot just look the other way on sin. He cannot. Throughout the Old Testament He taught His Israel:

Hebrews 9:22 … without shedding of blood, there is NO FORGIVENESS

The Jew brought the sacrifice to the Temple over and over again. No animal could pay for our sins. But God sent His Beloved Son to this earth to give Himself for our brokenness. Blood had to be shed. Jesus was born of a virgin, born into humanity perfect and holy. He was born to be the “Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Do you see Him? Beaten by soldiers, abandoned by friends. See Him carrying His Cross down that dusty road. See Him dragging that tree, impressed into His blood soaked shoulders. Up the hill called Calvary. There He is, stripped naked, shown in shame to the world. Nailed to that terrible Tree, He is raised up as a bloody flag.


Was it an accident? Was it a mistake? No. It was the plan of God. Pastor A.W. Pink wrote:

The Lord Jesus died as none other ever did. His life was not taken from Him; He laid it down of Himself. This was His claim: “For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.” (John 10:17-18).”

It is only Jesus Who gives us peace with God. God’s anger at sin cannot be appeased by anything we do. His anger at sin is appeased through His own death on the Cross.

Psalm 103:9-12 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

To those who come to Christ, repenting of their sins, He covers their sins with His perfect work of Calvary. A.W. Pink went on to say:

No one else ever did this or died in this way. His birth was unique. His life was unique. His death also was unique. In “laying down” His life, His death was differentiated from all other deaths. He died by an act of His own volition! Who but a divine person could have done this? In a mere man it would have been suicide: but in Him it was a proof of His perfection and uniqueness. He died like the Prince of Life!”

Truly Saved People FEAR The Lord

Psalm 103:13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

Salvation is a free gift from God. But once the Free Gift
is received, your life belongs to God.

A Christian “fears God”. Salvation is indeed a free gift from God. But you may not know this, but the words “free gift” are only found in THREE VERSES IN ALL OF THE SCRIPTURE. This is in Romans 5:15-18. In that context the Apostle Paul emphasizes that when Adam sinned he brought spiritual death into the world – and that all are equally dead and divorced from God. Our works cannot make us right before God, because “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Beloved, none of is have the ability to save ourselves (Ephesians 2:1). We are all – outside of Christ – dead in trespasses and sins.

Salvation is of necessity a “free gift”.
But do not think because it is a “free gift” that
it is a “cheap gift”.

Once saved, you become a member of the Family of God. Once saved, you become a son of God. Once saved, you become the workmanship of God (Ephesians 2:10). Once saved, you are accountable to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Psalm 103:15-19 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.17 But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.19 The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

Once saved, you are members of the Family of God. As such, you are expected to DO what God tells you to do. You are to obey His commands, rain or shine, mountaintop or valley, good days or bad days.

Are you His? Do you know Christ as your Lord and Savior? If so, bless the Lord, O my soul! If not, today give yourselves to Jesus! There is only one place that you will discover peace with yourself, and peace with God. That is in the arms of Christ. Run to Him. Give your lives to Him not just once, but daily and forever. For in Christ is power and glory.

May God the Holy Spirit draw you to His side. Amen and Amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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