Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yahweh's Benefits - Part 2

Psalm 103:1-2 “Bless YAHWEH, 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...”

We’ve already seen that we are made up of three parts; spirit, soul, and body. From John 4:23 we know that our spirit is (or should be) always in a state of worship. This is why we can worship God anytime and anywhere without any emotion needed! Our soul, however, needs to be “primed” in order to worship. This is the point of Psalm 103:1-5 - leading your soul into worship. We pull our mind, will and emotions into worship by remembering Yahweh’s benefits.

Last time, we looked at the first three benefits in this list
1. Forgiveness of all our sin - past, present, and future!
2. Healing from every disease - no matter how big or small
3. Redemption from eternal destruction

But David didn’t stop there. There are three more benefits in his list:

4. “...Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies...”

The Hebrew word for “lovingkindness” is the word chesed. This beautiful, ancient word has no true English counterpart. FIrst of all, it carries the meaning of compassion and tender care in action. In other words, it is the very act of mercy! Secondly, this word denotes the motivation behind the act - an intense love.

God loves us with an intense, burning love. Song of Solomon 8:6 describes this kind of love: “Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame.” The very last word in this verse, the word we translate as “vehement flame” is the word shalhebeth - it means “the very fire of Yahweh.” God’s love burns for us out of His very nature!

5. “...Who satisfies your mouth with good things...”

God is the giver of good things. Jesus compared and contrasted the Father with earthly parents to make this very point. If you, as sinful and wicked people, know how to love and care for your children with good things - don’t you think your Father in Heaven will provide for His kids?

To many people don’t understand this. If they did, they would pray much differently! Instead of begging and pleading for things that they don’t even believe God wants to give them, they would come boldly and ask in confident faith. That is the only type of prayer that gets answers! There is one continuing theme whenever the Bible teaches on prayer; prayers of faith get answered, prayers of doubt and unbelief are ineffective.

So it is vitally important to believe that God wants to satisfy His kids with good things!

6. “...so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.”

Face it, life is tough. It takes a toll on all of us! Have you ever had a day that was just harsh? How about a harsh week? A month? What is the best way to repair ourselves when we’re beaten down by the pressure of life?

For most people, it’s time off. We get away from it all and rest. Whether it’s just rest on the weekend or a nice, long vacation - rest has a rejuvenating effect on all of us.

But what happens when the pressure seems to never stop? What do you do you’re just as overwhelmed after a vacation as you were before it? The answer is the last benefit on this list - a renewed youth. This doesn’t mean turning the clock back physically. But it does carry the meaning of reversing the damage that life does to all of us.

When we let Him, God has this wonderful way of healing the damage of a lifetime and lifting every burden from our shoulders. Without the weights and pressures of natural life, we’re then free to soar into the spiritual life that God has prepared for us.

These are benefits that we must remember. David emphasizes this in verse 2 - “forget not all His benefits.” Why is it so important to remember these six things?

First of all, these are six areas that so often drag us into depression. How often have you seen a believer depressed about what they did wrong? Would it be better for them to remember the benefit of forgiveness? How often does the fear and worry of sickness blind us to the way God cares for us? Have you ever lost sight of your eternal destiny in heaven and found yourself completely focused on this temporary life? Have you ever felt alone and unloved? Overwhelmed with lack? Beaten down by life in this world?

If any of this sounds familiar, then you need to sit down and remember the benefits of Yahweh! The only way to rise out of this kind of oppression is to get your focus back on spiritual things. Life in this sin-filled world can be harsh and overwhelming. But we have everything we need to stay above it all! God’s promises give us victory over the normal life!

Just look at what Peter tells us about the promise of God: “...by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these [promises] you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” God’s promises to us give us access to His own divine nature!

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