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Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Message summary: This Thanksgiving season most particularly, but really in an ongoing way, let us remember the Lord's benefits, the many blessings we have in Him. Let us "forget not all His benefits".
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"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits" (Psalm 103:2).
John Keefer was our pastor for a number of years. He is now retired and has moved from our area but remains our friend and we continue to hear from him from time to time. He is one of the most caring people we have ever met. In his messages he often had witty statements illustrating a point in his sermon which we call Keeferisms. Once he preached a Thanksgiving message from Psalm 103. In commenting on our daily text he stated, "I notice as I get older my forgetter is working better and better".
Well, a progressing "forgetter" is something I am sure many of us can identify with as we get older!
We can both see this in our daily lives. We enjoy our hot black coffee and often carry it with us in an insulated cup as we go about our morning chores. But too often Brooksyne or I end up with a second fresh mug of coffee because we canít remember where we left the first one in spite of retracing our steps in looking for the missing cup. Problem is we forget where all weíve been. Sometimes we find a half-filled coffee mug days later and on a few occasions the old coffee has a layer of mold on top!
Likewise with our keys and phones and purses and my wallet. We use the tile device on our keys. (Jeff, a reader sent us one years ago when we shared about this memory challenge in another message.) This device uses your computer or another device to alert you with a beep when you lose something and are unable to find it. Go to the app on the computer and it will beep assuming you didn't leave the item too far away to hear the beep or bluetooth connection!
Whatever age we are or to whatever extent our "Forgetter" is working, we need to heed the daily text, a portion of one of the grand chapters of the Bible, a Psalm of David.
The Psalm begins with the phrase, "Bless the Lord, O my soul" and is repeated in the second verse word for word. One Bible commentator questions, "Had he been very sleepy before?" The possible reason he does this is that he is being very real. As sure as we begin to praise God we are too quickly distracted or our minds drift and our praise toward God is too quickly ended. The Psalmistís repetition shows us the importance and essential need for continual, relentless adoration and thanksgiving toward God. Again and again we must rouse within our spirit the directive to worship God exclusively and wholeheartedly.
When we worship God wholeheartedly we offer to Him "all that is within me". That includes our heart, will, affections, mind and emotions.
In the midst of our worship the Psalmist advises us to, "Forget not all His benefits". The benefits God offers His children far, far exceed any package an employer might offer an employee. And these benefits we must remember are daily blessings, really moment by moment blessings.
Forgetting can be a blessing in some matters. Iím glad certain hurts of the past have been forgotten or at least shoved back into the deepest recesses of our memory. Forgetfulness is not all bad. Without it the pain of our failures, losses, and hurtful actions from others would be almost unbearable.
Itís an interesting thing the way the mind works. Gilís Exposition of the Bible gives this interesting perspective:
"Memory is very treacherous about the best things; by a strange perversity, engendered by the fall, it treasures up the refuse of the past and permits priceless treasures to lie neglected, it is tenacious of grievances and holds benefits all too loosely. Observe that he calls all that is within him to remember all the Lordís benefits. For our task our energies should be suitably called out. Godís all cannot be praised with less than our all."
Todayís Scripture call from David will benefit each one of us as we "forget not all His benefits". This Thanksgiving season most particularly, but really in an ongoing way, let us forget not the Lord's benefits, the many blessings we have in God. The song ďBless The LordĒ by Andrať Crouch comes to mind:
Bless the Lord, Oh my soul
And all that is within me
Bless His holy name
He has done great things
He has done great things
He has done great things
Bless His holy name
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we do well to daily dwell on Your benefits thereby giving us pause to praise You with heartfelt thanksgiving. The enemy would have us turn over and over in our minds an unkind word or deed from another or an unhealthy dwelling on own mistakes and failures. But in so doing we mis-align our focus and miss the multiple blessings that pour into our lives daily as You have done great things in and through us. When we willfully, dutifully call to mind Your blessings we are filled with a heart of thanksgiving and it overflows in our praise toward You, in the outflow of our conversations with others and in our actions toward those around us. I bless You, O Lord! I bless Your holy name with all that is within me through Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Bless The Lord Oh My Soul" Video Andrať Crouch This is how we both learned this Psalm back in the seventies and it continues to stir up praise within our hearts to this day!
"Hallelujah's Song (Psalm 103)" Video Shane and Shane
"Bless the Lord, O My Soul (Psalm 103)" Video Sovereign Grace Music
"Ten Thousand Reasons" Video Matt Redman
Last week we shared in a message titled "God's Ubiquitous Blessings" about seeing a stack of pallets at Audrey's and how it made Stephen realize how ubiquitous they are, like God's mercies which are new every morning! He was able to use the pallet jack to bring a pallet up as an illustration for his devotional yesterday morning.
Our church has a special program encouraging children to read missionary biographies. On Sunday I was observing the large exhibit and saw the missionary's name, Jonathan Goforth (1859-1936). I had never heard of him before but was immediately struck by his last name, Goforth, a command from God, "Go forth and teach all nations"! So Jonathan went forth and taught the people of China the gospel message. Article
Another interesting last name are missionaries, Dave and Ginger Muchmore, right from our own church. Each time I see it in our prayer guide the Scripture comes to mind, "Where sin abounds grace doth much more abound."
Special Thanksgiving Resources
As we have for many years we want to offer these resources to families and church leaders to enrich the spiritual impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. We will leave these resources up till Thanksgiving Day.
"Thankful For The Thorns": A family reading and exercise that is a wonderful way to give a thoughtful focus around your Thanksgiving Table. The Thanksgiving celebration typically includes family coming together for a huge meal and hopefully a heartfelt prayer of thankfulness. However it can often be difficult to have a spiritually oriented conversation. Why not add some stimulating discussion about the ways God has worked in your life over the past year! Some of you are not in charge and are only visitors at your Thanksgiving gathering, but if it is possible share together around the table the theme of "Thankful for the Thorns" (printable webpage).
"A Thanksgiving family exercise" (pdf). We have used this questionnaire as a stimulus for discussion among family members in the past in our home. We encourage you to share results around the table at Thanksgiving before or after the meal.
A Thanksgiving prayer: Written by Joe Sherer, a pastor friend of ours and shared as the benediction at our community Thanksgiving Eve service several years ago. (printable webpage) For those who enjoy written prayers this would be a beautiful prayer to read together at the Thanksgiving table.
A Thanksgiving Scripture reading: A selection of Old and New Testament readings dealing with thankfulness appropriate for church, family and personal readings. (pdf) (Suitable for printing out and copying.)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLEģ, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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