Bless the Lord | The Institute for Creation Research
Bless the Lord

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

This is the season when we in the United States tend to turn our thoughts to thankfulness for the blessings of prosperity and peacefulness. And well we should. Our country, with all of its struggles, is still the most emulated and sought after civilization of the modern world. And, in spite of the efforts on the part of some, it is still a nation of moral laws and religious stability. We have much to be thankful for.

Yet for those of us whose eternal "conversation [citizenship, administration] is in heaven" (Philippians 3:20), and who seek "a better country, that is, an heavenly" (Hebrews 11:16), there is much, much more for which we should be thankful.

King David wrote Psalm 103 as praise to the great God of creation, thanking Him for the personal blessings he had known as one of God’s redeemed, and "blessing" God for the universal and foundational blessings upon which all of the Kingdom may depend. Surely it is helpful for us to be reminded of all the "spiritual blessings"(Ephesians 1:3) that our wonderful Savior has provided for us--both in the now and in the "heavenly places in Christ."

The Blessing of Forgiveness

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities" (Psalm 103:2-3). Surely this is worthy of our grateful praise and conscious thanks. We have no righteousness of our own to lay before God's feet (Romans 3:10). How marvelous is the grace gift of sins forgiven. What wonder is there in God’s transferring the righteousness of Jesus Christ to our account (Romans 4:22-24). Knowing that our sins are "cast…into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:18-19) should cause a deep joy to bubble from our hearts in praise to our Lord.

The Blessing of Mercy

"Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's…. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities" (Psalm 103:4-5, 10). Who of us has not known the mercy of God? How often has His hand been evident in our lives? How many times have we known that we have failed or rebelled against His direction, and the discipline we deserve has been stayed? Surely we can "praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men" (Psalm 107:8).

The Blessing of Eternal Inheritance

"The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all" (Psalm 103:19). The promise of heaven is the core of our future hope. Were it not for the promise of our resurrection and the evidence of the Lord's victory over death, we would be "of all men most miserable" (1 Corinthians 15:19). God's absolute promise of our eternal joy in His presence is summarized by Peter: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Peter 1:3-5). We must rejoice and thank God for this unspeakable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15).

Not only is the inheritance "reserved in heaven," but the very preservation of our salvation is secured by the "power of God." One day we will be "joint heirs" with the Creator Himself (Romans 8:17). Our "corruptible" will become "incorruption" and our mortal will become immortality (1 Corinthians 15:52). Our earthly service will be changed into that of "kings and priests" (Revelation 5:10). Surely this deserves our present praise and thankfulness.

The Sacrifice of Praise

Sometimes we forget that "the fruit of our lips" is a "sacrifice of praise" (Hebrews 13:15) that brings joy to our Lord (Zephaniah 3:17). Would you share this prayer of mine with your loved ones this thanksgiving season? It’s rather crude in light of His inspired Word, but perhaps the Lord will receive joy from our small praise for His goodness.

O Lord, God of heaven and earth, our finite minds and feeble speech can never produce fitting praise of Thee. Although our hearts sometimes fill with gratitude and overflow with the joy of knowing Thee, we stumble at our attempts to express our love for Thee. Please accept our innermost thoughts. Please hear the groanings of our spirit as we try to hold Thee to our breast. Please, Father, receive our childlike thanks and our murmured whispers of love.

We do love Thee. But, O Lord, our lives are so impacted by the world and the sin that surrounds us. Forgive us for the constant stumbling and groping in the darkness away from Thee. Cleanse us from our sin and bring us into Thy light. Direct our steps, God of all wisdom, and keep us from the Evil One. Our soul hungers for Thy favor, and we seek to please Thee with our days.

Lord God of the Sabbath, our forgiveness stands alone with Thee. We have reached out in sinfulness to respond to Thy calling, and have received at Thy hand alone the grace of eternal life. We will be unable here in this world to do more than give Thee our words of thanksgiving and our lives in Thy service. Accept them, O Lord, for it is all that we can do.

And, O Father in heaven, we thank Thee for Thy mercy. Every day we claim its renewed power. Every day we must have Thy mercy extended to our lives. Help us, O God, to heed the promptings of Thy Spirit in our hearts and to obey Thy Word. We accept the gentle chastening of Thy loving hand and yield to Thy voice.

O Lord of hosts, holiness belongs alone unto Thee. We would ask as we have been taught to pray that Thy will would be done in earth, as it is done in heaven. We gratefully acknowledge that all things come from Thee, and we pray that Thy bounty would supply our daily bread, and that Thy mercy and grace would forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

* Dr. Morris is Chief Executive Officer of the Institute for Creation Research.

Cite this article: Morris III, H. 2009. Bless the Lord. Acts & Facts. 38 (11): 4-5.

 


Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

 


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