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Seeds of the Kingdom

Praise the Lord, O my Soul

by Ron Scurfield

19 February 2016

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Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Psalm 103:1, NIV

Weary and disillusioned? Does it feel as if God is a million miles away? Do our prayers seem to disappear into the mist? In Psalm 103 David is calling upon his soul to praise God, in spite of the heavy burdens he’s carrying. He’s telling himself, “I will praise the Lord, regardless of my circumstances”.

Then David reminds us of the blessings we receive and why God is worthy of praise:

‘He forgives all your sins’ (Psalm 103:3). Our sins separate us from God. Guilt separates us from other people. Shame separates us from ourselves; it cuts through our spirit like a knife. God, through Jesus, took our sins and put them to death. The cross was the place where they died. He replaced our guilt and shame with a robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10). ‘He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him’ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

‘And heals all your diseases’ (Psalm 103:3). We might look around and wonder about this. But the word of God is specific: ‘If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you’ (Exodus 15:23-26). And on the cross ‘he took our infirmities and carried our sorrows’ (Isaiah 53:4).

‘He redeems your life from the pit’ (Psalm 103:4a). ‘Redeem’ is ‘to recover possession by the payment of a price.’ That’s what we are in Christ. - Redeemed. ‘For you were bought at a price’ (1 Corinthians 6:20). ‘Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He ... obtained eternal redemption’ (Hebrews 9:12). We’ve been rescued from the clutches of the evil one and reclaimed as God’s own by the price paid on the cross (John 1:12).

‘He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves’ (Colossians 1:13), ‘seated us with Him in the heavenly realms’ (Ephesians 2:6), and ‘crowned us with love and compassion’ (Psalm 103:4).

More than that, ‘it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom’ (Luke 12:32). God wants us to share in all that He has. What more do we need? - What more is there to give? He’s given us everything!

Is it any wonder that David wants to praise the Lord? When these truths become reality in our minds and in our spirits, surely we too will ‘praise the Lord, and forget not all His benefits’ (Psalm 103:2).

Prayer: Father, You bless us in so many ways, and You’ve prepared the way for eternal life through the love of Jesus. Forgive me for doubting when things go wrong, or when fear takes over. Help me to recognise Your presence at all times, so I might praise You in all circumstances. Amen.

Ron Scurfield with his wife Jill, are part of the Associate Ministry Team at Ellel Grange and occasionally Ellel Scotland. Ron enjoys walking and writing and meeting interesting people, but his greatest joy is seeing God transform lives, setting people free to live the abundant life that Jesus intended.


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