Faithlife Sermons

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*Blessing God* (A Thanksgiving Sermon)
[[Bible:Psalm 103:1-5]]
Pastor Richard E. Powell
Fort Caroline Baptist Church
November 22, 2009
*Big Idea:* I can bless the Lord when I remember how He has blessed me.
*Scripture Introduction:* We often talk about wanting God to bless us, but today I want to talk to you about blessing God.
Open your Bibles please to Psalm 103.
Back during the dark days of 1929, a group of ministers in the Northeast, all graduates of the Boston School of Theology, gathered to discuss how they should conduct their Thanksgiving Sunday services.
Things were about as bad as they could get, with no sign of relief.
The bread lines were depressingly long, the stock market had plummeted, and the term, “Great Depression” seemed an apt description for the mood of the country.
The ministers thought they should only lightly touch upon the subject of thanksgiving in deference to the human misery all about them.
After all, there was not much to be thankful for.
But Dr. William L. Stiger, pastor of a large congregation, rallied the group.
This was not the time, he suggested, to give mere passing mention to Thanksgiving; just the opposite.
This was the time for the nation to get matters in perspective and thank God for His blessings always present.
I suggest to you that the Dr. Stiger struck upon something.
The most intense moments of gratitude are not found in times of plenty, but when difficulties abound.
Think of the Pilgrims on that first Thanksgiving Day.
Half their number dead, men without a country, poverty and fatigue; yet they offered thanks to God.
They realized that there are always reasons to be grateful to God.
It was that same sense of gratitude that led President Abraham Lincoln to formally establish the first Thanksgiving Day in the midst of national civil war, when the butcher’s list of casualties seemed to have no end and the nation struggled for survival.
Citation: adapted from
Perhaps in your own life, right now, intense hardships are making it difficult to feel grateful.
You may be experiencing your own personal Great Depression.
Why should you be thankful?
Psalm 103 gives us five reasons to give God thanks.
No matter what your circumstances, every child of God can give God thanks for these five blessings.
Let’s look at each one.
Psalm 103:1–5 (NKJV)
*Sermon Introduction:* Do you ever talk to yourself?
Talking to yourself may be the sign of a mental problem, especially if you start answering yourself!
But sometimes we need to talk to ourselves.
King David, the author of Psalm 103 is talking to himself.
He is giving himself a pep talk.
Most Psalms are addressed to God or other people, but in this one the psalmist is speaking to himself.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul…” He is calling himself to bless, to extol, to give thanks to the Lord.
David is urging himself to praise the Lord.
And notice that David is not content with half-hearted praise.
He says to himself, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name” (Psalm 103:1).
Some of you look like you have a drug problem this morning.
You look like you were drug here against your will!
You haven’t put your whole heart into worship this morning.
You barely tried to sing the songs of praise, your mind is elsewhere, and you are half-heartedly listening to the message God has for you.
Maybe instead of me talking to you, perhaps you should do like King David and talk to yourself!
When is the last time you talked to yourself like this?
Some of you are long over due to say, “Self, you’ve been down in the dumps, fretting, faint-hearted, and depressed.
Shake it off.
Cheer up! Count your blessings!
Tell God that you are grateful for His goodness to you.”
Perhaps you are thinking, “Ricky, what do I have to be thankful for?”
That is our problem isn’t it?
We are forgetful.
It is easy to forget God during the good times of life.
We take His blessings for granted as if they came by our own hands.
It is also easy to forget God during the difficult days of life.
We focus on our struggles and we forget Him.
That’s why David had this little talk with himself.
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits” (Psalm 103:2).
David intentionally took inventory of God’s blessings upon his life.
He decided that while others may forget God, he would remember.
While others may curse God and complain about God, he would bless God and praise His name.
*Big Idea:* David discovered the truth that I can bless the Lord when I remember how He has blessed me.
In this Psalm David lists five personal blessings of the child of God for which we can give thanks.
! 1. Give thanks to God for the remission of your sin ([[Bible:Psalm 103:3a]]).
“Who forgives all your iniquities…”
David begins by expressing his gratitude for the forgiveness of his sin.
This is the right place to begin.
All other blessings we enjoy flow from the fountain of God’s forgiveness.
The greatest need anyone has in life is to be forgiven of their sin so they can be in a right relationship with God.
And the greatest blessing you will ever enjoy in life is not fame, fortune, or success, but is forgiveness from a holy God!
It is proper to give thanks to God for our homes, our jobs, our family, and our material possessions.
But the greatest gift we can receive from God and the greatest blessing we need from God is to be forgiven of our sin.
You can have all the material blessings the world has to offer, but if you die unforgiven then you will spend eternity in Hell.
Jesus asked, in Matthew 16:26, “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Note that David says we have a God who forgives “all” our iniquities.
Aren’t you grateful that God forgives all your sin, those twisted distorted deeds and thoughts that we harbor in our hearts?
He forgives them all!
The Bible teaches that just one sin will condemn you to Hell, so what good would it be if God only forgave some of your sins?
Praise God, He forgives all our iniquities.
David would later write in this psalm, “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10-12).
How is this wonderful forgiveness available and possible?
There is only one who can absolve sins and that is God, through His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Savior declared: “…the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins…” (Matthew 9:6).
The Bible says, “In Him [meaning Jesus] we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7a).
Jesus died on the cross as payment for your forgiveness.
He took the punishment you deserved for sin.
The moment you turned from your sin and placed your faith in Christ you were forgiven!
Have you been forgiven?
Do you know the peace of a pardoned life?
Can you say with David: “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Psalm 32:1)?
Can you eulogize God for this blessing in your life?
Needless to say, it is basic to all other blessings.
Without forgiveness nothing else can follow.
The Duke of Wellington was about to pronounce the death sentence on a confirmed deserter.
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