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Thanksgiving: Bless the Lord O my Soul

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Introduction

In just a few short days we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. And you know, it’s really a shame
that we have only one day set aside each year to give thanks to God as a country. We, as
In just a few short days we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. And you know, it’s really a shame that we have only one day set aside each year to give thanks to God as a country. We, as Christians, should have some time set aside each day, to give our praise to Him, because He has given us so much.
Christians, should have some time set aside each day, to give our praise to Him, because He has
given us so much.
If you look around this time of year it seems that Thanksgiving has all but been overlooked. Christmas, because of its great commercial power, is already being pushed in the stores. We were in Target the day after Halloween and they were in the process of taking down the Halloween section at the back of the store. The big Halloween banner was still hanging from the ceiling but behind it were Christmas trees and lights and decorations all lined up and ready for sale. As soon as the big push to buy costumes and candy is over, out comes the commercialization of Christmas. We are bombarded with Santa Claus and snowmen.
Christmas, because of its great commercial power, is already being pushed in the stores. We
were in Target the day after Halloween and they were in the process of taking down the
Halloween section at the back of the store. The big Halloween banner was still hanging from the
ceiling but behind it were Christmas trees and lights and decorations all lined up and ready for
But as God’s people it is fitting that we should focus our thoughts, not only now but often, upon the goodness of God and offer our gratitude to Him for who He is and for all He has done for us. So, today we will be focusing on this theme of Thanksgiving. Our text this morning is . We’ll mainly bee focusing on the first few verses but I want to read the Psalm as a whole to begin.
sale. As soon as the big push to buy costumes and candy is over, out comes the
commercialization of Christmas. We are bombarded with Santa Claus and snowmen.
But as God's people it is fitting that we should focus our thoughts, not only now but often, upon
the goodness of God and offer our gratitude to Him for who He is and for all He has done for us.
So, today we will be focusing on this theme of Thanksgiving.
Psalm 103 CSB
Of David. 1 My soul, bless the Lord, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 My soul, bless the Lord, and do not forget all his benefits. 3 He forgives all your iniquity; he heals all your diseases. 4 He redeems your life from the Pit; he crowns you with faithful love and compassion. 5 He satisfies you with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle. 6 The Lord executes acts of righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He revealed his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel. 8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love. 9 He will not always accuse us or be angry forever. 10 He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve or repaid us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his faithful love toward those who fear him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. 14 For he knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are like grass— he blooms like a flower of the field; 16 when the wind passes over it, it vanishes, and its place is no longer known. 17 But from eternity to eternity the Lord’s faithful love is toward those who fear him, and his righteousness toward the grandchildren 18 of those who keep his covenant, who remember to observe his precepts. 19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless the Lord, all his angels of great strength, who do his word, obedient to his command. 21 Bless the Lord, all his armies, his servants who do his will. 22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all the places where he rules. My soul, bless the Lord!
Someone has called this David’s “Hallelujah Chorus." Notice that he starts out by addressing his own soul. He says “My soul, bless the Lord.” He is reminding himself, as he praises the Lord, of all that God has done.
own soul. He says “My soul, bless the Lord.” He is reminding himself, as he praises the Lord, of
all that God has done.

1. Praise the Lord and count your blessings (vv. 1-2)

This Psalm is a prayer of nothing but praise to God. There is no supplication, no request, no petition or plea in this prayer. It is pure unadulterated praise to God. David was awestruck with God's blessings. We are not told the circumstances in which David penned this Psalm, but it is not difficult to imagine how it happened. Looking at his life, counting his blessings instead of complaining about his burdens, it dawned upon David just how much God had done for him. He realized how good God had been and how undeserving he was of all these blessings. Springing up from the depths of his heart and gushing out onto his parchment, came this prayer of praise, this benediction expressing his gratitude toward the Lord. If you ever have a problem praising God, read this psalm.
petition or plea in this prayer. It is pure unadulterated praise to God. David was awestruck with
God's blessings. We are not told the circumstances in which David penned this Psalm, but it is
not difficult to imagine how it happened. Looking at his life, counting his blessings instead of
complaining about his burdens, it dawned upon David just how much God had done for him. He
realized how good God had been and how undeserving he was of all these blessings. Springing
up from the depths of his heart and gushing out onto his parchment, came this prayer of praise, this benediction expressing his gratitude toward the Lord. If you ever have a problem praising God, read this psalm.
this benediction expressing his gratitude toward the Lord. If you ever have a problem praising
God, read this psalm.
The Psalms are songs. They were sung by the Hebrews. The book of Psalms is a hymn book. So David sang this song of praise to the Lord. You can almost see David, full of emotion, passionate, praising God with all his heart. As you read through the biblical accounts of David you often see him dancing before the Lord. He would actually have a difficult time in some of our churches today, because that dancing business just wouldn’t fly. This ancient Hebrew King was also an accomplished musician, a man who sang with feeling and with conviction. This was a joyous song of praise to the Lord. These weren’t dry, stale words when David sang them. They were full of life and energy. They were part of his worship. This song wouldn’t be sung like a funeral dirge. This was a song of praise. David sang it with joy and with a deep desire to let God and anybody else who heard him know just how much he really wanted God to receive praise and glory. The psalms are filled with these kinds of praise songs.
David sang this song of praise to the Lord.
You can almost see David, full of emotion, passionate, praising God with all his heart. As you
read through the biblical accounts of David you often see him dancing before the Lord. He
would actually have a difficult time in some of our churches today, because that dancing
Psalm 34:11–12 CSB
11 Come, children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. 12 Who is someone who desires life, loving a long life to enjoy what is good?
Psalm 32:1–2 CSB
1 How joyful is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! 2 How joyful is a person whom the Lord does not charge with iniquity and in whose spirit is no deceit!
Psalm 66:1–4 CSB
1 Let the whole earth shout joyfully to God! 2 Sing about the glory of his name; make his praise glorious. 3 Say to God, “How awe-inspiring are your works! Your enemies will cringe before you because of your great strength. 4 The whole earth will worship you and sing praise to you. They will sing praise to your name.” Selah
business just wouldn’t fly. This ancient Hebrew King was also an accomplished musician, a man
who sang with feeling and with conviction. This was a joyous song of praise to the Lord. These
Psalm 34:11-12
Psalm
weren’t dry, stale words when David sang them. They were full of life and energy. They were
part of his worship. This song wouldn’t be sung like a funeral dirge. This was a song of praise.
David sang it with joy and with a deep desire to let God and anybody else who heard him know
just how much he really wanted God to receive praise and glory. The psalms are filled with
these kinds of praise songs.
: "Shout joyfully to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of His name; make His praise
, , , and many, many others are songs of praise to the Lord.
Abimelech, who drove him out, and he departed.) "I will praise the Lord at all times; His praise
will always be on my lips. I will boast in the Lord; the humble will hear and be glad. Proclaim
with me the Lord's greatness; let us exalt His name together."
: "Shout joyfully to God, all the earth! Sing the glory of His name; make His praise
glorious. Say to God, ‘How awe-inspiring are Your works! Your enemies will cringe before you
because of your great strength. All the earth will worship You and sing praise to You. They will
sing praise to Your name.'"
, , and many, many others are songs of praise to the Lord.
David was serious about praising the Lord. It wasn’t something he only did at the temple during religious ceremonies. It was part of his everyday experience. He was grateful to the Lord and he could not help but praise him. We need to do the same. We need to live a life of praise and thanksgiving. Our praise shouldn’t be limited to the 4th Thursday in November every year or even just to Sunday mornings. It’s something that needs to be part of our lifestyle.
religious ceremonies. It was part of his everyday experience. He was grateful to the Lord and he
could not help but praise him.
We need to do the same. We need to live a life of praise and thanksgiving. Our praise shouldn’t
be limited to Sunday mornings.

2. Life in relationship with God is whole and healthy (v. 3)

Let’s look at verse 3 again.
Psalm 103:3 CSB
3 He forgives all your iniquity; he heals all your diseases.
Look at verse 3. (read verse)
One of the names of the devil is the accuser of the brethren. We him saw in the book of Job going before God to accuse Job. We have every reason to believe that he goes before God even now to accuse us. He says, "Look at what he said. Look at what she did. These people of yours are sinners. How can they say they really love you and continue to act like they do?" He doesn’t even have to lie about us when he comes before God, because there are enough faults in all of our lives that he simply has to point out the obvious.
One of the names of the devil is the accuser of the brethren. We him saw in the book of Job
going before God to accuse Job. We have every reason to believe that he goes before God even
now to accuse us. He says, "Look at what he said. Look at what she did. These people of yours
are sinners. How can they say they really love you and continue to act like they do?" He doesn’t
even have to lie about us when he comes before the Lord, because there are enough faults in
all of our lives that he simply has to point out the obvious.
The Bible calls him the adversary, the enemy. But we also have an Advocate. We have one who goes to the Father on our behalf. We have Jesus Christ the righteous. When the devil accuses us, our Advocate, Jesus, raises His nail-pierced hand and says, "Hold on just a minute. We see no stain of sin on that one or on that one or on that one, because they are mine. I have bought them with a price and their sins, though they were like scarlet, have been washed white as snow. They belong to me.”
goes to the Father on our behalf. We have Jesus Christ the righteous. When the devil accuses
us, our Advocate, Jesus, raises His nail-pierced hand and says, "Hold on just a minute. We see
no stain of sin on that one or on that one or on that one, because they are mine. I have bought
them with a price and their sins, though they were like scarlet, have been washed white as
snow. They belong to me.”
As David writes under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he understands that God forgives our sins. But he also sees believers as people who have been made whole because of their relationship with God.
sins. But he also sees believers as people who have been made whole because of their
relationship with God.
Verse 3b - who heals all your diseases - remember that he is addressing his soul. So what kind of healing is he speaking of here? Many take this to mean physical healing, and God definitely heals physically. While healing is a sermon in itself, suffice to say that God is the great physician to whom we can take all of our physical needs and petitions. He made us and has the power to save us. In fact look at what tells us.
of healing is he speaking of here?
James 5:14–15 CSB
14 Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
Many take this to mean physical healing, and God definitely heals physically. While healing is a
sermon in itself, suffice to say that God is the great physician to whom we can take all of our
So God has the power to heal any physical disease. But physical healing is not what David is speaking of here. He is talking to his own soul, telling it that God heals all the diseases of the soul.So what are these diseases of the soul? Fear, doubt, depression, anger, lust, hate jealously, pride, greed . . . the list goes on and on. These soul diseases can all be traced back to our fallen nature and the effects of sin. But God can give permanent healing to the soul for each and every one of these. tells us.
physical needs and petitions. He made us and has the power to save us.
: "Is anyone among you sick? He should call for the elders of the church, and they
should pray over him after anointing him with olive oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of
But physical healing is not what David is speaking of here. He is talking to his own soul, telling it
faith will salve the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he
Psalm 147:3 CSB
3 He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.
will be forgiven."
But physical healing is not what David is speaking of here. He is talking to his own soul, telling it
that God heals all the diseases of the soul, sin being chief among them. Does the soul have
diseases? Absolutely. Fear, doubt, depression, anger, lust, hate jealously, pride, greed . . . the
Life in relationship with God is whole and healthy because he heals the diseases of our soul.
list goes on and on. These soul diseases can all be traced back to our fallen nature and the
effects of sin. But God can give permanent healing to the soul.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Life in relationship with God is whole and healthy because he heals the diseases of our soul.

3. Life in relationship with God is meaningful (vv. 4-5)

Now let’s look at verse 4.
Psalm 103:4 CSB
4 He redeems your life from the Pit; he crowns you with faithful love and compassion.
Because He forgives our sins, because He gives us relationship, because He
Because He forgives our sins, because He gives us relationship, because He heals our souls diseases, then we see that life is meaningful. This verse can be rendered, "He keeps your life from going to waste.” How many people waste the years of their lives on things that, in the long run, really don’t count? They spend their days in pursuit of the temporal passing things, and wake up one day, empty, tired and feeling like there is no use going on. In fact, they end up feeling betrayed because the things they worked so hard to obtain failed to bring them the satisfaction they longed for. The world doesn’t offer any hope for meaningful living. Money, material, power, position, things, won't do it. God gives His people purpose in living. He gives us meaning. He keeps our lives from going to waste. Our lives are lived,or at least they are supposed to be lived, with an eternal purpose. All lives not lived in Christ are only a shell of what they are intended to be. This is one of the benefits of knowing God, our lives count; they are not lived in vain. They have eternal significance. This is one of the things David is praising the Lord for.
Because He forgives our sins, because He gives us relationship, because He
heals our souls diseases, then we see that life is meaningful.
This verse can be rendered, "He keeps your life from going to waste."
How many people waste the years of their lives on things that, in the long run, really don't
count? They spend their days in pursuit of the temporal passing things, and wake up one day,
And then let’s look at verse 5
empty, tired and feeling like there is no use going on. In fact, they end up feeling betrayed
because the things they worked so hard to obtain failed to bring them the satisfaction they
longed for.
The world doesn’t offer any hope for meaningful living. Money, material, power, position,
Psalm 103:5 CSB
5 He satisfies you with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle.
things, won't do it.
 God gives His people purpose in living. He gives us meaning. He keeps our lives from going to waste. Our lives are lived with eternal purpose. All lives not lived in Christ are only a shell of
God gives His people purpose in living. He gives us meaning. He keeps our lives from going to
waste. Our lives are lived with eternal purpose. All lives not lived in Christ are only a shell of
He gives us satisfaction even in our old age. Remember David is speaking to his own soul here. He is saying that one of the benefits of being God's people is that when we are old we will not have to look back upon our lives with regret. Regardless of your age, or of how many years you have walked upon the earth, God will give you satisfaction.
what they are intended to be. This is one of the benefits of knowing God, our lives count; they
are not lived in vain. They have eternal significance. This is one of the things David is praising
the Lord for.
Verse 5: He satisfies your mouth
He gives us satisfaction even in our old age. Remember David is speaking to his own soul here.
He is saying that one of the benefits of being God's people is that when we are old we will not
have to look back upon our lives with regret. Regardless of your age, or of how many years you
have walked upon the earth, God will give you satisfaction.
Here are six practical suggestions to consider as you praise the Lord.
1. Be aware - Focus on the blessings He has given you.
2. Be honest - Don’t be a phony. Don’t put on an act. Phony Christians turn people off.
3. Be grateful - There is nothing that encourages praise like gratitude. Have a thankful heart.
4. Be vocal - Tell someone. Sing His praises. Share the gospel with someone.
5. Be natural - Praise God in a way that is natural for you. Some people need to be much more expressive than others. I was raised in a Southern Baptist church. If you ever see me raising my hands above my shoulders that’s the equivalent of David’s dancing. But that’s what’s natural for me. If you like to raise your hands and dance, go for it.
6. Be consistent - Make it part of your everyday experience. Remember, this shouldn’t be a once a year, or even a once a week thing. We need to be thanking and praising God daily for the blessings in our lives.
So how about you? Are you living a life in relationship with God? If so, you can't help but praise Him.
Him. This is the same passion David possessed.
One final word of caution however.How do you praise him? We must be careful not to fall into the trap the Israelites fell into - saying one thing and doing another.
One final word of caution however.How do you praise him? With your life. But we must be careful not to fall into the rut the
Israelites fell into - saying one thing and doing another.
Isaiah 29:13–14 CSB
13 The Lord said: These people approach me with their speeches to honor me with lip-service— yet their hearts are far from me, and human rules direct their worship of me. 14 Therefore, I will again confound these people with wonder after wonder. The wisdom of their wise will vanish, and the perception of their perceptive will be hidden.
  "The Lord said: Because these people approach Me with their mouths to honor
Me with lip-service - yet their hearts are far from Me, and their worship consists of man-made
rules learned by rote…"
David said I will praise Him with all that is within me. That means, praise Him with my attitudes, my actions, my family, my finances, my words, my work… everything. I will praise Him with everything that is within me. We can’t praise God halfheartedly.
my actions, my family, my finances, my words, my work… everything. I will praise Him with
everything that is within me.
When was the last time you stopped to consider all the benefits that God has blessed you with? Do you enjoy those benefits? Have you ever experienced forgiveness? Are you living a meaningful life, a satisfied life? Does your soul have diseases that need to be healed? Are you living with an eternal purpose? Than praise God for those blessings. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Do you enjoy those benefits? Have you ever experienced forgiveness? Are you living a
meaningful life, a satisfied life? Does your soul have diseases that need to be healed? Are you
living with an eternal purpose? Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Would you pray with me?
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