Aug 12, 2018 – Remembering Through Song
Preacher: Rev. Scott Strickman
Sermon Series: Sing a New Song (Theology in Contemporary Songs We Sing)
Psalm 103 (ESV)
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all who are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his acts to the people of Israel.
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
9 He will not always chide,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his word,
obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!
It is good for our souls to bless God (v1) – how do we cultivate this?
I) Remember (vv2-5)
- v2 “forget not…”
- “whatever may pass… let me be singing…”
II) Observe (vv6-19)
- v8 “the Lord is merciful and gracious”
- “on that day when my strength is failing”
III) Sing (vv20-22)
- v1 “all that is within me”
- “sing like never before”
Questions for Reflection
- Are you more inclined to focus on things that are good and hopeful, or bad and discouraging? Why?
- What does it mean to “bless the Lord”? How do you do it? If you pray for God to bless you, what kinds of things are you hoping He will do?
- How do you resist taking things for granted? How do you remember, or bring to mind, the good in your life in a way that makes those things real when they seem peripheral or insignificant? Is there a difference between being grateful and being naively optimistic?
- How can you focus on things that are genuinely good even while experiencing difficulties? How do you do this in a way that is not fueled by avoiding difficult things that need attention?
- Is there a way to develop the ability to recognize good? In God? In others? In yourself? In circumstances? How?
- Do you believe God is good? Is God trustworthy? Is He really kind, merciful, generous? How is your life affected by the ways you have answered these questions?
- God remembers us, and sent Jesus for us. How can that be a source of strength during a period where you have trouble mustering gratitude or hope within yourself?
- What are ways to bless God with “all that is within” you? Does singing help you? What are other ways to engage more of yourself in expressions of thanks and praise?
Prayer of Confession
Our Father, you are rich in love and slow to anger, your name is great, and your heart is kind. We confess we frequently forget all you have done, and fail to recognize all you are doing. We are guilty of ingratitude. We neglect the nurture of own souls, and fail to meditate on who you are. We thank you that you don’t deal with us according to our sins, but your steadfast love for us is as high as the heavens are above the earth. Forgive us, remember our weakness, and renew your Spirit in us so that we would bless you with the whole of our inward beings. Amen.