Today’s Scripture – March 2, 2013

Psalm 103:1-6 (NIV):  Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.

Too many people today want from God what He never promised, and ignore the great blessings that He can actually give us (as long as we do our part).  God’s blessings are praiseworthy and infinitely good and right.  He forgives all sin that is confessed and fully repented of, leaving not a trace on the soul.  He can heal any disease that is brought to Him.  (Some wonder why He doesn’t always heal every physical disease.  He does when it will further the cause of the gospel, and when the illness is not doing something else in His economy.  I believe that God actually desires to do many  more healings than we currently see, but His people do not usually spend the time with Him that is necessary to align themselves with His priorities, so that we can know when it is His will to heal a person; and many of our prayers are more hopes pointed in His direction than actual powerful prayers.  And the people who pray for any miracle must be righteous in order for God to answer them.  As James wrote, it is the prayer of a righteous person that is powerful and effective (5:16b).  And this is not some kind of positional righteousness, but genuine holiness of heart and life.  The one who does what is right is righteous (1 John 3:7).  As the Bible shows over and over again, God will not answer the prayers of an unrighteous person, except the plea for forgiveness.)  God redeems the lives of His people from the pit, giving them a hope and a future with Him instead of an eternity of darkness and separation.  He crowns His people with love and compassion, not just showing it to them, but actually working it THROUGH them, so that His love touches lives everywhere.  And His compassion enables His people to reach out to those in need of it that He brings our way.  He satisfies the desires of His people with good things, the things necessary for a productive kingdom life.  He does not promise worldly wealth which will mold and rot and ultimately be destroyed, but the real necessities of life in abundance.  He renews the youth of His people like the eagles, keeping them green and productive, even into old age.  And He works righteousness and justice for the oppressed, releasing those who truly seek Him from the chains of sin and death, and giving them in its place life and freedom in His kingdom.

Father, I agree with all of these – I have seen all of them and have experienced most of them in my own life.  I do thank You and praise You today for all of Your goodness.  Amen.

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