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Forget not all his benefits....
by GBC Ministry

As some of you know, I have a perpetual calendar on my desk. Each day has a verse/passage from the Bible. Many times the verse brought to my attention by that calendar is exactly what I need for that particular day! Today is one of those days.
 
The cares of the world have been pressing upon me recently, and my mind has not been stayed on the Lord as it should be. When this happens, I fall into the trap of thinking on the wrong things. Instead of obeying the gentle exhortation of Philippians 4:6-8 to “Be careful [i.e., “full of care”] for nothing,” and to think about “whatsoever things are true, …honest, …just, …pure, …lovely, …of good report, …virtue, …praise,” I begin to dwell on my circumstances and, in view of these, my personal and undeniable shortcomings.
 
The problem is obvious, of course (once I open my spiritual eyes). Even the newest, most inexperienced saint would see it: I have allowed myself to be caught in the snare of looking on the things that are seen, rather than the things that are not seen. How utterly foolish, “for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18).
 
Today, understanding my infirmity, the Lord brought me the following encouragement from Psalm 103:2-5, my “calendar verse” for the day:
 
“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;
who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things;
so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.”
 
What a blessing this truth is to me. If you remember your basic grammar, a colon (:) indicates that what follows will explain, detail, and provide perspective for what has just been said. In this case, what follows “benefit:” is a listing of what specifically are the amazing “benefits” that we Believers enjoy by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Consider them with me today.
 
First and foremost, God has forgiven all our iniquities. This is the foundation of all blessing. A holy God cannot abide sin. It is the presence of sin that separates us from His love and grace, and keeps our prayers from being heard (Isaiah 59:2). Our iniquities have been forgiven, the great gulf that existed between God and us has been bridged by the crosswork and never-ending intercession of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We are “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6), so that “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1b).
 
Second, God heals all of our diseases. God is, indeed, the great Physician who can, according to our faith and His sovereign will, heal our physical diseases. But I don’t think this is the primary meaning in this passage. It is our soul’s maladies the psalmist is speaking of, the corruptness of our depraved nature inherited from Adam, our sin nature that produces the disease and death of sin. This is a glorious expansion of the first truth, an emphasis to help us more fully comprehend that “where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” (Romans 5:20).
 
Further, I think this is given in this form to emphasize that Christ’s death on our behalf paid the price for ALL sin, past, present and future. Not that there will not be a price to pay for the sins we commit following our salvation. There will be, for we will reap what we sow. Rather, this emphasis is to make plain that salvation is eternal, absolutely secure. Once God saves us, we are saved forever, “once for all” (Hebrews 10:10).  When we do sin (and all have and will sin), the chastening we receive is not an indication that we have lost our salvation.  Rather, it is the merciful correction of our loving, heavenly Father who desires only our blessing through our restoration to His glorious fellowship and wonderful peace.
 
Next, we are assured that our life has been redeemed from destruction. “Redeemed” is a commercial term. It speaks of something being purchased, and a change of ownership being effected by the full payment of the required price. Once that transaction takes place, the object so purchased is the property of the purchaser, all former claims against it having been fully and forever satisfied. Believers are now the “property” of God, “the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). We have been saved from “the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10) “For the wages of sin are death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
 
And, finally, because of the above, we can be assured that our Lord will fill our present life, yes, even this temporal life, with “lovingkindness and tender mercies,” and satisfy us “with good things; so that [our] youth is renewed like the eagle's.” I will not even try to embellish this except to ask “What more can we ask for? What more do we need?”
 
Listen as the Word of God provides its own conclusion to these blessed thoughts:
 
“Return unto thy rest, O my soul;
for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
For thou hast delivered
my soul from death,
mine eyes from tears, and
my feet from falling.”
 
Psalm 116:7, 8
 
“What shall we then say to these things?
If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”
 
Romans 8:31, 32
 
Rest in the Lord.

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Grace Bible Church :-: (217) 384-7614 :-: 3900 N Willow Rd Urbana, P.O. Box 303, IL 61803 :-: pastor (at) gbcurbana.com