What Is There To Love About God ? (part two)

Today we continue to ask  “What is there to love about God?” Scripture tells us that God wants us to love Him more than family, career, friends, personal goals, ambitions, and possessions. In other words, He doesn’t want what we have, He wants Us! He desires first place in our hearts and affections; to put anything before Him is idolatry.

In last week’s blog, we began looking at this question through the eyes of David, a man whom God had elevated from the lowly work of a shepherd to becoming the second king of Israel. In Psalm 23 King David refers to the Lord as “my shepherd” and describes how He had provided for, protected, and blessed him to the point that his life overflowed with God’s goodness.

We will now look at selected verses from Psalm 103, another of David’s writings. While Psalm 23 looks at the Lord from the view of a sheep with a good shepherd, Psalm 103 is a direct exclamation of praise for the Lord and what He continues to do for those who put our trust in Him. “What is there to love about God?” Psalm 103 has much to tell us why we should love the Lord with all our being!

Please open your Bible to this psalm and look at what there is to love about God. Our focus will be on verses 1-14.  This psalm opens with exultant praise and thanksgiving, ” Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of his benefits.” Psalm  103:1-2.

Have you experienced something like the birth of a child, an unexpected gift in a time of need, personal healing, etc. that moved you so deeply that your heart felt it would burst if you didn’t acknowledge it with grateful praise? If so, you get an idea of what David was feeling when he considered the “benefits” of being a child of God. When was the last time you did an inventory of all that the Lord has done for you? I find my faith renewed every time I do this. My love for and devotion to Him and His purpose are rekindled by looking back at all He has done for me. If you are a bit lukewarm or drifting in your love for Him, it’s time to consider all His benefits.

Verses 3-14 give a list of “blessings” we receive because Our Lord is good and cares deeply for us. “What is there to love about God?” There are at least a dozen “benefits” David mentions in these verses but I will comment on about four that number.

  1. Verse 3,12. God pardons, and forgives all our iniquities. It’s interesting that our need for forgiveness is the first thing David mentions. But, think about it. Our sin is the issue that keeps us away from God and He doesn’t want that for us. He wants us close to Him and is ready and willing to pardon us. He is more interested in forgiving us than we are anxious to be forgiven. The ultimate expression of His desire to forgive us is that Jesus has taken the penalty for our sins on the cross and rose from the dead to seal the deal for us. If God did nothing else for us, this would be enough for us to gratefully love and serve Him every day. “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Verse  12. Providing salvation and eternal life is the single greatest thing God has done for us, but there is more!
  2. Verses 4,13-14.  God preserves our lives and treats us with “lovingkindness and compassion.” You and I are alive today because of God’s provision. He forgives, saves, preserves, and cares for us. “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He knows what we are made of; he is mindful that we are but dust.” Verses 13-14. How wonderful to know we have a Heavenly Father who cares for us!
  3. Verse 5. God provides for our physical needs. God understands the needs of our physical bodies for nourishment and health. Jesus teaches us to pray “Give us this day our daily bread” to acknowledge our dependence upon God for the necessities to sustain our lives. Sleep and food refresh and restore our strength for each day. I have more food than I need but, like many in my age group, I get less sleep than I desire. But, I am grateful for what the Lord is providing. Physical health is a wonderful blessing many take t for granted until age begins to catch up to them. At whatever age we are, our health is a great blessing from God.
  4. Verse 7. God teaches us His ways. One of the many wonderful things about our Heavenly Father is that He provides us with wisdom to guide our daily lives. The Bible is His gift to us,  a marvelous treasure of truth and wisdom to make us wise and to protect us from the Evil one. The divinely inspired Bible teaches us about God and His plan to save us and to help us grow into the character of Jesus. It provides godly knowledge about life’s relationships and priorities so that we can live fulfilling lives here on earth. It offers hope, encouragement, and light during personal difficult times and in a world that teeters on chaos. The Holy Spirit is God with us who uses the Bible to teach, comfort, guide, and correct us. God has left us His book and His Spirit abides with us to lead us in understanding and applying God’s wisdom. God has left us His Spirit to guide us into all truth.

We sang an old hymn called “Count Your Blessings” in the small church I attended as a child. Four stanzas deal with discouragement, burdens, the temptation to envy those with wealth, and conflict. The refrain is a reminder that whatever we deal with in life, counting our blessings will renew our hope and cause us to thank our wonderful Lord. Here is the refrain to renew our hope as we remember what God has done for us.

“Count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessings, see what God has done. Count your blessings, see what God has done. Count your many blessings, see what God has done.”

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