November 26, 2023
As I was wandering through Walmart the other day, I began to notice stuff in the aisle. I saw stuffed animals and jewelry. Lots and lots of books, shirts, sweatpants, and more. All this stuff clogged the aisle and made it more difficult than usual to get through the mob of people. I could only shake my head and say to myself, "Christmas!" After I tripped over a buggy wheel and knocked down a display of M and M's, I began to think about our world. In America, we suffer from what I call the "woes of wealth". You might think that you aren't rich. Let me ask you a few questions. First, how many of us had to stand in the front of our closet and decide what to wear this morning? Second, how many of us had to decide what to eat for breakfast this morning. Third, how many of us had to decide which vehicle to drive this morning? We could answer these questions with varying degree of yeses I suppose but the fact of the matter is, all of us are rich to one degree or another. Unfortunately, our world and our society teach us that we aren't rich enough. We need more. In fact, they bombard our social media feeds, radios, and televisions with advertisements aimed to encourage us to keep on buying. You can even do one stop shopping on the internet. Never mind if we can pay for it or not, we can finance a Big Mac on monthly installments if we want. We are so caught up in the desire to increase our "stuff" that we have skipped over a very important holiday. It has quietly disappeared from our world. Before you go looking through the Christmas catalog, may I encourage you to take some time and browse through the Thanksgiving catalog. Don't have a Thanksgiving catalog? Sure, you do. We all do. King David gave it to us (well, God did actually). It’s found in Psalm 103. This is David’s “Hallelujah Chorus”. It contains twenty-two verses, the same number of verses as there are letters in the Hebrew alphabet. It is an “envelope psalm” – It begins and ends with the same words or phrase and everything else is enclosed or enveloped between the opening and closing words. Anytime we have trouble praising the Lord, we should turn to this Psalm, get down on our knees and recite it back to Him. Let’s look at the items in this Thanksgiving catalog. First, there is the Remission of our iniquities in verse 3. The word “iniquities” is a strong one. It means more than just forgiving our “mistakes”. When God forgives, He forgives all. Our iniquities, our sins done out of rebellion, our sinful nature, all of it! David sees the believer as being totally forgiven. He tells us, “He forgives all our iniquities." Notice the MEASURE of God's forgiveness (verse 12) "As far as the east is to the west". If you start traveling east and keep going east in a straight line, you will always be going east. You will never suddenly start going west. God's forgiveness is the same way, it is never ending. There, that should get you started. Read the first five verses of Psalm 103 and see if you can’t find the rest of the items in God’s Thanksgiving catalog.
Then be blessed and go be a blessing . . . Bro. Andy