A Foundation For Praise

God’s Mercy Displayed In Psalm 103

Psalm 103 is one of joyous praise, perhaps one of the clearest examples of the pure praise in the Bible. If you take a good look at these twenty-two verses, you can see that this psalm is addressed to the Lord; that David not only invited his own soul but the soul of every individual, to join with Him in worship and praise to God. Not one single petition is found here.

A Foundation For Praise

This psalm is a vivid expression of worship. Many tend to look at prayer as only an avenue to seek God’s blessings. This is certainly one phase of prayer (Matthew 7:7-8), but not the main part of it. Prayer offers a greater opportunity to pour out our heart’s affection to God, and to worship him with our whole heart.

Psalm 103 gives light, it gives life, and it brings hope to us. There is much that you can glean from these verses. But, almost as the very first thing, David reveals some attributes of God’s character that are worthy of praise all on their own. There are at least four things that stand out in the first five verses alone:

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;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
   Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
   Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
   So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

Let Go Of The Grudges

How To Have The Heart Of A Champion

Sometimes I wonder if the easiest thing that we can do is hold a grudge. In our culture of the easily offended, this seems to be the strongest trait of a lot of people.

Let Go Of The Grudges

Holding a grudge is not something we should be proud of, nor is it something we should do at all. It’s a killer to our character, and if you want to have the heart of a champion, you have to let go of the grudges.

The apostle Paul had the heart of a champion. And in his letter of 2 Corinthians, he describes what this looks like. As we have looked at what the heart of a champion looks like, we have identified three things so far: Be clear about your calling, understand the ups and downs of life, and depend on the prayers of others. Letting go of your grudges is the fourth thing we can see in Paul’s letter, and it may be the hardest one yet.

Take a look at what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 2:5-11 (NASB):

But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree—in order not to say too much—to all of you. Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.

Paul reveals here that the actions of one individual have caused a lot of pain, grief, and difficult circumstances for Paul and his ministry to the Corinthian church. And yet Paul speaks in almost hypothetical language here, and refuses to put a name to the individual. What this indicates is that Paul has forgiven the person, and publicly shaming him would be of no gain whatsoever.

Coffee Break – 05.15.2017

Your Monday Dose Of Inspiration

On this day in history: In 1602, Cape Cod was discovered by Bartholomew Gosnold. In 1800, President John Adams orders the federal government to pack up and leave Philadelphia and set up shop in the nation’s new capital in Washington, D.C. And in 1942, gasoline rationing began in the U.S. The limit was 3 gallons a week for nonessential vehicles.

Coffee Break

Chemex Coffee Brewing – This is my favorite brewing method by far, and it is a lot easier than most people realize. This tutorial explains just how easy it is, and you can order one here.

7 Tips To Look Amazing Without Overdressing – There is no reason why you can’t be the best dressed person in the room, no matter where you are. But doing so does not mean that you have to be overdressed. Here are seven excellent tips to help you out.

Just How Big Is The Universe? – This comes from the Huffington Post, so take that for what it’s worth, but the universe may be a whole lot bigger than we imagined. And God knows every last particle of it.

What Happens To Our Bodies After We Die? – As Christians, we know what happens to us after we die. But what about the body we leave behind? What happens to it? This my be slightly morbid, and maybe even gross, but it’s a valid question, and the answers are very interesting.

Memorize Scripture: 1 Peter 3:18-20

Hiding God’s Word In Our Hearts

As 1 Peter 3 comes to a close, Peter uses an illustration from the earliest days of history, of the Flood and Noah’s acts of faith during that time. But before he gets there, he makes one of the most misunderstood statements of the entire letter. Take a look for yourself in 1 Peter 3:18-20.

1 Peter 3:18-20

Remember, this entire section of Peter’s letter has been on the subject of unjust suffering. He calls those who face persecution to bear it, and remember for whom they are suffering. He gives us the ultimate example, that of Jesus himself, and his suffering for our own sake. Christ triumphed over death. He was victorious! And his sacrifice was sufficient, once and for all.

That’s how Peter begins this passage, with the reminder that Christ’s death was a one time event that was good enough for all people, everywhere, and at any time. No longer were the repetitive sacrifices of bulls and goats needed. Christ was righteous, and did what only he could do, in order to bring us close to God. One of the interesting textual variants of this passage makes the statement that Christ “suffered” for sins once and for all. This conveys the thrust of this passage very clearly.

But Peter also implies that because Christ suffered, we should expect to suffer as well. And we should be willing to follow the example of Christ as he suffered for doing good, although Christ’s suffering was different in nature, due to the atoning sacrifice he made on our behalf, that we could never accomplish on our own. And that work is finished. The death, burial and resurrection fully accomplished our salvation.

Peter next states that he was killed physically, but made alive by the Spirit. Of course, this is the cross and the resurrection. But what Peter states next has puzzled readers for centuries. It is an obscure passage that even the likes of Martin Luther could not completely fathom. He stated: “This is a strange text and certainly a more obscure passage than any other passage in the New Testament. I still do not know for sure what the apostle means.”

Graduation Is Here! Congrats Class of 2017!

Graduation!

This is a busy season for my family. For the next couple of weeks, things will be pretty quiet around JeffRandleman.com. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, this weekend is packed with lots of activities. My oldest daughter turns 18 today, we are holding a graduation reception for her tomorrow, and she graduates from high school on Sunday. The last few days have been hectic, and the next few will be even more so.

Second, the following Sunday is Mother’s Day. Our school district typically holds graduation on Mother’s Day, but this year they separated the two. We have plans to make Mother’s Day special, both at church for all of the mothers represented there, and for my wife, in our own family.

Because of those major events, I will have very little time to write much at all. Things will pick back up after these couple of weeks wind down. Thanks for your understanding. I appreciate each of you who are a part of my little community here.

I hope you are having a great spring! See you in a few days!