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March 23, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: Judges 13-15
Audio: Judges 13-15

Psalm 103 (ESV)

Of David.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his word,
    obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
    his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
    in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Next: Psalm 104

Back: Psalm 102

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Bless the Lord, O my soul,
        and all that is within me,
        bless his holy name! (Psalm 103:1)

    Bless the Lord

    In today's psalm, David uses the phrase "bless the Lord" six times with "bless his holy name" appearing once. Other than the last verses (Psalm 103:20-22) where he tells angels, all the hosts of God, His ministers and all His works to bless the Lord, he is speaking to himself – his soul and all that is within himself. It's as if he is reminding himself to do this. 

    If being blessed by the Lord reflects His unmerited and undeserved favor toward us, how can we, as the recipients of the Lord blessing, bless Him?

    One way we bless the Lord is to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Our love for God reflects our deepest desire to honor Him with our entire lives – withholding no part of us for ourselves or hiding any aspect of our lives from Him. It's in this love that we bless Him – by honoring and esteeming Him.

    Another way we bless the Lord is to love others as we love ourselves. This command is connected to the first. I would say to the degree we love God, we will be able to love others. 

    If we struggle with loving others, we will find areas of our heart, soul, mind and strength that are not vibrantly shining of love for God – with all that is within us. While no one consistently, perfectly and completely loves God with every single area of our lives at all times, we bless the Lord with a desire to love Him this way and the evidence that our desire is more than just empty talk or mental aspirations without any engagement in what brings this to bear in our lives. 

    Finally, when we reflect Christlikeness through God's sanctifying work in our lives and our light shines before others, we bless the Lord through others giving glory to God through us.

    Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

    I pray we all bless the Lord with everything that is within us so we bring Him the glory that is due to Him as our faithful God who blesses us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. 
    "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will" (Ephesians 1:3-5).

    ~ Puritan Prayers ~

    "Your Name on my Heart and Home" by Robert Hawker

    "Precious Jesus, you have been a strength to my poor soul, and you will be my portion forever. Help me to see my daily need of you, and to feel my poverty and weakness.

    From persecution to my guilty conscience, to the remains of sin in a body of death, to the accusations of Satan or even the just judgments of God—I am secure in you, Lord Jesus. And I continually cry out, as did your prophet: 'In the Lord I have righteousness and strength, even to you do I come; and never will I be ashamed or confounded, world without end.'

    You have given grace, glory, and honor to your Israel. I want your name, Lord, on the gates of my house, so that no one will walk by and miss the fact that a lover of the Lord lives there! It is my highest honor to have it known whose I am, and whom I serve, in the gospel of his dear Son. How could I be ashamed of that name before which every knee bows in heaven and on earth?

    And Lord Jesus, not only write your name upon the gates of my house, but engrave it in the center of my heart and my affections—on my first, and last, my earliest, and latest thoughts! Let it be my joy to speak out of the abundance of my heart about you and your great salvation. In all I say, in all I do, let it be clear that I am in pursuit of the one my soul loves. Amen."

    (Excerpt taken from Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans)

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