IN THE DAYS OF HIS POWER SERIES.
TOPIC: BLESS THE LORD OH MY SOUL FOR HIS FORGIVENESS, HEALING AND LOVE
Rev Innocent Chukwudi Peace-Udochukwu
President Living Fountain Ministries Int’l LIFOM
“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 forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;”
We live in a world that is full of suffering and pain. From physical illness to emotional turmoil, the burdens we carry can often feel too heavy to bear.
But there is hope. In the midst of our pain, God offers us forgiveness, healing, and love.
In the words of Psalm 103, we are reminded that God ‘forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases’. Let us explore the power of God’s grace and the hope it offers us in times of need.
“Who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases” Let’s focus on the word “all”. It’s so powerful and significant, because it means that no matter what we have done, and no matter what our situation is, God’s forgiveness and healing is available to us.
It is not limited by our past mistakes or current circumstances. No matter what we have done, or what has been done to us, God’s grace is sufficient.
The first example that comes to mind is the story of the woman caught in adultery, found in the gospel.
“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
In this story, the woman is accused of adultery, a serious sin in the eyes of the religious leaders of the day.
They brought her before Jesus, demanding that she be punished. But Jesus responds with grace and forgiveness, saying “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.
The religious leaders, knowing that they are not without sin, left one after another. And Jesus turned to the woman and tells her “I do not condemn you, go and sin no more”.
This story shows us that no matter what we have done, God is willing to forgive us and give us a new beginning.
It’s true that even though King David committed some terrible sins, he was still held in high regard by God because of his humility and repentant heart.
In contrast, King Saul did not receive God’s forgiveness, because he was not humble and was not truly sorry for his sins. This illustrates the power of humility and repentance.
And that is what makes the difference between Saul and David. One is humble enough to acknowledge his sins and asked for forgiveness and the other is proud and never asked for forgiveness.
It’s not about being perfect, but about being open to God’s forgiveness and willing to turn away from sin.
Saul was told by God to destroy the Amalekites, killing every man, woman, child, and animal.
But he failed to obey God’s command, and as a result, God rejected him as king. One of the key reasons for this was that Saul’s heart was not truly repentant. When confronted with his disobedience, he made excuses and attempted to justify his actions.
In contrast, King David had his own share of sins, including adultery and murder. But what set David apart was his heart of repentance.
Another take away in the story of Saul and David is the knowledge and understanding that God is a very compassionate and forgiving God.
In Psalm 103, David writes “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us”.
It’s not just about whether or not we sin, but also about our attitude towards God.
Saul saw God as someone to be feared and appeased, rather than loved and trusted. But David knew God as a loving and compassionate Father.
He knew that he could come to God with all his failures, and that God would still forgive and restore him.
That’s a powerful truth for us to hold onto, no matter what our past may look like.
Let’s look at the issue of being compassionate to ourself than being so hard on ourself, the key is knowing that we’re not and can’t be perfect by our own efforts.
We often find it hard to forgive ourselves, even when we know God has forgiven us. But this only leads to feelings of shame and guilt and underperformance, which can weigh us down and make it hard to move forward.
Instead, we need to learn to accept God’s grace and extend that same grace to ourselves. We need to accept that we are imperfect people living in a broken world, and that God’s grace covers our imperfections.
Another example that comes to mind is the story of the prodigal son, found in Luke 15:1 “Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
And Jesus told them a parable of “the lost son”
“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.”
In this story, a father has two sons. The younger son leaves home and squanders his inheritance on wild living.
But when he comes to the end of himself, he returns home, expecting to be treated as a servant. But his father, instead of being angry, throws a party and welcomes him home with open arms.
This is a beautiful picture of God’s grace and forgiveness. Even when we’ve made terrible mistakes, God is waiting to welcome us home with open arms.
The two key takeaways from this parable. First, God’s love and forgiveness is not dependent on our performance.
Even when we mess up, God still loves us and is waiting for us to come home.
And second, we need to learn to forgive ourselves the way God forgives us. We often have a hard time moving forward because we’re stuck in shame and guilt.
But just as the father in the parable did not hold the son’s mistakes against him, we need to learn to extend that same grace to ourselves.
This also makes a huge difference between the Christian God and other gods.
The little I know of the occultic world is that any single mistake spells eternal doom for their adherents.
In many religions and belief systems, the focus is on following rules and avoiding mistakes in order to earn salvation or approval from their gods and avoid being destroyed.
But the Christian faith is different, because it’s based on God’s grace, not on our own efforts. We cannot earn our way into God’s favor by being perfect, because we will always fall short.
But God has made a way for us to be forgiven and have a relationship with him through Jesus Christ. It’s not about what we do, but about what he has done for us.
But do those other Religious groups that have no room for mistakes always getting it right and never fall short?
Well, that’s the thing – they may claim to be getting it right, but no human being is perfect.
Even if someone outwardly appears to be getting everything right according to the standards of their religion, they are still a flawed, imperfect human being.
And that’s why the Christian faith is so unique, because it recognizes that no one is perfect, and offers a way to be reconciled to God despite our imperfection.
I don’t think that anyone is truly getting it right all the time. We all fall short, whether we acknowledge it or not.
Someone may ask. But the bible said in a place “be yee perfect for the Lord your God is perfect” what can we make of that in the context of the topic we’re treating now?
The passage in question comes from Matthew 5:48, where Jesus says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” So, what does it mean to be perfect in this context? It doesn’t mean being perfect in the sense of never making any mistakes.
Instead, it’s about being in a right relationship with God, and allowing him to transform our lives through his grace and power.
In other words, we become perfect not by our own efforts, but by his working in us. So, it’s not about being flawless, but about being transformed by God’s love.
Being transformed into perfection by yielding to the guidance of HIS word and spirit.
God’s word and his Spirit guide us and shape us into the people he created us to be. So it’s not just a matter of following the rules perfectly, but of being transformed from the inside out by God’s grace.
In 2 Corinthians 3:18, it says, “And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
So this is a process of transformation, rather than just a matter of rule-following.
And this transformation is an ongoing process. We don’t reach a point where we’re fully perfect, but we keep growing and changing to be more like Jesus.
Paul talks about this idea of transformation in Philippians 3:12-14, where he says, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
Someone may want to point out, but what about where Paul also said, “I have fought the good fight of faith, I have finished the race what awaits me is the crown”
In 2 Timothy 4:7-8. Paul was looking back on his life and recognizing that he has fought the fight of faith and finished the race of life. He is looking forward to the eternal reward that awaits him, the crown of righteousness.
So while there is a process of transformation, there is also a goal that we are ultimately striving for – eternal life with God.
These two things go hand in hand. The transformation process is ongoing, but there is a goal and a reward at the end.
The idea of spiritual growth is a journey. The Christian life is not about reaching perfection all at once, but about taking steps forward.
Like Paul says in Philippians 3:13-14, “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
So the focus is not on past mistakes, but on continuing to move forward in our journey with God.
It’s so encouraging to know that God is not expecting us to be perfect all of a sudden, but to keep growing and moving forward.
There will be setbacks and challenges along the way, but as long as we keep our eyes on God and keep pressing on, we can find joy and fulfillment in the journey.
I also think it’s worth mentioning that we’re not meant to go through this journey alone. We are called to walk with one another and support each other on the journey.
We’re not meant to be isolated individuals, but part of a community of believers.
One of the most beautiful examples of this is the early church, as described in the book of Acts. The believers were devoted to one another, shared their possessions, and worshipped and served God together.
They were not isolated individuals, but a close-knit community. And I think that’s something we can aspire to today, to be part of a loving and supportive Christian community.
And I believe that it will be possible if we can forgive ourselves and be less judgemental towards our fellow christians.
Forgiveness and grace are essential to the Christian life, both for ourselves and for others.
It’s easy to become critical and judgmental of ourselves and others, but that’s not the way of Christ.
As Jesus said, “Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” (Luke 6:37) Forgiving others and ourselves helps us to let go of bitterness and move forward in love. It’s not always easy, but it’s so important for our spiritual growth.
It’s worth emphasizing that this journey is not just about following rules or achieving perfection. It’s about growing in love and relationship with God. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)
God wants us to experience fullness of life, not a life of obligation and striving. So while there are certain things we should do as Christians, it’s all rooted in love and relationship with God.
This is an important message for anyone, whether they consider themselves a Christian or not.
We all long for fullness of life, and that can only be found in connection with God.
That’s not to say that we will never face trials or difficulty, but that God is there with us in the midst of those things.
And that’s why having a supportive community of believers is so important so we can encourage and support each other through the hard times.
We must know that It’s such a comforting thought to know that there is no sin or disease that is beyond God’s forgiveness and healing.
In fact, in Isaiah 53:5, it says, “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
God’s love and forgiveness are so great that he was willing to suffer and die so that we could be reconciled to him and have life.
There is truly no sin or disease that is beyond his redemption.
The message we can take from all of this is that God is a God of grace, forgiveness, and healing. He is not a distant, harsh God, but a loving Father who longs to have a relationship with us.
And he is able to heal us and restore us, no matter what we have done or what we are going through. What a powerful and life-changing truth that is!
May God bless you as you continue to walk with him and share his love with others. May you be filled with God’s peace, joy, and love today and always!
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