Monday, February 23, 2015

Message from Nathan de Laet, Middle School Teacher

          Any time I am asked to speak on spiritual matters, I get a little nervous. Discussing the deep love and mystery that is our God always leaves me apprehensive about misrepresenting the indescribable. 

This weekend I went to church still looking for what message of encouragement I was to deliver. To be honest, I had an incredibly difficult time focusing during worship. I was singing, praying, and focusing on the words, but I still was unable to establish that connection with the Lord I desire and experience during worship. Then the band began to play “Bless the Lord”. As I sang with the church the lines “Bless the Lord, O my soul. Worship His holy name”, the focus was shifted from me to worshiping the Lord of creation. Encouragement swelled over me, and I wanted to share. 

I looked up the psalm from which the song is derived, and I found Psalm 103. In this piece of art written by David and inspired by God, we are reminded and encouraged of all the great attributes of God. It is a longer work, so I will not include all of it; however, I encourage you to read it on your own. Instead, in current internet form, I will share with you the greatest attributes of God included in Psalm 103.

1.     He forgives all your sins (103:3)
2.    He heals all past iniquities (103:3)
3.    He redeems and renews (103:4-5)
4.    He is righteous and just (103:6)
5.    He cares for the oppressed (103:6)
6.    He is compassionate and gracious (103:8)
7.    He is slow to anger, and rich in love (103:8)
8.    He does not harbor anger (103:9)
9.    He has mercy (103:10)
10. His love never ceases (103:11)
11.  He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west (103:12)

Any one of these attributes is enough reason to worship the Lord, but David does not stop there. The end of Psalm 103 is a reminder of the infinitesimal tininess of man in comparison to God. David describes us as grass. As your water bills can attest, grass is dead in a heartbeat. However, the finite nature of our earthly selves provides the example for the greatest attribute of God: all of the greatness of God is directed towards people who could be nothing more to God than grass. All of the attributes listed above would be meaningless if we were deserving of any of them. 

Here are your words of encouragement. God has done everything for us who deserve nothing. God has opened the floodgates of blessing upon you and me. He will continue to pour out His blessings in times of plenty and in times of need. The list of the greatest attributes of God is unchanging, even when we change. Oh how great is our God!

It is now our turn to open our mouths, hearts, and ears. It is now our turn to burst out in tears and song. It is now our turn to “Bless the Lord, O our souls. Worship His holy name.” Will you join me in worship this week?

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