Take 5 (April 4-8, 2016)

take5

Lee Walker • Interim Executive Pastor

God’s Unearthly Goodness (Psalm 103:1-14)

MONDAY: Unforgettable Blessings

Ps. 103:1-2

Ah, forgetfulness.  It can be frustrating, can’t it?  I have confessed to many of you reading this that I am very bad at remembering names. It is embarrassing at times, and I surely hope no one is offended when I ask their name more than once. Perhaps my brain needs more exercise.

One mental activity we should never neglect: remembering God’s blessings.  Like a friendly encourager at the fitness center, the writer in verse 2 instructs us.  Don’t forget.  Keep it up; don’t ever tire; think about all that God is and what He has done.  Contemplate His blessings.  Thoughts of God can provide a beneficial displacement.  Thinking of Him pushes out other less wholesome and less important matters.

For Today: Just now, spend one, uninterrupted minute remembering God’s blessings.

TUESDAY: Powerful Goodness

Ps. 103:3

In a recent blog Pastor Friend mentioned the rise of the “nones,” those who claim no particular religious affiliation.  I was reminded of a video by a self-proclaimed atheist.  He, in fact, called himself a militant atheist and was urging others, especially in the scientific intelligentsia (his word), to join him in becoming more intentional, even confrontational, in opposing religion.

In his speech, however, he stumbled upon a profound accuracy.  He was trying to make a joke, but a truth slipped out.  Creating the universe, he mocked, was easy compared with God’s other tasks like blessing marriages, helping the sick, and forgiving sins.  For sure… forgiving sins, as we are reminded in verse 3, is one of God’s ultimate blessings.  Oh, the unforgettable joy to know that my sins are forgiven!

For Today: Think of a specific sin God has forgiven.  Thank Him!

WEDNESDAY: Astronomical Mercy

Ps. 103:11

How big is the universe?  To say it is incomprehensibly large is to still not say enough.  Can you wrap your mind around the measurement of a light year (the distance light travels in one year at the rate of 186,000 miles per second)?  How about this:  Our galaxy is 100,000 light years in diameter?  Or this:  The next closest galaxy is 2.5 million light years away?  And there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe.  Such vastness!

But the Psalmist explains in verse 11 that God’s mercy is on the order of that magnitude!  Can you imagine?  Will God’s mercy ever run out?  Does God have enough mercy to cover you and me?  No doubt!  If we could actually know, I suspect even our best guesses underestimate the size of the universe.  Likewise, the bounds of God’s mercy are beyond our comprehension.

For Today: On a clear night, look to the sky and thank God for His mercy.

THURSDAY: Inhuman Forgiveness

Ps. 103:12

What metaphor would you use to describe something infinite and beyond definition?  God inspired the Psalmist to use a remarkable phrase to do just that.  We get it.  When the writer says God removes our sins as far as the east is from the west, we smile.  So He can do that, huh?  Yep.

We can’t, of course.  Can you purposefully forget something?  Not really.  We can say we are going to act as if something didn’t happen, or we tell someone to “forget about it.”  But, we can’t un-remember.  All the more remarkable and beyond-human is God’s forgiveness.  He forgives so completely; there is nothing like it in our human experience.  Infinite forgiveness… available only from God.

For Today: Think of a sin, a specific sin, you can’t forget.  Thank God He has!

FRIDAY: Intimate Understanding

Ps. 103:14

How well do you know your spouse, or parents, or children, or friends?  No matter how close our relationships, we are limited by our humanity.  And most of us long to be understood.  How often have you experienced frustration when someone thought you were angry when you were not?  Or someone pitied you when you only wanted compassion?  Or someone mistook your humor for sarcasm?  We all know the problem.

How comforting to know our Creator understands like no one else could or does.  It is sobering, to be sure.  We can’t fool God.  He knows our motives and our deepest secrets.  He understands our fears and weaknesses, our longings and dreams.  Verse 14 says it so simply, but its truth flows through us like medicine.  God knows… He really knows.

For Today: Imagine being completely understood.  Then smile!