“I [Jesus] am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).
Psalm 103S hortly after I was diagnosed with leukemia, I was getting a blood profile drawn by my oncologist in Memphis. That particular day, I had a bad case of the blues. I was worried, afraid, and … well, I hate needles in my arms!
My nurse was an elderly, church-going woman who had grown up in the impoverished Deep South and embodied all the goodness one person could possess. Her mannerisms were gentle, joyful, and kind. As I sat down and extended my arm for yet one more blood draw, my emotions got the best of me.
The nurse said with the tender voice of an angel, “How you doin’?”
I said past the lump of sadness in my throat, “God is good.”
She gently looked me in the eyes and, with her beautiful, aged, brown eyes, speaking in the sweetness of honey, responded, “All the time. AAAAALLL the time, God is good.”
It might as well have been an angel, and perhaps she was one. My heart relaxed, and my worries melted away. I knew it in my head, but that dear lady helped that blessed thought shift resolutely into my heart. God is good all the time. All the time, God is good.
Psalm 103 offers the same reassurance. Read it in its entirety. Read it slowly, and meditate on each verse. It’s well worth your time to memorize and meditate on it daily. It’s better at night, when you put your head on your pillow after a hard day, than any sleeping pill ever prescribed. (I know. I’ve meditated on it hundreds of nights myself after a shattering day of pressure, stress, and pain.)
- Psalm 103:1-2 – “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.”
- Why is it important for the deepening of your relationship with God to remember all the goodness He has brought you since the day you took your first breath on this earth?
- Psalm 103:5 – “Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”
- While God has blessed medical doctors with great knowledge and skills, no doctor can ever take credit for healing anyone. Doctors can partner with God and facilitate a better healing process, but any faith-filled physician will gladly tell you that the credit belongs to God. Likewise, only a sovereign God who placed His Son on a Roman cross can forgive sins. Why does a conscious recognition of those truths “renew your youth like the eagle”?
- Psalm 103:8-9 – “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever.”
- Express in a few words your thankfulness for God’s graciousness, compassion, patience, and lovingkindness.
- Psalm 103:10-12 – “He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”
- Grace = getting what we don’t deserve. Mercy = not getting what we do deserve. What is God saying to you personally in these verses?
- Psalm 103:13 – “Just as a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”
- A good dad will give it all for his children. What a great metaphor! What does this promise mean to you?
- Psalm 103:15-18 – “As for man, his days are like grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more, and its place acknowledges it no longer. But the lovingkindness of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to those who keep His covenant and remember His precepts to do them.”
- If indeed eternity is forever and 100 years of life on earth are but a speck of sand on an ocean beach, what does that say about the importance of obeying God as we’re exhorted in this passage?
John 13:15 – “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
From today’s scripture, how does THE Shepherd inspire you to shepherd your flock?
“He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10-12).
Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication