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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
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Pastor's Pen - July 3, 2007
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July 3, 2007

Psalms 103 - 105
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Chapter 103
  1. (A Psalm of David.) Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
  2. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
  3. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
  4. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
  5. Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
  6. The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
  7. He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
  8. The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
  9. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
  10. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
  11. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
  12. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
  13. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
  14. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
  15. As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
  16. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
  17. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
  18. To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
  19. The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
  20. Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
  21. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.
  22. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

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Chapter 104
  1. Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.
  2. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
  3. Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
  4. Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:
  5. Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.
  6. Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.
  7. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
  8. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.
  9. Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.
  10. He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.
  11. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.
  12. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.
  13. He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
  14. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
  15. And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.
  16. The trees of the LORD are full of sap; the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;
  17. Where the birds make their nests: as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
  18. The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies.
  19. He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
  20. Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
  21. The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
  22. The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.
  23. Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.
  24. O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches.
  25. So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts.
  26. There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.
  27. These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
  28. That thou givest them they gather: thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
  29. Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled: thou takest away their breath, they die, and return to their dust.
  30. Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth.
  31. The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever: the LORD shall rejoice in his works.
  32. He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth: he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
  33. I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
  34. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.
  35. Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless thou the LORD, O my soul. Praise ye the LORD.

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Chapter 105
  1. O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
  2. Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
  3. Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD.
  4. Seek the LORD, and his strength: seek his face evermore.
  5. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
  6. O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.
  7. He is the LORD our God: his judgments are in all the earth.
  8. He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
  9. Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
  10. And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
  11. Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:
  12. When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
  13. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
  14. He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
  15. Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
  16. Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.
  17. He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
  18. Whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron:
  19. Until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD tried him.
  20. The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
  21. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance:
  22. To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom.
  23. Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
  24. And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.
  25. He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.
  26. He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.
  27. They shewed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.
  28. He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they rebelled not against his word.
  29. He turned their waters into blood, and slew their fish.
  30. Their land brought forth frogs in abundance, in the chambers of their kings.
  31. He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts.
  32. He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land.
  33. He smote their vines also and their fig trees; and brake the trees of their coasts.
  34. He spake, and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that without number,
  35. And did eat up all the herbs in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground.
  36. He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.
  37. He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
  38. Egypt was glad when they departed: for the fear of them fell upon them.
  39. He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night.
  40. The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.
  41. He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river.
  42. For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
  43. And he brought forth his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness:
  44. And gave them the lands of the heathen: and they inherited the labour of the people;
  45. That they might observe his statutes, and keep his laws. Praise ye the LORD.

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Thought for the day:
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 Psalm 103 is another song of praise to God. What stands out to me in the early part of the song is David's call to remembrance. In verse 1 he reminds himself to bless the Lord. This may seem like a small matter, but the fact is that sometimes we need to remind ourselves what it is that we should be doing. Our flesh is weak (Matt. 26:41), and it constantly needs to be put in remembrance to praise the Lord. When trials come, our flesh cries out against the Lord, but our knowledge of Scripture can overcome the flesh, and we can choose to praise Him instead.

 In verses 2-5 David gives himself something to remember. He first recalls the tremendous benefits that the Lord has given him. He mentions several in the following verses, such as forgiveness, healing, redemption, lovingkindness, mercy, satisfaction, and strength. As David recalls these benefits, I wonder if it would not be a good idea today for us to recall ours. Let's start with salvation. I was raised in a fundamental Baptist home by godly parents. Yet I still needed to receive Jesus Christ as my own Savior. The day that I did that, He redeemed me from sin. He gave me eternal forgiveness, so that there can never be anything that I can do that would keep me out of Heaven. He made me a Son of God, and gave me the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit. He gave me the Bible, and the Holy Spirit illuminates it for me. He has given me brothers and sisters in Christ, and the House of God to attend. If for no other reason the Lord is worthy of praise and blessing because of His salvation.

 Yet He has done much more for me. I have never had a serious illness, but the Lord has given me good health so that I did not require a "miraculous" healing. Three of my children stopped breathing during infancy, yet they are completely healthy today. I have had "near misses" in which the Lord protected me from harm. He is worthy of praise for this. He has also given me a good life relatively free from the vices that many men succumb to. In verse 4 David writes that his life was redeemed from destruction. While I'm sure this can reference eternal destruction in the Lake of Fire, it does speak of his "life". When a person gets saved, God places them on a path that takes them away from the destructive influences of the world. I am certainly not all that I should be for the Lord, and I would not set myself up as an example of righteous living, but may I say that the Lord has kept me from destructive sins. I have never had a drink of an alcoholic beverage. I have never smoked a cigarette, nor taken some form of illegal narcotic. I was pure when I entered marriage, and so was my wife. Talk of divorce has never been mentioned in our home. I have never been arrested. Why? It is not because I am some great person, but it is because God redeemed my life from destruction. He gave me godly parents and a good church that taught me right from wrong. Please understand that I do not write these things looking for praise, for I know that any testimony that I have is only by the grace of God and is a benefit that He has given me. Perhaps you can look at your own life and see addictive, destructive sins that God has kept you from or saved you out of. Praise Him for it!

 Verse 4 concludes by stating that God has not only kept us from destruction, but He has given us kindness and mercy. We don't deserve His love and goodness, but He gives it to us anyway. He also mentions in verse 5 that God satisfies us with good things. We often complain about what we don't have, but the truth is that I have a lot of good things, spiritually and materially. The world is never satisfied with what they have, but the Christian can be. God tells us to be content (Heb. 13:5), and enables us to be so.

 God is good. The next time you feel like complaining, remind yourself of all that He has done for you, and I believe your outlook on life and on God will change.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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