When We Remember, We Reach Out
Read: Psalm 103:1-14
I was flipping through the TV channels. I wanted to avoid some of the news, but when the teaser promoted a story concerning a little boy and animals, I hoped it might be worth watching. I was not disappointed when I heard about Robbie Gay. May I explain why?
This little guy is eight years old, and he lives in Palm Coast, Florida. Two years ago, he was adopted by Charles and Maria Gay out of the foster care system. Robbie had entered foster care after twice having been hospitalized due to abuse. Sadly, he well knows what it feels like not to be loved and cared for, but now things are different for him. Because of the pain of his past and the love he now experiences, Robbie has a special love for old dogs that no one wants. He can relate to these creatures. He says that people want babies and puppies but not old dogs and old people; so, he chooses as many dogs as the family allows. Right now, they have six. He has recently chosen a lame snaggletooth shih tzu. Her name is Molly. She has a new loving home since her owner had to go into assisted living. Robbie's desire doesn't end with adopting unwanted dogs. Someday, he wants to take in older foster children. For now, because he knows his own life could have turned out so differently, he is showing compassion to animals that would ordinarily be overlooked.
I love that. How beautiful it is when a blessing received results in a life that brims over with the desire to bless others. So, like the words of the song "Pass It On":
It only takes a spark To get a fire going And soon all those around Can warm up in the glowing That’s how it is with God’s love Once you’ve experienced it You’ll spread His love To everyone You’ll want to pass it on What a wondrous time is spring When all the trees are budding The birds begin to sing The flowers start their blooming That’s how it is with God’s love Once you’ve experienced it You’ll want to sing It’s fresh like spring You’ll want to pass it on.
In Psalm 103:1-14, we are exhorted to remember God's benefits. Of course, the list of the grace gifts we have received is more numerous than the blessings chronicled in these verses, but those things that are enumerated here are wonderful. As we glimpse them and are thankful for the Father's amazing loving kindness, may we remember to pass them on to the people whom the Lord puts in our lives.
1. Forgiveness. Such a precious gift. Verse 3 states that God has forgiven all of our sin. There is no trace of sin that He has kept hidden in the corners of His mind. He is not holding anger against us, simply waiting to spring it upon us when we are not expecting it. In fact, Jude verse 24 states that we will stand before Him with great joy. In verse 12 of this psalm, we are given a sweet and powerful picture of the vastness of the forgiveness we have received. Our transgressions have been moved away from us as far as the east is from the west. Let's pass it on. Who can we freely forgive? Who can we comfort with the knowledge that we won't bring up their sin again?
2. Our lives have been crowned with good things. Such a precious gift. Verse 5 reminds us that God gives good things that renew our lives. After all, He is the One Who is the Giver of every good and perfect gift, James 1:17. How often He sustains us with special blessings, the right gift at the right time. Many years ago, when we lived in Arkansas, my husband and I were going through a prolonged time of unemployment. As with any trial, we were dealing with a time of discouragement. Such times bring us to prayer, don't they. And, how gracious the Lord was. How amazed we were when we opened two cards. Neither was signed, but both contained $40, a wonderful encouragement to us. The Lord crowned our lives with that blessing, sent in His perfect timing. Let's pass it on. Led by the stirrings of the Holy Spirit, who can we bless with God's perfect gift today? Whose life will be renewed and sustained as we share God's blessings?
3. The revelation of what He is like. Such a precious gift. Verse 8 says that the Lord revealed Himself to Moses as well as the people of Israel. It is amazing, when we stop to ponder it, all that God has revealed about Himself. We have already scratched the surface of a tiny part of His revelation in this devotion, and there is a great deal even in these short verses that we won't be able to discuss. Yet, in verses 8-11, we are reminded of precious characteristics of God. He is slow to become angry, filled with unfailing love and not harsh with us. I love the truth given to us in Romans 1:18-23. Here we are reminded that we can know that there is a God based on the wonderful world that He has created. Each man is without excuse concerning the most basic truths about God. Yet, the specific revelation of God given to us throughout the Bible shows us truth about the Holy One that we couldn't know simply through His marvelous creation. Throughout the pages of scripture, God unfolds His plan to redeem man. We read about His personal dealings with individuals as well as nations. We discover how we can please the Almighty One as we become more and more like Him, 2 Corinthians 3:18. And there are so many other treasures we discover about the Lord in His Word. Let's pass it on. Who needs to hear what God is like? He is so different than the prevailing innocuous views that are floating around everywhere.
4. The revelation of what we are like. Such a precious gift. It is so easy to forget when we feel on top of things. We seem strong and capable. We "can do it". Then, the reminder comes. We're not made up of such strong stuff. We have limitations and flaws. We make mistakes and fall short. Sometimes we are surprised by our weaknesses and flaws. How thankful I am that God isn't surprised by what surprises us. Verse 14 of this precious psalm reminds us that our Redeemer knows our frame and that we are dust. Some people might find that discouraging, but I'm so thankful that He knows that I must be careful when I am standing strong lest I fall, 1 Corinthians 10:12. Let's pass it on. Let's pray for one another. Yes, even those who appear to have everything together. We all need prayer, and if one of us falls, we need the others to remember that it could happen to any of us. They too are dust.
Lord, Help us to pass on the blessings that You have lavished on us.