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Forget Not All His Benefits
Psalm 103:1-3


Pastor Kevin Vogts
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
Dakota Dunes, South Dakota
Thanksgiving Eve—November 24, 2010

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Our text is the first two verses of Psalm 103: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”

Each year on Thanksgiving Day we gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing and to remember and give thanks for all his gifts unto us.  But, what about the other 364 days in the year?  All too often we do exactly what the psalm writer warns us not to do: “Forget not all his benefits.”  All too often we forget the benefits and blessings the Lord gives us.

An example of this is the attitude prevalent in our society about the origins of our universe and us humans ourselves.  What the prophet Hosea said long ago applies even more so to us today: “Israel has forgotten his Maker.”  We too have forgotten our Maker.  It’s ironic that the more we learn about the astounding complexity of creation, the more we turn away from the very idea of divine creation.  But, what the book of Genesis records is not fiction or fairy tale; it is fact.  “For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth . . . and all that is in them.”  As Psalm 24 says, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it; the world, and all who live in it.”

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”  Forget not his greatest benefit of all: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son . . . he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins . . . God did not spare his only Son but gave him up for us all . . . and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from every sin . . . believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved.”

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”  In his explanation of the Apostles’ Creed in the Small Catechism, Martin Luther lists some of the benefits for which we give thanks on this Thanksgiving Day: “I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that he has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still preserves them; also clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and home, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that he richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life; that he defends me against all danger, and guards and protects me from all evil; and all this purely out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which it is my duty to thank and praise, to serve and obey him.  This is most certainly true.”

“Forget not all his benefits.”  Not only on Thanksgiving Day, but every day, remember and give thanks to the Lord.  Remember and give thanks to the Lord by regularly coming to his house and worshipping him throughout the year.  Remember and give thanks to the Lord with your prayers and praises.  Remember and give thanks to the Lord by serving him, by sharing your blessings, and by giving back to him a portion of all that he gives to you.  Remember and give thanks to the Lord by living no longer for yourself but for him, as St. Paul says in 2 Corinthians, “He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for him, who died for them and rose again.”

“Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name.  Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”

Amen..

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