What are your Plans for Thanksgiving?

Title: What are your Plans for Thanksgiving?

Bible Book: Psalms 103 : 1-5

Author: Benny Pate

Subject: Thanksgiving, forgiveness,



I. Bless the LORD

A. “Bless”

Gives Emphasis to Praise and Adoration for our Great God

B. “The LORD”

“LORD” is all capital letters. It is the translation of YHWH (Yaweh) or JHVH (Jehovah). This name for God came out of the “aw” of God’s people. It is based on His characteristics of being:

i. Eternal
ii. Merciful
iii. Creator
iv. The God of purpose
C. “All That is Within Me – Bless His Holy Name”

“All my Being,”Bless His Holy Name”

This reminds us of Deuteronomy 6:5 and Matthew 23:37

Praise the Lord with all that you are and have because everything comes from Him.

II. Forget Not all of His Benefits

The Second Command is that we not forget all His benefits.

The Psalmist takes us on a tour through town to give us reasons for thanksgiving. There are stops that he makes.

1. The Courthouse: “He forgives my iniquities”

“Iniquities” are deviations from the norm (Romans 3:23) while sins are offenses against God. Forgiveness is essential to restored relationships

The word “justified” paints a picture of a courtroom scene. God, the righteous judge, is about to pronounce the verdict of “guilty” and the penalty of death.  Jesus steps forward and says, “I died for this person’s sin. It is just-if-I’d (justified) never sinned.

The great hymn writer, P.P. Bliss, expressed it in “It is Well with My Soul.”

“My sins, oh the bliss of this glorious thought,

My sins not in part, but the whole,

Are nailed to the cross and I bear them no more,

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, oh my soul!”

2. The Hospital: “Who heals all your diseases!”

He speaks here of the diseases of the soul, rather than of the body. What are they?






These are the “diseases” that keep us from being grateful and from offering praise.

3. The Slave Market: “Who redeems your life from destruction”

“Redeem” means to pay the price to free one from slavery – especially from slavery to sin. He saves us from “destruction” or, literally, “the pit of death”  (Psalm 28:1 and 40:2) The hearers of this word would break out in thanksgiving as two-thirds of Palestine were slaves in Jesus’ day.

We might paraphrase this verse to read: “He ‘buys’ us from the devil and frees us from the ‘pit’ of ‘hell’”.

4. The Palace: “Crowns you”

The palace is where the king lives. The crown indicates his authority (responsibility) and privileges

Believers are crowned with:

i. “Loving Kindness”  - covenant love

ii. “Tender Mercies” – compassion

There is thanksgiving because we are kingdom people, loving God, others, and ourselves. Bless His Holy Name!


“On September 1, 1923, just before noon, an earthquake measuring 836 on the Richter Scale occurred near the densely populated, modern industrial cities of Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan. It was said by newspapers that is was the ‘greatest disaster in recorded history. If affected 45,000 square miles. There were fires, but broken water mains made water unavailable. Deaths were estimated at 100,000 with an additional 40,000 missing. Hundreds of thousands were left homeless. The U.S. raised $10 million and sent food and tents. Japan was thankful and said, “We will never forget what you have done. Eighteen years later, there was Pearl Harbor.”

Prosperity, greed, revenge and other sins caused us to cease our praise and forget the benefits of serving our God. Sometimes it is busyness and apathy that keep us from blessing His name. What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

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