Grace Baptist Church Decatur, IL

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Thanksgiving Catalogue PowerPoint Sermon

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The Thanksgiving Catalog

Psalm 103



The preacher came over to visit unexpectedly. Wanting to make a good impression, the lady of the house instructed her little daughter, “Please run and get that good book we all love so much and bring it here.”
The daughter tottered off and then returned in a minute with triumph on her face and the Sears catalog in her hands!

The biggest Thanksgiving killer, is the day after when Christmas shopping begins in earnest and we stop thinking about what we have and start thinking about what we want.

Many of us like to peruse the Christmas catalog; looking at all the neat stuff we want. We ought to spend more time looking at the neat stuff we already have. In Psalm 103 we find God’s Catalog of Mercies, not a Christmas catalog but a Thanksgiving Catalog.


Here’s 6 things we can Praise God for:

This is DAVID’S “Hallelujah Chorus.”
* It contains twenty-two verses—the same number of verses as there are letters in the Hebrew alphabet.
* The title “Lord” (Jehovah) occurs just half that number of times.
* It is what we call an envelope psalm—it ends in exactly the same way as it begins—the subject matter being thus enclosed or enveloped between the opening and closing words: “Bless the LORD, O my soul.”
* In the original text the verses are all of uniform length and all contain two lines each.
Any time we have trouble praising the Lord we should turn to this psalm, get down before the Lord, and recite it back to Him.

The first item we find in God’s Thanksgiving catalog is-

1.     The Remission of Sin
Psa 103:3, “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;”
The word “iniquities” is a strong one. It does not mean “mistakes.” What if the Bible said Christ died for our mistakes? God forgives more than mistakes when He forgives our iniquities--all our ingrained perversity, all the bent ness of our being. Now, there is an item for praise!

David sees the believer as a forgiven penitent. “He forgiveth all our iniquities.”

The measure of His Forgiveness.
Psa 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
That is the horizontal measure. We take a point on this planet and we draw a line horizontally, but we must be careful. We must not draw the line from north to south because that is a finite distance. Light travels from pole to pole fourteen times a second. The north-south measure is finite, not so the east-west measure. If we travel north from a given point, sooner or later we will reach the north pole, a definite point; then we travel south to the south pole, another definite point. East and west are a different matter. We can start to travel east and there is no point, so long as we continue in that direction, at which we start to travel west; or we can start to travel west and, no matter how long we continue, there is no point at which we start to travel east. West is always west; east is always east.

Mic 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

1.     Remission of Sin

The Second item in God’s Thanksgiving catalogue is:

2.     Restoration of Health
Psa 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
In a well-known poem entitled “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Coleridge depicts the plight of some ancient voyagers whose ship has drifted off course. A beautiful seabird, the albatross, accompanies the ship and brings favorable winds—a good omen. But when one of the sailors shoots the bird with a crossbow, the winds die along with the albatross. The dead bird is hung around the neck of the guilty sailor as a constant reminder of his foolish error.
Israel, too, could have hung a dead albatross around her neck as a reminder of her frequent (and tragic) mistakes.
What albatross do you have around your neck? What sin from the past sneaks up to haunt you? Read Psalm 106 verses 8 and 44, underline the word nevertheless, and complete this statement: “Even though I have _________, nevertheless God has forgiven me.” Fill in the blank with a sin from the past, and realize you’re forgiven!  Or go home and write it down on a piece of paper, write several down as needed, and then tear it up, burn it, or flush it away…symbolically illustrating what God has done in your spiritual healing!

This is the answer to the prayer in Psalm 102; &32:3, 4; 38:3-5; James 5:15 (psychosomatic effects of unconfessed sin / non-accepted forgiveness). What is the answer? Forgiveness which begins with confession!  And then you must accept the forgiveness…don’t try to do penance for it!

“Who healeth all thy diseases.” Psychotherapy doesn’t cure like God can (Guilt, fear, doubt, depression, anger, lust, hate, jealousy, spite, and greed are some of them.)

Karl Menninger said that if he could convince the patients in his Psychiatric hospitals that their sins are forgiven, 75% could walk out the next day. Glasser (Nouthetic counseling)
Next in the Catalog of Mercies:

The third item in God’s Thanksgiving catalogue is:


3.     Redemption of life from Destruction.
“Who redeemeth thy life from destruction” (Psalm 103:4)
or, “He redeems your life from going to waste.”

Just think about where you would be if not for Christ!

1. Remission of Sins
2. Restoration of Health
3. Redemption of Life

The Fourth item in God’s Thanksgiving catalog is:


4.     Royal Treatment

Psa 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

He now takes us into the palace. How like our God! He brings us into the palace, along its splendid corridors and into the throne room itself. He is going to crown us the way He does everything else—gloriously. Think of the morning of creation. When God commanded the seas to swarm with fish, did He say: “Let the waters bring forth fish”’ No! He used a superlative. He said: “Let the waters bring forth fish abundantly.” Think of Moses and Miriam and the children of Israel raising the Bible’s first anthem of song on the sands of Sinai. The Egyptian army had been swept away, and how did Moses put it! “The Lord has triumphed?” No! He used a superlative. He said: “The Lord has triumphed gloriously.” So God is going to crown us. What with, Just with kindness and mercy? No! He is going to do it in the superlative: “Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.”

God’s love is incomprehensible (vs. 11, 17) shore less, boundless, bottomless, and endless, ever unfolding and infinite! We can’t measure.


Harry Rimmer:
. . . told of the inland Indian tribe in the Pacific northwest that commissioned one of their tribe to “visit the ocean” and “bring back the ocean” to them so they could see it. So the Indian rode his pony to the Pacific Ocean, and looked at the vast expanse for some time in awe and wonder. Finally, before he left he took a small bottle and filled it with water from the ocean, and took it back to show his tribe “the ocean.”

We don’t have the tools to measure it.

Nansen, the Norwegian explorer, tried to measure an extremely deep part of the Arctic Ocean. The first day, he used his longest measuring line but couldn’t reach bottom. He wrote in his log book, “The ocean is deeper than that!”
The next day, he added more line but still could not measure the depth, and so again in his record book he wrote, “Deeper than that!” After several days of adding more and more pieces of rope and cord to his line, he had to leave that part of the ocean without learning its actual depth. All he knew was that it was beyond his ability to measure.
So too, we cannot plumb the depths of God’s love, because our human measuring line is too short.

Wide, wide as the ocean,
High as the heavens above
Deep, deep as the deepest sea
Is my Saviour’s love.



1. Remission of Sins
2. Restoration of Health
3. Redemption of Life
4. Royal Treatment

The fifth item in God’s Thanksgiving catalogue is:


5.     A Rewarding Life (satisfaction with good things) vs. 5

List the great things you have, God gave us those things for our pleasure. Enjoy them!
Your attitude about those things determines your satisfaction.
Throughout history, much has been written about happiness and contentment. 2,000 years ago,
* Someone wrote, “Half the world is unhappy because it can’t have the things that are making the other half unhappy.”
* “The most unhappy person in the world is not someone who didn’t get what he or she wanted. The most unhappy person is the one who got what they wanted and then found out that it wasn’t as wonderful as expected. The secret of a happy life is not to get what you want but to live with what you’ve got. Most of us spend our lives concentrating on what we don’t have instead of thanking God for what we do have. Then we wake up, our life is over, and we missed the beauty of the present.”

Our problem is that we are looking at the Christmas catalog, focusing on what we want rather then rejoicing in what we have!

A certain airline pilot had a peculiar habit. Whenever he took off from his hometown of Minneapolis, he would ask the copilot to take the controls. Then he would stare intently out the window for a few moments.
Finally the copilot’s curiosity got the best of him, so he asked, “What do you always look at down there?”
“See that boy fishing on that riverbank?” the pilot asked. “I used to fish from that same spot when I was a kid. Whenever a plane flew over, I would watch it until it disappeared and wish that I could be the pilot.” With a sigh he added, “Now I wish I could be back down there fishing.”

1. Remission of Sins
2. Restoration of Health
3. Redemption of Life
4. Royal Treatment
5. Rewarding Life


The Sixth item in God’s Thanksgiving catalogue is:


6.     Rejuvenation of Youth
Psa 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
An Eagle remains strong throughout its long life.
* The Devil has no happy old people.


Sometimes we sing choruses which can be sung as a round. This psalm may be read like that. It locks us into an unending circle of praise. We get to the end; it becomes anew beginning. We get to the end again; it becomes a new beginning again. Such will be our praise in an endless eternity.

We have a tendency to forget the good things and remember the bad. The psalmist reminds us, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psa 103:2)

[Sermon courtesy Ted Sutherland]


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