October 31: “One Reason to Praise God”

7 Minute Read

Be Still

To the best of your ability, get rid of all distractions. Take a couple of minutes to breathe deeply, to quiet yourself in the Lord’s presence. Then, prayerfully ask the Lord to speak to you in this time and let Him know that you will be listening and will make whatever adjustments He will reveal to you.

Today’s Bible Reading:

Lamentations 4:1–5:22
Hebrews 2:1-18
Psalm 103:1-22
Proverbs 26:23

Listen to the Lord

Slowly and reflectively read the following verses and listen to what God will say to you through them. Then, consider writing down any insights He reveals to you.

Psalm 103:10-12 (NLT): “He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

Reflections from Scripture:

Psalm 103:10-12 speaks to God’s holiness and His amazing grace.

They speak of His holiness because of the word “sins.” If God were only gracious and not holy, there would need to be no talk of offenses, transgressions, and sins. Those acts would be irrelevant because they are not to be taken seriously if God is only gracious.

God’s holiness cannot remain indifferent to sin. Our sins are outright rebellion because they are a violation of God’s clear and righteous laws.

But, after acknowledging our sins, Psalm 103:10-12 reminds us of God’s love. They tell us that “his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.”

That word picture is powerful. It paints a picture in our minds of an ocean of love as high as the heavens above the earth. Since we walk on the earth, we are submerged in God’s love every moment of every day.

How does God deal with our sins, though? We are sinful creatures that violate His law, and He loves us. But He cannot simply overlook our sin with its legal guilt. If He is to remain holy and just, our sin must be punished.

“He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.”

Our sin record that cried out for our condemnation has been removed! If you were to point “east” and that line kept going infinitely in that direction, and then you pointed “west” and we were to head infinitely in that direction, that is how infinitely far God has removed our sin and its cries for judgment from us.

And that, my friends, points us to the cross of Jesus. God can’t simply wipe our sin record clean. Someone has to pay our sin debt. Someone has to be punished for our crimes against a holy God.

Look to the cross, my friend. That’s what Jesus did for you. He stepped into our world to pay the sin debt of everyone who will look to Him, trusting in Him to make them right in a holy God’s eyes (John 3:16).

So, do you want to know how offensive sin is? Look to the cross.

Do you want to know how loving our God is? Look to the cross.

Do you want to know how our sin debt was canceled? Look to the cross.

If you have no other reason to praise our God today, the cross provides you enough reason to praise our God forever and ever!

Spend Time in Prayer

Lord Jesus, thank You for willingly leaving Heaven so that You could come to earth to remedy our sin problem. Thank You for paying a debt You didn’t owe, and we couldn’t pay. Yet, because You paid the sin debt of every single person who will ever trust in You, we are now swimming in God’s love. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Amen.

Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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