Tuesday, August 14, 2012

August 15, 2012

"Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.  Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s." Psalm 103:1-5

A country preacher sold a mule to a friend, and told him the mule was trained to go when the rider said "Praise the Lord," and to stop when the rider said, "Amen." The buyer mounted the beast and commanded, "Praise the Lord," and the mule shot off like a rocket. The startled rider panicked. "Whoa!" he screamed. The mule was headed straight for a cliff, "Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!" At the last second he remembered the minister’s instructions. "Amen!" he shouted, and the mule screeched to a halt right at the edge of the cliff. As the new owner peered over the precipice, he wiped his brow and sighed, "Praise the Lord."

That poor guy! He is one of the very rare cases of someone who got hurt because he praised the Lord. Most of us blow it by not praising God enough.

In this 103rd Psalm David makes it clear why he praises God! He also offers a clue to why we often don't praise Him. The end of verse 2 says, "forget not all his benefits".

I can only speak for myself but I find that when I forget to praise it is because I forgot His goodness to me. What say you?

How easy it is to get caught up in the immediate and lose sight of the eternal! I am prone to being distracted by the urgent and forgetting the eternal. I get busy making a living and forget to make a life. Those are the moments I tend to "forget all His benefits" and it is during those times I forget to praise.

So, how do I keep from forgetting God's benefits? By remembering to remember! If I remember that I am prone to forget, then I must choose to consciously and intentionally focus daily on how good He is to me!
That's right!
In Steven Covey's great book "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" he gives good insights about how to make productive use of your days. Or, you might say, how to remember what you don't want to forget each day.

According to Covey, the key is to distiguish the important from the urgent. Important things are those that are related to your purposes and priorities. Praising God is important! Starting your day out with Him in His Word is important. Living in fellowship with Him during the day is important. Eternal things are important.

To make sure you get the important things done you must schedule them! Remember to put them on your daily schedule. Then make sure you keep that schedule!
Urgent things are situations that arise to challenge your schedule. These unplanned interruptions often require immediate attention and can distract you from your schedule. When the urgent conflicts with the important you do the important first, then the handle the urgent. On the occasions when the urgent requires immediate attention, deal with it and then come back to the important. It is amazing how a focus on the important reduces the number of urgent situations and delivers you from the "tyranny of the urgent".

David was a King and a warrior and I am sure he had very busy and demanding days. No don't he faced urgent situations often throughout those days. And yet praising God was most important to Him and he remembered to make time every day! I doubt if you are any busier than he was.

"Don't forget all His benefits"! Give praise its proper priority and remember to remember!