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Jack Graham - Declarations

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    Jack Graham - Declarations
TOPICS: Songs of Encouragement, Proclamation

We are to openly, obviously publicly profess our faith in God. We do that in a number of ways, but one way that we do it is by our declarations, what we say, and even how we say it. The Scripture says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he". The way we think influences the way we live, of course. And if you want your life to get better, increasingly better, start with the way you think; what goes on in your mind! Paul put it this way in Romans chapter 12, verse 2, He said, "Don't be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind". We are renewed in our minds everyday. We are refreshed in our souls, in our spirits. We have a battleground and that battleground is the mind. Therefore, we are, according to Peter we are to "gird up in our minds" and go to battle.

David talked a lot about thoughts and words. In fact, in Psalm chapter 1 he said that if you want to be happy all the days of your life, then meditate, think God's thoughts after Him. Meditate upon God's word. And as you are thinking and then talking regarding God's word, then your life is transformed. David also said, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer". Jesus said, "Out of the heart the mouth speaks". So what we say comes from deep within. It comes out of our minds, out of our hearts, out of our souls. And when you take control of your thought life, you're taking control of your life. In fact, the Apostle Paul said in 2 Corinthians, chapter 10, that we are to "take every thought captive".

Again, this is battle terminology. And because the mind is a battleground and Satan tests the mind and tempts the mind with lies, we are to battle in our minds with truth! The way we think and think after God's thoughts with God's truth, and to take every thought captive, and to speak the word of God! It happens when we're saved. The Scripture says that "If we confess with our mouths the Lord Jesus, believing in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead, we will be saved. For with the mouth confession is made unto salvation". There's something about professing it that allows us to possess what God has given to us. We possess what we profess. And it's true in salvation and it is true in life. The way we talk reflects the way we think.

Now in this particular psalm David initially is talking to himself. You ever talk to yourself? Sure you do! We all think to ourselves, and we talk to ourselves. And in Psalm 103 David is not as typical David talking about the Lord, or talking to the Lord, or talking to people about the Lord. He is talking to himself. And as he is talking to himself, he is thinking out loud, God's words, God's thoughts, and he is transformed. I want to talk to you about transforming your thought life, and therefore, what you say reflecting what you think. Now Psalm 103, verses 1 through 5 is a declaration. It is a declaration from David, and I want you to personalize it today, and make it your declaration as well.

In fact, let's stand together. I know you just got comfortable didn't you? Alright I want you to get a little uncomfortable, I saw a few of you nodding off over there so here we go. And I want you, we're going to put it on the screen in the ESV so we can all say it together, but I want us to make this declaration together and let's say it outloud, make it your own. Verse 1, "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, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's".

Thank you, and please be seated. If you're constantly telling yourselves lies, (speaking negativity into your life), your life will end up being a lie. There is not one word of negativity in Psalm 103. Not one complaint or criticism, but pure unadulterated praise to God. It's not even a prayer, it is a praise. And the way we talk to ourselves like David is talking to himself here, "Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me," our words within have a powerful effect and a major influence on our lives. We need to get rid of all of that toxicity in our thought life, and begin to think with God the thoughts that are in His word. And not only think them, but to profess them!

Remember, Jesus said, "If you come up against a mountain and that mountain is in your way, stands between you and seemingly the blessing of God, Jesus said: Say to the mountain. Say it to the mountain, 'Be removed', and the mountain will be removed into the sea". Some of us are always talking about our mountain! Stop talking about your mountain, and start talking to your mountain in the name of Jesus! And in the name of Jesus as you talk to your mountain by faith mountains come tumbling down. They become mole hills in the sight of a mighty God! It's a say so. And we don't always feel so but we say so. The Scripture says "Let the weak say I am strong"; let the poor say I am rich. These declarations that we say, that we share powerfully uplift us, inspire us and motivate us, and change the way we live!

Again, if you thought you could change your life for the better simply with your thought life, you would do it. And you can! Change the way you think and you will change the way you live. As the mind goes, the man goes. And therefore, like the psalmist, believe and be blessed, and say so! Say, "say so". Now David said so from the bottom of his heart. He begins in verse 1 by saying, "Bless the Lord, O"! There's an exclamation there, and you find these exclamations throughout the words of David in the psalms. If you think musicians today have something new when they're saying, oh-oh-oh and whoa-whoa-whoa, David did this a long time ago. These are exclamations. O! "Bless the Lord, O! my soul" In other words, it's coming from deep within, the soul, the part of you that is made for God; the part of you that can connect. It comes from the mind; it comes from the spirit! "And forget not all of His benefits"!

We are to remember what we are to remember and forget what we are to forget! Often we do it the opposite way: we forget what we ought to remember and remember what we ought to forget. Sometimes negative things, things that hurt us, things that negatively influenced our lives and they're there! Often we live in the shame of the past and brokenness, and what happened so long ago, what someone said, what someone called us, what someone did to us, and we're living there in the past and we're remembering what we ought to forget because Christ has delivered us and we are forgetting what we ought to remember. Jesus even gave us a Supper; it's call Communion, so that we would never forget what He has done for us, we would never forget His body and His blood given for us. And the scripture is teaching us here as a daily exercise, we ought to be declaring our faith.

Now how should we praise Him? How should we declare this faith? With all! With everything I am. "Bless the Lord, O my soul, all that is within me". Whether it is quiet and introspective or whether it is exuberant and outward, it comes from the heart. And David is saying we all that is within me, from my head to my toes! From within! It's not superficial; it's not sanctimonious; it's not hypocritical, a phony! It's real! Because it comes from within; not as an outward show but as an inward glow that lights the world around us. Real worship is letting your inner life overflow with gratitude and praise to God, whether it is personal and private, or whether it is public and congregational. We should praise Him with all of our hearts, and we should never forget to offer this praise to God and declare what He has done for us.

David gives us five declarations that we're going to share together this morning. And the first one is in verse 3, for David says He has forgiven all your iniquity. So the first confession that you should make is: I am forgiven! So all right, put your shoulders back. You're going to declare something. One, two, three, "I am forgiven"! Now of all the things for which we could give thanks, our families, our friends, our church, our house, our land, our job, there are many things! The blessings of God are innumerable, but first on the list, at the top of the list always should be: "Thank you, God, for forgiving me; for Your great salvation! For forgiving not just some of my sins, but all of my sins, past, present and future"!

In fact, all of your sins were future at the cross when Jesus died for all of your sin. Don't get the idea that salvation forgiveness is that we're forgiven of all our past sin, and then it's a fast race to heaven whether we can beat the devil or not. Ha! No! All of our sins! The scripture says the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son cleanses us from all our sin! A-L-L! And therefore, while the Bible tells us that sin is damaging and destructive, (The wages of sin is death) that God does not credit our sin to us, but rather He has credited at the cross. Look in this same passage, beginning in verse 10 of Psalm 103: "He does not deal with us according to our sins", that's a good thing, "nor repay us according to our iniquities", another really good thing!

So if He doesn't credit us, or repay us according to our sins, or deal with us according to our sins, how does He deal with us? At the cross! "Jesus paid a debt He did not own because we owed a debt we did not pay". We've said it so many times, but it's true! Because of the grace of God shown and demonstrated at the cross, God did not deal with us according to our sins but according to His mercy and His grace. And then look at verse 11: "For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us". Note that: as far as the east is from the west. That means it's unending. East to west, east to west, east to west. It never stops!

Now, you know, there is a North Pole and a South Pole. There are destinations north and south. You get north, you're there; you get south, you're there. But east to west, uh-uh! And so God says, "I have forgiven your sins. It is unending". He calls it, "the steadfast love of those who fear him". So far does He remove our transgressions from us. And then verse 13: "As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him". And so because we have all sinned and God's grace has met us, "Where sin abounds (the Bible says) grace much more abounds". God pities us as He... You know, when our children fall down, we don't push them down, we don't pile on! We pick them up. And God pities us as a Father His children.

When I read my Bible, when I discover people falling into sin, we wonder did they lose their salvation? Did they lose the forgiveness of sin? Did they fall out of grace? No. Every time whether it was David himself or Simon Peter when he denied Christ, I don't find people who are falling out of grace, but falling into grace. Why? Because every sin is forgiven: past, present and future. There's not a sin that you have committed or every will commit that's not under the blood of Jesus Christ God's Son if you have trusted in Him! And, therefore, don't live in the shame of the past of what used to be, what you used to be like! "If anyone be in Christ, He's a new creation! Old things are passed away; everything has become new".

This is what separates Christian faith from all the religions of the world! Every religion of the world is some kind of work to attain forgiveness of sin! Frankly, this is why so many Muslim people around the world, including Muslim people in the Middle East, places like Iran, even here in our own country as people have come to our country, are finding freedom in Christ, and breaking the bondage of religion! Because religion cannot forgive sin! Religious works will never forgive sin! You could never work enough in a million years to be forgiven on your own! It is God's grace, and His grace alone through Christ alone by putting our faith in Him by which we are forgiven! I could go on and on, but think about your life!

If you confessed this always, if you do as I do and get up in the morning and start confessing and declaring your faith... Start with: I am forgiven. I will live in the forgiveness! And you see what motivation that is? It doesn't motivate us to sin more. That's not an excuse to go sin because God forgives all sin. That's a excuse, that's a lie from Satan! The fact that we are forgiven, that we have been loved in this way; it means that we can live, breaking the power of cancelled sin in our lives!

Well, declaration number one: I am forgiven. Verse 3 says: "who heals all your diseases" I am healed! Out loud! "I am healed"! Now, I believe this is talking about physical healing. Though it has impact to spiritual healing, the healing of the soul, the healing of our soul diseases, and many times these are connected. The diseases of the soul and the diseases of the body; the mind-body connection is very powerful. But David is affirming the fact here that God is the Healer; He is Jehovah Rapha; He is the One who heals. And therefore, we are to confess not our sickness; we are to confess God's healing of our sickness! We are to confess that God, and God alone is the Healer!

Now God heals us in different ways. Sometimes our bodies heal naturally. It's amazing how God made the human body to heal itself. You break a bone, a bone is set, it heals itself. You cut your hand and it bleeds and in this process, this divine process that God created in us, it heals. And that's a natural process. Even organs and cells can reproduce inside the body. The body can heal itself. Often we keep it from healing by the things we put on it and in it, and so. But the body can heal very naturally. Another way, of course, that God heals us is through medicine. Jesus said if you're sick, you need a physician.

So we don't deny medicine! Thank God for the physicians and the medical professions and the scientists, and many of so-called miracle drugs that have been created; and antibiotics, and all the other things that we take when we're sick. And, look, if you need a doctor, go to the doctor! If you need a med, take a med prescribed by your doctor! Not by your buddy who says, "Hey, I got a few of these; you want to try these"? No! But the point is, who gave those doctors and those scientists and those elements to create medicines that can heal us? It's God who's a part of all of that. And, yes, God does supernaturally, miraculously heal. He does. God heals our bodies.

And a lot of people spend their whole lives worrying about being sick, afraid their going to get sick, they're always talking about being sick, and sure enough, guess what happens? They get sick. Everybody talking about the flu. "I'm going to get the flu. I'm going to get the flu". Well, guess what's going to happen. Don't talk about your ailments, don't talk about your sickness! Talk about your God who heals. Confess I am healed! I am alive! And if you're sick, even if you have cancer, and I've had cancer so I understand this. Don't confess your defeat and your failure and the fears of what's going on in your body. Confess God's healing power in your life! Put your hope and trust in Christ! I am healed! There's so much more I could say about this, but our time is running out.

He also says, here's another confessing. Verse 4: "who redeems your life from the pit". I am delivered! Say it! I am delivered! Or I am redeemed! I am delivered from the pit! The pit here speaks of Sheol; death itself. I could, of course, speak of the pit of depression. Whatever pit you may find yourself in, He redeems, He delivers our lives from the pit! So I'm living and you're living in divine protection and security. And if you would begin to confess that you would live without fear. If you knew that you were surrounded by God's grace, God's mercy every day, you could live with the confidence as the Scripture says, "He who does the will God, abides forever, lives forever"!

So there's no fear, no pit so deep but that God is not greater still to protect us, to give us security. And I'm telling you when I confess God's protection each day, I'm counting on God's protection. I am forgiven! I am healed! I am redeemed! I am delivered! I am crowned with success! That's what he says next. He says He crowns your life with success. I've been watching, in fact, we binged watched (Deb and I did) The Crown. Anybody see it? About Queen Elizabeth II? I just totally turned in my man-card, watched the whole thing. Couldn't understand half of the things they were saying. I couldn't get my words up on the screen on the where I could read it. But anyway, I really loved it!

And I loved learning more about the crown! You know, for kings and the queens of England, Britain, it's all about the crown. It's not even about the Queen, it's not so much about the king, it's about the crown and the history and the destiny of the crown from person to person! And here's the thing about the monarchy in Britain: the king or the queen reigns but doesn't rule. Because Parliament rules. The Queen consults with the prime minister but the Parliament makes the laws. That's their system. So the Parliament governs. The queen or the king guides. The crown reigns but somebody else rules. But here's the thing about our crown: Our God reigns and He rules! And He has put a crown on our head! You are of royal blood! You belong to the King of kings and the Lord of lords!

We are a royal priesthood after the order of David, and we are crowned. He has crowned our lives with success! Say, "I am crowned"! You are royal, you are royalty! Don't look in your mirror and say "I'm a loser; I can't ever do anything". You are a child of God! You are a child of the King! And then he says I am satisfied for he says, "You renew me like the eagle". An eagle is no earthy bird; it's exalted and elevated. And he renews us day by day. I am forgiven. I am healed and living in divine healing. I am delivered. I am crowned. And I am satisfied because He satisfies my life with good things.
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