Hey Swamp Blog Readers!
Hope your week is off to a great start! Before I dive into the topic for this week, I wanted to tell you how the challenge from last week's blog went for me. If you don't know what I'm talking about, I gave a challenge in last week's blog to write down the top 10 things you're grateful for and to read that list everyday for the following week.
While I was making my list, I noticed that almost every thing on the list was something that has been consistent all of my life or for several years. Many of those constants were long-time relationships. I also realized that reading what I was grateful for before praying made me enjoy my prayers more, because I ended up both thanking God more and becoming more grateful for those things as I prayed. If you want to tell me something you're grateful for, leave a comment down below!
This week I've been feeling the need to just know God loves me. There are many things in the Bible to study out and learn from, but sometimes I feel the need to just go back to the basics of my relationship with God. When I'm feeling this way, I like to camp out on a psalm. One great psalm for remembering God's love is Psalm 103. For this blog, I thought we could camp out on it together and consider God's great love for us.
"Praise the Lord, 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."
-Psalm 103: 2-4
In the beginning of Psalm 103, David is instructing his inmost being to praise the Lord and remember all that God has done for him. He recalls how the Lord has forgiven his sins, healed his diseases, and redeemed his life from the pit. I love that last part, because every disciple can picture something unique when they think of how God rescued them from their sins. David also recalls how the Lord crowns him with love and compassion. The imagery of the crown makes me think that David is insinuating that God's love makes us royalty. How amazing is that?
"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us."
-Psalm 103: 11-12
In verses 11 and 12, David talks about how great God's love is for him, as high as the heavens are above the Earth, as well as how distant God sees David's sins in relation to him. These verses always provide a great visual for me to consider how big the love of God is. It is incredible to think that when God forgives our sins, he removes our sins a to a degree with no end, as far as the east is from the west. It is a distance we can't even comprehend!
"But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children— with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts."
-Psalm 103: 17-18
Verses 17 and 18 also speak of a degree without end, from everlasting to everlasting. In the verses prior to verses 17 and 18, David talks of how fleeting mankind is and likens the life of a man to a flower of the field. He then contrasts it with the immeasurable faithfulness of God's love for those who fear Him.
Psalm 103 is just one of the amazing psalms that talk about how God feels about his children. One thing that I really like about this psalm in particular is that David is instructing his heart to remember the love of God and to praise God. Sometimes, life can drag us down and make us forget about all that God has done in the past and all that he blesses us with now. Psalm 103 reminds me that it is normal to not always feel close to God and that even David had to remind himself of God's goodness. So, when you are feeling like everything is going wrong, I encourage you to be real about the struggle, but also to remember the everlasting love and goodness of God.
ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION!!!
We are just a little over a MONTH AWAY from The Swamp's 25th Anniversary Celebration!!!
If you haven't heard the news, camp is hosting a giant 25th birthday party in honor of 25 years of camp! The celebration will be at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta on October 29th. Attendees will include international camp directors, alumni of all ages, and we hope, you! It's going to be a great time. Not to mention, we will be having a camp-style singing devotional and barbecue for lunch! Click the link below to learn more and purchase tickets.
Also, if you are a Swamp alumni and you have a camp memory to share for an upcoming blog, send me an email at email@example.com !
Much Love & Respect,
Dec. 29-Jan. 1
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