The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry, and filled with unfailing love. Psalm 103:8
The core question that we are answering this week is, “What will be the center of my life?” This question is one we must answer for ourselves, and also lead our children to answer. Scripture makes it clear that the only worthy and meaningful One to center our lives around is Christ. When Christ is the center of our lives, everything else falls into place.
Psalm 103 gives us a beautiful picture of God’s character. In this Psalm, David expresses his desire to praise the Lord. As he expresses this desire, he writes all about God’s character. “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry, and filled with unfailing love” (verse 8). He continues describing God’s character throughout the chapter. “But the love of the LORD remains forever,” he writes. Clearly, David knew God’s character. He knew God so intimately that he wrote verse after verse describing His goodness. There is more evidence that David knew God’s character beyond the Psalms that he wrote. God Himself, Scripture tells us, calls David, “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22). Can you imagine being described that way by God? Can you imagine if God called you a man or woman after His very heart? David lived his life in such a way that God took notice. He looked at David and claimed that he was a man who knew His heart. David knew the Lord so intimately and he centered his life around Him.
As we think about David, we have to ask ourselves, “Would God ever refer to me as a person after His own heart?” This is my desire, and if you are a follower of Christ, this is most likely your desire, too. The first step in this is knowing His character and telling others, including our children, about Him and His character. My friends, let’s determine to center our lives around Him. May it be said of us that we are women and men after the very heart of God.
Read Psalm 103:1-22 from the “Going Deeper” section at least two times. Read the verses from this chapter out loud, slowly and deliberately. As you read, spend time reflecting on God’s character, which is clearly described in these verses, and take confidence in Him, the One you are seeking to center your life around. Parents, after reading these verses, pick three aspects of God’s character you find in these verses and have a conversation with your children about these three aspects of God’s character.
Read Psalm 103:1-22 (NLT)
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things he does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
The Lord gives righteousness
and justice to all who are treated unfairly.
He revealed his character to Moses
and his deeds to the people of Israel.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
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.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!
The Lord has made the heavens his throne;
from there he rules over everything.
Praise the Lord, you angels,
you mighty ones who carry out his plans,
listening for each of his commands.
Yes, praise the Lord, you armies of angels
who serve him and do his will!
Praise the Lord, everything he has created,
everything in all his kingdom.
Let all that I am praise the Lord.