I rarely use the King James Bible for study, preaching, or teaching, preferring contemporary translations instead. But I admit my love for King James’s English and prefer its poetic beauty when I read many beloved passages: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Ps 23:1), “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus” (Luke 2:1), “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son” (John 3:16), “Though I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love” (1 Cor 13:1).
Psalm 103 is one of those familiar texts that I find most beautifully rendered in King James’s English. Bless the LORD, O my soul . . . (v. 1). The breadth of a person’s experience with God described in this passage (praise, forgiveness, healing) makes its words even more profound. If I were paraphrasing this text, I might condense the psalmist’s words to three simple phrases that represent three simple prayers. We could, no doubt, find occasion to voice one or all of these prayers each day.
I love you.
Such simple phrases not only bless God, but become blessings to others as well. How often do we forget to say “thank you”? When was the last time we said “I’m sorry”? Why do we postpone saying “I love you”?
Our lives are full of the blessings we receive and the opportunities we have to bless God and others. May we find ways to make this truth a reality in our lives and in someone else’s.
How will you live out these three simple prayers today?
God who continues to bless, help me to understand “blessing” in all its beauty. Amen.