Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Not As Our Sins Deserve - Jerry Birch

“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. 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, who satisfies your desire with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” — Psalm 103:1-5

Other major religions require rigid adherence to a strict set of acts in order to please and appease their god(s). But Christians serve and praise the Lord because we have already found favor in His eyes! Psalm 103 doesn’t need a lot of explanation or commentary. Just soak in all the reasons in the first five verses for the excitement and enthusiasm the writer has for the Lord.

But wait, there’s more!

“The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 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. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him; for He knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust” (vs 8-14).


All this has been expressed to us by God through Jesus Christ: “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

That’s why we praise and serve the Lord.

— Jerry Birch, Cleveland Cavaliers chaplain