Psalm 34.1–22 – September 7, 2020

Psalm 34:1–22

I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together. 

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them. 

Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

(Psalm 34:1–14, NIV)

Taste and see that the Lord is good!

Thought Questions:

What sort of actions would you describe as glorifying and extolling the Lord together? In what ways do you do these things and how can you do them more?

How has the Lord delivered you from all your fears?

Does it seem odd that we would describe seeking the Lord with the idea of “taste and see?” Why is this a perfect way to describe our desire to know him better?

Matthew 8:14–17 – September 6, 2020

Matthew 8:14–17

When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15 He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 

“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.” 

(Matthew 8:14–17, NIV)

Jesus does not just care if we trust him or “do all the right things,” he cares about us and our illness and hurts.

Thought Questions:

What do you think prompted Jesus to heal Peter’s mother-in-law? How do you think Peter and his family responded?

One of the key things Jesus did during his earthly ministry is heal people. Why do you think healing others was so important to him? How do you think Jesus compared healing others with the need to follow him?

How do you feel knowing that Jesus cares about not just your spiritual health, but also your physical health?

Jeremiah 29.11 – September 5, 2020

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV)

“It shows me that my life is in God’s hands.”

Thought Questions:

As you think about your day, how does your planning change knowing that God knows you and wants good for you?

In what ways have you felt like you have prospered because of God being with you?

How has God given you hope?

Psalm 125.2 – September 4, 2020

Psalm 125.2

As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.

(Psalm 125.2, NIV)

“When we went to the Holy Land, as we were driving into Jerusalem, the song came to me–the Lord truly surrounds his people.”

Thought Questions:

In what ways is being surrounded by God a good thing? Why is this the case?

Jerusalem is literally surrounded by mountains, providing a barrier for protection from outside forces. In what ways has God provided a barrier of protection for you?

How is your faith strengthened knowing God protects you both now and forever?

Psalm 62.1-2 – September 3, 2020

Psalm 62:1–2

Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

(Psalm 62:1–2, NIV)

“Each chapter of life, I use these scriptures to renew my mind & keep my sight set on Christ.”

Thought Questions:

Describe a time when you have fully felt rest in God, rest that impacted your entire being.

In what ways did you thank God or give him praise for being the one who brought you rest and salvation?

What are some practical ways we can rely on God to be our rock in a world that is anxious and stressful (and certainly not one in which we find rest)?

2 Samuel 7.1–29 – September 2, 2020

2 Samuel 7:1–29

After the king was settled in his palace and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, he said to Nathan the prophet, “Here I am, living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God remains in a tent.”
Nathan replied to the king, “Whatever you have in mind, go ahead and do it, for the Lord is with you.”
But that night the word of the Lord came to Nathan, saying:
“Go and tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord says: Are you the one to build me a house to dwell in? I have not dwelt in a house from the day I brought the Israelites up out of Egypt to this day. I have been moving from place to place with a tent as my dwelling. Wherever I have moved with all the Israelites, did I ever say to any of their rulers whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” ’
“Now then, tell my servant David, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: I took you from the pasture, from tending the flock, and appointed you ruler over my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you have gone, and I have cut off all your enemies from before you. Now I will make your name great, like the names of the greatest men on earth. 10 And I will provide a place for my people Israel and will plant them so that they can have a home of their own and no longer be disturbed. Wicked people will not oppress them anymore, as they did at the beginning 11 and have done ever since the time I appointed leaders  over my people Israel. I will also give you rest from all your enemies.
“ ‘The Lord declares to you that the Lord himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with a rod wielded by men, with floggings inflicted by human hands. 15 But my love will never be taken away from him, as I took it away from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.’ ”
17 Nathan reported to David all the words of this entire revelation. 

18 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord, and he said:
“Who am I, Sovereign Lord, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 19 And as if this were not enough in your sight, Sovereign Lord, you have also spoken about the future of the house of your servant—and this decree, Sovereign Lord, is for a mere human!
20 “What more can David say to you? For you know your servant, Sovereign Lord. 21 For the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.
22 “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you, as we have heard with our own ears. 23 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, Lord, have become their God.
25 “And now, Lord God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The Lord Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.
27 “Lord Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 Sovereign Lord, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”
 (2 Samuel 7:1–29, NIV)

Whom am I that you have brought me this far?

Thought Questions:

Why do you think David felt the need to build a house for the Lord? How disappointed do you think he was to not be able to do so?

How do you think you would have reacted to hear that your family would reign over God’s kingdom forever?

What does David’s reaction to God’s message to him tell us about his character and his heart? How does his reaction serve as a model for you and your response tot he things God has done for you?

1 Corinthians 10:11–13 – September 1, 2020

1 Corinthians 10:11–13

These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.  (1 Corinthians 10:11–13, NIV)

They say history repeats itself. Are we willing to look back and avoid mistakes of previous generations?

Thought Questions:

What sort of spiritual advice–both positive and negative–have you received in your life? How have you applied these things to your own spiritual journey?

What are some ways we ensure we are standing firm, not assuming we have it all together and are not at risk from Satan’s attacks?

In what ways have you found God to provide a way out of temptations you have faced?