Psalm 121 – June 21, 2020

Psalm 121:1–8

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. 

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep. 

The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night. 

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

(Psalm 121:1–8, NIV)

“It is a promise of continual strength available to me from God.”

Thought Questions:

Where would you say you most often look for help when your life gets hard?

Why might it be easy for people to assume that the Lord slumbers or perhaps is not interested in the affairs of individuals? How would you answer those who make this claim?

In what ways have you seen the Lord watch over you?

Psalm 91 – June 9, 2020

Psalm 91:1–16

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.” 

Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked. 

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 

14 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”

(Psalm 91:1–16, NIV)

“I always pray this over our sons. It comforts me that God is watching over them keeping them safe.”

Thought Questions:

Think of times in your life when you have needed a refuge and a fortress. What created those moments when refuge was needed and in what ways did God prove to be that refuge and fortress for you?

How comforting is it to know that God is watching out and protecting you?

How do you call out to the Lord?

Psalm 55.22 – May 15, 2020

Psalm 55:22

Cast your cares on the Lord
and he will sustain you;
he will never let
the righteous be shaken.
 (Psalm 55:22, NIV)

Thought Questions:

What cares do you have that you would like to no longer weigh you down? What would it look like, in practical terms, to cast these cares upon the Lord?

How have you experienced the care of the Lord in your life and in times when you were burdened with the cares of this life?

Why is righteousness such an important part of being able to cast your cares on the Lord? In what ways can you increase your righteousness?

Psalm 46.10 – May 10, 2020

Psalm 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

(Psalm 46.10, NIV)

“In a world full of busyness, I need a CONSTANT reminder to be still so I can hear him & be reminded he is in control.”

Thought Questions:

What areas of your life seem out of control and entirely too busy? How have you tried to address those areas?

In what ways is God exalted among the nations and in all the earth?

How does knowing that God really is God help us to be still?

Psalm 126 – May 9, 2020

Psalm 126:1–6

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes,  Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
 (Psalm 126:1–6, NIV)

Lives that have found the redemption that comes from God should be lives that demonstrate joyful celebration and a willingness to share that joy with others.

Thought Questions:

How has God given you laughter and joy?

What great things has God done for you?

How do others recognize the goodness of God based on your joy and laughter?

Psalm 96 – April 10, 2020

Psalm 96:1–13

Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples. 

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary. 

Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.
Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.
10 Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity. 

11 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
12 Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.
13 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

(Psalm 96:1–13, NIV)

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise!

Thought Questions:

If someone were to ask you what reasons there are to praise the Lord, what would you tell them? How does his salvation fit into your reasons?

How does your life tell others that the Lord reigns?

Spend some time today listing the reasons you have to give joy to the Lord and then giving thanks to God for his glory.

Psalm 1.1 – April 8, 2020

Psalm 1:1

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,

(Psalm 1:1, NIV)

“It reminds me to praise God daily and not to walk with the devil.”

Thought Questions:

If you were going to describe someone whom the world thought was “blessed,” how would you describe him or her? How does this description compare to what we see in Psalm 1.1?

How do we make sure we avoid those who are wicked, sinners, and mockers?

If not on this group of people, where should our focus be as we go through our day life? What specific things can you do to do this more today?

Psalm 150 – April 3, 2020

Psalm 150:1–6

Praise the Lord.  

Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.

(Psalm 150:1–6, NIV)

Praise the Lord!

Thought Questions:

How have you seen someone give praise to God today?

While one way to praise God is to speak your praises, what are others ways your life can praise the Lord?

What reasons do you have to praise the Lord today?

Psalm 23.4 – March 27, 2020

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk
through the darkest valley, 
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me. 
(Psalm 23:4, NIV)

In the darkest of days, you have reason NOT to fear.

Thought Questions:

Think of times in your life that you would describe as a “dark valley.” How do you think you reacted to those times: fear or comfort?

Why do we assume that evil can harm us? How do we reconcile the psalmist’s comment that we have no reason to fear evil with the reality that evil can and does cause us pain and hurt?

How does a life of faith, full of the comfort of knowing God is with you, look like in practical terms? In other words, how would I know this person when I saw him or her?

Psalm 19 – March 24, 2020

Psalm 19:1–14

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
5 It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
11 By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

(Psalm 19:1–14, NIV)

In a time when we cannot meet together and lose some of the encouragement we might get from being face-to-face, it is nice to remember that we still have opportunity to spend time in God’s word, receiving instruction and encouragement from him.

Thought Questions:

Remember a time when you were overwhelmed by the beauty of God’s creation. In what ways did this help you see God better? In what ways did this beauty help proclaim the works of God’s hands?

How has the word of God proven to be right, perfect, refreshing, etc.?

What are some ways can you spend time in God’s word more and encourage others to do the same?