Taste and See

Our Protector

Psalm 121
A song of ascents.
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Many things in life bring false security.  List a few that stood out to you:

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The Lord is Our_______________(vs 1-2)

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

Truth: God is our only source for help!

The Lord is Our ________________(vs 2-3)

 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.

         Truth: The Lord keeps us from falling.     Only He provides the strength!

The Lord is Our ________________(vs 5-6)

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.

              Truth:  His security is certain!

The Lord is Our _________________ (7-8)

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.

Truth: We are invited to trust in God as our guard, but we don’t get tell Him how to respond.

Romans 10:10-11 “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”

Two parts are necessary for us to have a true relationship with God.  Confess and Believe!

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY AND REFLECTION

www.gfhope.org/growth

To find a summer group or for more information

·      Growth Challenge: Read Psalm 121 each day this week.

·      What stood out to you in Sunday’s message?

·      What are some things that you see people trusting more than God?  What about in your own life? 

·      God is described in different ways in this Psalm.  What specific truths about God brings you encouragement?

·      Is there a fear in your life that you need to surrender to God?

·      Have you experienced a time in your life where God took a fear you had, helped you overcome it, and then used you to help others face that same fear?

·       Is there a specific worship song or two that really brings you comfort and helps you keep your focus on Christ?

·      What are some ways that God can use you to help others trust Him more completely?   

How to Let the Bible Come Alive in You

Psalm 119

א Aleph

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. 2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— 3 they do no wrong but follow his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. 5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! 6 Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands. 7 I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws. 8 I will obey your decrees; do not utterly forsake me.

ב Beth

9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees. 13 With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. 14 I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. 15 I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. 16 I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

1. Learn to ______________ it!
God’s Word will show you God.

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
Psalm 119:10 NIV

May your unfailing love come to me, Lord, your salvation, according to your promise;
Psalm 119:41 NIV

Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.
Psalm 119:2 NIV

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103 NIV

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
Judges 17:6 ESV

Ezekiel 3:1-9 ~ Jeremiah 15:16 ~ 2 Tim. 3:14-17 ~ Hebrews 4:12-13 ~ Eph. 6:10-17

Eight Words/Synonyms to describe the Scripture:

The Law, Testimony, Precepts, Statutes, Commandments, Ordinances, Word, Promise

2. Learn to ______________ it!
God’s Word will structure your thinking.

I will praise you with an upright heart as I learn your righteous laws.
Psalm 119:7 NIV

…but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
Psalm 1:2 NIV

May my cry come before you, Lord; give me understanding according to your word.
Psalm 119:169 NIV

Psalm 119:97-100 ~ Psalm 19:7-9 ~ Philippians 4:8,9 ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

3. Learn to ______________ it!
God’s Word will shape your life.

Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. 2 Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart— 3 they do no wrong but follow his ways. 4 You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed. 5 Oh, that my ways were steadfast in obeying your decrees! 6 Then I would not be put to shame when I consider all your commands.
Psalm 119:1-6 NIV

How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart  that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.
Psalm 119:9-12 NIV

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. 37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
Psalm 119:36, 37 NIV

I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
Psalm 119:45 NIV

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 was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
Psalm 119:71 NIV

 QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY & REFLECTION

www.gfhope.org/growth

1.     Growth Challenge: Read Psalm 119 several times this week. What stood out to you in this past Sunday’s message?        

2.     Read all the Scriptures presented with each point and discuss the main point/s of the message.

3.     What can you do to stimulate your love for God’s Word?

4.     Read Judges 17:6 – describe how you are seeing that around you. How is that visible in your own life?

5.     How has God’s Word helped you love God more?

6.     What have you learned lately about God from His Word?

7.     Discuss several ways you can increase your learning of God’s Word. What would you like to do?

8.     Choose a passage of Scripture to memorize. Work on memorizing it over the next 4 weeks.

9.     Describe a time when God’s wisdom displayed itself in your life.

10.   Discuss the connection between God’s commands and precepts and increased freedom.

11.  What is something from God’s word that you are seeking to live?

 

* Chair time = personal time set aside with the Lord in worship/praise, prayer, Bible reading, and calibrating your life before Him.

How to Worship with Enthusiasm

Psalm 100
A psalm. For giving grateful praise.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.

1.  Everyone, Make Some __________________!

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Psalm 100:1, 2 NIV

 

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!   Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
Psalm 100:1, 2 ESV

When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Luke 19:37-40 NIV

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose.
Acts 16:25, 26 NIV

Additional Scriptures: Revelation 5:9-14; Habakkuk 2:20; 2 Chronicles 20

2.   Be Clear about Who You ________________!

Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 100:3 NIV

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:5 NIV

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.
Proverbs 19:2 NLT

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Philippians 1:9-11 NIV

3.   Be Already Ready, _________________!

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
Psalm 100:2 NIV

Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!
Psalm 100:2 ESV

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4 NIV

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.
Psalm 145:2-4 NIV

Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.
Hebrews 13:15 NIV

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY & REFLECTION

www.gfhope.org/growth

1.     Growth Challenge: Read Psalm 100 each day this week. What stood out to you in this past Sunday’s message?        

2.     Read all the Scriptures presented with each point and discuss the main point/s of the message.

3.     Find all 7 of the imperatives (commands) and describe what each of those mean or would look like if you lived them.

4.     Why do you think people tend to act somber or more quiet in a worship service?

5.     Can you describe a time when your shout for joy was a result of something God had done?

6.     How could you use songs and shouts to wage war against the enemy?

7.     Habakkuk 2 is about judgment, why do you think God commands silence?

8.     How does your knowledge of God affect your worship of God?

9.     What have you been doing to increase your knowledge of who God is?

10.  List 5 things you are thankful for.

11.  How can you praise and thank God for them, today

12.  What tools can you use to help you enter worship with a sense of praise and enthusiasm?

13.  How can you combat a bad attitude when your week has been really difficult?

14.   Do you think God is realistic to ask for praise and worship when you have difficult things in your life that you are struggling with? Why might He still require praise, thanks, and joy?

15.  Spend a few moments praising and thanking God, today!

* Chair time = personal time set aside with the Lord in worship/praise, prayer, Bible reading, and calibrating your life before Him.

How to Deal with Personal Sin

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long…
Psalm 32

For the director of music. A psalm of David. When the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba.
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth…
Psalm 51

Psalm 32 and 51 are Penitential Psalms

How to Deal with Personal Sin

1.  ________________________________ my sin.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”                               Psalm 32:3-5 NIV

Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him.
Psalm 32:9, 10 NIV

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.
Proverbs 28:13, 14 NIV

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. 
Isaiah 64:6 NIV

The Back Story of David’s Sin: 2 Samuel 11 & 12

The first hiding: Genesis 3 

2.  ________________________________ my sin.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”
Psalm 32:5 NIV

 

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; so you are right in your verdict and justified when you judge. Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me. Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb; you taught me wisdom in that secret place.
Psalm 51:1-6 NIV

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
Psalm 51:7-13 NIV

3. Be ________________________________ from my sin.

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.
Psalm 32:1, 2 NIV

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
Psalm 51:1 NIV

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones you have crushed rejoice. Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you. Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, you who are God my Savior, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness. Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise. You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise. May it please you to prosper Zion, to build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous, in burnt offerings offered whole; then bulls will be offered on your altar.
Psalm 51:7-19 NIV

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in him. Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!
Psalm 32:6-11 NIV

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,  having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.
Colossians 2:13-15 NIV 

Additional Scriptures:
Isaiah 1:18 19
1 John 1:9, 10
Psalm 23:6
Ephesians 1:7
Psalm 103:8-12

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY & REFLECTION

www.gfhope.org/growth

For more information TEXT “gfgroups” to 474747

1.   Growth Challenge: Read Psalm 32 & 51 each day this week. What stood out to you in this past Sunday’s message?        

2.   Read all the Scriptures presented with each point and discuss the main point/s of the message.

3.   Why do you and others tend to hide or conceal their sin?

4.   How do you think God responds to this tendency?

5.   Can you describe a time when hiding your sin made the consequence worse?

6.   Think about and discuss the statement: A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

7.   David takes his sin serious, how do you generally react to your personal sin? Write 3 descriptive words that describe your reaction. (ex. Casual)

8.   Put into you own words what it means to confess your sin.

9.   Why would confession to others, not just God, be helpful?

10. From these 2 Psalms, list all of the requests David makes of God in regarding his sin. As you read these, how do you react and respond to this list? Do you expect or presume upon God’s response?

11. Are you forgiven? How do you experience forgiveness?

12. The Bible speaks of cleansing of sin and from sin. Could you be clean? Are you living into the process of cleansing? How are you seeing this in your life?

13. Many people have difficulty living into forgiveness. Why do you think this is true?

14. In Psalm 32 and 51, David speaks of what will happen with him when he is restored. In what ways are you demonstrating a restored life?

15.  Are you living a joyful life? If not, why do you believe joy is lacking?

 

* Chair time = personal time set aside with the Lord in worship/praise, prayer, Bible reading, and calibrating your life before Him.

Living Through Spiritually Dry Times

Psalm 42

For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”  These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. . .

 

Psalms of Lament

Draw attention to what is wrong in the world (sometimes our inner world) and ask God to do something about it.

The psalms put words to our heart sounds.

How to Live through Spiritually Dry Times

1. Admit Your _________________________.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
Psalm 42:1, 2 NIV 

These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
Psalm 42:4 NIV

 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
Psalm 42:6, 7 NIV

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
Psalm 34:8 NIV

Jeremiah 2:13
John 7:37, 38

2. Remember to  __________________. (remember to not forget)

These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me. By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”

3. Place your  __________________ in God.

Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
Hebrews 42:11 NIV

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Psalm 11:1 NIV

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23 NIV

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
Hebrews 6:19 NIV

 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Hebrews 13:15, 16 NIV

·      Challenge your present disposition.

·      Decide to place your hope in God. 

·      Be determined to praise God.

·      Begin to declare who God is!

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY & REFLECTION

www.gfhope.org/growth
For more information TEXT “gfgroups” to 474747

Growth Challenge: Read Psalm 42 & 43 each day this week.

What stood out to you in this past Sunday’s message?

Read all the Scriptures presented with each point and discuss the main point/s of the message.

Who was Korah? Read about him in Numbers 16, 26. What do we know of his sons and descendants? 1 Chronicles 26:1-19 and 2 Chronicles 20:1-20

Describe a time of spiritual thirst or spiritual dryness?

Pastor Paul described several areas to not underestimate during spiritually dry times:

  • Remembering: What have been 2 or 3 spiritually affirming times in your life?

  • Worship: Discuss the priority you put on worshipping with your church family.

  • Self-Talk: When you are dry or discouraged spiritually what do you say to yourself? How can you create a better narrative inside your mind?

  • Prayer: What are true statements about God that you can bring to Him in prayer? How honest are you about your feelings and disposition when you pray? 

The Psalmist challenges his disposition by asking, why. What have been some of the causes of spiritually dry times for you?

Have you experienced a dry time when there seemed to be no cause? Will you describe that time?

Describe how you can live into the hope of relationship with God.

Individually or as a group give words of praise to God and speak out loud personal relational truths between you and God!

In your daily chair time* review your sermon notes and think through the three statements and how they apply to your life:

Thirst, Remembering, Willing

 

* Chair time = A personal time set aside with the Lord in worship/praise, prayer, Bible reading, and calibrating your life before Him.

Praising the Lord

David’s ___________ story = 1 Sam 21:10-15


10 That day David fled from Saul and went to Achish king of Gath. 11 But the servants of Achish said to him, “Isn’t this David, the king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: “‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands’?” 12 David took these words to heart and was very much afraid of Achish king of Gath. 13 So he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard. 14 Achish said to his servants, “Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? 15 Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?”

Psalm 34

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. 3 Glorify the LORD with me; let us exalt his name together. 4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. 6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. 7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them. 8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. 9 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. 15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; 16 but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. 17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 9 The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; 20 he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. 21 Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. 22 The LORD will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

1. Public praise ______________ followers of Jesus! 1-7

After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”
Acts 13:15

2. Public praise calls us to ___________! 8-14

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,
Phil 2:1-3

3. Public Praise assures us of our ____________! 15-21.

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.[a]20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Phil 1:18-26

There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;[e] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. 39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.
Heb 11:35-40

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY AND REFLECTION

To find a summer group or for more information go to www.gfhope.org/growth or TEXT “gfgroups” to 474747 and join a group this week:

Read Psalm 34 daily and ask what stood out in the message?

Find 5 verses that declare God’s praise and write them out and post them on your fridge, car, wallet, phone/computer and on your social media pages so you can join in God’s public praise – share your plan and what people’s reaction is.

Can you relate to David where, by God’s grace you were delivered? 

How can you practice humility and give God praise like David?

Practice giving public praise this week?  Can you give praise at work - how?  At home – how?  With friends- how?

How do you find praise helps you be open to godliness?  What areas of godliness is God calling you up to and how can you obey?

How does God’s promise of deliverance (both abundant living now and eternal salvation after death) help you right now? 

The Good Shepherd

Psalm 23
A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

What’s with an ________________?

The Shepherd’s _______________?

a.     Makes me lie down (vs 2a)

 Psalm 4:8 “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety”

 b.    Leads me (vs 2b)

 c.     Restores (vs 3a)

 d.    Guides (vs 3b)

 e.     Remains/Present (vs 4b)

 f.      Defends/Protects  (vs 4c)

 g.     Comforts (vs 4c)

 h.    Prepares (vs 5a)

 i.      Anoints my head with oil (vs 5b)

What We Learn About the Shepherd’s Character:

a.      __________________

b.     __________________

c.      __________________

d.     For His _________________ (vs. 3b)

Our Response to the Shepherd’s Leading:

a.    _________________ (verse 1)

b.   _________________ (verses 2-3)

c.    _________________ (verse 6)

(G)od created us to be with Him.

(O)ur sins separate us from God.

(S)ins cannot be removed by good deeds (like cast sheep).

(P)aying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again.

(E)veryone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life.

(L)ife with Jesus starts now and lasts forever.

“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.”
Romans 10:10-11

Confess – that the Gospel is true.
Believe – place your faith in Christ alone for salvation.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY AND REFLECTION

www.gfhope.org/growth
To find a summer group or for more information
TEXT “gfgroups” to 474747 or visit the link above.

·      Growth Challenge: Read Psalm 23 each day this week.

·      What stood out to you in Sunday’s message?

·      Sheep are a peculiar livestock. Is there something about sheep that you tend to identify with personally? 

·      God is described as the Good Shepherd.  In what ways does that truth bring you encouragement?

·      Are you currently experiencing valleys in your life?  How does knowing that God is with you help? 

·       A Good Shepherd pursues the needs of his sheep.  How does that impact you, knowing that God pursues His children?

·      Vs. 6 says that we will “Dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  What comes to mind when you think that?    

·      How does knowing the Character of the Good Shepherd help with being content (vs. 1) ?

·      Consider reading the book “A Shepherds look at Psalm 23” by Phillip Keller for a deeper look at this amazing Psalm.

Can't Help but Praise Him

Psalm 8
For the director of music. According to gittith. A psalm of David.

 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! 
You have set your glory in the heavens.
2 Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider your heavens the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place, 4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? 
5 You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, 8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

1._____________________

1 Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens.
3 When I consider your heavens the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place…     Psalm 8:1 & 3 NIV

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 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. 6 It rises at one end of the heavens and makes its circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth.      Psalm 19:1-6 NIV       

‘Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17 ESV

 (Additional Scriptures) Romans 1:18-20

Facts about the Night Skies: The Splendor of God’s Creationby Dr. Jason Lisle on February 28, 2008

2._____________________

what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. 6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, 8 the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.  Psalm 8:4-8 NIV

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” 27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”   Genesis 1:26-28 NIV 

But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, Slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. 16 Turn to me, and be gracious to me; Oh grant Your strength to Your servant…                            Psalm 86:15, 16 ESV

3._____________________

Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.  Psalm 8:1, 2 NIV

 O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth,  Psalm 8:9 NASB         

I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.  Psalm 18:3 ESV

 Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. 16 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.   Hebrews 13:15, 16 NIV

After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.” 22 As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.  2 Chronicles 20:21, 22 NIV
Matthew 21:15, 16; 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY AND REFLECTION

www.gfhope.org/growth
To find a summer group or for more information
TEXT “gfgroups” to 474747

 Growth Challenge: Read Psalm 8 each day this week.

What stood out to you in this past Sunday’s message?         

Read all the Scriptures presented with each point and discuss the main point/s of the message.

Tell of a time when God’s power, displayed through creation, “wowed” or “humbled” you? 

 Vs. 2 – What is a stronghold? How do you think praise can protect you from the enemy?  Think of practical ways you could “feed your thoughts” with praise worthy truths. How can you express these praise-ables so they are a part of your battle plan mentally?  

 Vs. 3 – In what ways do you actively live your “position/place” in God’s order of things? Why does this matter? How have you noticed God’s mindfulness of humanity, …of yourself? Where do you think God would like you to be “more responsible?”

 Vs. 1 and vs. 9 – This is a declaration of God and His name with the statement of Him being Lord. How does your life declare these truths? How do you declare these realities with your mouth? 

 As an act of discipline and battle practice spontaneous praise this week. “Lord, I praise You for…”

In your daily *chair time read Psalm 8 and practice the main points of the message: Ponder(notice God’s majesty), Position(remind yourself that He is Lord and that you are free and responsible), Praise(offer Him the glory due His name).  

* Chair time = personal time set aside with the Lord in worship/praise, prayer, Bible reading, and calibrating your life before Him. 

 

Delighting In The Lord

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, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.  That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers. Not so the wicked!  They are like chaff that the wind blows away.  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Psalm 1

1. What the Psalms help us to do = ___________________

but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
Psalm 1:2

Taste and see that the Lord is good. . .
Psalm 34:8

And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment.  15 So David and all the people of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and the blowing of rams’ horns.
2 Sam 6: 14-15

If you love me, obey my commandments
John 14:15: 

2. Why we should ____________________ in the Lord!

A) To receive the _______ of the Lord

Ps 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,

Mal 3:10-12:  Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease.[a] Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12 “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Eph 1: 3-6: All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son[

B) To receive _______ from the Lord

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither whatever they do prospers.
Psalm 1:3

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.
John 15:5

 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love,  joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Gal 5:22-23

C) To be___________ before the Lord

Not so the wicked!  They are like chaff that the wind blows.  The wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly 
Ps 1:4-5

But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear.
Luke 12:5

And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.
2 Tim 4:8

3. How one can  _________________ in the Lord!

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Psalm 1:6

P=Praise
R=Repent
A=Ask
Y=Yield

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY AND REFLECTION

To find a summer group or for more information go to www.gfhope.org/growth or TEXT “gfgroups” to 474747 and join a group this week:

  • Read Psalm 1 daily and ask what stood out in the message?

  • Vs. 2 – How can you delight in the law of the Lord? 

  • Vs. 1 – How have you experienced God’s favor recently? Tangible and spiritual examples?

  • Vs. 3 – What kind of fruit have you seen in your life recently?  Fruit of the Spirit?  Has anyone you know become a disciple?

  • Vs 4-5:  Do you feel fearless before God? If so, why?  If not what might need to change?

  • Vs. 6 – How can you incorporate P.R.A.Y.  into your personal worship and “chair time?”

Putting Words to My Heart Sounds

Experiencing God in a world that is a hot mess, while leaning into His wonder

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. 8 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. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Psalm 34:1-11 NIV

1. God, I (we) want to ___________________ you!

Taste and see that the Lord is good. . .
Psalm 34:8 NIV

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4 NIV

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, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3 NIV

The psalms are prayers, poems and songs to a God who we believe is willing to engage and whose presence is real.

Book 1: Psalms 1—41;
Book 2: Psalms 42—72;
Book 3: Psalms 73—89;
Book 4: Psalms 90—106;
Book 5: Psalms 107—150

2. God, this world is a _________ _____________!

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.
Psalm 34:4-7 NIV

Appoint someone evil to oppose my enemy; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him. May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children. May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation. May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the Lord; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out. May their sins always remain before the Lord, that he may blot out their name from the earth.
Psalm 109:6-15 NIV

With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise him. For he stands at the right hand of the needy, to save their lives from those who would condemn them.
Psalm 109:30, 31 NIV

Psalms of Lament draw attention to what is wrong in the world and ask God to do something about it.

Imprecatory Psalms
Penitential Psalms
…and others

3. God, You fill us with _________________!

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. 3 Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.
Psalm 34:1-2 NIV

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. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Psalm 34:9-11 NIV

Psalms of praise are filled with joy and celebration. These psalms draw attention to God’s involvement in the world and to what is good and wonder-filled.

Messianic Psalms
Thanksgiving Psalms
Worship Psalms
…and others

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY AND REFLECTION

www.gfhope.org/growth
To find a summer group or for more information
TEXT “gfgroups” to 474747

Growth Challenge: Read Psalm 34 each day this week.

What stood out to you in this past Sunday’s message?

Read all the Scriptures presented with each point and discuss the main point/s of the message.

Psalm 34:1-3 – What are you able to praise God for this week?

Vs. 4-5 – How has the Lord answered your prayers recently or in your life?

Vs. 6-7 – In what ways does God “radiate” in your life?

How has God “rescued” you?

Vs. 8 – Share with your group a time when you knew: “saw or tasted” that the Lord was good to you personally or that you had taken refuge in Him.

How can you incorporate prayers, songs, and poems into your personal worship and “chair time?”

Do you allow yourself the freedom to express lament (anger, hurt, etc.) in prayer? Describe a time when this was true.

Do you allow the wonder of God to coach, comfort and teach you in your times of lament? Describe a time when this was true.