Sunday, May 31, 2020

Psalm 13 (Summer Playlist Series)

Today we are looking at Psalm 13.  My pastor is leading us through what he is calling our summer playlist series.  The book of Psalms is a collection of poetry and music, thus the summer playlist title.

The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's message.

We are all fellow strugglers.  We all need God and we need each other for encouragement.  Psalm 13 was written by King David during one of his lowest points in life.  David had been on the run from King Saul for 12 years.  David loved God but hated his circumstances.  Four times within the first few verses, David cried to to God, asking God how long he would have to endure his circumstances.

In 6 short verses, David transitioned from deep despair into a spirit of worship.  Let's take a look at the full chapter.
A Prayer for Help in Trouble

How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?

How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me.
In the first 2 verses, David is complaining..
In verses 3 and 4, David is praying.
In verses 5 and 6, David is praising.

What is your posture before God right now?  Are you complaining, praying, or praising?

Let's look back at verses 1 and 2.  David feels abandoned, as if God has forgotten him.  Do you sometimes feel like David does in these first two verses?  I think there are times in our lives when we all feel like this, but the Bible tells us that God numbers every hair on our heads and that we are more valuable to Him than sparrows.  He keeps track of all our sorrows, collects our tears in a bottle, and records each one in His book.  He writes our names on the palms of His hands.
Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. - Luke 12:7

You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book. - Psalm 56:8
Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;  Your walls are continually before Me. - Isaiah 49:16
Do you suppose David felt resentful because of his harsh circumstances?  Do you sometimes feel resentful.  I know I sometimes do, but let's take courage as we move on to verse 3.

In verse 3, David stopped complaining and really began to pray to God.  This is when the mood of this chapter changes.  David prays for God to take notice of his circumstances.  David acknowledges his personal connection with God when he calls him, "MY God."

David was alone.  Isolation robs us of our right perspective.

In verses 5 and 5, David is trusting, rejoicing, and singing.  His circumstances have not changed, but His heart has changed.  David is still alone and he is still hiding from King Saul, but instead of complaining and crying out in despair, David has chosen to trust, rejoice, and sing in praise to God.  David decides to glorify God in his circumstances.

We are not victims in this life.  We are victorious in Christ Jesus.

How do we apply Psalm 13 to our lives?

1.  Recognize that pain in life is unavoidable, but don't miss the purpose.  Pain will drive you to something.  Does your pain drive you to Netflix binges, pills, alcohol, pornography, isolation?

Pain should drive you straight to God.  God can use pain to grow us spiritually and to prepare us for future assignments.  God can turn our pain into a platform for service.
It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until He has hurt him deeply. - A.W. Tozer
2.  In our worst of times, believe that God is always good.  God will never separate us from his love.  We can't avoid pain, but we also can't run out of God's grace.

Jesus experienced hardship and endured separation from God so that we don't have to.  There is a day coming when Jesus will redeem everything.
And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. - Revelation 21:4

God changed David's heart.  Is God changing your heart today?  

How long until you trust God?

How long will you live in rebellion?

How long until you surrender to Him?

Learn more about how to fully surrender to God through Jesus Christ here.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Psalm 2: Our Need for a King (Summer Playlist Series)

We have a natural yearning for a person a leadership in our lives.  Psalm 2 is a Biblical passage about a King so read that and then follow through with me as the following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon titled "We Need a King."

You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Our Need for a King

Psalm 2 is about Jesus, King Jesus.

We all desire a King.  From childhood, we enjoy stories and music about kings.  In the United States, we make people like celebrities and other high profile people kings.  Why do we do this?  We do it because we desire kings.

God says, "There is a King."  If we don't find a King, we will invent one.  Jesus should be the only King in our lives.

We all dislike the King.  We are a fickle people.  Our sinful hearts are stubborn.  We don't like authority.

Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. - Romans 8:7-8
If we desire salvation, we must recognize rebellion in our own hearts.  God will not be ignored.  We like to be our own authority but God says, "Be holy for I am holy."
Because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” - 1 Peter 1:16

We desperately need a King.  There is no refuge FROM the King.  There is only refuge IN the King.  Be wise.  Be warned.
Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; take warning, O judges of the earth. - Psalm 2:10
If HE is our King, we will obey Him, serve Him, and we will let go of bitterness and anger.

At this point in the video above, my pastor refers to a book by John Piper called Coronavirus and Christ.  You can find that resource here.

Coronavirus and Christ by John Piper
Coronavirus and Christ by John Piper is available here.

We can trust the King.

Joy is the flag that flies from the castle of my heart when the King is in residence there. (Original Source of Quote Unknown)

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Psalm 1 (Summer Playlist Series)

My pastor is taking us through a summer playlist series.  Today, his message is on Psalm 1.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish. - Psalm 1
The following are my Bible study notes based on my pastor's sermon.

You are invited to watch, listen, and worship with us here.

Psalm 1 is called the "Wisdom Psalm."  There are no commands in Psalm 1 but it mentions two paths:  the blessed path in verse 1 and the perish path in verse 6.

When it comes to our faith, we cannot compromise.  Compromise is sneaky.  It often happens so slowly over time that we don't even realize we are compromising.

At this point in my pastor's sermon, a song comes to mind, Slow Fade by Casting Crowns.  This song accurately shows how we can slowly compromise over time until we have lost our way completely.

Psalm 1 is about keeping a God-focus.  Verses 1-3 describe the Godly.  Verses 4-6 describe the ungodly.

The Godly life in verses 1-3 is not referring to a live without struggles but rather someone who desires to live in the will of God.

The ungodly is someone who pushes God out of his or her life.  This is not necessarily referring to a bad person, but someone who pushes away from God.

Sin starts small and then grows.  Refer back to the slow fade of compromise above.

We all sin, but the Godly will not stand or sit there in sin for long.  Once a person sits in sin, he or she might become too comfortable there.  Then, sin becomes a lifestyle.

Compromise begins small but then grows into a sinful beast.

Look at Psalm 1:2.  What are you delighting in?  Are you delighting in God's Word?  God's Word provides absolutes in a world where there are none.  Psalm 119 tells us that God's Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
They word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. - Psalm 119:105

The Bible shows us a meaningful view of life in a world lacking meaning.

The Bible tells us the truth in a world built on lies.

Are you building our life and faith on a foundation of rock or on a foundation of sand.

Do you delight in God's Word?

Meditate on God's Word so that it stays with you.  It's there in your mind when you need it.

Psalm 1:4 compares the ungodly life to chaff.  Chaff is the wasted part of grain.  The ungodly lack confidence.  Wickedness will have no confidence before God.  The ungodly path leads to death.

Stay on the path that leads to life, eternal life.  Learn more about how you can have eternal life here.


Verse of the Day from Bible Gateway