28 JULY 13
(You can find a recording of this sermon here.)
This Touching Base is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching is discussed outside of the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build healthy community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.
Heart Conversations with God is a series designed to help you engage with the Psalms in your personal God talk. The Psalms were integral to Jewish worship – they reminded them of their national history, explored the wide scope of human emotion, and expanded their theology of the God who called them. They are a rich resource for us today.
Our Big Idea from Psalm 92 this week was that “Life rooted in the character of Yahweh yields lasting rewards. Life rooted in senselessness will yield destruction.”
We discussed that obtaining the character of God does not start with work, it starts with being in God’s presence! This week, as you take time to be in the presence of God, I encourage you to meditate and pray through Psalm 92.
What time of day is it right now? This may seem simplistic but if it’s morning follow Part A, if it’s later in the day follow Part B. After doing Part A or B, move on to Part C.
Declare to the Lord His lovingkindness (v.2). Does a praise song or a hymn come to mind? If you’re musically-inclined, play it for the Lord. If you are not musically-inclined, think about the words, and declare them out loud (v. 3-4)
How has God been faithful to you today? Take a pen and paper and write down the things that the Lord provided for you today and the places and moments where He made his presence known to you (v.2). Think about how this makes you feel and write down these emotions as well.
Out of all the character attributes of God listed from the Psalm below, which one does your heart gravitate to right now?
- The Lord’s lovingkindness (v.2)
- The Lord’s faithfulness (v.2)
- The Lord’s great works (creation, redemption and wrath) (v.4-5)
- The Lord’s has deep thoughts (v.5)
- The Lord is on High (v.8)
- The Lord has planted righteous people (v.12)
- There is no unrighteousness in God (v.15)
- The Lord is our rock (v.16)
As you think about these attributes of God, has your character measured up lately? Take a few moments to think about the last few hours and to apologize for any area where you have fallen short of God’s character.
Ask God to grant you deeper character, to continue to grow your character until your character is like “the palm trees” and “the cedars of Lebanon” (v.11). Thank God that His love and His blessings flow to us so richly. Think about what it would be like to have God anoint you with “fresh oil” (v.10). Pray that you would bear fruit in old age and that your presence among others today would be fresh and flourishing (v.14).
Now, move on and pray for friends, family and neighbors who are far from God, yet seem to spring up like grass (v.7). What is it that they need to come to faith in God and to come to an understanding that their lives are headed for destruction (v.7)? Pray that the Lord would give you opportunities to express His love and character to them. Pray also for enemies of the gospel, that the Lord would scatter their work (v.9) (consider referring to 30 Days of Prayer for the Muslim World booklet which was offered at Bethel earlier in the month).
Lord we thank You that You are our rock and that there is no unrighteousness in You (v.15). Would you please root our lives in Your character and remind us today of the things we do that are senseless and which can lead to destruction. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
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