Fostering Thankfulness: In Change & Injustice: Psalm 107:33-43

November 27th, 2017

Fostering Thankfulness: In Change & Injustice

Psalm 107:33-43

 

The Homeless Brought Home (v. 33-38)

  • The psalmist turns his attention to those who have been uprooted from their homes
  • The land has stop producing good things (v. 33-34)
    • Because of the evil deeds of some who live there

      • And everyone is affected
    • However, God’s plan for them is not simply upheaval
      • But rather to bring them to someplace better (v. 35-38)
    • We often fear change
      • Because we fear the unknown
      • But, we are called to trust God in the unknown
        • Because it is not unknown to Him

 

The Righter of Wrongs (v. 39-43)

  • The psalmist reflects on how those who have abused their authority will be humbled
  • And how those who have been humble will be raised up
  • This is a reflection of God’s justice
    • This is not always something that happens here and now (see Matt. 5:2-12)

      • We need to have a long-term view of God’s work in the world
      • “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

The Wisdom of Thankfulness (v. 43)

  • We must learn to trust Him even when our lives our in upheaval

    • Because though our lives change, our God is unchanging

      • He is our certainty in uncertain times
    • Because He uses these situations to change us
      • To helps us learn to trust Him better
      • To conform our character to that of Christ’s (Rom. 8:28-32)
    • In everything, God is for us
      • He uses hardships to mold us and refine us (Rom. 5:3-5)

 

So What?

  • Can we be thankful in the face of change and injustice?

    • Trusting God is working for the good to transform us & redeem the suffering

 

Meditation Verse: Psalm 107:43

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Loving Well: Quality Time, Various Texts

November 24th, 2017

Loving Well: Quality Time

Various Texts

Quality Time

  • Time spent in giving another person one's undivided attention in order to strengthen a relationship

    • It is about being present
    • Including being a good listener
  • Don’t confuse quantity with quality

 

God as the Lover

  • God is shown throughout Scripture spending time with people

    • Adam & Eve (Gen. 3:8a)

      • It was only after they sinned that they hid from God (Gen. 3:8b)
    • Abraham is called “friend of God” and they spoke together often (Gen. 8:17ff, 2 Chron. 20:7; Jas. 2:23)
    • As was Moses, spending time in His presence (Ex. 33:11)
    • The Tabernacle is often called the Tent of Meeting because it was where Israel would come to be with God
    • Overwhelmingly, Scripture speaks to God’s desire to be near His people (Ps. 34:18; 145:17-18)

 

Our Response of Love

  • As God desires to be near to us, we need to desire to be near to Him (Ps. 73:28; Isa. 55:6)
  • One the best ways to do this is through Quiet Times
    • Time spent in prayer and the Bible alone
    • Giving God our undivided attention

 

Loving One Another

  • Make time together a priority

    • For couples: Dates, devotions, prayer, daily face time
    • For families: Family game night, devotions, prayer, dates with your kids
    • For friends: studies, prayer, fun together
  • Being present when we are together
    • Face time over screen time
  • As a Church when we gathered together, Jesus promises to be in our midst (Matt 18:20)
    • Worship: Coming before God together (Col. 3:16)
    • Fellowship: Small or large events together (Heb. 10:24-25)
    • Hospitality: Inviting people into our homes (Rom. 12:13; 1 Pet. 4:9)
  • It is about doing life together

 

Loving Our Community

  • Being available to others
  • Be a good listener
  • Support community events with our presence

 

Know Yourself to Love Other Better

  • God is the master Lover who loves in ways that connects with us
  • We are allowed to experience God as He made us
    • And we are not going to always thrive in giving and receiving love in each of these ways
  • We must strike a balance between speaking our own language well
    • While being stretched to speak others’ language too

 

So What?

  • Are we loving through how we use our time?

    • Making others a priority in our schedules
    • Giving others our undivided attention

 

Meditation Verse: Hebrews 10:24-25

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Fostering Thankfulness: In Sickness. Psalm 107:17-22

November 13th, 2017

Fostering Thankfulness: In Sickness

Psalm 107:17-22

 

A Theology of Suffering (v. 17-18)

  • The psalmist turns his attention to those who suffer physical affliction or illness

    • Here connected to disobedience to God
  • Scripture does NOT teach that all afflictions or illness is a direct result of personal sin
  • Sometimes it is the result of living in a fallen world
  • Sometimes it so that God’s purposes might be fulfilled (John 9:3; 11:4)
    • Either personally or on a bigger scale
    • Like in Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’ (2 Cor. 12:7-10)
  • Sometimes God doesn’t provide a clear reason
    • Like with Job (Rom. 11:33)

 

The Great Physician (v. 19-20)

  • Regardless of the reason for the affliction or illness, our response should be the same

    • To call out to God
  • He is able to heal us
    • Though our healing is not always physical
  • And He promises to be with us through our suffering (Ps. 41:3)
    • He promises to never leave us nor forsake us (See Deut. 31:6, 8; Josh. 1:5;1Kgs. 8:57; 1 Chron. 28:20; Heb. 13:5)

 

The Praise of the Restored (v. 21-22)

  • We are called to thank God for His work of restoration in us

    • Both physically and spiritually
  • And share His work in us with other
  • Understanding that often times of suffering can draw us near to Him
    • And though we might not understand the reasons
    • He is still working for our good! (Rom. 8:28)

 

So What?

  • Can we thank God as we suffer?

    • Trusting Him to work things out for our good and His purpose

 

Meditation Verse: Psalm 107:20

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Fostering Thankfulness: In Chains Psalm 107:10-16

November 6th, 2017

Fostering Thankfulness: In Chains

Psalm 107:10-16

 

Imprisoned by Our Mistakes (v. 10-12)

  • The psalmist points to those who have been imprisoned

    • Not wrongfully
    • But, because of their own sinful activity
  • This is not simply a reference to those who have committed crimes and are in jail
    • It refers to all who suffer under the consequence of their mistakes
  • Have you felt shackled by your mistakes?
    • The past can haunt and define us if we let it
  • At times this imprisonment can be from God
    • As a means of both discipline and protection
  • And sometimes we can get stuck in a prison of our own making

 

The Breaker of Chains (v. 13-14)

  • The good news is that God wants to set us free from this imprisonment (Luke 4:18-19)
  • And this freedom comes from knowing the truth (John 8:31a-32)
  • All we need to do is call on Him for help
  • And this freedom comes from knowing the truth
  • This doesn’t always mean that the temporal consequences go away
    • But rather, that God can redeem our past

      • Using it for good

 

The Thankfulness of the Forgiven (v. 15-16)

  • We are called to thank God because He can break every chain

    • And redeem our pasts!

 

So What?

  • Are we imprisoned by our mistakes?
  • We can call on Jesus to set us free!
  • And praise Him for redeeming our pasts!

 

Meditation Verse: Psalm 107:14

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