Welcome to the Weekly Digest!
Below you will find resources to help you on your journey through the Book of Psalms. We've provided you with a reading plan for the upcoming week, journaling prompts, a weekly Spotify playlist, and ideas for prayer. Be sure to check in every week to see what we have for you next as we continue to enrich our journey through the Psalms.
Reading Plan April 3rd-April 30th
Psalms 116-120. Read and reflect on Psalm 107 in preparation for Sunday, May 1st's teaching. We will be taking a break for our Easter Series: The Mystery of Easter. You can download the reading guide for the entire Psalms series here.
Scripture memorization is an important discipline to introduce to our lives as a way to actively hide God's word in our heart. It allows us to not only internalize the text, but to share that truth with others more readily.
Memory Verses for April: Psalm 138:6-8
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. 8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
* A quick note on journaling: if you're new to this practice, our journey through the book of Psalms will be a great way to get started. The most important step to forming this discipline in your life is to write anything and write often. Journaling is an incredible way to slow down, digest the content of a text, let your brain internalize thoughts that may come up, and keep a record for future reflection on what God was speaking to you during your reading. Journaling can take many forms such as written prayers, bullet points, stream of consciousness, or even poetry. Try some different methods and find the one that works best for you.
Journal Prompts / Discussion Questions from Today's Teaching
A common thread throughout Book 4 of the Psalms has been the character and nature of God.
Take some time and write in your own words what you understand about the character and
nature of God.
Describe a moment where you felt like the Israelites and your back was against the sea and the
enemy was just over the horizon. How did you navigate that moment? Was it a moment to
doubt God’s character or a moment to recall His faithfulness?
What should this process of remembering and recalling be practiced in Egypt long before you get
to the Red Sea event of your life?
What does it mean to live in the flesh and live by the Spirit? Explain.
Now take a moment to apply grace to those times you’ve forgotten and failed to reflect on God.
Trust Him for forgiveness and strength to navigate those moments differently next time.
Journal Prompts / Discussion Questions for This Week's Reading
Question: This man had exhausted his personal resources—he could not help himself (“I am greatly afflicted”). He had, additionally, found that friends were either unable or unwilling to help him (“Everyone is a liar”). The only remaining recourse was God. And God, gracious and righteous and merciful, saved him. When was the last time you were put in a space of desperation? Who or what did you turn to and why? Prayer: “Jesus, my All in all Thou art: my rest in toil, my ease in pain, the healing of my broken heart, in war my peace, in loss “my gain, my smile beneath the tyrant’s frown, in shame my glory and my crown” (Charles Wesley, “Thou Hidden Source of Calm Repose”). Amen.” Psalm 117 Question: Here is a perfect concentration of meditation and response: all that God is to us (“steadfast love … faithfulness”) evokes all that we can be to him (“praise the LORD…extol him”). When was the last time you took a moment to meditate on a passage of scripture? Prayer: “Holy, holy, holy, the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.…You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:8,11). Amen.” Psalm 118 Question: When every incident in the experience of the people under God was discovered to be an exposition of God’s steadfast love, then every gathering of those people came to be an expression of gratitude. But the reality is we can so easily flow in and out of gratitude throughout the day. Can you identify the areas of life that seem to derail or choke out your heart of gratitude both gathering with the saints and in the rest of the week? Prayer: “The King of love my Shepherd is, whose goodness faileth never; I nothing lack if I am His and He is mine forever.…And so through all the length of days Thy goodness faileth never: Good Shepherd, may I sing Thy praise within Thy house forever” (Henry W. Baker, “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”). Amen.” Psalm 119 Question: The heart well-stocked with God’s word is like a well-armed arsenal. Confident in the strength of its weaponry, it is fearless in the face of attacks from without or insurrection from within. Have you set up a rhythm of memorizing scripture? If not, what are the challenges that are keeping you from this important rhythm? Prayer: “Thy word is like an armory, where soldiers may repair, and find for life’s long battle day all needful weapons there. O may I find my armor there: Thy Word my trusty sword, I’ll learn to fight with every foe the battle of the Lord” (Edwin Hodder, “Thy Word Is Like a Garden, Lord”). Amen.” Psalm 120 Question: When we are submerged in a culture swarming with lies and malice, we feel as if we are drowning in it: we can trust nothing we hear, depend on no one we meet. The longing for peace and truth sets us on a pilgrim search for wholeness in God. Take an assessment of your current environments at home, work, church, etc. Would you say you are predominantly influencing others for Christ or being the one influenced by the world? Prayer: God, in a world where more lies are told than truth, and where enmity is more common than peace, I thank you for your constancy and your fidelity. Give me the strength to be a peacemaker when those around me are scornful of your peace. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Merciful Lord, grant that my remembrance of your ways will lead me to a more trusting obedience, and grant that my obedience may improve my memory, so that I may not forget anything you have done for me or quarrel with any of your commands. Amen.