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 May 15th - May 21st
Psalms 131-135. Read and reflect on Psalm 139 in preparation for Sunday, May 22nd's teaching. 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 May: Psalm 139:23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
* 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
What is your perception of God? After reading Psalm 136 how has it changed your perception
How is the understanding of God being good foundational to our relationship with Him?
In your own words what does the names of God used in the first three verses of Psalm 136
mean to you? Jehovah. Elohim. Adonai.
After understanding the “steadfast love of God that endures forever” how does that change the
way in which you love and show mercy to others?
Journal Prompts / Discussion Questions for This Week's Reading
QUESTION: An infant, noisy with hunger needs, is indifferent to talk and impatient with diversions, but is quickly quieted when put to the mother’s breast. As infants are weaned they are more and more able to simply be with the mother, not just get from the mother. Would you say that as you continue your journey with God that you find yourself more satisfied in His presence or less? Why?
PRAYER: How many times, dear God, have I gone to the pretentious words of people or to the promising diversions of the world to have my needs met? I am learning by your grace simply to come to you in quietness and faith, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
QUESTION: Worship, which begins by making resolves and offering petitions (w. 1–10), concludes by receiving promises. We bring our moral best to the Lord, determined to “do something” for him, and then find that our zeal pales in insignificance before God’s word to us. It is God who has something great to do for us, not we for him. In your own words. describe the relationship between "being" and "doing" as a disciple of Jesus.
PRAYER: “All your promises, God, reverberate through my soul—your blessing, your satisfactions, your salvation, your joy, your glory. I praise you for what you bring to me in Jesus Christ and worship in triumph. Amen.”
QUESTION: Glistening oil running down Aaron’s beard and refreshing dew from the cool northern mountains are two pictures (the first of how it looks, the second of how it feels) of a community in which men and women find themselves forgiven by God and open in love to each other. Where do you see glimpses of this community at Hope? In what ways could you be a part of creating this culture?
PRAYER: Father, break down every barrier that my sin builds between me and others: barriers of envy, of pride, of inadequacy, of scorn. Then let me see and feel the pleasures of sharing the inner delights of forgiveness and grace with the others whom you are gathering into your family. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
QUESTION: “he people arrive at the place of worship and the cry goes out: “Come, bless the Lord!” Would some forget why they had come and spend their time socializing or trading? Would others suppose that the pilgrimage was its own reward and settle back, waiting for others to carry on the acts of worship? The song cues the blessing and the call of all believers and that is to magnify the Lord.
This can be looked at as a lifestyle, private and corporate worship. Which area do you find yourself more comfortable with? Where do you need to grow?
PRAYER: “Bless, O my soul! the living God; call home thy thoughts that rove abroad; let all the powers within me join in work and worship so divine…. Let the whole earth His power confess, let the whole earth adore His grace; the Gentile with the Jew shall join in work and worship so divine” (Isaac Watts, “Bless, O My Soul! The Living God”). Amen.”
QUESTION: The praising mind moves from the stuff of creation to the data of history. God is not only magnificent in what he has made, he is tremendous in what he does; he has made a glorious world and he acts out a stirring salvation. Looking back through your family line, how have you seen God's hands cultivating a heritage to you and yours? PRAYER: “Thank you, O God, for giving me a splendid world in which to live and for living in that world with me; for providing this place for living and then entering the process of living itself; for being both Creator and Savior to me, in Jesus Christ. Amen.”
At the very moment, Lord, when I think all is lost, that there is nothing to be done, that defeat is total, show me the way of resurrection whereby you can bring new life, new song and new hope. In my Babylonian moods keep the vision of Jerusalem alive in my heart and teach me new songs of praise. Amen.