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 September 13th through September 18th
Psalms16-20. Read and reflect on Psalm 22 in preparation for Sunday's teaching. You can download the reading guide for the entire 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 September: Psalms 27:4-5 ESV
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.
5 For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
* 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
How has God spoken to you without words? The glory of God is a reality that cannot be transferred merely by words. Take a moment to describe in detail a place, a time where God’s glory was revealed to you without words.
What is the danger of only hearing God through His works alone? Can we become so lost in the handy work that we fail to focus on the artist? There must be a balance between the works of God and the words of God.
How does David describe, value, and reveal the purpose of the Word of God? To get you started. David says the Word of God is like a testimony, its value is perfect, and its purpose is to revive the soul.
The Law (Word of the Lord) is both revelation and legislation. According to David what is the greatest function of the Word of God in our life? Hint: It’s found in verse 7. What does David mean by “making wise the simple?” Do you consider yourself teachable?
Read and meditate on Proverbs 1:4 and Proverbs 2:11.
What should our response be to God’s works and God’s words? Through His works and words God opens us up and heals and cleanses us.
Incorporate Psalm 19:14 into you daily prayer time this week.
Journal Prompts for This Week's Reading
Overarching journaling challenge: Above every Psalm after reading it and journaling it, write your own title for every Psalm this week – think of the title as the Big Idea for the whole Psalm.
Consider the first two verses of Psalm 16 as David writes, “Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, “you are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.” As one commentator writes “David flees to God’s protection, with cheerful, believing confidence. David here has no doubt who God is as Lord of his life finding his full delight, hope, and security in the
LORD. Take some time in reflective prayer communing with God and ask the Spirit to search your heart to see where your delight, hope, and security is. Write down a list of as many reasons why God is deserving of our delight, hope, and security.
David mentions those who “run after other gods”. Idol worship was a massive problem during his day and age, and while we (most of us) do not have giant gold statues named Baal that we worship, we have idols and other gods that we place ahead of God at times. Write down some idols of your life that you have been working on or need to work on giving them to God. Then
reflect through journaling how your worship of those idols and gods have caused you to look more like them than Christ and how that has impacted your life and your relationships.
Did you know that often times in the Old Testament when the word “heart” is used it’s actually referring to the “gut” or “kidneys”. Journal about some times that you had a gut feeling about something while praying over a situation. The Holy Spirit can move you in those ways, and it’s important to reflect and pay attention to your physical response to people, circumstances, and
Psalm 17 points us to Christ as we see that David is saying that God will find “nothing” and that “His steps have held fast to your paths…” While David was a man after God’s own heart, he was far from perfect. His confidence in God’s covenant promise and working on his own heart should be a reflection of our confidence found in the work of Christ. Write down what you think God
would find if he tested your heart without Christ’s covering righteousness over you? We should never forget that the Father’s daily grace and the Son’s constant covering is needed for our life (humility), but that we can be confident in the righteousness imparted to us through faith in Christ (confidence). Take a moment to write a prayer of thanks for what God has done and is
doing in your life right now.
Journal you answer to this question: do you have David’s confidence in approaching God? David has this intimate, secure relationship with God that is reflected in his prayers. “Wondrously show your steadfast love” (v.7), “Keep me as the apple of your eye” (v.8), “Arise, O Lord! Confront him, subdue him!”(v.13). When I first read those lines, I was shocked because it can feel like David is almost commanding God! But he’s not commanding, he is just so confident in his relationship with God that he knows His heart, His promises, and His will. Can you approach God like this? Journal about how you have accepted and relate to the power you have in the Spirit and the authority you have been given by Jesus Christ to approach the Father in confidence.
Meditate on Psalm 17:15 for a moment. After all of this prayer, David comes back to where he has is complete satisfaction. It’s in his likeness. Take a moment to write down what you think that means to be “satisfied in God’s likeness”. David is saying he will be satisfied with the visible presence of God”. Where do you find our satisfaction? If not God, why do you struggle to be satisfied in Him?
Write out the story of how God saved you, but as you write, focus on what God was doing in each moment of your journey and how He was working not on what you were doing.
The Gospel, which is what is being laid out here in this Psalm, is what saves us. Too often we stop there and we think that’s all the Gospel does, and we forget that the Gospel is not just what saves us, but it is also what sanctifies us. Verses 31-45 focuses on the sanctification process of our journey. Reflect and Journal how God has grown you, equipped you, and transformed you with the truth of the Gospel since you have been saved.
This is a prayer that takes place on the eve of a battle where there would be a service of prayer and sacrifice for a victory in the coming days of battle. Verses 1-5 are those requests made by the priests that would be leading this “service”. Journal about a battle that you know you have to face – whether it is is daily battle, or one that you are in the middle of right now that is a
longer battle – and write down the outcomes and victories you hope for.
The latter part of this Psalm, specifically verses 6 through 9 is the King’s confident response to these petitions, but also to God’s saving work. Verse 7 is what stands out as the focal point as he responds with “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” When you get in the middle of a battle, what do you trust in? Where do you find your
comfort and rest? Throughout the course of our life, our trust in God will falter and we will have doubts as this is a part of our sanctifying and growing process – but we should never let those doubts turn into anything more. Reflect on the promises of God, if you don’t know any promise God has made or fulfilled, look up some of them and write down and commit to memory these
promises that the Father has made and fulfilled in Christ that provide the evidence that God is the only thing worthy enough, holy enough, and strong enough for us to place our trust in.
“I look at your creation, O God, and see inexhaustible evidence of your power to order and to make. I read your word and find a sure revelation of your will to save and to love. Both where I live and how I live are your work. Hallelujah! Amen.”