Psalms (2)

Study Guide – Psalm 116:15-19

Psalm116-15-19

15 The Lord cares deeply
    when his loved ones die.
16 O Lord, I am your servant;
    yes, I am your servant, born into your household;
    you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people—
19 in the house of the Lord
    in the heart of Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord! NLT

 

How do you feel about a “loved one”? How would you feel if you lost a “loved one”? What would you be willing to do to stop this from happening?

 

Do you think God feels this way about you? Why or why not?

 

The first 14 verses of this psalm focused on God’s desire to answer our prayers. How does this relate to verses 15-16?

 

Look again at verse 16. How is God’s care for us related to God’s care for others?

 

 

In verses 17-19, describe each of the responses the writer of this psalm promises to give to God.

 

As you look back on your life, what times can you identify when God answered your prayers?

 

::::: APPLICATION CHALLENGE :::::

Because the writer of this psalm had experienced such reward through prayer, the writer of this psalm was driven to praise God. Take a moment to praise God for the answered prayers in your life.

Psalms (2)

Study Guide – Psalm 116:10-14

Psalm116-10-14

10 I believed in you, so I said,
    “I am deeply troubled, Lord.”
11 In my anxiety I cried out to you,
    “These people are all liars!”
12 What can I offer the Lord
    for all he has done for me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and praise the Lord’s name for saving me.
14 I will keep my promises to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people. NLT

 

Look at the first line of verse 10. What is profound about this comment?

 

Many people might say they are “believers” but they rarely stop to pray. What would be the impact of this sort of “faith” in their lives?

 

In the rest of verse 10 and 11, what does the writer of this psalm pray about? What kind of circumstance is occurring in his life?

 

The writer’s experience with prayer is life-changing. In verses 12-14, what significant impact has prayer had upon him?

 

::::: EQUIPPING CHALLENGE :::::

If you believe in the Lord, it would only be right to take time right now to pray to the Lord. Offer whatever is on your heart to God so that God may “bend down and listen” (v.2) and “answer” (v.1) your prayers.

FRESH (2)

NEW SITE!

FRESH (2)You might not notice or even care… but to me it’s a big deal. After blogging for eight years at Typepad, I’ve decided to migrate all of my content from Typepad to WordPress. That’s 1400 posts of bible studies, devotions, family activities, and even some really regrettable, stupid stuff. :) There is still much work to do, but I wanted to get it started. Please enjoy!!

Psalms (2)

Study Guide – Psalm 116:6-9

Psalm116-6-9

6 The Lord protects those of childlike faith;
    I was facing death, and he saved me.
7 Let my soul be at rest again,
    for the Lord has been good to me.
8 He has saved me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling.
9 And so I walk in the Lord’s presence
    as I live here on earth! NLT

 

Read verses 6-9. Through the difficult circumstances, what has the writer learned about faith?

 

Is a “childlike” faith naïve or immature… or is trusting and relational? From what this psalm teaches, how would you answer that question? Explain your thoughts.

 

In these verses, what childlike qualities do you find?

 

What would it look like for you to “walk in the Lord’s presence” today?

 

::::: EQUIPPING CHALLENGE :::::

How could you develop a more “childlike” faith? What attitudes and actions could you have in the next 24 hours to show a more trusting, relational faith?

Psalms (2)

Study Guide – Psalm 116:1-5

Psalm116-1-5

1 I love the Lord because he hears my voice
    and my prayer for mercy.
2 Because he bends down to listen,
    I will pray as long as I have breath!
3 Death wrapped its ropes around me;
    the terrors of the grave overtook me.
    I saw only trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    “Please, Lord, save me!”
5 How kind the Lord is! How good he is!
    So merciful, this God of ours! NLT

 

Can you relate to verse 1? Why or why not?

 

Verse 2 gives a picture to God’s desire to answer our prayers. What does this image reveal about the writer’s relationship with God?

 

Look at verses 3-5. Describe the extreme experiences the writer of this psalm has had. Also describe the extreme bond this has given him with God.

 

Do most people believe the Lord is “kind” or “good” or “merciful”? Why would you answer yes or no?

 

::::: EQUIPPING CHALLENGE :::::

If you were in a time of need, would you call out to the Lord? Starting right now, take the opportunities of trouble or concern that you have in the next 24 hours to pray… and to expect God to be kind, good and merciful in his answer.

Psalms (2)

Study Guide – Psalm 135:13-21

Psalm135-13-21

13 Your name, O Lord, endures forever;
    your fame, O Lord, is known to every generation.
14 For the Lord will give justice to his people
    and have compassion on his servants.

15 The idols of the nations are merely things of silver and gold,
    shaped by human hands.
16 They have mouths but cannot speak,
    and eyes but cannot see.
17 They have ears but cannot hear,
    and mouths but cannot breathe.
18 And those who make idols are just like them,
    as are all who trust in them.

19 O Israel, praise the Lord!
    O priests—descendants of Aaron—praise the Lord!
20 O Levites, praise the Lord!
    All you who fear the Lord, praise the Lord!
21 The Lord be praised from Zion,
    for he lives here in Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord! NLT

 

Considering the uncertaintly of our lives, what confidence for the future does verse 13 provide?

 

How does verse 14 support verse 13?

 

In verses 15-18, describe the reputation of idols compared to the fame of the Lord.

 

Look at verses 19-20. Who does this psalm say should praise the Lord? (see also verses 1-2) For what personal and community reasons would it important for those who serve the Lord to praise the Lord? What could happen in society if they failed to praise the Lord?

 

::::: APPLICATION CHALLENGE :::::

What could you do to praise the Lord throughout the day today?

 

Psalms (2)

Study Guide – Psalm 135:5-12

Psalm135-5-12

 

5 I know the greatness of the Lord—
that our Lord is greater than any other god.
6 The Lord does whatever pleases him
throughout all heaven and earth,
and on the seas and in their depths.
7 He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth.
He sends the lightning with the rain
and releases the wind from his storehouses.

8 He destroyed the firstborn in each Egyptian home,
both people and animals.
9 He performed miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt
against Pharaoh and all his people.
10 He struck down great nations
and slaughtered mighty kings—
11 Sihon king of the Amorites,
Og king of Bashan,
and all the kings of Canaan.
12 He gave their land as an inheritance,
a special possession to his people Israel. NLT

 

Look at verse 5. Do you know this? Explain your thoughts.

 

Look at verse 6. What gives the Lord the right to do whatever he pleases? What does “pleases” mean to God compared to what “pleases” us?

 

Read verses 7-12 and then look for the following:

  • Those things that positively support verses 5-6
  • Those things that harshly support verses 5-6

 

How do you reconcile the wondrous list of things God has done with the harsh things God has done? How can it all be “pleasing” to him?

 

::::: EQUIPPING CHALLENGE :::::

Examine the things on your heart, mind and hands. Which things in your life match what pleases the Lord and which things differ? Give some time in prayer towards aligning your will with God’s.

Psalms (2)

Study Guide – Psalm 135:1-4

Psalm135-1-4

 

1 Praise the Lord!

Praise the name of the Lord!
    Praise him, you who serve the Lord,
2 you who serve in the house of the Lord,
    in the courts of the house of our God.

3 Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good;
    celebrate his lovely name with music.
4 For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself,
    Israel for his own special treasure. NLT

 

Why is it important for those who serve to also praise the Lord? What could happen if they didn’t praise God?

 

In verse 3, what reason is given for praising the Lord? Do you find this to be a true statement? Why or why not?

 

How does music help us to celebrate the Lord?

 

From what you know of God’s plan through history, why is verse 4 a reason to praise God?

 

::::: APPLICATION CHALLENGE :::::

Before you complete this study, take a moment to put these verses into action by praising the Lord.

Reflections on Jesus-Centered Faith & Next Generation Ministry

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