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Back to School with James

When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word.

What a glory He sheds on our way!

While we do His good will, He abides with us still

And with all who will trust and obey.

Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.

The words of this great, old hymn remind us about what our relationship with Jesus is all about.  He calls us to trust Him completely.  Why?  Because He knows us completely.

He also calls us to obey Him completely.  Through the book of James, He has spoken to us.  Let’s remember His words:

  • Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.
  • My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.
  • In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
  • Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
  • Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.
  • Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.

James tells us “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.

Our memory verse, James 1:25, told us not to forget what we have heard.  If we do it we will be blessed.

One thing that will help us to obey the Lord is the truth that His eyes are on us.  This Sunday we will be looking into Psalm 139.  I look forward to worshipping the Lord with you.

Let us praise His name together!

Pastor Mike

 

STEPS TO PREPARE

PRAY FOR THE SERVICES AND FOR YOURSELF
AND ME AND THE OTHER TEACHERS.

PRAYERFULLY READ THE SCRIPTURES
AND CONSIDER THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS.

MAKE PLANS TO ATTEND A PREACHING SERVICE AND A SMALL GROUP.

INVITE SOMEONE TO COME WITH YOU.

PREPARING FOR SUNDAY: SMALL GROUP QUESTIONS

SERMON DISCUSSION GUIDE PSALM 139

ICEBREAKER:  Who would you say knew you “the best” growing up?

QUESTION:  What does it take to really get to know a person?  Have you ever had someone know you better than you know yourself?  Who knows you best now?

OPEN:  Share something this group does not know about you.

READ: PSALM 139:1-6

QUESTION:  What does this tell us about God? Omniscient – all knowing.  He knows.

QUESTION:  What does God know based on these verses?  Do you believe we ever truly know ourselves completely?

QUESTION:  How do you feel about God’s total knowledge of you? Do these verses make you feel uncomfortable or bring you comfort? Do you feel restricted or protected by this?

QUESTION:  What are some advantages of God knowing everything about you? He knows you and likes and loves you anyway. God knows our needs and provides just what we need at just the right time.  How could this be a source of motivation in your life?

READ:  PSALM 139:7-12

QUESTION:  Why do you think David transitions into this series of questions?  Pondering how he would be able to get away from so much exposure, maybe both positively and negatively.  He sees it as wonderful but is considering fleeing.

QUESTION:  Even though we cannot “get away” from God, what do we do to sometimes hold Him at a distance?

QUESTION:  Based on verses 1-12, what else is integral to intimate relationships?  Presence is needed.  What is the theological term for this?  Omnipresence.

QUESTION:  What does that look like? Remember God is Spirit.  He is Near. He is with you. He is pursuing you.

READ:  PSALM 139:13-16

QUESTION: Since God made us and is all-knowing and ever-present, what is the logical conclusion?  We are carefully (fearfully) and wonderfully made because He designed and did it. God purposed you.

QUESTION:  What words are used to describe God’s work and artistry in making us?

QUESTION:  What makes this difficult to accept?  Why do we sometimes fight this truth?

QUESTION:  What happens when we don’t accept this as true?  What are we saying to God if we deny it?  We deny Him as creator, good, and having perfect intentions. NOTE: (If verses 19-22 come up, although they were not addressed in the sermon, ask:  Why do you think David has such negative feelings about those who reject God and these truths?  What does he immediately shift his thoughts to after that?)

READ: PSALM 139:23-24

QUESTION:  How does David respond in light of God knowing, being, and creating him?  He surrenders.  He is vulnerable. He wants to be lead.

QUESTION:  What is the last key relational principle we see here? Vulnerability wins in relationships.

QUESTION:  How/when do you find yourself hiding your true self from God?  What would it look like for you to live openly before God? When don’t want to change or deal with it. To regularly examine your thought life and your actions asking Him for input without fear.

QUESTION:  What is the by-product of admitting you were wrong and asking for forgiveness?  Relief. Freedom  Why is it so hard to do that?

QUESTION:  How could you develop a more consistent sense of God’s unshakable presence in your life? How could the prayer in verses 23-24 be helpful in this?

HOMEWORK:  Highlight that verse in your Bible and pray it every day.

Mike Stavig

Music and Educational Pastor - Click Here for full profile

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