08/03/2020: LIVE WITH THANKFULLNESS

Psalm 121 

 

A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.

 

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved

 

John 3:1-8, 16-17 

 

1 There was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”

Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

 

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.

 

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

1 THESSALONIANS 5:9-22

 

For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. 10 Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. 11 So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

 

Paul’s Final Advice

12 Dear brothers and sisters, honour those who are your leaders in the Lord’s work. They work hard among you and give you spiritual guidance. 13 Show them great respect and wholehearted love because of their work. And live peacefully with each other.

14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.

15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.

16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

19 Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. 20 Do not scoff at prophecies, 21 but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 22 Stay away from every kind of evil.

 

New Living Translation (NLT)

Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

 

QUESTIONS:

 

  1. How is your faith journey through Lent going? Have you “given something up” or have you “taken something on”; and how is this influencing your walk with the Lord? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. The book of Psalms is filled with songs and poetry all written to help the worshipper connect with God in every aspect of daily life. Do you have a song that helps to guide and direct your walk with the Lord? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

“Be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the [Creator] at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Eph. 5:18-20, NRSV).

 

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.” (Col 3:16, NRSV).

 

  1. Psalm 121: Take note of how many times the word “watches” or “keeps” appears in the Psalm. Think deeply about what the Psalmist is saying about God “watching over” you. What does this thought mean for you today? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. John 3: We can sing because we are “saved by Jesus”! Are you saved? If so, think back to when your journey with the Lord began – how did you begin to live a changed life with Jesus in your heart? If you are not saved, would you like to invite Jesus into your life? If so, invite him in and received the gift of a new life with the Father! What difference might living each day for Jesus make in your life? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

  1. 1 Thessalonians 5: The Apostle Paul instructs his congregation to be thankful in all circumstances for that is God’s will for all who belong to Jesus. What does this mean? Is it possible to live in this way? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

PRAYER EXERCISE FOR LENT:

Whatever your situation, good or bad; Selah [pause], take a slow breath in, breathe out, and then find something to thank God for in that moment! Look for His presence with you, recognise Him there, and then be thank-full. Pray with open hands, not tightly closed fists… pray with hands open to give to God, and hands open to receive from him; not with hands closed, not holding tightly on to what you have got, but hands open in sharing with God and with others. Thank+Fullness is the Life of Faith.

 

Have a blessed week,

Rev. Tim

 

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