Reading the Scriptures Together - Week of June 24, 2018
Reading the Scriptures Together is a weekly post that is intended to serve as an extension of our Sunday Sermons. This reading plan is a compliment to the sermon, Psalm 40: A Proper Response to Deliverance.
Monday: Psalm 40
Take time to read the Psalm that we considered on Sunday. The notes from the message are available on our website. In Psalm 40 David recalls a time in his life when he needed to be rescued. He describes being stuck in a muddy pit. The pit is so high that he can’t reach the top and on his own he will never escape. But David cries out to God and is saved and Psalm 40 describes David’s response to this incredible deliverance. He responds with praise to God (vs. 1-5), with a commitment to obedience (vs. 6-8) and with a desire to tell others of God’s salvation and character (vs. 9-11). In verse 12 it becomes clear that David isn’t writing Psalm 40 from a place of comfort but that he has come to another point in which he needs God’s deliverance. However, because of his past deliverance he prays with confidence. As we read about David response to God’s deliverance we can use it as an example. The Scriptures teach that we are all born in a hopeless situation, cursed by sin, but for those who trust in God through Christ salvation is available – deliverance is available. For those who have been rescued the question becomes, how will we respond? We can learn from David’s example.
Tuesday: Revelation 5
In Psalm 40 David says that when God rescued him from the pit He gave him a new song to sing, a song of praise. Throughout the Scriptures there are references to ‘new songs’ and they are often sung in response to God’s salvation by those who have been saved. In Revelation 5 John tells us of time when a ‘new song’ is sung. In this chapter John describes a vision he has seen of things to come. In chapter 4 he describes standing in the throne room of God in Heaven and seeing saints and angels gathered around the throne of God. In chapter 5 he tells of a scroll, held by God and sealed with seven seals that no one could open (vs. 1-4), that is until the Lamb of God (Jesus) steps forward (vs. 5-7). As Jesus takes the scroll the saints and angels who are looking on are overcome with praise and they sing a ‘new song’ (vs. 8-9a). In verses 9b-14 the song is described and we read of those who are singing. The first singers are the angels and elders around the throne. Then we are told that there are thousands and thousands of angels singing along (vs. 11-12) and in time they are joined by every creature in heaven and earth (vs. 13). Just like David sings a song of praise for his deliverance one day all will see Jesus for who He is and sing praises. Until then those of us who know Him and have experienced His deliverance should be people of praise and worship.
Wednesday: Romans 12
In Psalm 40:6-8 David expresses his commitment to living a life of obedience to God. David recognizes that God hasn’t called him to mere religious conformity (sacrifices and offerings) but that God wants his heart. In Romans 12:1 Paul calls all believers to a similar commitment: While the Old Covenant was centered on animal sacrifices as believers in Christ we should give our whole selves as ‘living sacrifices.’ God has made salvation available in Christ and our response should be lives of obedience to the one who saved us. The rest of chapter 12 (and really the rest of the book of Romans) is a guide for how God wants us to live. As those who have been rescued we should long to honor God with our lives and Romans 12 helps us consider what that looks like. As you read consider your own heart: in what areas of your life is obedience difficult? Based on Romans 12 how should your understanding of the sacrifice of Christ and the mercy of God change your day-to-day responses to life and those around you?
Thursday: Hebrews 10
While Psalm 40 is written by David about his own life, the writer of Hebrews ascribes vs. 6-8 to Jesus. It is not uncommon for the authors of the New Testament to help us see how truths from Old Testament are more completely fulfilled in Jesus, and this is the case in Hebrews 10. In Psalm 40:6-8 David expresses his commitment to living a life of obedience to God but we also know he could never be obey perfectly. However, Jesus came and through His perfect obedience to the will of God made salvation possible. In addition, while the Old Covenant system of sacrifices and offerings was never able to provide lasting salvation (it was only a shadow), Jesus became the perfect and eternally sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all who believe (vs. 1-18). Verses 19-38 serve as an application section for the truths of vs. 1-18. Because we have been given access to God through Jesus and our sins have been forgiven our lives should be different. We should have confidence to draw near to God (19-23). We should be serious about our fellowship with the people of God (24-25) and we should strive to persevere in our faith until the end (26-39). This means we must fight passionately against sin and trust God in times of suffering and pain.
Friday: Psalm 46
Read Psalm 46 in preparation for our service on Sunday. As you read ask yourself these questions: What does this Psalm teach us about God? What does this Psalm teach us about ourselves? Also, take time to write down questions that you have about the Psalm, then come on Sunday and listen for answers to those questions.
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