Reading the Scriptures Together: Week of May 20, 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 30: Great Deliverance Leads to Great Praise.

Monday: Psalm 30

Take time to read the Psalm that we considered on Sunday. The notes from the message are available on our website. As you read here are some questions you can ask yourself: How often do you think about your need to be rescued? Are you confident in your own efforts to please God or do you recognize your need for a deliverer? As someone who has been rescued, is your heart regularly drawn to gratitude and praise or have you taken for granted your need for a Savior and what God did to make your salvation possible? If you are in a time of suffering, how confident are you in the promise that joy will come? The hope we have is that suffering is purposeful and temporary; do you trust that God is faithful to you even in suffering?

Tuesday: Luke 7:18-49

The big idea that we considered from Psalm 30 is that those who recognize the depth of their deliverance will be people of great praise. David was very aware of his sin and of how desperately he needed to be saved. When God showed mercy and rescued him David’s response was praise and a call for others to do the same. In Luke 7 we have a similar situation – a woman who is very aware of her sin and her need for mercy. As she comes to Jesus she is overcome with emotion because she knows how desperately she needs Him. She shows her love and gratitude through washing and anointing His feet. Jesus points to her as an example: She is a woman of great love and worship because she knows her need for deliverance and trusts that Jesus can be her deliverer. If your love and praise for God is lukewarm it is likely because you have forgotten how desperately you need Him and the price that He has paid to save you.

Wednesday: Isaiah 54

In Psalm 30 we were reminded of the discipline of God and His mercy. God has made it clear that He will use circumstances in our lives to encourage repentance and growth (Psalm 30:6-7; Hebrews 12:3-11). In Isaiah 54 we have the Word of God to the nation of Israel explaining both His discipline and His faithfulness to His promises. As the chapter begins God reminds His people of how, for a time, He has set them aside and ‘deserted’ them for the purpose of discipline. As a nation they are like a barren woman, but God will keep His promise of making her fruitful (vs. 1-3). They are like a bride who has been abandoned by her husband (vs. 4-6) but God will be faithful to His vows and promises (vs. 7-8). Just like God poured out His wrath in the days of Noah but was faithful to His children, the same will continue to be true (vs. 9-10). He has always been faithful and He will fulfill his promises to His people (vs. 11-17). As we read this account it should remind us of both the justice and mercy of God. His love for His children is never failing, and even His discipline is a reminder of His relentless love.

Thursday: John 16

In Psalm 30 we have the clear reminder of the reality of suffering; in this life there will be times of weeping and mourning, however we also have the reminder that joy is coming. The joy of God is available to us in this life (even in the midst of suffering), but our great hope is the future joy that is prepared for us in eternity. While there will be times of significant pain throughout our time on earth, we also have the promise that suffering is temporary. Morning will come; God will turn our mourning into dancing. As Jesus prepared to go to the cross and ultimately return to Heaven He left this promise to His disciples: you will suffer for a time, but eternal joy is coming. Like a mother who suffers the pains of childbirth but then rejoices at the birth of her child, we too will suffer, but our suffering will be outweighed by our future joy (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

Friday: Psalm 32

Read Psalm 32 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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