School Choice Report

One of our summer interns, Christian, doing a Bible study with some refugees.

An Educational Legacy

Louis and I have a huge passion for curriculum development, training, and education. Our parents were all involved in education, and my sister and I have both become teachers in school, and Louis in religion as a pastor. It is a huge piece of our hearts, culture, and family legacy.

Being in charge of the internship program here has been one way that we have been able to engage with that passion. Two of the interns we had this year (one of our summer interns is pictured above) are considering coming on staff with Horizons since returning home after their summer internship. Two others have gotten jobs working with refugees in California. We are so excited to be a part of something bearing fruit, and it also fills us with joy to be a part of their lives while they are here. When we return from the States we have three interns coming for an internship that will begin in February. This will continue to be a part of what we do moving forward, helping train and execute an internship program that is about learning to create your own personal ministry so that you can learn how to do ministry anywhere and with anyone.

Perhaps you are interested, or you know someone interested, in refugee work. Please consider coming to our center in Beirut. The work being done here is miraculous. People who have fought since the beginning of fighting are getting along in order to share the gospel. I also want to share the blog of our first intern who has since joined us on staff. She has beautiful stories of what we are doing here, and I would love for you to see! Her name is also Annie!

One of our summer interns, Michael, with some of the refugee children.

#lostgeneration

Unicef has put out several heart wrenching commercials alongside famous Hollywood stars sharing about the soon to be lost generation here. The war in Syria has gone on longer than five years now. This means there are children displaced, out of school, traumatized, whose lives have been interrupted for some to all of that five year period. When I was in training to be a teacher the stat they taught us was that if a kid moves, his parents get a divorce, or some other huge stress occurs in his life, that child will lose a year even if we work with him and he is present for class. Now compound that with the things these kids have seen, the immense trauma and strain and lives these children have already lived before the age of 10.

I refuse to believe this is a hopeless situation. War has happened before. People have been displaced before. And we have capabilities like never before. God is doing a new thing, and we know that He cares for the children in that.

This is an Arabic expression meaning Little by Little.

Louis and Annie

This is another one of those reports where we don’t have full clarity yet, but we want to share with you where our hearts are at. Part of the reason that we ended up putting Davy into school here was so that I would have more opportunity to go down to the center to tutor Ivan. In the future we hope that can remain a possibility. Our hearts are for the middle school and high school aged children. Opportunities are beginning to peek out like new buds on a flower, but we haven’t had a clear call.

Then, there is Kyrie Rebekah. She can start school here next year, at 2. Since she isn’t even talking yet, we are a little hesitant, but at the same time we are loving Davy’s school. Putting her in would help us get residencies and longer visas, but we are waiting on God to see His plan.

Finally, Annie. Me. I was told by God when pregnant with Davy to take five years to be a stay at home mom. Every year I try to bargain with God to see if He meant something different. This year was no different. As I have been helping Louis in more of a Personal Assistant role, I wanted to start to ask if I could get some benefits or have an actual HR role. God said no. I can volunteer. In my prayers this past week God was bringing to my mind the different steps He has asked me to take and told me that this next year I would be a student. Louis and I need another boost in Arabic, so we are planning on increasing our hours with our tutor.

WE CREATED APPOINTMENT SLOTS FOR MEETING WITH US FOR MEALS, EITHER TO HAND OFF A FREEZER MEAL FOR OUR FAMILY OR TO TAKE US OUT TO EAT DURING OUR TIME IN AMERICA. CLICK HERE. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FEED US, BUT CAN’T FIT THOSE TIMES, CONSIDER DONATING THAT MEAL AMOUNT TO OUR FUNDRAISER FOR KYRIE’S SURGERY OR MAILING IT TO OUR HOUSE.

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The Need for Senders on the Mission Field

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We are diving in this week by answering the first important question: Why? Why do we need to send missionaries to reach the lost around the world? Why does the church need to be part of the fabric of a missionary’s life? Why is important to support the mission when things are going well and when suffering abounds? It is by answering these questions that God called me overseas to begin ministry, but we need the answers to produce longevity and health to weather the storms of mission life.


The diagram from the book helps to outline a general timeline for the life of a missionary and has been a fairly accurate representation of our lives so far:


In order to better understand why we need help from our senders I want to share how you all have helped us so far. So we are going to focus on Departure through Clear Vision Regained (D-F).

The last two years have been tumultuous as many of you already know. Many Western missionaries have pre-established cultures of sending local missionaries overseas long term and short term. We were blessed with being surrounded by church communities that had a passion for community outreach and discipleship but had not yet fully developed a structure for supporting international partners. So after a year of support raising we were only half funded and by faith went trusting that God would provide no matter what. We just didn’t know all that “no matter what” entailed.

Over the last two years: We haven’t lived in one place for longer than 6 months and usually for no more than one, our electrical breakers blew up in Annie’s face, our water would shut off for days at a time, our internet will turn off for days at a time, Annie got pregnant that turned a 2 month trip into a 1 year trip, Kyrie was born with a rare unforeseeable non-genetic birth defect, we spent half the year on separate continents, the insurance cancelled Kyrie’s surgery three days before it was planned, and, oh yeah, the second day we came to Lebanon the first time, Davey stopped breathing for 5 minutes after a seizure and didn’t wake up for 6 hours.

So you could say that reality set in. In fact reality came like a tidal wave and crushed what was supposed to be the honeymoon period. Seeing as we spent our actual honeymoon leading a mission trip to Detroit, MI it seems fitting. The only reason we are still on the field and beginning to regain a clear vision for the future is because of our sending team.

When Annie was stuck in the states dozens of people gathered around her to care for her and throw her an unexpected baby shower (the only event in our lives we didn’t plan ourselves). When Davey went to the hospital, hundreds of people broke out in prayer for days and continued to Skype us through the worst days following. Over the last year we didn’t lose one supporter no matter how long the insurance company made us stay waiting for a surgery that would never happen. This is unheard of in many mission support communities.

We need you to help us. The ministry here depends on your help and support. Many of you have helped disciple us for years upon years. Our gratitude in ineffable and we are asking you to continue this love and affection even though we are far away.

Jesus frequently uses questions to help us understand His teachings. Each week we will have three questions for personal reflection. Use these to help guide and challenge your own personal application for the section.

  1. In what ways do you feel part of cross-cultural missions by being a sender of missionaries?
  1. Who are those in your church & community having to adapt to a new culture?
  1. How can you be Christ’s hands and feet in the lives of those who have been entered your church & community

If you missed last week’s Introduction Post CLICK HERE. Each Thursday we will post the next chapter for a total of 8 weeks of posting. CLICK HERE to purchase Serving as Senders from Amazon.

Serving as Senders Introduction


Over the next 8 weeks we will be walking through the book Serving as Senders by Neal Pirolo. We have found that many people on our sending team have been amazing at sending us to the mission field but were left asking, “What do we do now? How can we support the Lisses now that they are in Lebanon?” Each week we will be sharing stories and how we are personally in need of help from our local churches. If you have already purchased a book they are available in the church offices at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church and Streams in the Desert Lutheran Church. If you want a book they are available at these locations as well as available to be purchased at Amazon.com and for Kindle download. You can also follow this blog each week for practical applications.


Early in our marriage Annie would come home from teaching and I would usually be studying for class. She would politely ask me a question about my day and how seminary classes were going and I would answer congenially. She then went into the bedroom to shower and change for the evening. When she returned she would ask me a follow up question from before she left, and I would strain to remember what she was talking about. She then would ask, “Do remember what we were talking about?”

I had moved on in my mind and panicked to try and recall the simple exchange we had just had. Seeing the blank look I was giving her she continued to ask, “When I leave the room do you still think about me?” I was too young to understand that this quickly went from a harmless interchange to an emotionally charged snare that I was about to barrel into. I innocently shared that, “I am intently focused on you when we are together, and once you leave I give the same laser focus to whatever is in front of me then.”

My young bride obviously did not receive this with the same calm composure that I was trying to encourage. Instead she felt hurt. She shared that when she left in the morning she thought about what I would be doing that day. During the day she was thinking about what we would be doing when we reunited. When she came home she checked in with me and then began to reevaluate how my check in affected the plans for the evening.

I had to confess that I thought about her much the way that I think about most people: When they’re in front of me. Our challenge for this study is to be more like Annie and less like me. We are so blessed by everyone in the states when we are there but feel the void when we are overseas. Most missionaries update their supporters 2-4 times a year, but we have made a commitment to stay in contact every month so that we can build up community. We have tried to make this study as practical as possible with clear applications. If you have any thoughts or questions in the coming weeks please share them with us so this can be as interactive as possible.


Jesus frequently uses questions to help us understand His teachings. Each week we will have three questions for personal reflection. Use these to help guide and challenge your own personal application for the section.

  1. In what ways do you feel like you are already blessing those who serve cross-culturally?
  1. How has having a global view of God’s work affected your own walk with Christ?
  1. Who are people in your own church & community that would benefit from seeing what God is doing around the world as well as across the street?

Fresh Start for Arabic (by Annie)

Starting a New Habit

In planning goals for the year, several were written with the purpose of beginning them after our first visa trip. This gave me several months to focus on living life in Lebanon and being a mom. We just returned from our first visa trip for 2016, and I am taking the refreshment and rejuvenation and harnessing it into my word of the year: Discipline. I am not going to lose momentum, so even though I came back from London with an airplane cold I have started studying Arabic for 1 hour every day.

Learning the Language

I want to speak Arabic. When we attended MTI in 2014 we knew that we needed to have some serious internal motivators because there are so many ways to get away with not speaking Arabic here. Many missionaries who come never learn Arabic. However, we were called to come here and love the people as Jesus would. God knows my language and he knows their language, and I am going to learn the language. There are many challenges, and as I walk this language learning journey I hope to share some of them. However, the biggest challenge, and the one I am overcoming this week is ME.

This is not a goal that others are going to be pushing me to complete. If I don’t pay attention to the lesson or follow through, no one is going to be upset. Everyone in my life is encouraging and understanding and giving me grace. So it is up to me to be internally motivated. To remember the purpose of learning the heart language of these people.

I have to move from WANTING to learn Arabic to NEEDING to learn Arabic.

Baby Steps

The second battle within myself is that Louis is so far ahead of me. He is at a Conversational level and I am not even at a Survival level of Arabic yet. It is hard every time I study to realize how little I know. In spending time staring at how far ahead Louis is, I have not moved forward. It is time to Just Start. Learning a Language is much like Losing Weight. I know what to do, diet and exercise, so I have to do that, and then stay off the scale. Stop measuring and judging, just do the steps day by day.

Self Study

To start taking steps I took a critical look at my life for just the month of May and wrote a plan. I am going to study on my own for May. My main method of studying will be the Pimsleur Eastern Arabic course which I have been successfully following through with each day since returning from London.

The second aspect to the plan is that it is the 3rd thing to happen EVERY DAY.

  1. Wake up = (Get Dressed for the Day, Breakfast with Davy, Coffee)
  2. Memverse
  3. Arabic

This way there is no excuse, and it gets done every day.

Future Outlook

May

This blog is how I keep accountable for a lot of my goals, and to keep me reflective, so that I can see progress instead of beating myself up. Therefore, I will be adding Arabic to my weekly goals. We have our first interns coming tomorrow, and I will be completing the language assignments Louis gives them as well.

June

By June I would like to have 2 language helpers.

July

In July I will be calling our language teacher as well to see if she will have any openings once Davy starts school.

August/September

Review the plan and revamp based on Davy starting school in September.

 

The Update You’ve All Been Waiting For

    I will get right to the point and then share some personal thoughts afterwards so that you are not bound any longer by suspense. We had the consultation with the urologist for Kyrie. He agreed that the surgery is necessary, but due to the specific equipment needed and his availability:

The surgery has been scheduled for August 27th.

    I will try to anticipate all the follow up questions, but if after reading this you have more, please reply or comment. We really do want to let you know as much as possible to inform your prayers.

Is it possible to get in for the surgery sooner?

    Yes, we are the first on the cancellation list. There were quite a few recent cancellations, which means two things: 1) Cancellations happen a lot. 2) The upcoming appointments that had cancellations have been filled. Therefore, we have a little bit of time to wait.

What does this mean for plane tickets?

    We are waiting to purchase plane tickets for Kyrie and I until we have a more secure date. We want to do this right and we don’t want to purchase plane tickets until she has had her follow up visit and is cleared to leave the country by the doctor. There are options for purchasing cancelable tickets, but we are still exploring all of the options available and discussing it with our organization to determine the best plan for all of us. Louis and Davy have to leave Lebanon by August 18 for a visa trip, so those tickets are the first on our list of decisions.

What would be your estimated departure date based on this surgery date?

    From our internet research we have determined that the follow up visit is usually 2 weeks after the surgery. This would mean we could possibly leave sometime after the second week in September.

What are you going to do in this extended period of time here?

    So much of the past few weeks has been a period of waiting for this appointment that I really just feel that runner’s instinct in me, so I took the adrenaline and packed mostly everything we are planning on taking to Lebanon into my mom’s car and we came back up to Mesa. I am going to spend the next two weeks up here and we are going to pack all the items that are not clothes so that my bags are all ready at a moment’s notice. When the surgery happens and the follow up we want to be able to leave ASAP, so we are going to be ready. I have a few activities that I am looking to put on my calendar, but I want to live in this season and find the reason God has me here every day. I am keeping myself with people, and will be working on building routines that will help me thrive in this difficult time. I will gladly get coffee with people who would like to see Kyrie and I. I will also gladly let you watch her for an afternoon so I can go clothes shopping or something. In this time I want to allow people to help out instead of pretending I can continue to do it all on my own. I am being brave, but I am also very sad to be in this season. I hope to post a blog post on my Mommy Book Blog soon about what this season is meaning to me.

How are Davy and Louis doing?

    We are all very very sad, and the day after finding out about this Louis and I were depressed. Davy has been having panic attacks and night terrors, so is in need of prayer and love. They are keeping busy and building routines. I have begun recording the Bible chapters I am reading onto mp3 files for Louis to play Davy at night. We are also going to be picking more consistent Skype times so that Davy and Mommy can have some time together to read books, tell stories, and play. Davy gets to play with kids every time they go to the center, and the team we just had visit for a Vision Trip really got along well with Davy. This Saturday we have our first VBS team coming and I think that will be an exciting thing for Davy to attend as well.

This Friday Louis will be fasting and praying for discernment on which of the multiple options ahead are God’s plan for our family.

Please join with us in prayer for the many decisions ahead.

Psalm 41

I am terrible at finishing projects, but here is the final Psalm from our Psalm study, one month later.

Overview

    This Psalm shares that God will take care of those who take care of the poor, even healing that person when he is sick. David is begging God for forgiveness and protection from his enemies. His enemies are gossiping about him and hoping for his death. Even his close friend has turned from him and cast him out. Through all of this David knows that God is still providing for him and taking care of him, establishing him. He ends the Psalm and Book 1 of the Psalms by praising God.

Characters

    The Lord, the poor, David, enemies, his closest friend.

Key Verse

Verse 11 “By this I know that you delight in me: my enemy will not shout in triumph over me.”

Cross References

2 Samuel 15:25-26 “Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.””

Conclusion

    This Psalm was really hard for me. I read it the day I was supposed to post it back in August, but it was too painfully close to how I was feeling. The day before we had a conflict come up with someone upset at us from our team that completely blindsided me. I am still reeling I realize since I haven’t read any more in the Bible on my own since then. I have continued to read Davy’s devotional every night, and we have had several family church Sundays where we read the Bible and a study together as a family. But reading on my own in quiet time has hurt a lot. I have felt that my “enemies” are shouting victory, that the lack of resolution leaves me knowing they get to feel how they want, and I have to get over it. I just can’t seem to get over it. This was supposed to be people who care for us, and while not our closest friend, it has hurt badly because we have very few friends here. Losing that friendship, though it was shallow and small still, has been a huge loss to me.

    In addition to struggles with people on our team, I have been struggling with some internal issues as well, which I know have been made worse by my lack of Quiet Time. I have been reading a book that has been helping me look at some of my personal issues as well as our conflicts in a Biblical light, and that has provided the healing that allowed me to finally write this post. Once again, my eternal life is secure, and I have victory in Christ. But many times in the moment it only feels like I am beat up and left for dead by those who I expected to take care of me. Expectations vs. Reality all over again, an ongoing learning experience.

    But I do continue to praise God, and there are so many amazing things happening that I cannot live in this shame and sorrow. I must let God heal me along the way. And I must pray for those who have hurt me.

Jesus in the Psalm

    “Here David voices every person’s need for redeeming grace…Such experiences should drive us to David’s Greater Son, who came to provide holistic salvation.”*

Luke 4:17-19 “And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.””

James 5:15 “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

    This next quote from my commentary is exactly what I am struggling with, the brokenness of relationships here on earth:

“As image-bearers of a Trinitarian God, we were made to live in community. But sin has fragmented relationships. Christ, who suffered betrayal by a “close friend,” comes to the aid of the brokenhearted (Ps. 41:7-9; Heb. 2:17; John 13:18).”*

Hebrews 2:14-18 “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham. Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For because he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

John 13:18 “I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.'”

    “Jesus also redeems our emotions. Because God was pleased with his Son, he is pleased with those who are united to him (Matt. 3:17; 17:5). Living in that pleasure enabled Christ to persevere through his mission to save, and it motivates us to obey the Lord with confidence that he will vindicate us (Luke 1:71; 10:19; Heb. 10:13).

Matthew 3:16-17 “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.””

Matthew 17:5-8 “He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the dsiciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.”

Luke 1:71 “that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;”

Luke 10:19-20 “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.””

Hebrews 10:12-13 “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.”

Feel Free to Press Unsubscribe if you are finished with the Blog Bible Study. I may post more studies in the future, but I have no current plans.

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

To see the other posts in this study CLICK HERE

Psalm 40

Well, we are almost to the end of Book 1 of Psalms. Psalm 41 is the last one, in fact. I will be focusing in on Romans, and as Louis gets better maybe we can do more than one each week, but I hope this Psalms study has helped you build a daily habit of Bible reading.

Next Week: Psalm 41 & Romans 8

Overview

This Psalm shares about the relationship between David and God. He waits patiently on the Lord and God responds to him. God gives him sturdy ground and deliverance, even teaching him the Psalms that he writes. Because of God’s salvation, many turn to God. And God grants that same relationship to all who turn to him, blessing them and hearing when they call. God does not need sacrifice from us, but to have us delight in following Him wholeheartedly. We must share the gospel of Jesus Christ without holding back, without hiding it in our own hearts. God will not keep his mercy and love from us. When we pray that others will fall who try to harm us, it is in knowing that God should be known by all who know us. If we merely pray curses on others without living lives that share the gospel, we are not fulfilling God’s will. Instead, as we share God’ salvation and love in our lives, others who may have been those who would have harmed us can turn to God. If not, then God will deal with them. We can seek God, with full trust in His speedy help in times of need, and that He is never far away, and always knows what is happening with our lives.

Characters

David—the Psalmist, the Lord, the man who puts his trust in the Lord, the proud, the great congregation, those who seek to snatch my life away, those who delight in my hurt

Key Verse

Verse 9    “I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation; behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.”

Cross References

Psalm 22:25 “From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him.”

Psalm 119:13 “With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.”

Acts 20:18-21, 26-27 “And when they came to him, he said to them: “You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ…Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”

Joshua 22:22 “”The Mighty One, God, the Lord! The Mighty One, God, the Lord! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith against the Lord, do not spare us today”

Conclusion

    God is all knowing, and He sees the motives of our heart. Because Jesus died for us, we now have forgiveness. Before Jesus our sins would have weighed on us like David’s, never fully being erased. We are so blessed to seek and trust the Lord. We can’t help but tell everyone of His goodness as we strive to become closer to Him.

Jesus in the Psalm

“Throughout history, Christians have viewed the Psalter ultimately as a collection of Christ’s prayers. The way this psalm occurs in the New Testament reinforces that conviction. In fact, Hebrews 10:5-7 quotes Psalm 40:6-7 and attributes the words to Christ.”*

Hebrews 10:5-7 “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'””

“With this perspective, the psalm also provides insight into our Redeemer’s earthly experience, which melts our hearts and shapes our service for him. The opening stanza can also be used to describe Christ being delivered from the “miry bog” of death and raised to “set [his] feet” upon a “rock” of God’s provision (vv. 1-2). From that place, our risen King empowers our worship (v. 3; cf. Heb. 2:12) and enables us to work “wondrous deeds” (Ps. 40:5; cf. John 14:12). As an obedient Son, Jesus humbled himself to save the world his Father loved (Ps. 40:6-8). Jesus the Prophet taught God’s “love” and “faithfulness” (Ps. 40:9-10; cf. John 17:8, 14).”*

Hebrews 2:10-12 “For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.””

John 14:12 “”Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.”

John 17:8, 14 “For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me…I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”

“Believers should read through this psalm first with the effort to make it their own prayer. Then we should read it again with the comfort that, because Christ prayed it perfectly, he can enable his disciples where our faith is weak.”*

Monday: Last Psalm of is Book 1, Psalm 41

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

To receive this Bible Study in your email CLICK HERE

To see the other posts in this study CLICK HERE

Psalm 39

Sorry again to be skipping Romans, but I thought it would be better to post a Psalm than nothing at all. Louis is too sick to do the Bible Study with me, his stomach bug turned into a chest cold from being in front of the fan so much. Please be praying for all three of us to be healthy. We have a kids’ day camp at the center this weekend that we will be helping out at.

Overview

    David continues to lament over the punishment for his sin. He tries to stay silent, waiting on the Lord, but he burned inside until he had to speak. He asks God to remind him of how fleeting he is, and then does remember. He shares about how the Lord holds our lives and it is nothing as compared with the length of God’s life. Mankind is merely a breath, we have no control over even the legacy we leave behind. He again asks the Lord to deliver him from these consequences of his sin, that he might not be scorned by fools. The punishment of God consumes, and reminds me of the fire that will burn away all our impurities. David seeks the Lord to listen and bring peace, to turn his punishment away. He is reminded that he is merely a sojourner here and that he and all before him are guests on Earth, which I think is a great visual.

    I can relate to this situation. I know that I messed up and have to handle the consequences, but it is hard to suffer, even when we deserve it. So, I cry out again asking God to save me. And God listens. In our consequences for sin we can draw near to Him. He does not stand far off watching, but is right there with us. By seeking forgiveness we are back in relationship with Him, stronger than ever.

Characters

David—the Psalmist, the Lord, all mankind, the fool, my fathers

Key Verse

Verse 12 “”Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry; hold not your peace at my tears! For I am a sojourner with you, a guest, like all my fathers.”

Cross References

Psalm 102:1 “Hear my prayer, O Lord; let my cry come to you!”

Psalm 119:19 “I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me!”

Leviticus 25:23 “”The land shall not be sold in perpetuity, for the land is mine. For you are strangers and sojourners with me.”

1 Chronicles 29:15 “For we are strangers before you and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding.”

Hebrews 11:13-16 “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.”

1 Peter 2:11-12 “Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”

Genesis 47:9 “And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourning are 130 years. Few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.””

Conclusion

    Just as Jesus, we do not have a place to lay our heads here. There is something more our hearts long for, Heaven. And that legacy we want to build up is to draw others toward God as well. How sad to only have this earth and what you do here and store up here be your legacy. We want the eternal things. This makes it even more necessary to live godly lives so that we can be a light to those around us. Many look at Christians as fools, mock them, persecute them, etc. As the 1 Peter verse says, in the end we want them to be forced to glorify God because we were living right lives before them, even though they mocked. This is much of what David talks about suffering, too, the wounds of those who wrongfully accuse.

Jesus in the Psalm

    “Psalm 39 is the cry of one who suddenly feels the futility and shortness of his own time on earth. Indeed, the fall in Genesis 3 did introduce a futility and frustration into our earthly lives. In the gospel, however, we are promised that this earthly life is not all we have. Rather, those united to Christ stand to inherit the entire world (Matt. 5:5; 25:34; 1 Cor. 3:21). Here and now, we are “sojourners,” strangers (Ps. 39:12). But it will not always be so.”*

Genesis 3:16-23 “To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken.”

Matthew 5:3,5, 8-10 “”Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…”Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth…”Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 25:34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”

1 Corinthians 3:21-23 “So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”

Tomorrow: Psalm 40

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

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Psalm 38

Overview

David wrote this Psalm for the memorial offering. David is feeling the conviction from God for his sins and asking for mercy. He expresses how devastated he is by his sins, and how others are avoiding him as well. He is seeking God in this time, longing for Him. People are still against him, but he has become numb to all of it, unresponsive, or perhaps passive is a good description as David waits on the Lord. David says he is ready for his discipline, since living with his sin is destroying him. There are still those who are against him wrongfully and despise his pursuit of righteousness. So, he continues to seek God as his salvation.

Characters

David—the Psalmist, the Lord, my foes

Key Verse

Verse 3-4 “There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities have gone over my head; like a heavy burden, they are too heavy for me.”

Cross References

Isaiah 1:5-6 “Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is no soundness in it, but bruises and sores and raw wounds; they are not pressed out or bound up or softened with oil.”

Psalm 31:10 “For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away.”

Psalm 40:12 “For evils have encompassed me beyond number; my iniquities have overtaken me, and I cannot see; they are more than the hairs of my head; my heart fails me.”

Ezra 9:6 “saying: “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.”

Conclusion

Our sin is destructive to our souls, to people around us, and, of course, to our relationship with God. We are so blessed to be taken care of by God in such a way that He forgives us so quickly, that we can turn to Him with our iniquities immediately, and He will deliver and heal us. We, like David may need to have some discipline, some consequences, but those consequences are worth it to return to a right relationship with God.

Jesus in the Psalm

“This is an explicit confession of personal sin against God (vv. 1, 3, 18). The Lord had to discipline David before he could smell the stench of his sin, feel the agony of his iniquity, suffer the shame of his guilt, and realize the numbness of his spiritual senses (vv. 5-12; Luke 23:49; Rom. 6:21). God’s discipline of a believer is meant to soften the heart and ultimately restore fellowship. When we are in the midst of divine discipline, we are called to wait on the Lord (Ps. 38:15).”*

Luke 23:49 [The Death of Jesus] “And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.”

Romans 6:21 “But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.”

Tomorrow: Romans 8

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

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To see the other posts in this study CLICK HERE

Psalm 37

Overview

    Again we are reminded not to be concerned with those who do evil, God will take care of them. He will take care of us, too. This Psalm shares in many ways that God watches over those who love Him and follow Him. Even if the wicked single you out to destroy, they can’t. Now, before you give me a, “But…”. I could give you plenty of Buts. God is in charge. Even when two of our friends were mugged and much of their stuff stolen in Africa a few months ago, God still has a plan for them, a purpose, a calling. And their souls were preserved. Their bodies were injured, their faith may have even been jarred, but both of those wonderful ladies fell back on God, clung to His deliverance. And in the end, God preserves our lives eternally. Those men who robbed my friends may not end up in Heaven with us, and that is the real justice, damnation. And we have escaped it by accepting our need for a Savior and then pursuing Him as He fills our hearts. Throughout the Psalm are also sprinkled advice on how to act in righteousness.

Characters

David—the Psalmist, evildoers, wrongdoers, the Lord, those who wait for the Lord, wicked, righteous, blameless, those blessed by the Lord, those cursed by the Lord, his saints, the upright, man of peace, transgressors

Key Verse

Verses 25-26 “I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. He is ever lending generously, and his children become a blessing.”

Cross References

Psalm 109:10 “May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit!” [David again praying for justice against those who plot against him]

Job 15:20, 23 “The wicked man writhes in pain all his days, through all the years that are laid up for the ruthless…He wanders abroad for bread saying, ‘Where is it?’ He knows that a day of darkness is ready at his hand”

Psalm 112:5-9 “It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His hear is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor.”

Deuteronomy 15:7-11 “”If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake. For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.'”

Matthew 5:42 “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”

Luke 6:35-36 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

Conclusion

    Guard your hearts from pride and greed that may keep us from showing how very different God desires us to be from the rest of the world. Some who claim to follow God are really out for violence and destruction. Yet, our Lord says in the face of all that, to wait on Him. Hard as it may seem, and to live out the life He called us to. Lives of service for Him, sharing about Him at all times and circumstances.

Jesus in the Psalm

“Despite the temporary success of “evildoers,” dependence on God will bring eternal reward (vv. 1-2, 7-11). Rather than “fretting,” David prescribes meekness just as Jesus did in the third beatitude (v. 22; Matt. 5:5; James 1:20; Rom. 12:21). While the New Testament speaks only occasionally of meekness (e.g., Gal. 5:22-23; Col. 3:12; 1 Pet. 3:15; James 1:21), this psalm is nearly encyclopedic. Meekness is strength from trust in a sovereign God, and David imagines the first step to be rolling his burdens onto the Lord (Ps. 37:5).”*

Matthew 5:5 “”Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”

James 1:19-21 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let everyone be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.”

Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Colossians 3:12-13 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

1 Peter 3:15 “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”

Tomorrow: Psalm 38

*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Psalm section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please leave a comment to share them with us.

To receive this Bible Study in your email CLICK HERE

To see the other posts in this study CLICK HERE