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A loving big God!

Scripture Union http://www.wordlive.org

Text: Prepare

 

This psalm starts in praise. Praise is when we express our admiration to God for who he is. What do you want to praise God for this day?

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Bible passage: Bible passage: Psalm 138

 

Psalm 138

 

A psalm of David.

 1  Lord, I will praise you with all my heart.

      In front of those who think they are gods

      I will sing praise to you.

 2  I will bow down facing your holy temple.

      I will praise your name,

      because you are loving and faithful.

   You have honored your name and your word

      more than anything else.

 3  When I called out to you, you answered me.

      You made me strong and brave.

 4  Lord, may all of the kings on earth praise you

      when they hear about what you have promised.

 5  Lord, may they sing about what you have done,

      because your glory is great.

 6  The Lord is in heaven. But he watches over those who are free of pride.

      He knows those who are proud and stays far away from them.

 7  Trouble is all around me,

      but you keep me alive.

   You reach out your hand to put a stop to the anger of my enemies.

      With your powerful right hand you save me.

 8  Lord, you will do everything you have planned for me.

      Lord, your faithful love continues forever.

      You have done so much for us. Don't stop now. 

 

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Text: Explore the Bible

 

God is God 

David begins by praising God for his love and faithfulness (vs 1,2). He acknowledges that God is God - he is greater than any king and his love endures for ever. Yet even while recognising the power and authority of the living God, he rejoices that God has not abandoned or forgotten his creation (v 6).  

This psalm is reminding us that God is God, yet he cares for and loves his people. We are not alone. No struggle is too big for the living God to respond to (v 3). No storm is too rough for the Lord to reach us (v 7). No person is too small for God to see them (v 6).  

Unchanging faithfulness 

The almighty God - the one worthy of praise - is the one who listens, vindicates, sees and knows who we are!  

What are you facing at this moment? Whatever your circumstances, you can trust in a God who does not change. If you knew his love and faithfulness yesterday, then you can be sure (whether you feel it or not) that he is loving and faithful today!

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Text: Respond

Come before the Lord with those struggles and joys that you are facing, and ask him to reveal more of himself to you in this moment.  Vicky Kowarick

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Text: Deeper Bible study

 

David engages in wholehearted praise, not restricted to private devotions or even to 'church' (assemblies of God's people). He is happy to engage in public expressions of thanks to God before the powers ('gods', v 1, probably indicates spiritual beings). He does so without embarrassment. God is part of public discourse, someone whom worldly authorities should join in praising (v 4). Alistair Campbell, the Labour spin doctor, famously said of the Tony Blair government, 'We don't do God' (Daily Telegraph, 4 May 2003). David would not comprehend such a denial. 

David praises out of experience as well as knowledge. He knows that the Lord is 'holy' and dwells in a 'temple' (v 2) - stressing his uniqueness and his distance. He knows that God's name is supreme (Isaiah 42:8) and that his word carries final authority and creative power (vs 2b,4). He has validated this in his personal encounter with the Lord. God has answered his prayers and protected and preserved him (vs 3,7). In his head he knows his people's history, telling of God's love and faithfulness (v 2). He has proved this true himself (v 3). We know from elsewhere that God's love to him, as one of the 'lowly' (v 6), was a cause for genuine amazement (2 Samuel 7:18-29). That childlike wonder at God's love and blessing must never diminish. 

Being a believer carries with it trust in the character of God alongside an ongoing commitment of faith. David finishes the psalm by asserting God's unfailing love, while immediately calling for him not to abandon his work (v 8). These are not contradictory. The prayer of faith only makes sense because of the God whose love endures. God looks for our ongoing, open-hearted trust. 

Andy Bathgate

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Text: Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year. Today's readings are:

 

Ezekiel 46,47

 

1 John 3

 

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