The Mission Field

Psalms 129:2-3
“Many a time they have afflicted me from my youth;
Yet they have not prevailed against me.
The plowers plowed on my back;
They made their furrows long.”


The psalmist describes himself in a most vivid and horrifying manner. He states that his condition is as though the beasts of burden have veered off course and turned the plow back on the farmer. I do not know much about farming but I can imagine that to be an extremely painful experience. The cause of this dilemma was not wrong doing on the part of the author but rather he was being mistreated because of his association. We might say he was guilty by association. Those who were coming down hard upon him were doing so because they were angry at God or at the demands that His law placed upon them. This is a very common occurrence. Jesus told His followers they should expect to be mistreated simply because they have elected to follow Christ and bear His name.

LJohn 15:20
Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

One of the great challenges for the child of God is how to combat the retaliation we experience because we follow Christ. It is tempting for us to view those who oppose Christ as the enemy. Perhaps a better way is to see them as the mission field. In the early years of the church, believers faced intense opposition much of which was being driven by a man named Saul. He seemed to most as the enemy, but Jesus had a different viewpoint. He saw what Saul would become if he encountered the gospel message. While many were hiding from Saul’s threats, Jesus was pursuing Saul. It was an encounter with the risen Savior that changed Saul and brought salvation to countless others.

If you feel as though the plow is on your back because you love, follow and share Christ with others, keep in mind that the opposition is actually aimed at Jesus and through your faithfulness we might all see another Saul get saved.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 129

  1. In the moment we sometimes feel defeated but in the bigger picture God shows His righteousness. How can keep challenges of our lives in perspective?
  2. Verse 8 is a great memory verse…….bless you in the name of the Lord!

Old Testament:
2 Chronicles 3- Established
2 Chronicles 4- House Of God

Psalm 130- Accusations

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Why Worry ?

Psalm 127:2
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.”

The Psalmist is describing a scenario common to all of us. There are times, when the hand life deals us is difficult to cope with; sleep is affected, and our minds are tormented. There are many terms that describe this condition, but perhaps the most common is worry. One dictionary defines worry as, “to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; to fret.” I think that is a pretty apt description of worrying; to torment yourself. When we lay in bed unable to sleep, or rise up to pace the floor, filling our minds with what-ifs and worse case scenarios, we are really tormenting ourselves. It is as if we are waterboarding ourselves, and wondering why we are suffering so greatly. The question is not whether we will face things that fill us with dread, concern and anxiety, the question is how we will react. What is the proper response for the child of God when he is faced with things bigger than himself?

“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.”First, notice that Solomon declares that worry is vain. The word vain means empty. In his other writings, he defined vanity as attempting to grab a handful of wind. Imagine the folly of taking a handful of cool air and placing it in your pocket for later in the day when the temperature rises. In the same way, it is foolish to worry, because it is an empty endeavor. Worry cannot produce anything positive. Jesus put it like this, “Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?” (Matthew 6:27) Worry will never produce growth. It will produce a deeper level of anxiety, making us irritable, incapable of performing our responsibilities, and can even produce negative physical effects, like an ulcer. Life often throws things at us that fill us with worry, yet worry has no positive value in our lives. How should we handle those times when we are filled to the top with anxiety?

Again Solomon declares, “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.” The wonderful truth for us to grasp, is that the Lord will give rest to His children. We experience this rest when we realize that the things we are facing, while much too big for us, are never too much for Him. Our life is like a walled city, and the Lord is our watchman. Nothing gets in that He has not allowed. He is able to use even the gravest of circumstances to produce His desired effects within the child of God.

Instead of filling your mind with the things that create anxiety, fill your minds with the promises of God, and enjoy the rest that only He provides.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 127

  1. The bible speaks often about the importance of diligence and hard work (Proverbs 10:4, 12:24, 13:4, and 21:5).  However in verse 1 of this psalm we see an important balancing truth regarding our labors and effort.  What is that?
  2. In verse 2 we read some important truths regarding rest and overworking.  Do you feel like you overwork and that you must?  What does the scripture say regarding that?  Read Matt 11:28.
  3. Verses 3-5 tell us some wonderful truths about children.  Although sometimes children can be difficult, and we are not always thankful for them, what is the reality from God’s point of view regarding children?

Old Testament:
Psalm 128- Family 101
2 Chronicles 1- Slip Sliding
2 Chronicles 2- Heavy Lifting

Cannot Be Moved

Psalms 125:1
“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.”

4,000 years ago Abraham was instructed to take his son to Mount Zion and offer him to the Lord. 2,800 years ago David purchased the threshing floor of Ornan on top of Mount Zion so his son Solomon could erect a permanent house for the Ark and a place for Israel to worship. 2,000 years on that same mountain the son of God was sacrificed for the sins of all mankind as a means of providing salvation for anyone who would humble themselves and call upon the name of the Lord. And today countless people from all over the world make pilgrimages to mount Zion to reflect upon these events and so many more. Millions of visitors, thousands of storms, hundreds of wars and mount Zion has yet to be moved.

The psalmist boldly declares that those who trust in the Lord will be just like mount Zion. Although time passes and difficulties come, those who trust in the Lord will be as unmovable as mighty mount Zion. Not only will our lives be unshakable but they will one day have a testimony to share with all who are willing to take a look. That testimony will declare the faithfulness of the Lord regardless of our failures or the tragedies and triumphs of life.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 125

  1. What is true of the one who trusts in the Lord?
  2. How does it encourage you to know that the Lord surrounds his people?
  3. What will happen to those who stray?

Old Testament:
Psalm 126- Sowing In Tears
1 Chronicles 28- Looking Ahead
1 Chronicles 29- Investment

Free From Sin

Psalm 123:1-2
“Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He has mercy on us.”

The Psalmist compares the way he looks to the Lord, to the way a servant looks to a master. If we are going to understand the comparison, we need to consider how a servant would look to a master. It seems to me, one word would describe it best. A servant looks to his master obediently. The role of the servant is to do the will of the master, and in order to do that, he must look to the master for instruction and respond with obedience. The servant does not have the right to argue with the master, nor the time to complain about how unfair his task, in light of what the other servants are doing. The servant obeys.

The Psalmist is not the only Bible writer to compare himself to a servant. One of Paul’s favorite terms to describe himself was servant. I imagine that if you and I were attending our high school reunion, we would not brag to others, that after years of education, we had become servants. What is it that caused these men to be so thrilled, even honored, by the idea of being servants of the Lord? I think it has something to do with freedom.

The Psalmist understood it was God who had set Israel free. Their history was marked with bondage. They had been the slaves of Egypt, sitting under the threat of death, while being ruled by a harsh task master. They watched as the Egyptians beat their friends, and attempted to kill their children. They also watched, as God came to the rescue; overcoming the impossible and delivering them from the hand of their harsh task master. Later, Israel, again and again ,found themselves in bondage to their enemies. Throughout their history, their desire to be like the world around them, and their compromise with sin, led them into bondage. Time, and time again, they would compromise and fall, and God would intervene and rescue.

Paul understood that the same is true for the Christian. While we might not be the slaves of an Egyptian king, we are no less enslaved. When writing to the Romans, Paul declared, “Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? But God be thanked, that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.” Romans 6:16-18

Prior to coming to Christ, each of us was a slave of sin. As a result, we were missing out on the abundant life God intended for us to live, and we were on the fast track to eternal separation from God. On Calvary’s cross, freedom from sin was secured. Christ made the way for us to be set free from sin, and become the servant of righteousness. The celebration, of being a servant, is found in understanding that we were never free; we were once the slave of sin and death, and now we have become the slave of a holy and loving God, who desires the best for His children. The highest place you can ever attain in life, is that of a servant of Christ. Take some time right now to look to your Master. You will see His unfailing love and matchless grace. You will see his nail pierced hands and his unlimited power. You will see His ways are so much higher than your ways; and you will find, as you follow obediently after Him, you will experience life to the fullest.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 123

  1. How does a servant look to his master?
  2. What does that teach you about how to look to the Lord?
  3. Why does a soul serving the Lord need mercy?

Old Testament:
Psalm 124- One Size Fits All
1 Chronicles 26- Small Things
1 Chronicles 27- Behind The Scenes

Sticks And Stones

Psalms 120:4
“Sharp arrows of the warrior,
With coals of the broom tree!”

I grew up hearing “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” I am quite certain that those who shared that sentiment with me were trying to help, but I also learned at a rather young age that it simply wasn’t true. Wounds caused by sticks and stones tend to mend both quickly and completely leaving little if any scars. The wounds caused by unkind, abusive or slanderous words have a tendency to linger and sometimes affect us for a lifetime. When it comes to the sharp arrows of the tongue there are a few things we need to keep in mind.

First off, it is important to remember that our words will have an impact on others. If we speak kind, uplifting and challenging words we will find our relationships enhanced and see others develop into healthy individuals. If we speak harsh, bitter, angry and demeaning words we will find that the spirit of others is drastically and negatively impacted. This is particularly true in marriage and child rearing. The words we speak can be like arrows that destroy the lives we are seeking to help.

Secondly, if you have been negatively shaped by the harsh words of others it is important to remember that there is grace for that. You may carry insecurities because growing up you heard things that caused you to think you would never measure up. As real as those insecurities and their impact upon you actions might be we can take comfort in knowing that God is always able to provide what is lacking. Instead of being crippled by them we can look to the one who will provide the Spirit of Christ Jesus and find that we are more than able to succeed even with all our shortcomings.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 120

Psalms 120-134 are called the “Psalms of Ascent.” As the children of Israel would travel to Jerusalem to celebrate the various feasts, they would sing these Psalms as they approached Jerusalem.

  1. This psalm is a cry for relief from the enemies of Israel. What is the Lord’s response to their cry?

Old Testament:
Psalm 121- Lift Up My Eyes
Psalm 122- Come With Me
1 Chronicles 24- Raising Leaders
1 Chronicles 25- God Speaks


Psalm 119:5-6
“Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all Your commandments”

The devil is crafty and a master of deception. Paul referred to him as an angel of light, because of his ability to disguise himself in order to fool the Christian.

When we are first introduced to him in the garden,  we watch as he tricks Eve into thinking the one thing that her loving God has forbidden, is of more value than all the fruit of the garden or the freedom she has been given. He has been deceiving people ever since, fooling us into thinking the ways of God are too restrictive and that sin will satisfy us. Once he has convinced us to walk outside the boundaries of God’s Word and get involved in that which is forbidden, his job is only half done. Instead of leaving us alone and moving on to deceive another, he turns his weapons back on us and begins an assault of shame. His fiery arrows begin to assault our minds with shame. We are defeated by the sin we have committed, and continue in defeat as we wallow in shame and guilt. We are repulsed by our failure, and instead of entering boldly into the throne of grace, where mercy and grace flow from our loving Father, we cower back with feelings of unworthiness. We question how God could love us and fear that we will never overcome the weaknesses of our flesh. There, in our miry clay, the devil holds us bound in shame and guilt; keeping us from abundant life or from impacting others for the kingdom of Heaven.

I want to assure you, that if you have received the pardon of sin that Christ offers on Calvary’s Cross, ALL your sins have been washed away. The blood of Christ is rich enough to pardon the sin that you have stumbled back into. Right this moment, receive that pardon and rise from the ashes of your failure to walk in the victory that is yours in Christ.

That being said, the Psalmist speaks here of one of the greatest ways to avoid pitfalls of the devil and ending up overcome with shame.

Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all Your commandments.”

The key to avoiding the pitfalls of the enemy, is walking in the right direction, and staying in bounds. The key to remaining on track, is allowing the Word of God to shine continually upon your life and guide your steps. One of the ways we fail, is when we come to a crossroad and find ourselves face to face with temptation. On the one hand, we are being greatly pressed to step outside the boundaries and pursue what we know God has forbidden, while on the other hand, we desire to please Him and do what is right. Right there, in the midst of the battle, we will find great strength from the perfect Law of liberty. Like a valiant soldier, as we reach into the sheath, removing the Sword of the Spirit, we will find the enemy is vanquished with the power of the Word. Later, in times of confusion, when we are not sure what the way of the Lord is, we can find guidance that keeps us on track. Have you ever, when facing decision time or great temptation, taken a moment to search for what the Scripture has to say? Using an online concordance, you can look into the statutes of God regarding the situation you are facing. The light of the Word will shine in your life, and you will find the help you need to avoid falling again into shame.

Let’s be sure, today, to allow our steps to be directed by His statutes.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 119

Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is divided up into 22 sections with 8 verses in each section. Each section starts with the letters in the Hebrew alphabet. It is said that Hebrew children learned the alphabet by learning this psalm.

The psalm is about the word of God and the benefits of studying God’s word.


  1. Blessed are……do we seek to be obedient to the Lord in all that we do?
  2. 5 says “O that my ways were directed.” I am so grateful that the Lord does not force us to follow Him. That He shows us His grace and mercy always. In what areas of your life is the Lord drawing you closer to Him?


  1. What do you see here about the importance of God’s word in our day to day life?
  2. Notice throughout this psalm that praise and rejoicing are hand in hand with being obedient. Do you look at God’s word with joy and gladness or rules and regulations?


  1. Have you ever asked God to see “wondrous things”?
  2. Testimony- A solemn declaration or affirmation made for the purpose of establishing or proving some fact. God’s testimonies are a delight. God’s testimonies are lives changed by the Holy Spirit. What is God changing in your heart? Let Him in and be His delight!


  1. Revive me according to your word. For you shall enlarge my heart! What does this mean to you?


  1. Sometime we study/read God’s word and feel like it is too much or over our heads. Here the psalmist is asking for understanding so that he can keep God’s law. Have you asked God for understanding of His word? Read John 14:26
  2. The psalmist also asks God to establish His word. Read 1 Thessalonians 3:13


  1. Verse 42, I will trust in Your word.
    1. Trust- Confidence; reliance or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship or other sound principle of another person.

He that puts his trust in the Lord shall be safe. Proverbs 28:25.

  1. Verse 44, so shall I keep Your law continually. How often do we feel like we fail at following the Lord and being obedient? Remember, God knows as we step up to the plate that we do not plan or want to strike out but sometimes we do. God is cheering you on! Read 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2
  2. Verse 46, I will speak of Your testimonies….and not be ashamed. Sometimes we feel intimidated or scared. Read Isaiah 41:10


  1. God’s word gives us hope. Is your hope in His word or in what He does for you?
  2. God’s word gives us life. Read Psalm 34:8


  1. We are encouraged here to think about all that the Lord has done and turn to God without haste. List the benefits that the Lord has brought into your life since you gave your heart to Him.
  2. The earth is full of God’s mercies. What does this mean to you?


  1. God deals with us according to His word. Everyone is offered the same opportunity. Psalm 55:16
  2. How often do we quote verse 71 in our lives? Getting God’s perspective changes everything. How has God changed the way you look at your life?


  1. How awesome is verse 1? Meditate on this for a moment and ask God for more of His understanding. How would this verse conflict with the teaching of evolution?
  2. Hoping in God’s word. What has the Lord shown you this morning that gives you hope in His word?
  3. What is the promise of God’s tender mercies?


  1. Our flesh will fail us often, but our hope in God’s word will revive us. What can you do to strengthen your hope in God’s word?
  2. Memorize verse 88


  1. What is the promise of delighting in God’s word?
  2. What is the promise of never forgetting God’s precepts?


  1. What does the meditation of God’s word bring to our lives?
  2. God’s word is referred to here as “sweeter than honey.” Have you ever thought about God’s word in this way?


  1. Being guided by a lamp in the darkness is an interesting way to walk. We cannot see that far ahead, and the light is just enough to show us where to take the next step. We have to trust that we are on the right path and that we will end up in the planned destination. Where are you walking? What is your destination? Are you on your path or the Lords?
  2. Verse 101 tells us that traps (snares) are set to get us off track or stop our walk. What protects us from these traps?


  1. What does “double-minded” mean to you? Are you double-minded in any area of your life? Read James 1:8
  2. More benefits of trusting in the Lord. Verses 116-117, what are they?
  3. Being obedient to the Lord because of our love for Him is a wonderful relationship. We are not robots, God allows us to choose. What does verse 118 say to those “stray” from the Lord?


  1. Of all of our failures listed, the psalmist asks God to deal with us according to His mercies. We have read that God’s mercies endure forever. God has made it so simple for us. Read 1 John 1:9
  2. We see the humility of the psalmist in verse 125. Take time to confess your sin and ask God for His forgiveness.


Father, I pray that you refresh me God’s word. That it brings light, gives understanding so that my soul longs for Jesus. That my mouth thirsts for You. I pray Your word directs my steps and that iniquity does not have dominion over me. Redeem me Lord; make Your face to shine upon me. Teach me your statutes. May my heart be broken and bring tears to my eyes for the people that do not know You. In Jesus name, Amen.


  1. Looking around our world today we see all kinds of perceptions of what is right. It is a peaceful thought to know that God is righteous. Everyone is equal and has the same opportunity to have a relationship with Him. Do you have a relationship with Jesus?
  2. Verse 144, what is our benefit for having a relationship with the Lord?


  1. Crying out to the Lord is a humbling experience and sometimes a bit of whining. Notice how the cry turns back to the focus on God’s word. Verse 148 says, “My eyes are awake…that I may meditate on Your word. Take time to purpose in your heart that when the cares of life press in, turn to God’s word.


  1. Revive me is repeated here 3 times. May the Lord speak to you in the deepest areas of your heart and revive you today!
  2. Revive– To return to life; to recover life. To recover new life or vigor; to be reanimated after depression. To recover from a state of neglect, oblivion, obscurity or depression.


  1. Great peace! Do you have great peace? I pray today after studying this chapter you will see the Lord for how much He loves you! That God does have a plan and purpose for your life. His word is here to protect you and that you will be revived and fall in love with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!


  1. What do you see here as the psalmist cry’s before the Lord that is different from verses 145-152?
  2. Sometimes we ask for the Lords help only when we have messed things up. In verse 173 what is the psalmist asking for?
  3. Did you know that God seeks for you when you go astray? Read Hebrews 7:25

Short But Sweet

Psalm 117
“Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His merciful kindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord!”

It is not always the longest, or even the most creative works, that become the most well known. I am not a poet, and cannot speak to the artistic side of things, but I doubt whether any poem is as well known as “Roses are red and violets are blue…” Sometimes, the simplicity of things is exactly what is most needed. In a songbook filled with some of the most elaborate and beautiful expressions of praise, we find a simple song, consisting of only two short verses. It is the brevity of this song that magnifies its content. We find the Psalmist emphasizing two things that make God worthy of the praise of all the nations. He states, God is kind, and His word is true.

Perhaps, rather than going into great detail to explain these things, it might do us good to simply put  the teaching of this psalm into practice. Take some time to express thanks to God for His merciful kindness. If you need to confess things you are doing wrong, then go for it, and allow Him to wash away all your sin. Then decide that you are going to forever view His Word as the truth, and live by its statutes.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 117

  1. Isn’t it interesting that this 2 verse psalm says “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles”?
  2. God’s heart is that all come to know Him. Read 1 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Old Testament:
Psalm 118- Killer Bees
1 Chronicles 22- The Word Of God Is Greater
1 Chronicles 23- Everyday

In His Image

Psalm 115:8
“Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them.”

I remember being in a cultural anthropology class in college, when the professor said, “the Bible says man was created in the image of God, but I believe God was created in the image of man.” While I totally disagree with his rejection of Biblical truth, I do agree, that man has been creating gods in his image since the beginning of time. We like to pretend we are a more evolved and sophisticated race than our ancestors, but the reality is, mankind has not changed. We are still creating gods in our image. Whenever we pick and choose verses we like, and reject the ones that make us uncomfortable, we are creating God in our own image. The Psalmist speaks of the folly of that, when he declares;

Psalm 115:8 “Those who make them are like them; so is everyone who trusts in them.”

When we reduce the God of the Bible to the creation of our own mind, we create an impotent god who is unable to save from sin, or help in our times of weakness. Again, the Psalmist declares about their gods,

“They have mouths, but they do not speak; Eyes they have, but they do not see; They have ears, but they do not hear; Noses they have, but they do not smell; They have hands, but they do not handle; Feet they have, but they do not walk; Nor do they mutter through their throat.” Psalm 115:5-7

Not only are man-made gods unable to aid in times of trouble, but those who fashion them become like them. One of the great values of following closely after Jesus, is that we in turn, become like Him. Instead of being reduced from the purpose for which we were created, as we follow Jesus, we are transformed. Walking daily with Him, will result in our lives being transformed into His image, and we will be able to live up to the potential for which we were created.

Instead of rejecting God because there are things about Him you do not understand, or have a hard time believing, why not submit to Him, and allow Him to reveal Himself to you? If He is not real, what have you really lost? But if He is, you will find that your life is transformed and you will begin to experience what Jesus called “living waters,” welling up in you like a fountain of life.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 115

  1. In verse 1, notice because of God’s mercy and truth that His Name gets the Glory not the nation. Sometimes we ask God to glorify His Name with something we want to accomplish. When He answers your prayer and you get the attention, do you give God the credit?
  2. Verses 4-8 deals with idol worship. They created images shaped by their own hands. Today we still create idols in our life. An idol is something we love more than God, i.e.: tangible possessions, money, a person, etc. Have you found yourself there? Read verse 8, repent and trust in the one true God.
  3. From verse 9 until the end, we read the most fantastic truths. Notice the repeated phrases. Are you encouraged when you read that God is mindful of us and that He understands and thinks about us?

Old Testament:

Psalm 116- Love The Lord
1 Chronicles 20- Let’s Battle
1 Chronicles 21- Full Price

He Humbled Himself

Psalm 113:6
“Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth?”

A few years ago my wife and I were window shopping at an outdoor mall in southern California when we stumbled onto a crowd of people huddled around a large telescope. We decided to stand in line and see what they were looking at. When our turn came to look through the view finder we were stunned. From the courtyard of the mall we were able to see the rings around Saturn. We took advantage of the moment and allowed the young man who owned the telescope to point out distant stars and even a distant galaxy. Technology has provided us with things that were unthinkable during most of human history, and there in the mall we were able to observe the heavens. I was struck both by the majesty of the heavens and by the advances of science that would allow the casual shopper a glimpse into the heavens. But I did realize that this was only possible because of the highest reaches of human development. Centuries of studying the stars had come together at that moment to provide a telescope that could view the heavens.

I often think of that when I read the Psalmists words;
“Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in the heavens and in the earth?”

What takes the height of human development to glance at, God has to bow to look into. As majestic as creation may ever seem the creator is much more magnificent. His glory is above the heavens.

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 113

  1. Verses 1-4, the Psalmist is in continual praise. He says, “From this time forth and forevermore.” Be encouraged- Pray these verses with your whole heart, AMEN!
  2. In verses 5-9, God could care less about your position in the social ladder. He uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. How do you treat the outcasts of society? Do you treat them as though they have value?
  3. Notice where the Lord seats the poor and needy. What does He grant the barren woman? PRAISE THE LORD!

Old Testament:
Psalm 114- Rock Into Water
1 Chronicles 18- Team Work
1 Chronicles 19- When Things Go Wrong

In The Congregation

Psalm 111:1
“Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation.”


God created us as social beings; we need the companionship of one another. Knowing that being together is a necessary part of healthy development and spiritual growth, God established seven feasts that took place during three different seasons of the Jewish calendar year. During these feasts the children of Israel were to journey together to the city of Jerusalem. The journey itself became a time of celebration. The closer they came to the city, the more they would celebrate. As they hiked up the hills where Jerusalem sat, they would sing a series of psalms, now known as the Psalms of Ascent. Upon arriving, the feasts consisted of corporate gatherings, sacrifices, teachings, worship and eating. Like the festive times in our calendar year, I am sure these were the highlight of the year for the people.

In the New Testament, God established another means by which to satisfy the social needs of His people. He created the church. Now the primary purpose of the church is to be a place where God is glorified, and the Word of God is taught, but in order to do those things, we must gather together in corporate worship. When that becomes a regular part of your weekly schedule, you will find you are not only growing closer to Christ, investing in eternal things, but you are also much healthier, socially. God knows our needs and designed corporate worship for our benefit.  When it is neglected, our growth is stunted, but when we regularly participate in it, we begin to grow in ways that we never thought possible.

Let’s follow the example of the Psalmist, determining that we will praise the Lord in the assembly of the righteous. Here are a few tips that will enhance our worship experience. First, determine now that you will not be a random attendee in your local church. Plan now to attend Sunday morning and a mid week service. Plan for things that regularly interfere, perhaps even making dinner in advance. Get the kids involved with the ministry at their age level. My kids love church because of the relationships they established with others.

Corporate worship is key to spiritual growth. Get plugged in today

Pastor Jim

Questions for Psalm 111

  1. Psalms 111-118 are thought of as the praise or hallelujah psalms. Are you in a season of life where you’re finding it hard to praise the Lord? Be encouraged- dig in right here.
  2. In verse 1, how much of our heart is supposed to be used to praise the Lord as we meet with His godly people?
  3. One of the important categories of Inductive Bible Study is “looking for repeated words.” In verses 2-7, what word gives us the main point of this Psalm?
  4. What is the beginning of wisdom?

Old Testament: Psalm 112 Delight In His Commandments
1 Chronicles 16- Let’s Talk
1 Chronicles 17- Not Now