|Getting To Know God
- Does anyone here like mystery stories … mystery movies?
- Why? What do you enjoy most about mysteries?
- How does a mystery hold our attention?
[Giving us clues to the answer, keeping us searching and thinking, holding back
the whole truth until the end]
- Let's play detectives. Usually we're searching for clues to get to know the bad guy, but that's a discussion we can save for another time.
(See Bible Talk : 'Getting to know Satan')
- This time we'll be searching for clues to
help us to get to know better the only really Good Guy … God, the
creator of the universe; God, our Father in Heaven.
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2 Let Israel say: "His love endures forever."
3 Let the house of Aaron say: "His love endures forever."
4 Let those who fear the LORD say: "His love endures forever."
5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.
6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
11 They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The Lord's right hand has done mighty things!
16 The Lord's right hand is lifted high; the Lord's right hand has done mighty things!"
17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
18 The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.
22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;
23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you.
27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.
29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
[Read the whole psalm, right through.]
To begin with, what does this scripture tell us about our God?
What clues does it give us about his nature, his characteristics?
Later on, we can talk about how we should respond to these characteristics of God.
- God is good, unchanging, he always loves us … vs. 1-4 and 29.
- He answers our prayers … vs. 5 and 21.
- He frees us from fear … vs. 6.
- He is with us all the time … vs. 7
- He supports us, he helps us succeed … vs. 11, 12.
- He protects us from harm … vs. 11, 12.
- He strengthens us … vs. 14.
- He frees us from death, he is our salvation … vs. 14 and 21.
- He is all-powerful, in control, amazing … vs. 15, 16 and 23.
- He tests us, disciplines us … vs. 18.
- He blesses us, he gives us a great life … vs. 26.
- He shows us the way to live our lives … vs. 27.
- Our God is certainly an amazing God. How should we respond to him?
What does Psalm 118 say about what God expects of us? What should we do?
- We should give thanks … vs. 1 and 21.
- We should fear God, fear displeasing him, disappointing him … vs. 4.
- We should call on him, pray for his support … vs. 5, 12, and 25.
- But we should take action, not just wait for God to do it for us … vs. 10 -12
- We should trust him, rely on him, not on ourselves or on promises … vs. 8.
- We should be joyful always, however tough it may seem … vs. 15 and 24.
- We should speak out about him, share our faith with others … vs. 17.
- We should choose the narrow road, gate ... vs. 19, 20. (See Matt. 7: 13, 14)
- We should praise him, honour him … vs.
So, what have you learned from this discussion?
What must you do to get to know God better?
What will you do differently this week?
[ e.g. Try to set a good example to others, love and support one another, help those who are struggling, invite anyone who might be interested to join our Bible Talk ! ]