Loving the Lord
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I. God allows difficulty in our lives to draw us into a closer relationship with Him via dependent prayer
1 I love the LORD, because He has heard My voice and my supplications.
2 Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I will call upon Him/make proclamation as long as I live.
3 The pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I found trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called upon the name of the LORD: "O LORD, I implore You, deliver my soul!"
We fail to profit from our difficulties when we fail to pray. When we pray God answers and we become dependent upon Him.
Pour out our feelings and thoughts and hopes to God honestly "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Mk 14:34
Recognize that God is in control and able to do anything 36a "Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me;
Align our will with God’s in dependent submission 36b nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will."
Yield yourself to do God’s will continually to the point of resurrection 42 "Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand."
Mt 26:53 "Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?
54 "How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?"
II. God reveals his character through His actions to which we respond by our actions of obedience
5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful/tenderly compassionate.
6 The LORD preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He saved me.
7 Return to your rest, O my soul, For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.
8 For You have delivered my soul from death, My eyes from tears, And my feet from falling.
9 I will walk before the LORD In the land of the living.
A consciousness of God’s sustaining presence ensures victory and enables faithfulness.
III. A lack of focus on God distorts our view of the rest of our world
10 I believed/stood firm, even though/therefore I said/spoke/promised, "I am greatly afflicted/humbled."
11 I said in my haste/alarm, "All men are liars/vanity."
IV. God blesses us so we can bless Him (and others in the process)
12 What shall I render to the LORD For all His benefits toward me?
13 I will take up the cup of salvation, And call upon the name of the LORD.
14 I will pay my vows to the LORD Now in the presence of all His people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD Is the death of His saints.
God cares for us so we can be good advertisements for Him
V. God’s unreserved loyalty to us should result in our unreserved loyalty to Him
16 O LORD, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD.
18 I will pay my vows to the LORD Now in the presence of all His people,
19 In the courts of the LORD’S house, In the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
Our service to God grows in proportion to our awareness of how He has served us
We should proclaim what He has done to: Believers/Congregation/Community
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. What’s the natural response in an alarming situation? How does a natural response accomplish God’s purposes or glorify Him?
2. How does your understanding of God change when He answers prayer (yes/no/wait)? What do you have to do to know Him better?
3. How has God blessed you in the past? This week? What has been your response? What response would further God’s purposes?
4. What makes us hesitant to praise God for what He has done for us? What results from hesitancy?
5. How should knowing God influence our daily words and steps? How will you walk before Him in the land of the living?