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Psalm 139:7-18 1
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.

clip_image050Background

One of the most notable of the sacred hymns. It sings the omniscience (Having total knowledge; knowing everything) and omnipresence (Present everywhere simultaneously) of God, inferring from these the overthrow of the powers of wickedness, since He who sees and hears the abominable deeds and words of the rebellious will surely deal with them according to His justice. The brightness of this Psalm is like unto a sapphire stone, or Ezekiel’s “terrible crystal”; it flames out with such flashes of light as to turn night into day. Like a Pharos, this holy song casts a clear light even to the uttermost parts of the sea, and warns it’s against that practical atheism which ignores the presence of God, and so makes shipwreck of the soul.

TITLE. To the Chief Musician. This sacred song is worthy of the most excellent of the singers, and is fitly dedicated to the leader of the Temple Psalmody, that he might set it to music, and see that it was devoutly sung in the solemn worship of the Most High. A Psalm of David.

Biblical Truths

Psalm 139 is a poetic meditation on God’s omnipresence and omniscience. The psalmist is keenly aware of God’s all-knowing gaze (Psalm 139:1-6), of God’s presence in every part of the universe (Psalm 139), and of God’s control over the psalmist’s very self (Psalm 139:13-16). Summing up, Psalm 139:1-18 expresses wonder. There is only one place hostile to God’s rule-wicked people. The psalmist prays to be removed from their company (Psalm 139:19-24).

Items for Discussion

  • Have you ever lost or broken something that you made that was very special to you? How did you feel? What were the emotions you felt?
  • How do you think the artist feels if someone is critical of their work?
  • Have you ever built or created something (like a flower garden only to have children or your pet run through and destroy it? What did you do?
  • What about those special family heirlooms-did you ever pass something on only to find that the individual did not have the same sentimental bond to the item as you did? How did you feel? What did you want to do?
  • Now think of God as the maker, the artist, the gardener and describe how you think God feels about His creations?
  • Do you think that anyone else can love His creations as much as He does? Who/why?
  • Why do you think that David ends his psalm asking God to search his heart?
  • We see that David views God has having an “ultimate love” for each of us because He created us. Why is it so hard for us to understand a love this great?

 

Ephesians 3:14-19
4 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Background

The Letter to the Ephesians is written by Paul while he was in prison in Rome (around 63 A.D.). This would be about the same time as the Epistle to the Colossians (which in many points it resembles) and the Epistle to Philemon. It was described by William Barclay as the “Queen of the Epistles”.

Ephesians does not seem to have originated in any special circumstances, but is simply a letter springing from Paul’s love of the church. It is an indication of his desire that they should be fully instructed in Christian doctrine. However, unlike Romans, which is an exposition by Paul of the gospel of salvation, Ephesians unfolds the consequences of salvation, particularly in relation to the church.

Biblical Truths

The apostle prays that those he is addressing may, like the rest of the church, deepen their understanding of God’s plan of salvation in Christ. It is a plan that affects the whole universe (Eph 3:15) with the breadth and length and height and depth of God’s love in Christ (Eph 3:18) or possibly the universe in all its dimensions. The apostle prays that they may perceive the redemptive love of Christ for them and be completely immersed in the fullness of God (Eph 3:19).

Items for Discussion

  • Paul begins with prayer that the Holy Spirit is in each believer’s heart. Why is the help of the Holy Spirit such an important foundation to begin with?
  • What is the connection between the having the Holy Spirit in your heart and Christ in your heart?
  • Paul seems to get to the point that love is everything when it comes to faith in Christ. Christ too summarized the greatest commandment as to love one another. Knowing what you know now about Christianity, why is love its keystone?
  • Can a group of people exist together without love? When there is no love, what would you expect to see? With love present, what would you expect to see?
  • Can someone know Christ without love?

Discussion Challenge

  • Can the love of Christianity overcome the hatred of other world religions?

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
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