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Psalm 139:1-16 1
1 You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. 5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 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.

Background 2

God has perfect knowledge of us, and all our thoughts and actions are open before Him. It is more beneficial for us to meditate on God’s Divine truths, applying them to our own circumstances, and with our hearts lifted to God in prayer, than to approach God with a curious or disputing frame of mind. God knows all things, He is every where. These are the truths acknowledged by all, yet they are seldom  believed in by mankind.

God takes strict notice of every step we take, every right step and every wrong step. He knows what rule we walk by, what end we walk toward, what company we walk with. When we choose to withdrawn from all company, God knows what is in our hearts. There is not a vain word, not a good word, or our motives that God does not hear and understand. Wherever we are, we are under the eye and hand of God. We cannot find God. He finds us. These are the characteristics of God that should restrain us from sin.

We cannot see God, but He can see us. The psalmist, David, did not desire to go hide from the Lord. Where could he go? In the most distant corners of the world, in heaven, or in hell, David could not be out of God’s reach or watchful eye. Nothing can hide us from God; not the thickest darkness. No disguise can save any person or a person’s action from being seen in its true light by God. The secrets of sin are as open before God as the most open acts of disobedience.

On the other hand, we cannot be removed from the supporting, comforting presence of God. Even the grave cannot separate our body from the love of God, who because of Jesus Christ, will raise us into a new and glorious body. No outward circumstances can separate us from God and Jesus.

Items for Discussion

  • Where does society try to “hide” from God?
  • How might the idea of “no place to hide” from God, help us to understand hard issues?
  • How do you think mankind can find out what is sinful and what is not?
  • Who claims to be the spokespersons for God?
  • When does this psalm say life begins?

 

Ephesians 1:3-14
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ. 11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Background

Spiritual and heavenly blessings are the best blessings. When we have them , it is impossible to be miserable. Without them is clearly the true definition of misery. This has been the choice of mankind even before the foundation of the world was laid. Man’s salvation would be through Jesus Christ, that you and I would be made holy, separated  from our sin. We are set apart for God, and sanctified (made clean) by the Holy Spirit through our faith (decision) in Christ.

We have been chosen by God to have endless happiness gained through holiness. In love this was predestinated, or fore-ordained, to be our fate, to be offered faith in Christ Jesus, and to be openly admitted to the privileges of that high relationship with Jesus. The redemptive and reconciled  believer becomes the pardoned sinner, giving all the praise of salvation to our gracious Father, God Himself. It was His love that chose this method of redemption, sparing nothing, including His own Son, and brought believers to hear and embrace this salvation. It was the gift of God’s grace, given freely to deliver Jesus to this task. God chose this method of grace because it gives no encouragement to evil. It shows sin in all its hatefulness, and how it deserves vengeance. It becomes our actions as believers that declare the praises of God’s Divine mercy.

Blessings were made known to those who believed through Christ’s own example. If God had not made them known by His written word, preached gospel, and Spirit of truth, mankind would have had no hope at all. Christ united the two differing parties, God and man, in his own person, and satisfied for that wrong which caused our separation from God. God’s gracious gift is clearly the first-fruits of happiness. For this we were made, and for this we were redeemed; this is the great design of God in all that He has done for us.

Items for Discussion

  • What is your definition of a “blessing?”
  • How would you explain the concept of “separated from God by sin?”
  • Many places in Scripture state that God has provided us evidence of His existence – Where do you see it?
  • What is the most powerful apologetic that you have heard to establish that God is real? What about Christ?

Discussion Challenge

  • What do thankful people look like?

 

Notes:

  1. NIV New International Version Translations
  2. https://www.christianity.com/bible/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=19&c=139
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