READ: Psalms 128-134
THINK: Has anyone ever told you not to do something, warning that if you did do it and suffered the consequences, "Don't expect me to feel sorry for you," or "You won't get any sympathy from me."? Aren't you glad that God doesn't take an "I told you so" posture with us? He certainly could, since He's given us instructions and warnings for many things we tend to defy at times. Yet even when we've disregarded God's guidelines and gotten into trouble of our own doing, He is merciful and compassionate. If we humbly admit our wrongdoing and call on Him for help, He doesn't just sympathize with us; He forgives us and restores us to our place and purpose with Him.
RESPOND: According to Psalm 128, who is blessed, why, and how (vv. 1-4)? Why didn't the psalmist's enemies gain victory over him (129:1-4)? Even when suffering the consequences of our own rebellion against God, what assurance do we have if we cry out to Him for mercy, and why? (See 130:1 note.) What do you think it means to wait for the Lord (130:5-6)? Why can and should we put our hope in the Lord (130:7-8)? According to Psalm 131, what attitude did David resist in his life, and why? What request does David make in Psalm 132, and under what conditions would it become reality? (See 132:1-18 note.) What vow did David make to God (132:2-5)? What oath did God make to David, and what were the conditions (132:11-12)? How would God ultimately fulfill His promise to "make a horn grow for David"? (See 132:17 note.) Why and in what ways is unity among God's people a pleasant thing? (See 133:1-3 note.) How can unity-or lack thereof-affect the working of God's presence and power among His people? (See 133:1-3 note, subpoint 1.) In what ways does unity bless and refresh people? (See 133:1-3 note, subpoint 2.) How does Psalm 134 depict passionate devotion to God and His purposes? (See 134:1-3 note.)
PRAY: Give God thanks for His mercy and forgiveness. Pray for unity in your church and its ministries.
ACT: Is there any tension or division between you and anyone else in your church or youth ministry? If so, do what you can to make things right. Humble yourself and offer an apology if need be. Put aside your own way and put others' first. If the division doesn't involve you directly, do what you can-without taking sides-to promote peace.
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