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Summer of Psalms

Short chapters, long chapters, 150 chapters! Psalms have been comfort for the hurting, hope for the troubled, and nourishment for the hungry from the day they were written. Verses from every chapter have been memorized, quoted, and have shown up in history, literature, and culture for centuries. As we journey into and through the summer we hope to see God in his glory and splendor through the Song book of the Bible! From Psalm 1 to 150 these words are dripping with God’s glory that lead us to indomitable joy! Sing joyfully, sing hopefully, sing the Psalms this summer and all of life!

Sunday, June 18
Text – Psalm 1
Title – A Blessed Man

Summary: This Psalm may be regarded as The Preface Psalm, having in it a notification of the contents of the entire Book. It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us the way to blessedness, and to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners. This then, is the matter of the first Psalm, which may be looked upon, in some respects, as the text upon which the whole of the Psalms make up a divine sermon. (Charles Spurgeon)

Discussion Questions:

1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. What is the significance with starting the Psalms with Psalm 1? Why do you think this sets the stage for the rest of the book?
3. Read Psalm 1:2. What relationship does God’s word play in the life of the righteous?
4. There are 2 people mentioned in Psalm 1. Compare and contrast the “blessed man” and “the wicked”. What is the Lord’s relationship to both?
5. What does the word “blessed” mean in this passage?
6. Consider committing this Psalm to memory. How could memorizing this Psalm be helpful and encouraging to you in every day life?

Sunday, June 25
Text – Psalm 150
Title – A Worthy God

Summary: The first and last of the Psalms have both the same number of verses, are both short and very memorable; but the scope of them is very different; the first Psalm is an elaborate instruction in our duty, to prepare us for the comforts of our devotion; this is all rapture and transport, and perhaps was penned on purpose to be the conclusion of those sacred songs, to show what is the design of them all, and that is, to assist us in praising God. (Matthew Henry)

Discussion Questions:

1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. How many times is the word “Praise” used? What does this say about the writer? What does this say about God?
3. St. Augustine says of Psalm 150, “No kind of faculty is here omitted. All are enlisted in praising God.” The breath is employed in blowing the trumpet, the fingers are used in striking the strings of the psaltery and the harp, the whole hand is exerted in beating the timbrel, and the feet move in the dance.” How does your “praise” to God reflect this Psalm? What “faculties” are you apt to worship by? What “faculties” are you prone to omit?
4. Take time and read the Psalm and then on the back of the Loop take time and draft a similar “psalm” from your heart and life. Share it with others when you’ve completed it.
5. Consider committing this Psalm to memory. How could memorizing this Psalm be helpful and encouraging to you in every day life?

Sunday, August 6
Text – Psalm 23
Title – Our Good Shepherd

Summary: One of the most well-known passages in all of the Bible draws our attention in times of joy, sadness, hardship, and fear. The presence of God in all of life marks our ability to have hope, joy, and comfort regardless of our circumstance. If you take God out of Psalm 23 we have an accurate picture of life without God. These simple words can be uttered as a prayer or held on to for hope. God, our Good
Shepherd, is near to us in valleys and on mountains.

Discussion Questions:

1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. Why has this Psalm been memorized and repeated through history?
3. How has familiarity with this Psalm affected your understanding and use of it?
4. Take time and remove any reference to God and Shepherd from the Psalm and then read it aloud. What do you notice? What does life look like without God as our Shepherd?
5. Consider committing this Psalm to memory. How could memorizing this Psalm be helpful and encouraging to you in every day life?

Sunday, August 13
Text – Psalm 96
Title – Our International Anthem

Summary: What does it mean to declare the glory of God? From the two great themes of the Psalms we find the two stanzas of our international anthem: praise God for what he has done; praise God for who he is.

To declare God’s glory among the nations we number his marvelous works and bless his name! We may have come to God singing “Just As I Am,” but we are sent to the nations singing “How Great Thou Art!” (Edmund Clowney)

Discussion Questions:

1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. What does it mean to declare the glory of God among the nations?
3. How can you praise God for who He is? How can you praise God for what He has done? How does engaging in both of these encourage us to “declare” the glory of God?
4. What place does singing have in the declaring of God’s glory?
5. Are you inclined to sing when you’re among God’s people, the church? Why or why not? How does understanding this Psalm influence your behavior?
6. Consider committing a portion of this Psalm to memory. How could memorizing this Psalm be helpful and encouraging to you in every day life?

Sunday, August 20
Text – Psalm 100
Title – Our Steadfast Lord

Summary: “This is the only Psalm bearing this precise inscription. It is all ablaze with grateful adoration, and has for this reason been a great favourite with the people of God ever since it was written. “Let us sing the Old Hundredth” is one of the everyday expressions of the Christian church, and will be so while men exist whose hearts are loyal to the Great King. Nothing can be more sublime this side heaven than the singing of this noble Psalm by a vast congregation.” (Charles Spurgeon)

Discussion Questions:

1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. How do you come to church? What’s your general attitude when you prepare for and participate in worship – the corporate gathering of God’s people?
3. What does it mean to be steadfast? Give an example either from history or from your life that demonstrates steadfastness.
4. Read Psalm 1:2. How are we to serve the Lord? Why can this be difficult? How does (or should) Psalm 1:1 impact Psalm 1:2 and your obedience to it?
5. Thankfulness is a hallmark of God-centered living. Take a moment and think through what you have to be thankful for. Now, consider the reasons for your thankfulness. What motivates thankfulness in your life?
6. Consider committing this Psalm to memory. How could memorizing this Psalm be helpful and encouraging to you in every day life?

Sunday, August 27
Text – Psalm 119
Title – Our Delightful Word

Summary: The Word Matters Here has been central to who we are as The Church at Martinsburg. We love the Bible, believe the Bible, and submit all of life to the Bible. Psalms are heartfelt reflections and words directed to God from His people. The Psalms provide joy, hope, and a foundation for all of life. Psalm 119 shows us what we should believe, feel, and do as we interact with God’s revelation to us in words—the Bible.

Discussion Questions:

1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. What is your attitude when reading the Bible? Is it “Yea, right”, “Ho, hum”, or “Yes! Yes! Yes!” How do you think the writer of Psalm 119 would respond to this question? Explain your answer.
3. Read Psalm 119:10-11. What do these verses teach? What are your thoughts on memorizing Scripture? What passages have you memorized? Is memorization of the Bible really necessary?
4. Psalm 119 says we sing the word (v. 172), speak the word (vv. 13, 46, 79), study the word (vv. 15, 48, 97, 148) store up the word (vv. 11, 93, 141) obey the word (vv. 8, 44, 57, 129, 145, 146, 167, 168), praise God for the word (vv. 7, 62, 164, 171), and pray that God would act according to his word (vv. 58, 121–123, 147, 149–152, 153–160). These actions are indicators of what we really believe and feel about the word. How do you believe about the word? What do your actions and behaviors communicate about what you believe and feel about the Bible?
5. Consider committing a portion of this Psalm to memory. How could memorizing this Psalm be helpful and encouraging to you in every day life?

Sunday, September 3 (Pastor AJ Roberts)
Text – Psalm 145
Title – Our Great God

Summary: David's Psalm of Praise. It is David’s, David’s very own, David’s
favorite. It is David’s Praise just as another (Psalm 86) is David’s Prayer. It is altogether praise, and praise pitched in a high key. David had blessed God many a time in other Psalms, but this he regarded as his peculiar, his crown jewel of praise. Certainly David’s praise is the best of praise, for it is that of a man of experience, of sincerity, of calm deliberation, and of intense warmth of heart. It is not for anyone of us to render David’s praise, for David only could do that; but we may take David’s Psalm as a model, and aim at making our own personal adoration as much like it as possible: we shall be long before we equal our model. Let each Christian reader present his own praise unto the Lord, and call it by his own name. What a wealth of varied praise will thus be presented through Christ Jesus! (Charles Spurgeon)

Discussion Questions:

1. What part of the text or sermon had the greatest impact on you? Where were you most encouraged, intrigued, challenged?
2. Many, throughout history, have uttered the followings words before a meal “God is great. God is Good. Let us thank Him for our food…” Have you ever prayed these words? Where did you first hear them? How can the familiarity of these words, specifically the first and second sentences, reduce the strength of them?
3. Read Psalm 145. How does this Psalm describe God? List out the ways God is described.
4. How does Psalm 145:13-20 talk about God? Describe the Lord’s actions as listed here.
5. “My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.” What can you praise the Lord for today?
6. Consider committing this Psalm to memory. How could memorizing this Psalm be helpful and encouraging to you in every day life?