LESSON TO STUDY AND MEMORIZE PSALM 27 FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS

God used Psalm 27 to minister to me during one of the darkest moments of my life. At just a few days old, our fifth born child Isaiah was facing a lot of complications and initially the Dr.’s were at a lost, they did not know what was going on.  His health began to rapidly decline.  Isaiah means God is my salvation.  When we initially chose this name for Isaiah, we had no clue what was in store for us.  We did not realize that the only thing that was going to get us through was the reality that God was our salvation (not just delivering us from our sins but delivering us from every obstacle that came our way).  He proved Himself to be our light during this dark time.  You can read more about Isaiah’s story here.

In the meantime, our Pastor preached a great message yesterday focusing on Psalm 27:1-6. The title of his message was “One Thing.”  He encouraged us to ask for nothing else in prayer except the presence of the Lord (Psalm 27:4) for the next 21 days. I wanted to get my children involved in the process and I wanted to review and memorize Psalm 27: 1-6 with them. With that said, I have created a brief “study” to use with my children at home for these verses.  My plan is to introduce one verse each week (highlighted in blue), discuss it (questions in red), and move on once they have the verse memorized. The questions in red are just a starting point. I am sure as we discuss the Lord will give more insight to share with the children so that they can “own” the verse. Memorizing God’s word is not just for young children but also for adults so this is why I am sharing this brief study with you.  I recommend printing this out and having it on hand to have a quick devotion by yourself or with your children every day for the rest of January and for all of February.  Feel free to add on more questions as the Lord leads.  Leave a comment and let me know if you will take part. Be blessed!

Psalm 27: 1-6

1 aThe Lord is my light and my salvation—
    so why should I be afraid? (Memorize January 19-21)

Questions to ask

-What does it mean for the Lord to be your light and your salvation?

-What is the purpose of light?

-What does salvation mean?

-Do you have to be afraid of anything?
1b The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
    so why should I tremble? (Memorize January 22-24)

Questions to ask

-What is the purpose of a fortress?

-Google search a picture of a fortress for the children to better understand?

-What kind of dangers do we face?

-What reasons does our enemies present to make us tremble?

-Do you have to be afraid?
When evil people come to devour me,
    when my enemies and foes attack me,
    they will stumble and fall. (Memorize January 25-31)

Questions to ask: 

-When I read this verse, how does this make me feel about bullies?  Do I have to fear them?

What makes a person evil?  Does an evil person always have a mean look on her face?  How can we know if a person is evil?

Why will they stumble and fall when they attack me?

Though a mighty army surrounds me,
    my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
    I will remain confident. (Memorize February 1-6th)

Questions to ask:

What are some of the armies that surround me, what are some of the overwhelming circumstances that I face?

What kind of attacks do I face as a follower of Christ?

How can I remain confident even when I am being attacked?  What or who makes this possible?

 

4 The one thing I ask of the Lord—
    the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
    delighting in the Lord’s perfections
    and meditating in his Temple.( Memorize February 7th-13th)

Questions to ask:

What is the ONE THING that we should seek the most?

What does seeking the presence of the Lord “look” like?

What does it mean to delight in the Lord’s perfection and meditating in his temple? 

Stop and take note of what you think about the most.  Is it on the goodness of the Lord?  Is in His perfections? 
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
    he will hide me in his sanctuary.
    He will place me out of reach on a high rock. (Memorize February 14th-20th)

Questions to ask:

-The world is in a crisis.  Do I have to be afraid when we are discussing all the troubles that are around us?

-What hope do I have?

-If I am a Christian, does this mean that I will never go through troubles?

-What is this verse really saying?

Then I will hold my head high
    above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
    singing and praising the Lord with music. (Memorize February 21st-27th)

Questions to ask:

-Is praising God my daily habit?

-Should my praise be quiet?  How does this verse say we should praise God?

 

 

Time does not stand still. Move Forward in 2016.

 

Time does not stand still.  Despite my dilemmas and my protest, the hands on the clock continue to move FORWARD!

It’s natural to move forward, to not be stuck. If the clock stops ticking this can mean a few things…the batteries are dead and needs to be recharged.  And if it’s an electric clock, it could have been unplugged.

RECHARGE. UNPLUGGED. DEAD.  Which one are you?

RECHARGE.  You lived life on fast forward in 2015.  You did not have time to sit and be recharged in His presence because you had life to live, bills to pay, and duties to tend to.  Pray and read His word?  Every now and then perhaps but it was not at the top of the priority list.  But here you are at the end of the year and you see the fruit of constantly being on the go and not being still.  You are depleted.  The money you hustled to get, did pay the bills but it left you spiritually bankrupt.  Yes you lived life in 2015, but it was not the abundant life you were made to live.  The duties seemed insurmountable because you didn’t have time to stop and ask for His grace and His strength.  Here you are desperately needing to be recharged!

Unplugged. The phone rings and you roll your eyes because it is one of those “I want to connect with you and see how you are REALLY doing” church people calling AGAIN. So things didn’t happen the way you thought they should in 2015. You began the year determined to be on fire for God. Determined to use your gifts for His glory. Determined to get in prayer and His word. But then life crept in, funny how often that happens…if you let it, if you chose not to fight. You are disappointed because there is only one week until the year ends and God still DID NOT answer that prayer?

For the husband you want. You cried and continued to ask, “When will it be my turn?”

For the husband you have because your marriage is falling apart.

For the children you have because training them was sometimes more than you could handle.

For the children you desperately desire to have.  You cried and continued to ask, “When will it be my turn?”

The healing.  You cried and continued to ask, “When will it be my turn?”

The job you have.

The job you want.

Whatever the prayer, the answer seemed to have eluded you. So out of spite, you unplugged. You may still show up to church but that’s about all you do…SHOW UP and checked out. UNGPLUGGED from the power source.

DEAD. Has the circumstances from 2015 knocked you down so many times that you just gave up and stopped ticking? You let your purpose DIE.  That dream DIE. You scoffed at the prophetic word because it was requiring more surrender than you were willing to give. So instead of going forward in who God has called you to be, you just plain DIED. Yes there is still breath in your body but you died a different kind of death…you stopped believing, you stopped having faith, you stopped obeying, you stopped pursuing. The real you died. This being stuck thing it can be numbing creating an odd kind of comfort.  But wake up from your slumber because you were made to live not die!

Time doesn’t stand still, so why should you? 2016 is around the corner and it is time to get RECHARGED! Time to start all over. Time to get plugged into Jesus, the ultimate power source. Time to grow up and fully embrace the fact that serving Jesus will never be convenient but ALWAYS worth it, ALL OF THE TIME! 2016 LETS GO FORWARD!

 

 

 

PRIDE: ME, MYSELF AND I (PART 2)


Please visit this page to read part one of my sermon notes on pride.  Today I would like to share part two on how to break free from the chain of pride by operating in humility.

Combat Pride by Operating in humility.

Humility is not about being a doormat.  It is also not about the outward appearance or saying the right words to make you appear humble.  It cannot be fabricated. Humility is a posture of the heart. You are confident in who you are in Christ and can operate in boldness.  However you are aware that you are totally inadequate without God.

  • I must be willing to imitate Christ’s humility and not think of myself as better than others, or think of myself too much.
  • I can’t imitate Jesus unless I have spent time with Him in prayer and studied Him through His word. I must also incorporate fasting to bring my flesh under subjection to the will and ways of God.
    • Praying: In prayer, Jesus shines the light on areas of pride in my life and the transformation process can begin as I surrender. The more I come to the light the more the darkness of my heart is revealed.  This is not meant to turn me away or make me feel bad.  It is intended to make me cry out to the Lord  in prayer asking to be cleansed.  Lack of a prayer life is a sign of pride.  When I don’t take the time to pray or don’t think it is important, I am indirectly saying I don’t see a need for God. “I can do life all by myself, I don’t need His guidance, His protection, His wisdom, I GOT THIS!”
    •  STUDYING THE WORD OF GOD: the word is a template of how we should be, it shows us ourselves. It shows us how we should respond.  Reading the word gives us examples of how to operate in humility.  Read the story of John the Baptist in John chapter 3. Read of how he  (John the Baptist) tells his jealous disciples that his joy is made full because the spotlight is taken off of Him and put on Jesus, which was the entire point of his existence…a forerunner for Jesus.  Read of John’s humility and his willingness to decrease that Jesus could increase. When I read this, I am challenged to cry out for my flesh to be put to death so that Jesus can increase in me.
    • FASTING-kills the flesh. We must incorporate fasting into our lives.  Perhaps you are not able to fast for an entire week or a day.  How about starting with just one meal?

Humility in Action

  • Humility is being ok with the spotlight being on someone else. I don’t have to be the center of attention.
  • I am confident in who God has called me to be so I can encourage you to move forward in your gifts. I don’t feel the need to compete with anyone.
  • I am able to build others up from a sincere heart.
  • I am thinking about others, looking out for their best interest.  I am willing to serve my brothers and sisters in Christ, not EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN!
  • I am actively looking for ways to use my gift to build up the body of Christ and not my name. I spend time to perfect the gifts that God has given me and I use them with great confidence and boldness.  My number one mission is to bring glory to God.
  • I am freed from people pleasing. I am able to say NO when necessary without feeling bad about it or worrying about what you think of me.  With humility, my focus is on pleasing Jesus, not man.
  • I don’t make others feel bad about saying no to my requests. I respect the boundaries of others.
  • I am willing to sincerely apologize when I know I am wrong, regardless of who I have offended.
  • I do not show partiality. I treat the homeless and the rich with the same amount of love and respect.

 

Benefits of Operating in Humility

The scripture tells us that God gives grace to the humble.  Grace is simply favor that I don’t deserve or didn’t earn.

Closing Thoughts: The victory over pride is not as easy as saying a prayer once and being done with it.   It is a continuous battle, pride is always a temptation because of our human frailty.    Don’t try to fight pride on your own.  There is a great level of humility required to admit and expose pride.  That’s the starting point.

If you are struggling in a particular area, pray and ask the Lord to connect you with a brother or sister in the Lord that you can share your struggle with.  The scriptures tells us that we are to confess our faults to one another and it also tells us that we are to pray for each other (James 5:16).  Be willing to let your guards down and be held accountable by someone that loves the Lord.

BREAK FREE FROM THE PRISON OF PRIDE AND WALK THE ROAD TO HUMILITY, GRACE AWAITS YOU AS YOU TAKE THE JOURNEY!

 

 

 

 

photo by:

PRIDE: ME, MYSELF, AND I (PART 1)

I was blessed to be the speaker at my church yesterday. 2015 has been a great year for me.  No I didn’t receive a million dollars but I received some MAJOR DELIVERANCE (and yes I am still a work in progress).  The Lord opened my eyes to the MANY ways I struggled with pride and He then showed me ways to walk in humility.  Below are part 1 of my sermon notes, I pray it blesses you.

What is pride?

  • Consumed with myself.
  • I am always looking out for my best interest.
  • Pride often asks, what’s in it for me?
  • All roads must lead back to ME! It’s all about me, myself and I.
  • I become my own “god.” I am more confident in myself than I am in God, so I take matters in my own hands.
  • I am not thinking of others.

Where did it all begin?

  • Pride started with the devil. He wanted to be God.
  • He got Eve in the same way in Genesis 3..”eat of this fruit, and you will be like God knowing both good and evil.  He appealed to her pride.

It is always easier to see pride in others.  We often struggle with seeing it in ourselves.

I KNOW I AM PRIDEFUL IF: 

  • I don’t receive correction from others. I scoff at wise counsel and don’t think much of prophetic words that bring correction. A prideful person will often make comments, “God can speak to me directly, I don’t need to hear from you!”   While it is true that God speaks to His people directly, He also speaks to us through others.
  • I am often correcting others but I do not like to be corrected. A prideful person is always the teacher but never the student.
  • If you show me my faults, I become overly sensitive and offended because I think I am exempt from being corrected.
  • I often have a rebuttal. A prideful person will often listen to what you have to say and after you are done talking she may say, “I hear what you are saying BUT…”  My pride convinces me that I have all the correct answers.  Sometimes it is wise to just listen and not always have a response.  When I am quiet long enough I can learn a thing or two.
  • It is always everyone else fault, I am never guilty.
  • I am overly critical of others and I am self-righteous. I often point out what others are doing wrong and how I can do it better.
  • I make comments such as, “oh I am a private person that’s why I don’t share my business with people. I was taught to keep my dirty laundry in the house.”  I am very vague when I ask for prayer.  I rarely give details because I don’t want you to know my business.  Sometimes this is being overly concerned with projecting a good image to others.   Prideful people don’t like the idea of being accountable to others so they don’t share areas of struggle.
  • I can connect with God by myself I don’t need the body of Christ. Again this is putting more confidence in myself; I have this all figured out.  I DON’T NEED ANYONE’S HELP…not even God.  This is faulty and unbiblical thinking.  God created us for community, not to be an island.  Jesus the son of God did not do life on His own, He had twelve disciples.
  • If I minister to someone, I want her to mention my name when she gives her testimony. I want her to acknowledge how I helped her.  IT’S ABOUT ME, NOT GOD!
  • I am always looking for how I fit into the story that is being told. If someone is being honored, promoted, or doing well, do you I look for ways to get the credit? I want the person getting the attention to make mention of how I helped, how I gave and all I sacrificed so that she can be where she is today.  For the prideful person, it’s not about the individual being honored or about what God has done in her, it is about ME!  I have had to be very mindful of this as a parent.  The Lord has shown me how I try to get recognition for my children’s success as opposed to giving Him the glory. Am I focused on making a name for myself, or am I focused on making God’s name famous?
  • I hesitate to speak well of others who are excelling in the same gifts I have because I am afraid they may steal my thunder.
  • I am often looking for feedback telling me how wonderful I am when I minister and get mad when I don’t receive it.
  • I am a people pleaser. When I am focused on pleasing others, it is because I want them to have a great impression of me.  I say yes when the answer should be no because I want you to think highly of me.  It is not about having a heart of service or being a blessing to others, it’s about MY IMAGE. I want you to think highly of me, so I aim to please.
  • I am jealous.  If I see God promoting and blessing someone with the same gift I have I struggle with rejoicing with them.  Why?  I am secretly thinking, I pray better, I serve better, I cook better, I sing better,  I am a better teacher, I have more revelation than they do…how did they get there before me? I don’t embrace 1 Corinthians 12:2626 :if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad.
  • I am impatient. I want what I want when I want it. I often whine asking God, “Why haven’t you answered this prayer, do you know who I am God, I shouldn’t have to wait for anything?  As a matter of fact, I got it all figured out and there is no need for me to go through a waiting process.  I will run ahead of you God…we all know how that story ends, don’t we?
  • I am unwilling to get over the past. I am angry at God because of what I went through.  I am constantly rehearsing how I was done wrong, and all I did not deserve.  Pride blinds me and causes me to focus on the injustice instead of magnifying how God has redeemed my life from destruction.

 

Detriments of Pride.  Pride Results in the following:

  • Actively resisted by God as stated in James 4:6.
  • Read the story of Pharaoh and King Nebuchadnezzar to see what being resisted by God can look like. YIKES!
  • Being prideful can sometimes result in physical sicknesses in our bodies.
  • Never seeing a harvest from the seeds you sow.
  • I feel stuck, nothing I do seem to prosper.

Did you see yourself in any of the above description?  Click here for part two on how to combat pride by operating in humility.

photo by:

Desperation Produces Results

It is undeniable that desperation leads to actions that often produces results. When my children want ice cream or any sweet treat for that matter; they are willing to do things that does not come naturally for most of them…clean!  It is indeed a sight for sore eyes to see the six of them mobilize to get the job down, even Faith gets in the mix.   My children’s desperation for something sweet gives self-motivation a whole new meaning!

The question that I have to ask myself and I ask the same of you, what are you most desperate for? Is it Jesus? Desperate people will do whatever it takes to get their desired result (JESUS)

Am I as desperate as Zacchaeus, abandoning tradition, cultural norms, and my sins and run to see Jesus?

Am I as desperate as blind Bartimaeus, yelling even louder when the crowd tries to silence me?

Am I as desperate as Jairus, falling at Jesus’ feet pleading with Him for healing?

Am I as desperate as the woman with the issue of blood, pressing through obstacles to meet Jesus?

Because the evidence is there, desperation yields results…

Salvation came to Zacchaeus’ house, a sinner. Bartimaeus the blind beggar received his sight and followed Jesus.  Jairus’ DEAD daughter was brought back to life.  The woman who constantly bled for 12 years was INSTANTLY healed.

I want to always have a heightened sense of desperation for God and the action to prove it.

I am desperate for more of His fire

For His presence

His power

His love

For Him

He promised that if I search for Him  with my whole heart, I will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13).  Whole heart…desperate heart.

Are you desperate?

 

photo by:

Humility Gets Jesus’ Attention

Jesus is moved by our humility.  We all have needs but pride can hinder us from coming to God to meet those needs.  I was so blessed when I reread the story of Blind Bartimaes from Mark 10:46-52.  There are many lessons we can learn from this blind beggar.  Take a listen and I pray this blesses you.