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?
2 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?
3 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?
5 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?
6 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?
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
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?
I love people. I love having company. I love playing hostess. I love to cook. I love the idea of breaking bread together and having great conversation. I love all of the aforementioned….when it is convenient. I struggle with being hospitable when I have to change my plans, when I am not prepared, tired, or quite honestly I just don’t feel like it. I don’t like to be inconvenienced. But the Lord is challenging me to be hospitable even when the stage of perfection is removed and there is no home cooked meal to make me look good, no tidy house, and a tired hostess. True hospitality is recognizing a need and being so connected to God that I am willing to meet it regardless of the inconvenience. True hospitality is not about me as the hostess looking good. It is more about me glorifying Jesus through my actions, through my willingness to hit pause with my schedule to meet your needs. It is a tall order I know, but Jesus never requires anything of me that He himself has not modeled. He sets the bar high but it is totally attainable by His grace and my willingness to yield. I am also learning that hospitality goes beyond the four walls of my home.
Luke 9: 10-17 speaks of how Jesus was trying to slip away quietly with His disciples who had just returned from doing ministry but the crowds followed Him. The part that blew me away and convicted me was verse 11. It says the crowd found and followed him AND HE WELCOMED THEM. Not only did He welcome them but He taught them and healed those who were sick. Wow and double wow. It is in this same passage that Jesus does the miracle of feeding the five thousand. After Jesus was done teaching and healing, the disciples who were no doubt exhausted from their ministry efforts told Jesus,” Let us wrap this party up. We don’t have any food. It is late and we are tired. Send them to the nearby towns and villages to handle their own needs. After all, they should be good with all the ministering that you just did.” But Jesus, my Jesus pushes the envelope and responds, “No I am not going to send them away, YOU FEED THEM!” WHAT?! The disciples responded to Jesus, “Umm Jesus that is kind of impossible, we don’t have enough for this massive crowd, all we have is five loaves and two fish and there is five thousand men.”
I know my response would have been like the disciples. However Jesus’ willingness to show hospitability opened the door for His father to multiply the little He had so that the needs of the multitude was met. Amazing! Not only did they have enough but there were left overs. Yes my God is an exceedingly abundantly type of God!
I want to be an instrument in the hands of my Father. I want to be aware that when I am willing to be hospitable (even when it is inconvenient) that God can work a miracle in the lives of those that I extend myself to. Again, remember hospitability is not limited to the four walls of your home. Perhaps Jesus is asking you to pause to minister to that person you meet in the grocery store because they are in need of a miracle and they need to see Jesus. Maybe you need to abandon the idea of waiting until your house looks perfect before you invite that individual the Lord has laid on your heart over to dinner. Maybe your lack of finances is an issue, have you considered praying and asking the Lord to multiply the little you have to meet the needs of others? Do you struggle with being hospitable when it is inconvenient? Leave a comment and let me know.