This Sunday we're in part two of our Look up series, in Psalms 122 & 123. Ian's speaking about the pilgrim journey forward. As the people of Israel journeyed to Jerusalem for the three Festivals (Weeks, Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles) how did they PREPARE to arrive in Jerusalem, the Holy City? Who did they prepare to take with them on their walk and who did they intentionally or unintentionally leave behind?
We'll look at seven ways, using Psalm 122 &123 as a reference point, to discover what we can do to ensure we are on a journey with our Lord and Saviour.
Pursue Peace (122 v6-9) with everyone we meet
Repent of sin (123 v3) Do we have a Godly sorrow for our sin and choose Holiness (the right way) each day?
Expect God to move, protect and guide (122 v2) Are we an expectant people all of the time or do we only turn to God for help in times of crisis.
Progress towards…. (122 v4) are we making progress in our walk with God or not?
Affirm God’s Character (123 v1) How easy do we find it to Praise God for who he is and what he has done for us?
Rejoice (122 v1) Like the people of Israel and King David, they rejoiced to be in the holy city of Jerusalem. It was like coming home. Where is our spiritual home on earth? Where do we feel closest to God?
Encourage Others. Are we encouragers?
Affirm God’s Character
Questions for personal and life group reflection.
Preparing to Journey Forward.
Read Psalms 122 & 123. What immediately strikes you about these Psalms?
What do you get excited about? (Make this fun thoughts, e.g. food, football !)
Read 122 v6-9. Mother Teresa said, “if we have no peace it is because we have forgotten we belong to each other”. How do you ‘Pursue Peace’ in a world that is in crisis and panic?
Read 123 v3. It has been said that, ‘Repentance is difficult and the difficulty grows greater with delay’. Do you think the discipline of daily repentance is important in building our relationship with God? Why or why not?
Read 122 v2. Expect God to move, protect and guide. It can be said, that the world trashes God and then wonders where He is when trouble comes. More and more people seem to be calling on God through these troubling times. Is there anything wrong in calling on him when we are in trouble but leaving him to one side when we are okay, knowing that he will listen when we need him next? Why?
Read 122 v4 Progress towards…. Is it important to make ‘progress’ in our Christian walk? What is progress and how can it be measured? Is it easy to get distracted on our journey and fall back?
Read 123 v1 Affirm God’s character all the time. Does praise and affirmation of other people come easily to you? Think of an example. If we find it easy to affirm others do you think it becomes easy to affirm God? Does it get easier the more we practice? Why is it necessary to affirm God?
Read 122 v 1 Rejoice The people of Israel had no Temple at this stage, but they saw Jerusalem as their how and the rejoiced when the ‘came home’ Where is your spiritual home on earther? Where do you feel most comfortable with God? Do you feel near to home or far off? Sometimes we may have to carry others home, have you had an experience of being carried or carrying?
Encourage each other. How do you encourage others on their Christian Journey?