WEEK OF JULY 26
Leading Your Soul
Before you begin, check out our online homechurch rules (suggestions) for engagement.
Let’s begin our time together this morning by slowing down, taking a deep breath and centering our hearts and minds on God’s love and presence with us
You can do this by taking a few deep breaths in and out and repeating a simple prayer such as “The Lord is my shepherd”
Breathe in slowly and deeply as you whisper or think:
“The Lord is my Shepherd…”
Hold your breath and your consciousness in God’s presence…
And then exhale as you whisper or pray:
“…I shall not want.“
UPWARD / be with Jesus
What do we do when our soul is downcast? We…
1. Pour our our soul (getting in touch with your feeling)
2. Self dialogue (ask questions)
3. Re-order our hope (redirecting what you put your hope in)
…in other words we talk to it. Martin Lloyd Jones once said…
Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself?”
Before we explore tonights text: What has your soul/internal world been saying to lately that you’re not sure is true. (Where are you being a passive listener?)
Read & Study
1 I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”
5 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
Spend time observing the text. Don’t move to application.
What jumps out to you?
What questions does this text raise?
INWARD / become like Jesus
- The psalmist is remembering what God has done and then speaking it over his soul. Why might this be a helpful practice?
- Talk about a time your soul has been at rest – or a time you lead your soul to rest.
- Jesus tells us in John 14: 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. How does Jesus and the promises of God help us to not allow our hears to be troubled and filled with fear and unrest?
- Assess: ask these questions at the same time and take a few minutes to explore together:
- Are you talking yourself out of the promises of God in any way?
- Might you be talking yourself out of his purposes for you?
- Are you talking yourself out of your identity in Christ?
Pastor Andrew offered a simple breath prayer that we can recite throughout the day – or that might help you begin and end a time of journaling and reflection.
Christ is in me – I have been given all that I need
We are have been exploring the inward direction: have someone read aloud
We believe that having a deep and connected relationship with God is the best possible way to live. We celebrate the diving in the daily, pursuing lives of hope, gratitude, and worship. We believe worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of the conscience by his holiness; the nourishment of mind with his truth; the purifying of imagination by his beauty; the opening of the heart to his love; the surrender of will to his purpose — all this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable.
- What does the INWARD journey look like this week for you in light of all of this? Is there a practice or rhythm you can begin or augment? (learn more about practices below)
OUTWARD / do what Jesus did
This month we are planning some city-wide outreach events. If you want to demonstrate “in RI as it is in heaven” with us or learn more please sign up here!
WITHWARD / follow Jesus together
Share prayer requests. Record any notes or prayer requests to pray for friends throughout the week.
Father, thank You that we can always trust Your character and the way Your goodness never changes. Help us develop the faith to also trust what You do and how You do it. Open our eyes this week to what we can do to manage the surprises in our lives so we can experience all You have in mind for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.