QT – Psalm 122

Vs. 1, “I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”  This continues the series of the Psalm of Ascents and celebrates the arrival into Jerusalem.  This is one of the four songs of Ascents attributed to King David.  It was a very uplifting time for the people as they drew nearer to the city and the temple.  This reminds me of the joy we have as a Youth group to meet twice a year at retreats knowing that God is going to be there to give us rest from the world!

Regarding application…Praying for Peace.  Vs. 6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May those who love you be secure.”  The application I see is the importance of praying for peace for the church.  While we live in a world of chaos and sin, we pray for peace within the church so we can be light to the world around us.  When there are dividing walls within God’s people, the church cannot reach out because we are working just to keep from falling.  Our Ammunition Prayer team is partly created to address the unity of the church through the power of prayer!  

QT – Psalm 121

Vs. 1, “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?”  This is considered a Psalm of trust…remember, these were sung from weary traveler’s on the journey to Jerusalem.  God is the God of the hills and of the valleys in this world we live in.  The Pilgrims traveled together on this arduous journey because there was safety in numbers.  It was dangerous and God’s people needed protection as they went to seek after Him in Jerusalem.

Regarding application…Looking High Enough.  When we go through tough times, we may look to God and only see worries and doubt.  But perhaps its because we are not looking high enough.  Think about 10 out of 12 spies who went to scout the land of Canaan.  10 of them saw the high walls of the enemy and didn’t look high enough to see God above the walls of life.  So as you look at your day or this week…some of you are struggling with homework, life situations, etc.  Don’t make the mistake of not looking high enough~!

QT – Psalm 120

Vs. 1, “I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.”  We now go into a new series of Psalms that are called the Songs of Ascent (Psalm 120 – 134).  It is believed these Psalms were created and sung for the three major pilgrimages back to Jerusalem (Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles).  As they journeyed the long road, they would sing these songs to encourage each other.  Though they had enemies around them (Vs. 5) they still trusted that God would deliver them safely.  

Regarding application…Words Are Powerful.  Vs. 2, “Save me, O LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.”  Any of us who claim we are not hurt by what others say about us is probably lying.  Whether they are verbal words or words written on social networking sites…words are powerful and can hurt or build up in this life.  I recall that a teenage girl committed suicide after someone had said hurtful words to her on Myspace (or was it Facebook)…can’t remember which one.  But the point is, it can really affect us more than we would like to admit.  They say with every one hurtful word, it takes ten encouraging words to make up for it.  Let’s be people who use words of encouragement rather than cynical, sarcastic words that hurt.

QT – Psalm 119

Vs. 19, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”  This very long psalm (The longest chapter in the bible) is known as a wisdom psalm.  In this, we see the psalmist remind us that God’s law is not a consequence…rather it is a gift.  In this psalm we see what Bible theologians call an “Acrostic” psalm.  Acrostic: a composition usually in verse in which sets of letters (as the initial or final letters of the lines) taken in order form a word or phrase or a regular sequence of letters of the alphabet.  In the Hebrew Bible, each verse in a section begins with that Hebrew letter.  Even though we see the psalmist suffering because of God’s law, they make every effort to live a life that pleases Him.

Regarding application…We Live to Praise.  Vs. 175, “Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me.”  Wow…what a wonderful reminder and perspective when it comes to why we live.  When we praise God other’s are drawn to the Lord.  When we praise God we have a hunger for His word.  Can you imagine a life without music and song?  Yikes, pretty scary thought!  Let the Word of God sustain you so you may live to praise Him this week!

QT – Psalm 118

Vs. 1, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  This is the last of the Psalm’s from Psalm 113 -118 that were used for the celebration of Passover.  And this is also one of the Psalms that are believed to be sung by Jesus the night before His death.  This is also a Psalm Jesus would quote in His debate with the religious leaders from Matthew 21:33-46.  

Regarding application…Celebrate Today.  Vs. 24, “This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  Each day that God gives us on this good earth is another day to celebrate life!  Even in the doldrums of life, we can thank God because He has made this day just for us!  I am guilty of waking up on a Monday morning and dreading going back to a full week of work ahead of me, but I need to be thankful that God has given me a job in the first place.  Let’s have the attitude of the Psalmist as we approach each day this week!  Let’s have the attitude of John the Baptist as we remember to make Jesus greater in our lives and live a “Not to Us” mentality!  Have a blessed week everyone!

QT – Psalm 117

Vs. 2, “For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever.  Praise the LORD.”   This is a psalm of praise and if you didn’t notice…this is the shortest recorded Psalm.  When God’s love is outpoured in our lives…it gives us the opportunity to give back His love to others.  Last night, we started our first week of our 3 week “Y” series and we talked about…”Why God allows suffering in our lives.”  One of the points talked about last night was that we suffer so that we can help others through suffering.  We trust that God will work in our lives because of His love!

Regarding application…All Nations, All People.  Vs. 1, “Vs. 1, “Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples.”  In many ways, I like the fact that the name of our church does not have the word “Korean” in it.  While we are predominately Korean…being adopted…I have learned to balance both cultures.  It’s my hope and prayer that we remember that we are a church that reaches out to all people!  As the second generation Korean church grows, we no longer share an exclusive language.  While we embrace our heritage, our pride is not in being Korean but being a Christian!!!!

QT – Psalm 116

Vs. 13, “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.”  We call on a great many things…we call our friends, we call our own strength, we call on things of this world to help us…but the Psalmist reminds us who we need to call upon most.  This is a Messianic psalm and many scholars believe Jesus in the upper room with the Apostles sang this Psalm.  In this Psalm we see the psalmist !declare their love, praise God for their deliverance from death, and make a vow/promise to always PTL.

Regarding application…Finding Rest.  Vs. 7, “Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.”  In this journey of life, there are “rest stops” along the way.  Those rest stops come in the form of QT’s, prayer time, fellowship time, church time, etc.  It’s time to rest again in the Lord.  I’m looking forward to this evening’s Bible Study & Praise night!  It’s a time when we rest away from this world, a mini-retreat to spend time with eacih other and most importantly the Lord Jesus!  PTL for times of rest in our lives….appreciate it and never take it for granted. 

QT – Psalm 115

Vs. 1, “Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.”  Amen~~~  This is a salvation Psalm that recognizes that it isn’t about us, but about Him!  It reminds me of when John the Baptist said, “He must become greater and i must become less.”  Why do we proclaim “Not to us”?  Because of His love and faithfulness.  

Regarding application…God’s Way or the Highway. Vs. 3, “Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.”  Fortunately for us, God’s way is always good and just.  I remember when I used to be in wrestling back in high school.  One of the things we learned really quickly was to never ever question the coaches.  Whether it was working out, doing drills, running…we understood the coaches had their ways of leading us to victory.  One of the students my freshman year mouthed off to the weight lifting coach and after that day, he quit wrestling after he was thoroughly disciplined in front of us.  Needless to say, we had a nearly Godly fear of our coaches.  Even more…we are to realize that it is not our place to question God…He does as He pleases.  We just need to trust Him!

QT – Psalm 114

Vs. 1, “When Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue.”  This is an upbeat Psalm that celebrates the deliverance from Egypt.  Just like yesterday’s psalm, this was also sang before a meal as a show of thanksgiving.  They traversed through many obstacles…the sea, the river, the mountains and the hills.  The only thing that kept many to reaching the promised land who left out of Egypt was their own sin and choices.  

Regarding application...Salvation Appreciated.  Vs. 8, “who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.”  Water was a symbol of salvation for water gave life out in the desert place.  I know I have taken for granted the salvation that the Lord has given me more than I would like to admit.  Take time if you haven’t yet to let the Lord know how much you appreciate the salvation He has granted you!  I heard the Youth Group sent the counselor’s appreciation letters :) (Thank you YG for giving Hyojin & I ones too)  Let’s make sure we are also appreciating the Lord! PTL for His grace upon us!

QT – Psalm 113

Vs. 3, “From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.”  This was a psalm believed to be sung before eating a meal.  Whether it is sunrise or sundown, the Name of the Lord is to be praised.  A former pastor of mine (Pastor Roy) said, “Somewhere around the world, the sun is always rising and always setting!  There is no one like our God (vs. 5).

Regarding application…God is Sovereign.  Vs. 4, “The LORD is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.”  God is sovereign (Greatest in authority)!  He is above the authority of leaders, teachers, workplaces and even parents!  He is above all nations and their laws.  While we are to adhere to the laws of the countries we live in, if they go against the Lord’s mandates (i.e…sharing the Gospel), it is then that we defer to the Sovereignty of God.  Is God’s reign evident in all areas of your life?  Prayerfully consider where God isn’t first and do something about it!  For some of you music was taking the place of God and so you took music off your ipod’s.  What is it that we need to let go and Let God take first?