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WHAT IS MAN THAT THOU ART MINDFUL OF HIM? (Psalm 8)

PSALM 8 IS THE PINNACLE OF THE OPENING PSALMS,

JUST AS MAN WAS THE PINNACLE OF GOD’S CREATION.

HOW THIS WEEK WILL ENCOURAGE YOUR SOUL!

TO THINK THAT THE ONE WHO SET THE STARS IN PLACE

IS MINDFUL OF US.

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THIS QUESTION: WHAT IS MAN?

SOME LOOK AT HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND SAY HE IS A GOD

HE IS SO WONDERFUL, THEY BELIEVE, HE DOESN’T NEED GOD

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OTHERS SEE THE DEPRAVITY AND SUFFERING OF MAN AND SAY, WITH MACBETH,

LIFE IS A TALE TOLD BY AN IDIOT, FULL OF SOUND AND FURY, SIGNIFYING NOTHING

macbeth

YET GOD HAS SET ETERNITY IN OUR HEARTS, AND HOW BLESSED WE ARE IF WE COME TO THE CONCLUSION OF NEITHER OF THE

ABOVE, BUT OF PSALM 8, AS SARA GROVES DID, AS A YOUNG GIRL:

SUNDAY: ICEBREAKER

1. Can you remember when you first pondered “What is man?” Share something about it.

2. When was the last time you were aware that God was mindful of you?

MONDAY-WEDNESDAY BIBLE STUDY

Read Psalm 8 aloud to yourself.

3. Sing How Great Thou Art and find phrases in the song that may have been inspired by Psalm 8

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  YOU HAVE SET YOUR GLORY ABOVE THE HEAVENS. 

                       2004-11a_Children_Worshiping_in_Samoa

OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABIES AND INFANTS,

YOU HAVE ESTABLISHED STRENGTH BECAUSE OF YOUR FOES,

TO STILL THE ENEMY AND THE AVENGER.

 4. Derek Kidner says the opening two verses are the theme of the whole psalm in miniature — from the highest of high to the lowest of low. If you haven’t seen this from Louis Giglio, watch and comment:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gn2dPZDMOWA

5. If possible, share a time when you heard genuine praise for the Lord out of the mouth of a little child.

6. How have you seen God’s tendency to use the weak of the world to silence the strong of the world?

7. Jesus quotes this in Matthew 21:15. Kidner says that when the whole earth praises God with its glory, the enemy rises up, and God meets the enemy with the voice of a child. Contemplate this and share your thoughts.

 

knitting

8. Read Psalm 8:3 — what does “the work of your fingers” tell you about God? About man? Compare this to Psalm 139:15.

9. Read Psalm 8:4-8 and explain how Scripture sees man and how this refutes both worldly theories expressed above.

10. What does it mean to you that God values you so?

11. Listen to this from the Psalms Project and comment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zumk_5uemkI

12. This psalm is also about Christ, for He was willing to lower Himself to become a man. What does Hebrews 2:9 teach you about this?

13. How does this psalm appropriately end?

14. Use the truths found in this psalm about God, about yourself, and about Jesus as a springboard for a prayer of praise.

 

THURSDAY/FRIDAY SERMON

Last week I couldn’t find a sermon I thought wonderful enough to give you, but this week there were so many it was hard to choose. I’m going to give you Keller as your required sermon and Martyn Lloyd-Jones as an optional sermon. (I promised not to overwhelm you, but some of you might want to listen to both.) Please listen to Keller and share your notes — and Lloyd-Jones if you like. Both are free — thankful I haven’t yet had to give you a sermon that is not free!

15. Listen to Keller’s Maker of Heaven and Earth and share your notes: this.

Optional: Listen to Martyn Lloyd-Jones A Little Lower Than The Angels and share your thoughts: LINK

Saturday

16. What is your take-a-way and why?

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219 comments

  1.  4. Derek Kidner says the opening two verses are the theme of the whole psalm in miniature — from the highest of high to the lowest of low. If you haven’t seen this from Louis Giglio, watch and comment:
    I loved the song “Indescribable” and after Louis Giglio was done—   I felt like I was less than a speck of dust 🙂      In a good way!

  2.  4. Derek Kidner says the opening two verses are the theme of the whole psalm in miniature — from the highest of high to the lowest of low. If you haven’t seen this from Louis Giglio, watch and comment:
     
    So funny, I teach this and I’m talking about this very thing with my classes. The size of the universe is totally amazing! Of course, not with a spiritual twist, because I’m not allowed to do so, but I do talk about how unique earth is in the universe and how scientists would like to find planets just like us. They think that it is it’s a big enough place to do so; so why not? 
     
    I think I’m kind of small minded because I just feel like we are special; otherwise wouldn’t we have found another planet like ourselves at this point with all the technology that we have? If we were closer to Venus, we would fry, and closer to Mars we would be a frozen world; we wouldn’t be the Earth we know! There are stars similar to our Sun and there are planets similar to earth that orbit those stars and yet we haven’t found anything like us. It’s thought-provoking for sure. Here are a few links for interested people:
     
     
    http://www.space.com/3728-major-discovery-planet-harbor-water-life.html
     
    http://www.space.com/23394-strange-alien-planet-earthlike-kepler-78b.html
     
    http://science.howstuffworks.com/other-earth1.htm
     
    I did have an opportunity to witness to a student however; it was after school and he came back because he forgot something. He struck up the conversation questioning how I could be a scientist and still believe in God (he knows I go to church ). I told him he didn’t have to believe as I did but even though I was a scientist, I also believe God could have created everything. I feel like the guy on the video; God can do anything including create a big bang 🙂

    1. Like this post Laura Dancer and really, some scientific laws defy themselves, for example:  things do not go from disorder to order they go from order to disorder (which would refute everything just coming from an accident.)  And of course, life does not arise from non-life.  I remember my college biology teacher (who was not a Believer) saying, “Isn’t it amazing that the one substance that become LESS dense when it freezes is water?  If it were like all other substances and became MORE dense when it froze then the lakes would freeze from the bottom up, killing all the fish the first time they froze, isn’t that an amazing coincidence??”  I was thinking…uh, really? 🙂  I’m glad you got a chance to speak a word for the Lord to that student!

  3. SO enjoying this study on the Psalms! Thanks Dee 🙂

  4. 7. “When the whole earth praises God with it’s glory, the enemy rises up, and God meets the enemy with the voice of a child”  I guess it mostly makes me think of  Jesus.  How he was teaching in the temple even as a child when his parents lost track of Him, there he was teaching the religious leaders of His day.  It reminds me of a song by Michael Card called “The Voice of  a child.”  I wanted to put a link to it here but the only one I could find was not very good quality (poor sound quality.)  
    8.  “Psalm 8:3, what does “the work of Your fingers tell you about God?  About man?”  That something (like creating the heavens) is impossible for man and yet for God it is a tiny nothing!  The work of His fingers or even just His Word, speaking things into existence.  Just more to stand in awe of and Psalm  139:15 speaks to the detail of forming human life.  I need to remember God in this way when I am tempted to grumble and I would be like Job and put my hand over my mouth and repent a whole lot sooner.

  5. #11  (okay, yeah, skipped ahead in the questions for now)  Psalm project, psalm 8:  tranquil/restful tune, beautiful…  makes my heart feel lighter (though technically it probably weighs the same as before listening to the song.)

    1. Mary,  🙂

    2. Mary E-Isn’t the Psalm project wonderful?!? :)))

  6. Then sings my soul, My Savior God to Thee How great thou art! O Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth!Love, love this Psalm. L. Giglio’s sermonette was awe-inspiring. What a great God we have indeed! I thought of the little girl in my home country who sang “He’s still working on me” by Joel Hemphill. Sing with me, will you gals? 🙂
    He’s still working on me to make me what I ought to be.It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars.How loving and patient He must be, He’s still working on me.
    1. There really ought to be a sign upon the heart,Don’t judge her yet, there’s an unfinished part.But I’ll be perfect just according to His planFashioned by the Master’s loving hands.
    CHORUS:
    2. In the mirror of His Word reflections that I seeMake me wonder why He never gave up on me.He loves me as I am and helps me when I prayRemember He’s the Potter, I’m the clay.

    1. Singing the chorus with you! I don’t remember the melody for the verses 🙂

    2. Wow Ernema, I just read your post after posting mine. :)) I too see the Potter and the Clay in “the work of Your fingers”.. 🙂

  7. Dear sisters, I have to a take some time off from the study. I’m so glad for the Facebook group so that I can still be aware of how you all are and pray for needs. 
    God is working deep in me. Last week I prayed that I would be able to forget myself for I realized that I am extremely self focused. He led me to fast and then back to this Boundaries study that has been so difficult for me. Twice I have started and stopped. This evening I am looking back over what I had already done and I can see that I just wasn’t getting it. I even wrote that in several of my answers. It is more clear now and I am encouraged that I can move into more heart change. I see how a lack of boundaries has left me sort of broken, wounded and in pain. It occurred to me that the pain could be causing the self focus, like when some thing stops hurting and you forget about it. I am so hopeful because I know the Lord has only good in store for me.
    I covet your prayers for me. This will not be easy. I know I will be in touch and definitely reading each week’s post. I love all of you so much!

    1. Anne, so sorry you are in so much pain. I hope you find the heart change you are praying for. We will miss you here. Please keep in touch. I will be praying. Please feel free to put prayer requests on Facebook or here.

    2. Anne,  Will miss you and pray for you.  Please keep us posted about how you are — here or on FB.  God’s blessings as you lean into him.

    3. Anne, So sorry to see you leave! I don’t have a lot of time to respond, but I read posts and I will miss yours. Will MISS you as well as your insight into Dee’s pictures and paintings. 

    4. Blessings to you, Anne…will keep praying for your journey with God in this area.

    5. Anne,
      Blessings to you – praying for your journey.

    6. Will miss you Anne.I am so hopeful because I know the Lord has only good in store for me”. I agree!

    7. Thank you all so much. You are a wonderful group. 

    8. Will be praying for you Anne.

  8. 8. Read Psalm 8:3 — what does “the work of your fingers” tell you about God? About man? Compare this to Psalm 139:15.
    Im not sure on the correct answer, but to me this tells me we serve a God that set the moon and stars in place. He is more than capable of everything that concerns our lives. I love Psalm 139:15, God knew us before he set everything in motion with the universe and this world. He has a plan for each and everyone of us, even in our trials, God is with us. He has a plan and had you and I planned from the very beginning “my frame was not hidden from you”.
    9. Read Psalm 8:4-8 and explain how Scripture sees man and how this refutes both worldly theories expressed above. 
    He values us, he crowned us with His glory and honor. We are made in his image. He loves us that much.
    10. What does it mean to you that God values you so?
    I feel unworthy but at the same time so loved. That I serve a God/father who loves me unconditionally even in all my ways. He loves me from the beginning of time and saw me, and still chose to put his crown of glory and honor on me leaves me humbled and realizing God loved me even knowing all my sinful ways.
     

  9. 7. Jesus quotes this in Matthew 21:15. Kidner says that when the whole earth praises God with its glory, the enemy rises up, and God meets the enemy with the voice of a child. Contemplate this and share your thoughts.
     
    This is amazing-I haven’t thought of this before-really does put me in awe and screams of who God is. The enemy roars and gets jealous and envious when God is glorified and praised and God could meet the enemy with a bolt of lightning but He chooses the praise of children!  I could be way off but I was pondering that children are more malleable than adults and the enemy knows this-and likes to influence them away from God so when children belt out the praises of God it crushes the enemy.

    -and I have to add that the reason this blows me away is that this is UPSIDE DOWN from the way our world works-God glorifying Himself with the weak..just like the Gospel totally upside down.

    1. my windows computer is slow so I thought my add on comment didn’t take and I re-did it..so erasing it and putting this down. 🙂

    2. I think you’re way ON Rebecca!  🙂 So many things with God are paradoxical like that. 

      1. Mary E-when I learned that from Keller-the Gospel being upside down-it blew me away and SO changed how I see Him- Seriously-I have SO MUCH to experience yet of Him-I am only experiencing Him in part of course-I so want that part to get bigger!  He keeps blowing me away with His Love.

    3. Rebecca,
      Your post reminds me of a sermon I heard by Richard Halverson near the end of the time when he was Chaplain of the Senate.   I usually don’t remember sermons for 20+ years, but this was significant to me because of where I was in life.

      He described the big triangle (organizational chart) of church governance/hierarchies and turned it upside down, describing how church leaders are servants rather than rulers– and how all of us are to be servants.  This stuck in my mind because he was a Presbyterian minister speaking in a Presbyterian church, and we did have an elder board and all the “higher up” district and national church structure.  Prior to that, I had grown up in and only attended churches with a congregational form of government.  Interestingly, I saw an upside down org chart in a Presbyterian church where the right side up triangle may have fit the governance model and a drawing of and attempts to implement a right side up org structure in a congregational form of gov’t.   Moral of story:  err toward upside down — servanthood, especially that is what is consistent with denomination’s gov’t.  

      Though I can see the Biblical influence in both forms of church gov’t, I think my choices are related to where I live.  I’ll take the upside down perspective in either form of church gov’t.    So reminded that though Jesus is KING, he came as an infant and even on the cross, didn’t make power grabs.

  10. 8. Read Psalm 8:3 — what does “the work of your fingers” tell you about God? About man? Compare this to Psalm 139:15.
    So this surprised me! Wow..That God cares too deeply to comprehend-that He deeply loves me! “the work of your fingers” is VERY intimate-very personal.  I think of the potter molding the clay how his fingers are on it and in his mind he knows what He wants to create and His creation delights Him. I was ‘intricately’ woven by His fingers in my mother’s womb. Man is made by His fingers and man is made in the image of Him. I can see how God is so grieved with those who die not wanting Him their whole life. 

  11. So I have to share.  My youngest last night when saying his “thank you prayer” for our dinner said “Thank you God that you are the bestest person.” So sweet.  And so true.  I so desire for my children to understand loving God for who He is and not just for what we can get from Him.
     
    8. Read Psalm 8:3 – what does “the work of your fingers” tell you about God? About man? Compare this to Psalm 139:15.  So, I am cheating because I already listened to Keller’s sermon and I cannot think of a different answer after hearing what he had to say.  Keller says “the work of your fingers” says that God is an artist.  That He cares about his creation because he intricately designed us.  Every other religion creation story credits the beautiful things of this world to a result of a battle, Christianity is the only one that credits the beauty of the world to a Creator, an Artist, someone who cares and works purposefully.  Love it.  Psalm 139 verifies that we were made on purpose. I want to ponder the “in the secret place” more….
     
    9. Read Psalm 8:4-8 and explain how Scripture sees man and how this refutes both worldly theories expressed above.  I see a God who cares for us. And trusts us…. He put us in charge of this earth to care for it and to rule over the works of His hands.  I am often grieved at how we live “civilized.” It is indeed possible for someone to not see “nature” for weeks on end if they live deep enough in the city.  Though the sky would always be visible, many look down.  I think this is a contributor to the growing worldly views in our country – it allows people to avoid God’s works and therefore “avoid God.”  The 2 worldly views surround themselves with man’s handiwork and then worship it as if they were capable of creation – they are not, nor can they even fully understand but because they avoid the big… huge… unfathomable picture they elevate themselves.  I do not think you see that trend in less developed countries because they are intimate with God’s handiwork, even if they do not understand the Gospel, they understand a divine being who creates.  They accept their position – small.  While most who hold one of the two views deny their position and work to become the opposite – big, able, in control, etc.  This perhaps is a clue to why God uses the weak… If we are weak and unable then it will be credited to God, otherwise we are too tempted to take credit for God’s work and in doing so denying God the glory that is His.
     
    I digress.
     
    10. What does it mean to you that God values you so? Wow. Just wow.  This is so incredible.  I am a bit like Renee – if I think too long on it it scares me because He is so incredibly big but I cannot stop there I must continue my thoughts to Christ and that is the key to seeing that, though big and awesome, God is tender and graceful and merciful and pursues me through the Gospel and through His work in my life.  The works of His hands often feel like a hug, He is all around me, He is orchestrating and the music is beautiful.

    1. God vs The Scientist
      God was sitting in heaven one day when a scientist said to Him,  “God, we don’t need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing – in other words, we can now do what you did in the beginning.”

      “Oh, is that so? Explain…” replies God.  “Well,” says the scientist, “we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of you and breathe life into it, thus creating man.”

      “Well, that’s very interesting… show Me.”

      So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil into the shape of a man.  “No, no, no…” interrupts God, “Get your own dirt.”

      1. I grin every time I scroll through and see this 🙂

  12. 11. Listen to this from the Psalms Project and comment: She had me at “Yahweh.” There is just something so sweet about His name set to music…  I like this one much better than the previous one. =)

    1. She had me at “Yahweh.”

      I liked that too. Diane was able to help me with the beginning of Psalm 8 where it ways, “O LORD, our Lord”. I’ve been digging deeper and found this.

       The actual translation of ‘O Lord, our Lord’ would be…”O Yahweh, our Adonai…” Yahweh is the redemptive name of God in the Old Testament and is referring to God who has made his son Jesus to be the ‘Adonai’ or ‘Lord’ of all. Jesus left no doubt to his identity when he addressed the Jewish people and said: “…before Abraham was, I am.” (Jn. 8:58) Using the word for ‘the timeless being’ he claimed unashamedly to be the Son of the eternal God of the patriarchs of the Old Testament. His name is to be praised in heaven and earth for all time. 

  13. This song has been going through my mind all week (as well as How Great Thou Art)!
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VU_rTX23V7Q

    1. Jill the song fits so perfectly with Psalm 8. Thank you

    2. I am so glad you shared this, Jill.  I have never heard this song before.  I like the part that says, “And You told me who I am …I am Yours”  He is the only one who tells us (and knows) the whole truth about who we are and yet loves us anyway!  What a priceless gift…to be fully known and still fully loved.

    3. Jill,   I simply love this song — it would be good anytime, but does go well with Psalm 8!  Thanks for sharing the link.

    4. Jill, THANKS!   Needed this this week.

    5. So pretty Jill…thank you for sharing.

  14. 8. Read Psalm 8:3 — what does “the work of your fingers” tell you about God? About man? Compare this to Psalm 139:15.I know God spoke the world into existence with His word but all kinds of images come to mind when David speaks of “the work of your fingers”.
    However big and vast the universe is, it’s just finger work for God. I can only imagine the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit smiling to themselves knowing that men and women down through the ages to the present would be stargazing at their magnificent materpiece—  as the stargazers came up with the name of grouping of stars like “Little Dipper”, “Big Dipper”, and the “Hunter”.
     
    Psalm 139:15 is such a beautiful picture of the  miracle of human development in the womb. I wonder if this verse could also be speaking prophetically—   describing the miracle of the incarnation, God becoming a man. Christ is clearly identified in the Book of Isaiah: “the Lord called me before my birth; from within the womb he called me by name.” (Isa. 49:1)
     

    I love what the VOICE translation says, “For we are the product of His hand, heaven’s poetry etched on lives, created in the Anointed, Jesus, to accomplish the good works God arranged long ago”. 

      1. The VOICE – Psalm 139

        The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

  15. 9. Read Psalm 8:4-8 and explain how Scripture sees man and how this refutes both worldly theories expressed above.
     
    I liked your answer to #9 Jill.

  16. 10. What does it mean to you that God values you so?
    Psalm 139:17 comes to mind, “And to me, how precious are your thoughts, O God; how vast is their sum. 18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand”.
    We usually don’t give a person the time of day if we don’t value them but this verse shows we are intensely loved and cared for by God.
     
     I could have read those words in verse 17 years ago but would not have believed them with my heart. Also to think He has crowned us with glory and honor and He describes what that looks like— in verses 6-8. It staggers the mind just how much He values us.
     
    The other thing I notice in verses 6-8 is—  He does not call us or ordain us to control or dominate other people.  He wants us to willing submit to the Lordship of Christ and to one another.
     

  17. 7. Jesus quotes this in Matthew 21:15. Kidner says that when the whole earth praises God with its glory, the enemy rises up, and God meets the enemy with the voice of a child. Contemplate this and share your thoughts.
     
    When people are high on themselves they tend to not like others to take the lead or get the attention. In this case, Jesus is healing people and they can’t do such things. They want the attention but have no way to “compete” with Him.
     
    8. Read Psalm 8:3 — what does “the work of your fingers” tell you about God? About man? Compare this to Psalm 139:15.
     
    Well, I crochet and it can be time consuming, painful, painstaking, hard to see, annoying, and difficult! However, I LOVE to crochet and the end result is a work of art (or is supposed to be :)) it is well worth the effort to see someone smile when they receive one of my pieces. I wonder if God feels that way when I notice His sunrise or beautiful snowfall?
     

  18. 11. Listen to this from the Psalms Project and comment:
    I’ve listened to the song several times and I like it.
     
     
     
     

  19. 9. Read Psalm 8:4-8 and explain how Scripture sees man and how this refutes both worldly theories expressed above.
     
    Scripture values man; God values man. God made us responsible for his creations.  Not sure I understand which worldly theories you refer to Dee. I’m guessing you mean the world doesn’t believe we have responsibility for the creation?  Or that we are not important in the eyes of God?
    10. What does it mean to you that God values you so?
     
    It is humbling to think how much he cares about us. I suppose it is as we feel about our own children. They are special to us, we value them. We hurt when they hurt, we cry when they cry, we laugh when they laugh. He always wants us to be protected. He hurts when we make poor choices. We delight him when we use our gifts. Isn’t it cool that he gave us children so that we would understand how he feels about us? As painful as it is sometimes……. as I move Sarah for the third time this year!

    1. Praying for you, Laura dancer, as you move Sarah yet again. How far (in hours driving) does she live from you now? How is she doing in her studies? 
       
      As well, do you have radiation on a certain day each week? I would like to be able to pray for you on the days you have your radiation. I appreciate it when you update us on how things are going. You have so much on your plate right now. Praying for you.

    2. Laura-dancer, I am sorry for the stress of moving Sarah again. Did she find a good alternative to her difficult living situation? I hope so. I pray for your treatments. 
      Did you ever get the video of you dancing uploaded?! =)

    3. Praying this move will be a huge blessing!

      Wish I could see your crochet pieces, Laura…I love to crochet too if I get a chance.

      1. Thank you ladies for your prayers I am doing well. I’m a little tired and a little sunburn but “none the worse for wear.”  Only three treatments left! Ready for it to be over, but they do treat me like a princess when I go there! that’s nice……
         
        Regarding Sarah, I think I asked for prayers because she’s being harassed by her landlady. It is been a struggle and we have been down looking for an apartment the last few weekends. We found a place but Sarah is not very happy. She wants to live in “the city” (NYC) and we don’t want her to (duh). She doesn’t understand, and we just went ahead and got an apartment that is only three quarters of a mile from school. Anyway, we’re moving her this weekend and appreciate the prayers!
         
        Joyce my crocheted pieces aren’t that great but I really enjoy it, and I do think people enjoy receiving them from me. I was on a hat kick this past year making hats for everyone I think I’m in a start going into afghans now. I don’t really have time but I am really relaxed when I’m crocheting so, I’m hoping to do a lot of that this next week on my winter break.

        1. Laura-dancer–THREE MORE! That’s exciting! Continuing prayers for you and for Sarah’s move this weekend. You made me smile with your crocheted hat story…I taught myself to knit a few years ago and got on a scarf kick (the easiest thing to make!)…gave everyone scarves…including all my family in South Texas where there is only one season (Summer) 🙂

        2. Laura, I will be doing a “happy dance” when those three radiation treatments are over!! Keep being gentle with that sunburned skin…praying the move will go smoothly this weekend.

  20. 12. This psalm is also about Christ, for He was willing to lower Himself to become a man. What does Hebrews 2:9 teach you about this? Hebrews is quoting Psalm 8, putting Christ as the subject. Hebrews teaches that Christ was crowned because He suffered death, “so that by the Grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” I get so excited with direct ties to the Old Testament from the New.  It helps me see the Old Testament as God intended. 
     
    13. How does this psalm appropriately end? The same as it began. A declaration of praise and majesty to our Lord. Lord, our lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!  The only reasonable conclusion after considering all the wonders cited in earlier verses and what he gave to mankind cited in the previous verses. 

    1. Hope all goes well in your travels for retreat. So exciting that you are meeting Renee face to face. Wish I could be there. What state is Litchfield in? Praying.

      1. Diane, It’s in Minnesota — less than 3 hours from me (if I don’t hit detours, and I have had many on those roads).   At least the shortest route is just under 3 hours.

        1. Have a great time, Renee. Hope there are not too many detours. (And why are there a lot of detours on those roads, if I might be curious?)

        2. So happy you and Dee get to meet!!   Praying for traveling mercies for both of you.

    2. oh, praying for safe travels dear Dee–keep us posted! Praying for quickening and hearts to hear too!

    3. Oh Dee, Was wondering about travel for you.  I heard that a storm was going to hit in your area.  We were on the edge of the storm in forecast, but no snow here yet (and warmer than in months this morning, colder now).  Glad you are staying near the airport.  I think it snowed in Twin Cities today, but hope it will be normal winter weather there tomorrow.

    4. Dee, praying for travel, hearts and rejoicing for a fun meeting! Wasn’t Nanci supposed to try to go, too?! 

      1. She’s going to another one — in March.  Dee has two in the same region (probably only about 1 1/2 hours apart) within 2 or 3 weeks.

        1. Yep, Renee is right..I think Nanci is going to the Set Apart Conference in St. Paul from what I recall.
          I can’t wait for Renee and Dee to meet-it will be sweet! I would love to hear how it went Renee-if you are able to give us updates. If you aren’t able that is okay too- it doesn’t hurt to ask! 😉 

  21. 7. Jesus quotes this in Matthew 21:15. Kidner says that when the whole earth praises God with its glory, the enemy rises up, and God meets the enemy with the voice of a child. Contemplate this and share your thoughts.
     
     Jesus came into this world as a tender, dependent, nursing infant, and the world was forever changed. When I think of a baby being born, the first thought is the power of creation—the life of a child shows God’s overwhelming power that the enemy cannot compete with. The enemy cannot create.
     
    8. Read Psalm 8:3 — what does “the work of your fingers” tell you about God? About man? Compare this to Psalm 139:15.
     
    Oh this does remind me of Job 14:15—LOVE that verse—He longs for the work of His hands! He is intimately, personally invested in each of us. He knows every struggle that Mary E. and Laura-d faces, and knows ones I cannot voice—He knows each of us as unique creations that He put His heart into as He created—just OVERWHELMS me! He SEES me.
     
    9. Read Psalm 8:4-8 and explain how Scripture sees man and how this refutes both worldly theories expressed above.
     
    We are given authority over all God has created—He entrusts us with His own work! This just made a light bulb go off for me—it is so easy to say I know He entrusted me with His children…but to really remember they are His creation, the intricate works of His hands! I flash back to birthday cakes I’ve made for my kids—one in particular  that was quite fragile—and the control freak I was about carrying it to the table outside…and that is a cake! He has entrusted us with His precious creation, with children, with nature, with my spouse, my family and friendships…This is a wake-up call not to take relationships so lightly.
    Well, this was timely—as I was typing my 7 yr old was pounding on the door from outside telling me to “come quick!!” To be honest, I felt annoyed at the “interruption” because I’ve been so behind on this study! Well, he wanted to show me that the 3 peonies he and his daddy planted, for me, were sprouting up! Creation praising creation…so many opportunities to see Him and praise him.

    1. Elizabeth, I LOVED your answer to #9! 

    2. Loved this Elizabeth!
       
      “…Creation praising creation…”

  22. 7. Jesus quotes this in Matthew 21:15. Kidner says that when the whole earth praises God with its glory, the enemy rises up, and God meets the enemy with the voice of a child. Contemplate this and share your thoughts.
    It seems like things that come from God are simple, like a child with simple faith and trust. The world was expecting a mighty warrior of a savior to come and reign like the greatest of kings, and God sent His Son as a baby. God doesn’t come in the earthquake, wind, or fire, but in a still small whisper. It is just God’s way, and we sometimes don’t recognize it or don’t comprehend its importance because it is so simple. We are looking for something more complicated, in fact, the world is looking for something more complex.
    8. Read Psalm 8:3 – what does “the work of your fingers” tell you about God? About man? Compare this to Psalm 139:15.
    It tells me that God didn’t just say “Abracadabra,” He actually worked on each of us (customizing us). We are all different and yet so very alike in many ways. God is very aware of each of us “our frames are not hidden from Him when we are developed in the womb.”

    9. Read Psalm 8:4-8 and explain how Scripture sees man and how this refutes both worldly theories expressed above.

    The Scripture sees man as being just a little less than the angels of heaven, and as the ruler over all that God has created on earth. God has crowned man to be “over” all of the creatures and plants of the earth.
    10. What does it mean to you that God values you so?

    It encourages me to think that God prizes me so. If I get to feeling “down,” then I just need to remember my place in God’s scheme of things. It gives me hope, especially when linked to the knowledge that God loved me so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem me by his sacrifice on the cross, and then raised Him from death so as to pave the way for me to also have eternal life with Him. God planned for each of us in the beginning, and He has carried out His plan for us perfectly. He is presently busy carrying out the rest of His Perfect Plan – so why should I worry?!

    1. So good, Deanna “He is presently busy carrying out the rest of His Perfect Plan – so why should I worry?!”

  23. 10. What does it mean to you that God values you so?
    I’m trying this one again.  I realize that not only had the answer not soaked in, but I also didn’t let the question soak in.  Last week, I was taken out to lunch by someone who wanted to build her support system; she doesn’t feel valued at work and isn’t treated very well.  Today, someone else said essentially the same thing to me.  I don’t feel valued at work either, but I think it makes more difference to those who are earlier in their careers.  Plus, I realize that my job is just different enough that I do have contact with people I value and who value me.  What knowing he values me, loves me SO MUCH should mean to me is that I am so content in him that it doesn’t bother me if I am not valued by other people.

    It really doesn’t bother me when I am not valued by some (I don’t have time to think about it & I may not value their opinion!), but it does bother me A LOT when others are treated unfairly.  THe fact that God values me means he cares about my day to day thoughts, emotions, health, etc.  And I do think that he doesn’t like when people are oppressed, lied about, or bullied.
     
    When doing some reading for work this week, I ran into the phrase “moral distress.”  I diagnosed myself 🙂  I told someone today I was experiencing “moral distress,” i.e., that I could see the right thing to do but felt powerless to do it.   

    At the moment, I am processing what it means that God values me together with the facts that he is all powerful, and I am powerless.  I WANT knowing that he values me to mean that I trust him completely and wait for and trust his leading (so that I don’t experience moral distress).  If it really soaks in that HE LOVES ME, I will experience real freedom. And I think it is soaking in more all the time.

    1. Oh Renee—I SEE THAT YOUR DESIRES ARE BECOMING MORE AND MORE LIKE HIS!!!!!! THIS IS HIM TENDING YOUR GARDEN AND YOU ARE FLOWERING.. Love this! I think your  “moral distress”  is beautiful.  :))  

    2. Me too, Renee ” I WANT knowing that he values me to mean that I trust him completely”. Love your thoughts

  24. 11. Listen to this from the Psalms Project and comment:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zumk_5uemkI
    I enjoyed hearing the psalm set to music.  It made me look at it from a fresh perspective.
     
    12. This psalm is also about Christ, for He was willing to lower Himself to become a man. What does Hebrews 2:9 teach you about this?
    Jesus was willing to lower himself to become man and taste death just as man has to do.  However, his purpose was to die for man so that we could have eternal life.   Afterwards, he was raised from death, and then ascended to heaven, where as Hebrews 2:9 tells us “He is now crowned with glory and honor.” 
    Presently we cannot see Jesus reigning on earth, but we picture him in his heavenly glory.  However, one day he will rule on earth just as he does now in heaven.
     
    13. How does this psalm appropriately end?
     
    It ends in great praise of the Lord:  
     
    “O Lord, Our Lord, How majestic is your name in all the earth!”     Of course, this is also the way the psalm began! 

  25. Well, I was waiting for Elizabeth or Deanna to share their notes because they do such a great job but I will for the sake of ‘keeping on schedule’. =) Though my notes are always lacking because they have echoes of little boys in them. =)
     
    Psalm 8. Tim Keller. 
    -All problems stem from not understanding who God is or forgetting for the moment. 
    – The first thing David sees when he looks at the sky is the truth of God (reality and magnitude of God). 
    – God made ALL things! This has two implications. 
    1. How do we regard God? The huge universe made by his fingers – do you ask Him to be your assistant? Your consultant? No! You are His assistant (if that). He is King! Christianity is the only religion that credits creation to art. All other ancient creation stories credit creation to a result of a battle. God created for love and delight! Art shows us the inner character of the artist. 
    2. What is man? This is a rhetorical question. How do I know that God cares for us? If there is no God, do we matter? No. We are trash and nothing we do makes any difference….either good or bad. No matter what we do it will die. If you only believe in science then there is no human dignity, no human significance. 
    – Human beings are created in the image of God. (I wonder if one reason God created us in His image is so that we can understand how He might feel, whereas if we didn’t have the same emotions as Him He would be foreign and unreachable?)
    – He is big and yet…we fill His mind and He visits us. (Keller cited a specific translation of a word but I missed it. Perhaps v. 4 the phrase “that you care for them.”)
    – v. 2 we tend to skip this verse but Christ quoted it. He will deal with evil by the voices of babes and infants. He deals with evil through weakness. (Deut 7)   
    – Christ – instead of gaining power He lost power for the ultimate defeat of evil. 
    I missed the last four minutes. Sorry! I will have to listen to them again. I really appreciated Keller’s dialogue on lack of purpose if there is no god. I am keyed into ways to have conversations with atheists to ‘get a foot in the door’ so to speak. 

    1. Jill,
      “All problems stem from not understanding who God is or forgetting for the moment.”    AMEN!  That sums it up — I should post it on my wall.   I just transferred the sermon to my cell phone so that I can listen again tomorrow.

    2. Jill-great notes!! I get to listen today while I work-it is wonderful to be in the dish room. 🙂

  26. Diane, Regarding the detours:  I may run into them because I take different roads between here and Mpls/St Paul, depending on where I’m going in the city (don’t usually go there much in winter).  Seems like whenever it’s not winter, there is road construction someplace around here.   Because these are “backroads” rather than Interstate/Freeway, the whole road is closed rather than a couple lanes at a time.  And the last couple of times I’ve gone, I’ve hit detours!  I didn’t consider checking in the past because I didn’t run into many in earlier years, but I guess I could check now 🙂      My hunch is the reason was simply timing — probably a bunch of money put into roads at some time in the past and finally  they were in desperate need of repair.   The routes that is MOST likely to be open is a little longer.  But when I have time, I don’t mind exploring 🙂 

  27. Louis Giglio video is very interesting and he is funny too.     Safe travels Dee and Renee…praying for you.

  28. 9. Read Psalm 8:4-8 and explain how Scripture sees man and how this refutes both worldly theories expressed above.
     
    That GOD made us a little lower than the angels. GOD crowned us with glory and honor, GOD gave us dominion over the work of our hands, HE put all things under our feet: animals, birds, fish of the sea. This blows me away because all of this that He has given us dominion over is too wonderful and beautiful. Yet I also see Jesus here!

    10. What does it mean to you that God values you so?

    GRATEFUL and humbled, and in awe of Him that He would make this for me and be mindful of me!  I also can’t help but think of Jesus here because it comforts me so as daily life can bring stressful situations..that God put everything in subjection under His feet and therefore He is in control-not me! Even though He has given me stewardship, HE is in control and there is nothing He can’t handle!
     
    11. Listen to this from the Psalms Project and comment:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zumk_5uemkI
     
    I am in Love with “The Psalms Project”!  Listening to this put me in awe of Him-and brought me to worship. I thought of Jesus singing this to Him too. I was picturing, as I heard the piano in the beginning, of His fingers making everything-powerful yet thoughtful and intricately done-like an artists hands. I love how they chose the right phrases to repeat..it isn’t just mindless repeating of phrases. This song brought out the crux to me which is “How majestic is your name in all the Earth.” Then my thoughts were in awe of Him that He, Creator, the One whose name is majestic in all the Earth became a man to suffer and die for me. 
     
    12. This psalm is also about Christ, for He was willing to lower Himself to become a man. What does Hebrews 2:9 teach you about this?
     
    That Jesus, for a little while, was made lower than the angels so that by God’s Grace He could taste death for us. He was crowned with Glory and Honor because of His suffering of death.
     
    13. How does this psalm appropriately end?
     
    OH YES..This is what stood out to me in the Psalm project song. SO HIM! “How majestic is your name in all the Earth!”
     
     
     

    1. Rebecca–are you singing at your current Church? This is another one where I can hear you singing it SO beautifully!

      1. Elizabeth, no-not yet..I will email you personally on this and give you an update…You don’t know how I covet your encouragement because that helps me know.. So sweet!  
         

        1. rebecca–oooh i just had a brainstorm idea! ok, I’ll email it to you 🙂

    2. And God who knows you intimately, Rebecca, already had it in His mind, “Wait till Rebecca hears this psalm put to music…her heart is going to soar in worship!!!” (well, I don’t know His exact thoughts, but you get my point! 🙂 ) And I’m pretty sure He was smiling. 🙂  

  29. 14. Use the truths found in this psalm about God, about yourself, and about Jesus as a springboard for a prayer of praise.
     
    God You have overwhelmed me again with You-with your word-thank you! Jesus-How majestic is your name in all the Earth that you created all of this wonder-this big, beautiful vast beauty to show me Your Love for me-to show me Your power, Your majesty-your power in the fiery stars, the Sun-the vast ever expanding Universe yet Your gentle, thoughtful fingers formed my frame and knows my inward being. I see You in the gentle smile and innocent eyes of a child-and I see you in the roar of the Lion. Oh God how majestic is your name in all the Earth. Who am I that you are mindful of me? my heart melts that you stooped down to make yourself a man so that you could taste death for me that you are crowned with Glory and honor and that you have crowned me with your glory and your honor. Jesus as I go through my day today I need you and I need you to remind me of this-as my natural bend is to focus on the events of the day and forget everything is in submission under your feet-remind me that You are bigger and that everything is in submission under your feet. Remind me that your name is majestic in all the Earth-this is all yours. 

  30. I haven’t gotten to either sermon yet, but hoping to today!
     
    10. What does it mean to you that God values you so?
     
    It humbles me, surprises me I think. It also ignites a sense of responsibility—to take care of what He has created, and what He has entrusted me with.
     
    11. Listen to this from the Psalms Project and comment:LOVED this. I was very moved by it…beautiful.

    12. This psalm is also about Christ, for He was willing to lower Himself to become a man. What does Hebrews 2:9 teach you about this?

    He became man, a “little lower than the angels”, for our sake, for our redemption.

    13. How does this psalm appropriately end?
     
    It ends as it began—praising the majesty of the Lord over all creation. I love the progression in this psalm! From God’s creation, to the threats of the enemy, Christ’s redemption, and His eternal reign as Lord of all!
     
    14. Use the truths found in this psalm about God, about yourself, and about Jesus as a springboard for a prayer of praise.
     
    Lord, I praise Your intimate crafting of each of our lives and the beauty of this world around us. I look at the pink in the sky, the uniqueness of flower petals, and I am constantly reminded, You did this for us, for me, for our enjoyment, and because You are a God who creates. You make all things new. Thank You Lord for Your redemptive power! Thank You that every second You are restoring things until one Day all will be renewed, all will bring You glory and honor. Thank You that nothing is too broken, to messy, or beyond Your repair. You are the Life-giver. Thank You Lord that You see me, nothing is hidden from You. Thank You Lord that You hear me. Thank You Lord that You are Sovereign and You are always at work. Thank You for HOPE.

    1. Oh Elizabeth, the Holy Spirit in me says, “YES, YES, YES!” with your prayer.  “…nothing is too broken, to messy, or beyond Your repair.”  What a mess I make of everything at times and how wonderful to know that I can hand it to Him and let Him take over and redeem it all for good.

  31. I listened to the Tim Keller sermon and am just downloading Lloyd-Jones’ sermon. I appreciate the sermons so much. The variety of preachers are all special in their own way.  Just wanted to say thanks Dee for finding such great free sermons for us.

  32. Martin Lloyd-Jones
    Psalm 8 – What is man?
    -What do we see (perceive) as we gaze at the heavens?
    -There is a difference between seeing and perceiving.
    -It would be folly to deny scientific study. But using scientific approach only to apply to the whole of life is wrong.  When the scientist does that he is only speculating. He misses the immaterial, he misses the REAL splendor. 
    -Even Charles Darwin in his autobiography lamented that he had spent so much time focusing on the specimens that he had missed the BEAUTY of nature.  He has missed the beauty in poetry and music, as well.  Because He only looked at the material, the specimen.
    -The same is happening now – we are blinded to the highest values and significance by focusing on the scientific.  Science alone doesn’t take into account  LOVE, the immaterial.  The immaterial makes life worthy of living, makes life lovely, glorious!

    -Scientific approach causes 2 things.
    –1. Man misses the glory of God. (Explained in a previous sermon.)
    –2. Man misses the truth in respect to himself. In general man does not ask “What is man?” he is distracted.
    -There is one answer to the question “What is man?” and it “is in Psalm 8 and indeed in the whole of the Bible” (I love the way he talks!).

    -There are 2 non-Christian responses to the question and they contradict each other which explains the conflict in mankind and in the world. 
    –1. We overestimate man. “We are able!” “We are smarter!” “Man is a marvelous creature!” “Man has no need to believe in a god.” “Man is so wonderful/able that the thought of God is an insult to him.” 
    –2. We underestimate man. Man is just a particle, nothing but a conglomeration of biologic forces, just a mechanism, a “result.” Life is NOTHING.

    -These are both wrong. They are partial truths that are often taken as whole truth.

    -The Christian answer gives a glimmer of hope.

    -Man ORIGINALLY was made by God in the image of God.  God has made him a little lower than angels in His image. He made him just short of divinity. Mans was given a spiritual nature to be able to commune with self – that is to talk to oneself. Man was given a psychical nature that we are able to be self-conscious, to be able to think and reason and ponder ourselves. 

    -Man NOW – weak, frail, frustrated – just look in the news! Vile, perversion, crime. If he is created good then why is he destroying his own world? He has a sense of doom. Doesn’t it seem to be our master instead of us the master of it (creation)? WHY? Man fell. This is why there is contradiction. When man fell there are still remnants of the image of God. But he lost fellowship with God and drug all of creation down with him.  He has brought this uncertain/unhappy life upon himself.
    -It isn’t the end of the story.
    John 3:16.  For God so loved the world that He gave he only begotten Son…
    -We are looking from earth to heaven BUT the biggest thing that ever happened was that heaven came to earth. 

    -MAN IN CHRIST – Man is who he is meant to be. Power over evil. All power is Christ’s.  He came so that we would again be in the image of God – we would become like Him. We sin against God and then we pit ourselves against Him.  He came to deliver us from our own nature and make us a part of His divine nature. To make us heirs. 
    -This earth will all be destroyed! God cares for you – is mindful for YOU! He sent His son to visit you.

  33. I am going to begin my notes on Keller’s sermon this week by sending out a disclaimer.   I am not as confident of my notes as I would normally be.   For some reason, this time I had a most difficult time keeping up with him.    I don’t know if he spoke faster, or if I was just moving slower 🙂 
     
    Notes on Keller’s sermon:
    He began by saying we are literally doing “theology” (the study of God).   All of our problems stem from not knowing who God is or from forgetting who He is at the moment.
    We are looking at one of the more famous attributes of God:  that He created all things for His own glory.
    David is the writer of this psalm.  David tells three things (1) the wonderful thing he saw, (2) the frightening thing he felt, and (3) the amazing things he learned.
    The first thing he sees when he sees the universe is that they tell of the Glory of God.  The Universe speaks of God. 
     
    Joseph Addison in Spacious Firmament:   
    “In reason’s ear they all rejoice, and utter forth in glorious voice, forever singing as they shine.  The hand that made us is divine.”
    David sees the magnificence and magnitude of God when he sees what God has created. 
    Keller made some comparisons, one of which was that if the Milky Way was the size of North America, our solar system would be the size of a coffee cup.    So if that is tiny compared with God, what is God like?    God made all of that with His fingers!!

    You believe in God, but you believe this great God cares about us.   If you feel insignificant now , how much more insignificant would you feel if you believed God does not care for us? 
    Bertrand Russell said if there is no creator, who are we?  Does anything we do matter?   No!  The universe is blind and impersonal.  The universe doesn’t care. 
     
    Steven Pinker (Harvard)   wrote  Stupidity of Dignity.      He said if you believe science there is no dignity or civil rights.  

    I didn’t get recorded whose 35-second play Keller was talking about.   He said it opened with the cry of a baby, then the sound of someone inhaling, followed by a scene of trash all over, the sound of someone exhaling, gurgling sounds of death — and it was over!   He said the meaning is “You’re trash!” 
       
    The number of secular persons is increasing.   Cynicism, anihilism is working its way through our culture.    The solution, we’re told, is to go back to the classics; but they were written by people who don’t believe like we do. 
     
    We believe David was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  He was writing while things were being revealed to him.    David learned that God cares because of creation.  “You made him a little lower than the angels.”   
     
    A doctor was taking  a group of medical residents on psychiatric rounds in a hospital.   They came to a patient who was greatly depressed.   All of the residents  said,  “You have to show the patient that he is valuable and important.”      But the doctor said, “How do you know that?  What scientific evidence do you have that he is not junk?” 
     
    The way we were created tells us that God cares.   This also means that every person you meet must not be treated with disdain. 
     
    The King James version of verse 4 says “What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou visits him?  
    Keller says  “God you are so great and yet we fill your mind and you visit us.   The fact that God “came down” is the ultimate proof God cares.
     
    He said verse 2 is a “crazy verse” that we are tempted to just skip over, but it is very important.    “Out of the mouths of babes and infants  you have ordained praise.”
     
    The world is filled with enemies — what is God going to do about the enemies.    Jesus quoted this psalm “Out of the mouths of babes and infants, I ordain strength.” 
    It is the way God works — even as early as Genesis.  We have the story  of the rejected woman,  and then later God chooses Israel to bring salvation to the rest of the world.  
     
    When you understand the gospel, it can change you, because you learn that you are not junk and no one else is. 

  34. Tim Keller sermon, thoughts:  It is horribly sad to think that those who do not believe in a God who intimately cares for us have no reason to go on living at all.  I am so grateful to God that He saved me at age five b/c I doubt I would have made it to 15 w/out Him (I think I likely would have ended my own life before then.)  I’ve noticed over the past 20 years how people look at others less and less like someone of worth.  Clerks generally barely make eye contact with you when checking you out, even healthcare professionals like physicians and nurses now have to be “taught” empathy and even then it seems like very few remember to show it.  I think when I was diagnosed with breast cancer ONE healthcare person said, “I’m so sorry you are having to go through this.” and I sucked that tinny expression of empathy up like I was a dry sponge!  Some in that process were even downright mean/rude or thoughtless to me in comments they made.  But it makes sense that the longer we go on devaluing human beings the more we will see this detonation of human kindness and compassion.  On the bright side…it’s easy to be unique and be a witness to God’s love just by a small gesture that demonstrates to someone that you consider them to be of value and have significance.  Sometimes as a nurse I have done the tinniest acts of kindness and it was meant with such gratitude that you would think I had given the person a million bucks, only because people are now  so starved for any confirmation at all of their worth.  Makes me want to be more intentional, purposeful, and mindful of seizing those opportunities every single day to be a channel through which God can express His love and care for each person. 

    1. Mary–I am humbled by all you have been through and the way you have leaned into Him. Your last 2 sentences especially got me “people are now  so starved for any confirmation at all of their worth.  Makes me want to be more intentional, purposeful, and mindful of seizing those opportunities every single day to be a channel through which God can express His love and care for each person. “

    2. oops!  I meant deterioration of human kindness and compassion, not detonation!  gotta love that auto correct! 🙂

    3. Love your thoughts on Keller’s sermon, Mary E., especially what you have been through, how dehumanizing it was, and now how your acts of kindness have impacted others in nursing. So sad that people are so starved for kindness and worth. Keep up the good work.

    4. Mary E-I JUST LOVE YOU.. That is all I can say-you are such a rich rich blessing here. I hope you never leave!

  35. Yea Deanna! Thankful for your great notes!! I couldn’t type while I listened, and was pulled away at least 3 times, so I only pulled a few tiny nuggets, but hope to get back to it tomorrow.
    David sees the reality, the magnitude and majesty of God—in the heavens. “Work of Your fingers”-fingers, how you make a model. If our world is “tiny” compared to God—what is God like?
    God is the Creator of all things. He made all things for His glory. How should we then regard Him? Do we ask Him to be our assistant? Our Consultant? No! We are His assistant. He is our King.
    David felt something frightening. We need evidence there is a God. We need evidence that He cares. God cares because of creation. We are intricately made, in His image. God cares because He came down. He went to the Cross, we filled His mind. The ultimate proof that the Creator cares—I fill His mind. He became an infant, weak—for me.
    The Gospel teaches us we are not junk, and no one else is. Our culture says our problem is low self-esteem, and biology classes teach we do not matter. But in creation, at the Cross, God proves His loves for us.
     

  36. 16. What is your take-a-way and why?

    There is a lot going on in my world right now and its difficult to share, but the Lord is using so many things and I have felt so carried by Him. Apologize in advance for this not making much sense, and feel free to skip! Last week, Dee didn’t give us a sermon, but I found one on Psalm 7 from Gospel Coalition that I listened to. I hadn’t heard him before, John Fesko.  He stressed first seeing Christ in Psalm 7, and ourselves only secondary. One thing he said that stuck with me is “We tend to want to relate to the one being wrongly accused, instead of acknowledging that it is my rebellion, my accusing of others—that put Christ on the Cross.” It was a good reminder to me of how easy it is to fall into a victim role. I hate that I still tend towards that—thinking about all the ways I have been wronged, the hurt I have felt.
     
    Well, this week, in talking about the Creator of all who has entrusted me with His creation…I was convicted even further. It is so easy for me in relationships to focus on what has been done to me, and how that “explains” or justifies (?!) whatever my response is. One particular relationship comes to mind, but as I type a few more flood in—and I think of legitimate pain I have felt, inflicted upon me, things I don’t see in relationships around me, things that can easily feel “unfair”. But I am convicted anew of how entrapping, how imprisoning, that mindset is.

    The Creator of all has entrusted lives to me. In all of my relationships, as a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend—I have been entrusted with lives, with hearts of others. The purpose is not for me to focus on self, and if I am getting what I want from these relationships. He has entrusted, “loaned” them to me that I might grow more and more other-centered and more and more selfless, and more and more like Him. I feel a renewed joy in this. Yesterday—oh I wish there had been a camera, it sounds corny, but I could see Him all over. My daughter has been struggling so, and we see more how her adoption has affected her. After I picked them up from school I could see pain in her eyes, so I made a detour to the park and had a long walk with her as she, for a rare time poured out more of her heart. Then back at home, my tender youngest, who has never asked about his adoption, asked me if “she” had been sad, and followed it with “but does she know Jesus?”. I was overwhelmed by his heart. And as I tried to sneak to the screen porch and get a moment to process all my thoughts…within minutes both found me and snuggled up on either side of me, and we laughed as my husband tried to get a tennis ball un-lodged from the tree by throwing a football at it, which also got stuck…and all I could think was how the Lord has taken all of us, broken and flawed creatures, and entrusted us to one another to love. I just feel a renewed sense of His presence in my life in such a personal way. He has said ‘never will I leave you or forsake you” and I believe it. I do not know what lies ahead, and I admit some of it (thanks to internet!) looks scary! but I think I am learning more and more to enjoy the calling before me and see it not as a burden, not focused on my pain, but seeing the great wealth I have been entrusted to be steward over, especially these lives around me.

    1. Wow, Elizabeth, much of what you are talking about (becoming more others focused, not always feeling like the victim, etc…) has at the heart, the same issue we ALL struggle with: dying to self! UGH!!!  As a nurse I have seen people die physically and boy, the physical body puts up a fight to the very end, gasping for one more breath and I think our flesh (sin nature) does exactly the same.  And yet He loves us anyway, enough to not leave us where we are, but to push us onward.  

      1. mary–love this tie in to our physical death and dying to the sin nature-wow! And I 100% agree with Rebecca’s words to you above–love that you are here with us, you add SO much, hope you’ll stay! 🙂

    2. Oh, elizabeth, TEARS. So glad that you had those precious moments with your daughter, then your son and husband. So glad she opened up to you about her pain. Hugs to you for being so open to listen to others and not think about your own pain. This touches my heart so deeply.

      1. oh thank you dear Diane, for your encouragement. you know it has been such a long and bumby road but these real moments of light breaking through, and especially the way He keeps working at my heart, when I had been feeling SO “stuck”…I just thank Him that He never stops the work He begins in us, oh His unending patient love!

        1. Elizabeth,
          Reminds me of He’s Still Working on Me   which fits well with Ps 8 — a kids’ song good for adults (I liked the pics in this one, but appreciated the music in some of the other versions.  The song makes me smile)

    3. Elizabeth,  What a delightful and inspiring post!   Thank you for sharing all of that.   There was so much — such depth of feeling.    Glad you had such a good take-away!

    4. Oh, Elizabeth….. Beauty. True beauty. Thank you. 

  37. Elizabeth-He always always always opens my eyes and encourages me through your testimonies about your husband and your two sweet children-your posts really in general are such a penetrating light from Him to me! He most often, in a beautiful way, convicts me in regard to loving my family better-which is so good for me for I can EASILY get overly focused on ministry to others and varying priorities around the house. 🙂

    In this post He has-your conviction this week on taking care and stewarding those relationships around us really opened my eyes to evaluate mine here at home-which is a good thing!

  38. Just wanted to touch base and let you all know I am here. I’m staying silent for the majority of the time because I am taking a course on Eschatology and it really has me thinking. I loved Elizabeth’s phrase, “creation praising creation”. I know this may sound weird but this morning I had praise music on and was dancing around. My dog jumped up on two legs and I grabbed his paws and danced with him. It was fun.
     

  39. 14.  Use the truths found in this psalm about God, about yourself, and about Jesus as a springboard for a prayer of praise.  God, You are amazing, and yet You approach me and love me, You visit me. You fight for me in this evil world, not only for my eternal salvation but for my salvation from the flaming arrows that peirce my heart daily. Though I am the worst warrior on the battlefield You shield me and guide me and warn me of the dangers.  May I always turn to You! May I keep my eyes on You and not the wounds… And yet, may I not be so ignorant as to not let you heal my hurts and draw me closer through them. Lord, help me to balance. I give praise to You the maker of the heavens and the earth! The maker of the path Earth and its inhabitants have/are/will take. Lord, my Lord, how majestic is Your name in ALL the earth! And how Your art speaks to me – Your deep calling to deep with in me and reassuring me of You. Thank you, Lord. Amen.

    1. Amen, Jill!  Praying this for myself, too.  This is soaking in deeply for me right now:

      You fight for me in this evil world, not only for my eternal salvation but for my salvation from the flaming arrows that pierce my heart daily. Though I am the worst warrior on the battlefield You shield me and guide me and warn me of the dangers.  May I always turn to You!

       
      I am so thankful he loves me and protects me.  I’m smiling through my tears as I imagine this little cartoon character (me) punching at something, building little mud walls, or laying down and giving up WHEN THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY IS MY SHIELD, the lifter of my head.   He is mindful of me;  how often I work myself into a frenzy protecting myself or standing up for others rather than resting in His protection.   Lord God,  surround the oppressed with your protection and love, and grant me the grace and wisdom to pursue YOU, my righteousness.  Help me not to seek right or justice apart from you, for apart from you there is no righteousness or justice.   Thank you, Lord, that in your great love, you allow a few flaming arrows to pierce my heart and draw me to you.

  40. 16. What is your take-a-way and why?
    First – how refreshing to ponder the work of God’s hands and how He cares for us.  Dee, you were right – it was an encouragement to my soul. Thank you.
     
    Second – I am struck by a concept presented both by Martin Lloyd-Jones and my current Bible Study – Sacred Romance.  And that is the concept of knowing thyself.  What is man? is a general question that I grasp fairly well, though I know my human understanding is always lacking.  But Who am I? is a much more complex question that I didn’t give much merit to before this week.  I am much more comfortable denying myself in pursuit of Christ. Denying oneself and pursuing Christ is right.  However, God created me purposefully and with care and has divinely allowed/caused events in my life to shape who I am both good and bad.  And so to ponder me in Christ…this is what interests me and challenges me. I am unable to articulate this well but to realize who I am in Christ, specifically (my personality, my calling, my ministries, my habits, my relationships). I have always seen me as BAD, something confirmed through many unfortunate interactions, so I have always tried to not be me and now I am pondering me, who I am specifically, in Christ… He changes me, makes me more like Him, I am grateful… but He has given us each something unique and made us different on purpose, the Body of Christ.  ??

    1. So well put, Jill.  A bit of a paradox:  we need to be conformed to the image of Christ, and yet we (uniquely who we are, as individuals) are a delight to our Creator. 

  41. 16.  Take away:  Life would be completely devoid of all meaning  if we did not have a Creator who intimately cares for each of us.  We would truly just be a speak of dust, without any real purpose.  But amazingly our God who knows the number of the stars also knows the number of hairs on each of our heads.  Why would He even care?  He’s so unspeakably amazing that He could spend all of eternity just in love with Himself and in awe of Himself and He would be the only being justified in that!  Yet He desired to bring a being like us into existence and because HE IS LOVE all of our sin and unholiness couldn’t stop Him from pursing us, even to the point of death on a cross.  Love is a compelling thing. 

  42. Thank you Jesus for saving my soul