Please share your comments and thoughts on any of the beautiful Psalms here:
Ps 112 – a summary from folk at Gloucester Outdoor Church, 13/13/2016: “vv1-4: Karma (Put out good and good will come back). vv 5-7: Good and bad, generous, [if you stand out in the crowd by being good you will be] remembered, strong. vv8-10: A good person will always win every battle with kindness and courage, then cause the wicked to fail.”
Psalm 112: Sermon at Gloucester Outdoor Church produced in collaboration with 2 folk in vulnerable housing:
Verse 1 is weird: Why would someone enjoy obeying another person?
Answer 1: Maybe they are happy because they’re helping someone.
Answer 2: Maybe God is really good at motivating people. God praises not criticises. Criticism doesn’t motivate you to obey: it motivates you to do wrong things so you get attention. Praise motivates people more (—‘s story about his Mum getting the wrong school report – he felt good when she praised him in the end). God is grateful for when we obey his commands. And he praises us not criticises us.
What does it mean to obey God’s commands?
Verse 4: You are merciful, kind and just.
Verse 5: You are generous with your loans
Verse 5: You run your business honestly
Verse 9: You give generously to poor
What rewards do you get for obeying God’s commands?
You get inner rewards (not material things like a bunch of flowers):
Inner reward 1. Happiness
Inner reward 2. Your faith is strong
You get outer rewards (material things):
Your family is blessed, you become rich, you won’t fail, you’re not afraid of bad news, you become powerful and respected, your enemies are destroyed.
Is this actually true? Does the Bible match up with real life?
One example: —— ran the cafe in the park.
Although his faith wasn’t as strong as it is now, he saw running the cafe honestly as part of doing God’s will. So:
He paid his employees fairly. Sometimes he let poor people not pay the full amount if they didn’t have the cash. Sometimes he lent money to customers he knew well. He gave away icecream at the end of the day.
Did —— get the inner rewards God promises?
There was a good atmosphere round the cafe. People kept coming back to the cafe rather than going into town. —— enjoyed helping other people to enjoy themselves: seeing happy smiling faces.
—— now finds that his faith is stronger. God’s trusted him and he’s trusted God back.
Did —— get the outer rewards God promises?
The cafe in the park didn’t fail: it was successful.
—— was more respected by other local businesses and people.
—— made more friends.
Because —— ran the cafe well, he got the experience to be invited to help run Gay Pride, which has a budget of tens of thousands of pounds. He is now much more powerful.
One of —‘s friends stole money from —— repeatedly. This caused a disagreement between — and —— when they didn’t speak to each other for months. —— learned to be more wary of people, and put better boundaries up in his friendship with —. He’s better at dealing with other people. — learned to choose his friends more carefully so that his friends don’t harm ——. He learned to hang out with the better sort of people. And because —— forgave —, — learned that some people can be honest. So in the end, this very bad thing caused their friendship to grow closer.
—— didn’t end up rich but he did get some happiness and contentment.
Psalm 23: Comments at Gloucester Outdoor Church: I felt outside the sheep pen when I was taking heroin but now I’m not I feel inside the sheep pen. Ps 23: “Your rod and staff comfort me” – the rod and staff stand for support and guidance.
Mashup of Psalms 27 and Psalm 28 by one person who goes to Gloucester Outdoor Church:
“The Lord is my defender, he will hear my cry and surround me with light, he will protect me from evil, and the time of hell and give me salvation.”
Psalm 19: “The heavens declare the glory of God” – comments at Gloucester Outdoor Church on what the sky is saying about God at present: God is moody. Diverse – like the different cloud patterns. God is like the blue sky that we glimpse behind the clouds: a mystery and hidden at times: sometimes glimpsed clearly.
Psalm 1 (Gordon from Gloucester, UK, comments:) “Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”
When we receive a word from a preacher or pastor, it’s like a seed within our hearts. The seed brings forth fruit. Water fills our brain and suddenly we get understanding – understanding of that word. Too many words is like too much water flooding a seed – overwatering a plant. Just need a few words.”
Psalm 98:4 “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn— shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.
Ishmael (from soup kitchen in Birmingham) says: “All the earth is a church”
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