Soul Detox – The Seduced Soul

souldetox

How is your soul doing?  We know how our body is doing but do we know the condition of our soul?  Join us this weekend as we continue the series called Soul Detox.  Each week we will diagnose the condition of our soul and then prescribe steps to care for our soul from the book of Psalms.  Your soul doesn’t want you to miss this series.  Join us at one of our 3 campuses (www.sunvalleycc.com) or online at live.sunvalleycc.com on Saturday at 4 & 5:30pm or Sunday at 9, 10:30, and 11:59am.

Strength for the Soul

Bible close up

Psalm 119:17-32

ג Gimel

17 Be good to your servant while I live,
    that I may obey your word.
18 Open my eyes that I may see
    wonderful things in your law.
19 I am a stranger on earth;
    do not hide your commands from me.
20 My soul is consumed with longing
    for your laws at all times.
21 You rebuke the arrogant, who are accursed,
    those who stray from your commands.
22 Remove from me their scorn and contempt,
    for I keep your statutes.
23 Though rulers sit together and slander me,
    your servant will meditate on your decrees.
24 Your statutes are my delight;
    they are my counselors.

ד Daleth

25 I am laid low in the dust;
    preserve my life according to your word.
26 I gave an account of my ways and you answered me;
    teach me your decrees.
27 Cause me to understand the way of your precepts,
    that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
28 My soul is weary with sorrow;
    strengthen me according to your word.
29 Keep me from deceitful ways;
    be gracious to me and teach me your law.
30 I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
    I have set my heart on your laws.
31 I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
    do not let me be put to shame.
32 I run in the path of your commands,
    for you have broadened my understanding.


Questions:

Psalm 119 is divided into 22 stanzas, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  Each stanza praises the goodness of God’s Word (synonymous with “Scripture” or “the Bible”).

Read through the two stanzas above, what do they reveal about the Bible?  What do they reveal about your soul?

Thank God for speaking to us through His Word (the Bible).  Thank God for giving us a light to guide us to Jesus.


Additional Resources:

If you are interested in additional resources for nurturing a healthy soul, consider one of these pastor recommended resources as a summer reading option:

Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul // by Bill Hybels

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You // by John Ortberg

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives // by Richard Swenson

I Love the Lord

Graveyard and Candles

Psalm 116

I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
    he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
    I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
    the anguish of the grave came over me;
    I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the Lord:
    Lord, save me!”

The Lord is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
The Lord protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the Lord has been good to you.

For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
    my eyes from tears,
    my feet from stumbling,
that I may walk before the Lord
    in the land of the living.

10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
    “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
    “Everyone is a liar.”

12 What shall I return to the Lord
    for all his goodness to me?

13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
    and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people.

15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
    is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
    I serve you just as my mother did;
    you have freed me from my chains.

17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
    and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
    in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord
    in your midst, Jerusalem.

Praise the Lord.


Questions:

Have you ever considered what you have been rescued from?  Have you ever thought about what you have been forgiven of?

When we start to feel self righteous it’s because we have forgotten all that we have done.  We need a Savior because we aren’t perfect.  We have never been perfect and we will never be perfect until God finishes His work with us on the other side of life.

Between you and God take inventory of your past and present sins (acknowledging that you have forgotten volumes of it).  You can be as broad or as specific as you want.  (note: this is not to shame you, this is to remind you of all that Jesus paid for you)

Jesus doesn’t condemn you, He rescues you, He forgives you, and He frees you.  Jesus spoke these words in John 3:

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Our response to this love and grace is the same as the psalmist, who was entangled in the cords of death but the Lord heard his cry for mercy and rescued him.  The psalmist responds to grace with, “I love you” and a commitment to worship and follow God.

Thank Jesus for grace.  Let Him know that you love Him.  Let your love show as you follow Him and your soul finds rest in Him.


Additional Resources:

If you are interested in additional resources for nurturing a healthy soul, consider one of these pastor recommended resources as a summer reading option:

Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul // by Bill Hybels

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You // by John Ortberg

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives // by Richard Swenson

Very

Landscape

Psalm 104

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
    you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
    he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
    and rides on the wings of the wind.
He makes winds his messengers,
    flames of fire his servants.

He set the earth on its foundations;
    it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
    the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke the waters fled,
    at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
they flowed over the mountains,
    they went down into the valleys,
    to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
    never again will they cover the earth.

10 He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
    it flows between the mountains.
11 They give water to all the beasts of the field;
    the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
    they sing among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
    the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14 He makes grass grow for the cattle,
    and plants for people to cultivate—
    bringing forth food from the earth:
15 wine that gladdens human hearts,
    oil to make their faces shine,
    and bread that sustains their hearts.
16 The trees of the Lord are well watered,
    the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17 There the birds make their nests;
    the stork has its home in the junipers.
18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats;
    the crags are a refuge for the hyrax.

19 He made the moon to mark the seasons,
    and the sun knows when to go down.
20 You bring darkness, it becomes night,
    and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21 The lions roar for their prey
    and seek their food from God.
22 The sun rises, and they steal away;
    they return and lie down in their dens.
23 Then people go out to their work,
    to their labor until evening.

24 How many are your works, Lord!
    In wisdom you made them all;
    the earth is full of your creatures.
25 There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27 All creatures look to you
    to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them,
    they gather it up;
when you open your hand,
    they are satisfied with good things.
29 When you hide your face,
    they are terrified;
when you take away their breath,
    they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit,
    they are created,
    and you renew the face of the ground.

31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
    may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
    who touches the mountains, and they smoke.

33 I will sing to the Lord all my life;
    I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him,
    as I rejoice in the Lord.
35 But may sinners vanish from the earth
    and the wicked be no more.

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Praise the Lord.


Questions:

Have you ever tried to describe something that really doesn’t have a good word to describe it?

Perhaps you have experienced something that moved you deep within your soul; a sunrise, a moment, a song, a story; and the best word or words you could find to describe it just fell short.  Here the psalmist reflects on our indescribable God and the conclusion is that God is great.  He ponders the depths and wonders of creation, which are but a whisper of the Creator, and he sees that God is more than just good, He is great.  And God is even more than great, so the best words he can find are “very great” (v.1).

Pick one of the reflections in the Psalm and dwell on it.  Ponder what this reveals about God.

Praise God in your prayers.  If you struggle to find the words to express your thoughts and feelings, try adding the word ‘very’ 🙂


Additional Resources:

If you are interested in additional resources for nurturing a healthy soul, consider one of these pastor recommended resources as a summer reading option:

Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul // by Bill Hybels

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You // by John Ortberg

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives // by Richard Swenson

Bless the Lord, O my Soul

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Psalm 103

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and all that is within me,
    bless his holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
    so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
    and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
    his acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
    nor will he keep his anger forever.
10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
14 For he knows our frame;
    he remembers that we are dust.

15 As for man, his days are like grass;
    he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16 for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
    and its place knows it no more.
17 But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,
    and his righteousness to children’s children,
18 to those who keep his covenant
    and remember to do his commandments.
19 The Lord has established his throne in the heavens,
    and his kingdom rules over all.

20 Bless the Lord, O you his angels,
    you mighty ones who do his word,
    obeying the voice of his word!
21 Bless the Lord, all his hosts,
    his ministers, who do his will!
22 Bless the Lord, all his works,
    in all places of his dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!


Questions:

Have you ever felt like God was mad at you?

Here David makes it clear that God is mad about you.

Read verses 8-14 again.  God is gracious toward you, abounding in love.  God…loves…you.  Think about each of those 3 words.  Don’t just rush past this, close the app, and move on with whatever you have next.  Really think about each of those three words.

GOD

LOVES

YOU.

Soak in the beauty of those words.  It’s real.  Following Jesus is a lifelong journey of understanding those words more and more.  Pray that your understanding of God’s love would expand a little more today.  Let God know that you love Him too.


Additional Resources:

If you are interested in additional resources for nurturing a healthy soul, consider one of these pastor recommended resources as a summer reading option:

Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul // by Bill Hybels

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You // by John Ortberg

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives // by Richard Swenson

Better is One Day in Your Courts

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Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
    Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
    they are ever praising you.

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
    they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion.

Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
    listen to me, God of Jacob.
Look on our shield, O God;
    look with favor on your anointed one.

10 Better is one day in your courts
    than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
    from those whose walk is blameless.

12 Lord Almighty,
    blessed is the one who trusts in you.


Questions:

The psalmist can think of no place better than in the presence of God.  Even to spend a single day in the courts of the tabernacle, where God would make His temporary dwelling with the Old Testament Israelites, far surpassed a thousand apart from the presence of God.

What are you most looking forward to when you dwell in the presence of the Lord forever?

Take a moment to dwell on this future.  No more fear.  No more pain.  No more sorrow.  No more death.  No more tears.

What made the courts of the tabernacle great was the same thing that makes heaven great.  It’s all about the presence of God, making His dwelling with His people.  That is what our souls are longing for.

Take a moment to reflect and just bask in the presence of God.  Catch a glimpse of what is to come.  Thank Jesus for making this future possible.


Additional Resources:

If you are interested in additional resources for nurturing a healthy soul, consider one of these pastor recommended resources as a summer reading option:

Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul // by Bill Hybels

Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You // by John Ortberg

Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives // by Richard Swenson

Soul Detox – The Poisoned Soul

souldetox

How is your soul doing?  We know how our body is doing but do we know the condition of our soul?  Join us this weekend as we continue the series called Soul Detox.  Each week we will diagnose the condition of our soul and then prescribe steps to care for our soul from the book of Psalms.  Your soul doesn’t want you to miss this series.  Join us at one of our 3 campuses (www.sunvalleycc.com) or online at live.sunvalleycc.com on Saturday at 4 & 5:30pm or Sunday at 9, 10:30, and 11:59am.