• Matt Beaney

#480 (12/11/21) STRENGTH TO STRENGTH



This week’s devotionals are based on Dave Holden’s message from our New Ground Sunday. You can watch the service and the message at https://vimeo.com/638751563

‘They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.’ (Psalm 84:7)

Throughout our lives, we are to go from strength to strength until we reach glory. There is to be no settling and no going backwards. God, right now, is moving you and us into greater strength, greater passion, greater love for God and greater effectiveness.


i) THE DANGER OF DECLINE

There is a danger of not going from strength to weakness. We can decline in our love for God’s presence, decline in our dependence on Him, decline as our ambitions become centred on this world and decline in moving forward in faith. Such people find themselves in a dry valley of passivity or worse.


ii) THE PROMISE OF EVER INCREASING STRENGTH

This promise of ‘strength to strength’ is for those who apply the message of this psalm: those who love God’s presence (v.1-4), rely on God’s strength (v.5a), those who will live for eternity as pilgrims in this world (v.5b) and will keep moving forward in faith (v.6). Such people and such churches go from strength to strength!


iii) WILL WE LEAN ON THE BELOVED?

Let’s finish by reminding ourselves that the church is called to have a loving relationship with Jesus as is illustrated in Song of Songs.

‘Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on her beloved?’ (Song 8:5)

We will make it through and out of any wilderness as we lean on our beloved - on Jesus. Those who seek genuine intimacy with Christ will go from strength to strength.


OVER TO YOU - PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE

I’ve made a few comments. However, it’s more important that you engage with the text yourself. Take a moment to pray and listen to God’s voice out of today’s text.

‘They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.’ (Psalm 84:7)

I find it helpful to use the following questions which are based upon The Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9-13).


1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?

2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?

3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?

4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY


1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.



1. Let's be praying and actively preparing to invite friends to our carol service on 5th December. Please make sure this is in your diary.


2. Don't forget to come along and invite your friends to our Christmas Pudding making event on 20th November. Go to the website to book tickets.


3. We have our next gift days on the 14th, 21st November. Let's be praying for How the Father wants us to get involved.

2. Icebreaker

How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?


3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


On Sunday, Dave Holden spoke from Psalm 84:5-7

'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.' (Psalm 84:5-7)

Dave made 4 points from this text about the kind of community that God wants us to be so that we can become fruitful in our service to Him.


i) Our strength in God

We need to learn to say 'all my strength is in you'. God is teaching us through this Covid season to rely on Him alone.


ii) Live for eternity

God is reminding us to live for eternity. This phrase, 'in whose heart are the highways to Zion' speaks of living for God and things of eternal worth.


iii) Make the valley a place of springs

People whose strength is in God and who set their hearts on God and things of eternal worth will inherit the promise: 'As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.' As we trust God and keep going - keep trusting and walking through the valley - we will experience the joy of the Spirit and we will bring the blessing of the Spirit to others.


iv) Strength to strength

Finally, This promise of ‘strength to strength’ is for those who apply the message of this psalm: those who love God’s presence (v.1-4), rely on God’s strength (v.5a), those who will live for eternity as pilgrims in this world (v.5b) and will keep moving forward in faith (v.6). Such people and such churches go from strength to strength!


Discussion questions

1. How has the Father taught you to say, "All my strength is in you"? (Psalm 84:5a)

2. What does it mean to 'set our hearts on pilgrimage' and how would such an approach to life be seen in us?

3. We are promised, 'As they pass through the Valley of Baka, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools.' Who are the kinds of people that inherit this promise what does it refer to?

4. If we are the kind of church that embraces the teaching of this Psalm, we are promised that we will 'go from strength to strength'. Whats does this mean for you personally and for the church?

5. How has God spoken to you from this text or Sunday’s message?

6. SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories or any plans in this regard?

7. SIV - Who are you planning to invite to the carol service on 5th December?

8. Prayer - Let's spend some time in prayer regarding this week's message and anything else that you would like to pray about.







18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All