Tonight's study begins with Psalm 4 as a possible response of David to Absalom's rebellion. We branched into how we can and must find joy in our afflictions, digressed into one reason for intercessory prayer including prayer to Saints, and concluded with a discussion of complete trust in and surrender to the will of God.
We then continued on to Psalm 134 by first introducing the Songs of Ascents. We referenced the round the clock praise of God in the temple and its extension into our need and desire as a community to provide for those who today offer their lives in constant prayer and praise. With finished by dwelling on the deep intimacy we can have with God.
We then turned off the cameras and prayed Night Prayer of the vigil of All Saints which uses Pss 4 and 134 as the psalmody.
We introduced the extraordinary acrostic Psalm 119 tonight and explored verses 17-24 as they are part of the Thursday Week I Daytime Office. We explored the psalmist's prayer to have their eyes opened to see the wonders of God's law and how our eyes are opened. We discussed the concept of being a sojourner in this world and made some cross references to the Beatitudes.
We then began our exposition of Psalm 25. We noted that it addressed major themes of prayer such as recollection and contemplation. We looked at issues of justice and persecution and examples of Satan as our accuser. We cited the need to always ask for our eyes to be opened to see what we do not see and explored the connection between God being good and His showing sinners the way.
We discuss sins of omission based on James 4:17 and see how it leads to a life of doing the love God places in front of us and how this dovetails into living a life free of self-will. We then begin James 5 and enter a discussion of how the world has not changed much, the seeming futility of battling against a world that never changes, and finding meaning in each moment.
We begin this study with a further exploration of last week's question about moving off the beach into the interior, i.e., moving from immature to mature Christianity, including examining how false humility can keep us from advancing in the Christian life. We then continue with the issue of self-will, sacrificing our wills to God's will, and the height and depth of what that means. We illustrate these issues of self-will brought up in James 4:13-16 with writings from Saint Faustina and Saint Teresa of Avila.
We start tonight with a question about going beyond superficial Christianity into Christian maturity and walking with the Saints. We next continue with the themes of purification as we approach God, humbling ourselves before God, and the interaction of humility and judgment. We end introducing a discussion on self-will.
In the first half of our study, we compare asking rightly and wrongly in prayer, praying according to God's will, and how that ties to trust. We discuss "good person syndrome" and examine the example of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. In the second half, we examine modes of prayer drawing upon the writings of Teresa of Avila.
In this study, we review some of the important points of James 1 by examining the writing of Vincent Ferrer and Paul's comments to the Corinthians about the collection for the Church in Jerusalem, discuss how Christians can be pursuing the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees rather than the righteousness of Jesus, and then continue into James' comments on showing partiality and wrong thinking in chapter 2. We conclude by introducing lexicons as tools for Bible Study.
Our entire study tonight answered submitted questions including:
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Foundations of Bible Study