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Songs of Ascent

The Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134) were sung by pilgrims as they journeyed to Jerusalem to worship.

Songs of Unity

July 25, 2021 • Gary Sager

SONGS OF COMMUNITY - Psalm 133 – Gary Sager THEME - Togetherness is where God will pour out blessing. OUTLINE 1. Life Together (vs. 1) * Togetherness is where God will pour out blessing. * When families are left to their own devices, we fight. * We cannot achieve unity; we must receive it. * The book of Acts describes the early church and its remarkable unity. (Acts 2:42-47) 2. Blessing Running down (vs. 2) * Life together is a gift based on the mercy of God. * The oil running down on Aaron’s head, running down on his beard, and running down on his collar, is a picture of the blessing of God descending upon his people. * The atoning sacrifices made by priests were a reminder of our sins and the need for God’s mercy. (Exodus 19:6, 1 Peter 2:9) * The followers of Christ are holy and set apart for priestly service to the King of kings and Lord of Lords. * By seeing each other as God's anointed one, our relationships are profoundly affected! 3. Life-Giving Water (vs. 3a) * Think of the new life that would burst forth, the fresh growth that would flourish, the potential that could be fulfilled if the dew of Mt Hermon fell on Mt Zion. * We are irrigators for one another. * A community of faith flourishes when we view each other with expectancy. * We need each other for the journey. 4. A Foretaste of Heaven (vs. 3b) * God gives his blessing where believers live together in unity. * Living together in unity is a foretaste of heaven. * Following Jesus is a communal endeavor. * Christian unity is a gift from God (Ephesians 4:3) * The Christian fellowship we experience on earth is a foretaste of the perfect fellowship we will share with each other in heaven. (2 Cor. 1:21-22) * For us, Jesus is that life giving water that enables eternal life. 5. Under One Head (John 17:23) * Unity is central to God’s plan. (Ephesians 1:10) * Community brings God’s blessing. * Faith in Jesus saves us, but community is a crucial part of God’s saving plan. NEXT STEPS 1. Read Psalm 133 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. 2. Ponder how can we walk in God’s gift of community?

Songs of Trust

July 18, 2021 • Pastor Kent Landhuis

SONGS OF TRUST - Psalm 132 – Pastor Kent Landhuis; THEME - Love grows strength and trust. OUTLINE 1. Love grows the strength to stand. * David swore an oath to the Lord. (vs. 2). * Strength to commit. (Psalm 132:1-5) * Strength to dance. (2 Samuel 6:13-15) * Strength to stand in faith. 2. Love grows the courage to leap. * The Lord swore an oath to David. (vs. 11) * Courage to trust. (Psalm 132:11-16) * Courage to follow Jesus. (Luke 1:32, 2:11) * Courage to take a leap of faith. (Romans 5:8) NEXT STEPS 1. Read Psalm 132 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. 2. What love inspires you? 3. Follow Jesus.

Songs of Humility

July 11, 2021 • Steve Poole

SONGS OF HUMILITY - Psalm 131 – Steve Poole THEME - Psalm 131 lauds humble contentment in God and His sufficiency OUTLINE 1. “Lord, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty…” (vs. 1) * We strive as David is surely doing to be humble and content. * We have been justified...however, we still live in physical bodies riddled with sin * 1 Corinthians 9:27 2. “Instead, I have calmed and quieted my soul…” (vs. 2) * Calm instead of obsessing over details. * Content in every situation. (Phil 4:11-12) * Anxious for nothing. (Phil 4:8) * Crucifying the flesh. (Gal. 5:24-25) 3. “Put your hope in the Lord…” (vs. 3) * An invitation to do as David has done. * The “Three Trees Story” - meaning and purpose to the glory of God. NEXT STEPS * Read Psalm 131 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. * Evaluate: Confess any pride and ask God to help you grow in humility. * Evaluate: Do you desire worldly things more than God? * Pray and invite God to help you discover His abundant life plan for you.

Songs of Despair

July 4, 2021 • Pastor Kent Landhuis

July 4 - SONGS OF DESPAIR - Psalm 130 THEME - When we confess our sins, God forgives our sins. OUTLINEL: 1. Confess trouble. - In times of trouble we need: - A God who listens. - A God who watches. - A God who delivers. - Psalm 18 - Psalm 42 - Psalm 77 2. Confess Sin. - When we sin we need: - A God who listens. - A God who watches. - A God who delivers. Psalms of Repentance (penitential) Psalm 6,32,38,51,102,130, 134 1 John 1:9 - If we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. NEXT STEPS: Read Psalm 130 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. Confess your sins and receive forgiveness.

Songs of Deliverance

June 27, 2021 • Steve Poole

June 27 - SONGS OF DELIVERANCE - Psalm 129 – Steve Poole THEME: Sharing Stories of God’s Deliverance OUTLINE 1. God faithfully and repeatedly delivers His people (vs. 1-4) There is POWER in telling and retelling stories of God’s faithful and repeated deliverance throughout our lives and history. o Deuteronomy 4:9-14 o Deuteronomy 6:7, 20-25 o Deuteronomy 11:19, 2-5 Yearly festivals to remember God’s faithful deliverance o Exodus 12:24-27 2. God limits the success of the enemies of His people (vs. 5-8) Last year a Christian was killed for their faith every 110 seconds Hebrews 11:32-38 The ultimate end of the wicked is feeling empty--all their hard work comes to naught. Spurgeon puts it this way: “Thus do the wicked come to nothing. By God's just appointment they prove a disappointment. Their fire ends in smoke; their verdure turns to vanity; their flourishing is but a form of withering. No one profits by them, least of all are they profitable to themselves. Their aim is bad, their work is worse, their end is worst of all.” NEXT STEPS Read Psalm 129 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. Boldly tell stories of God’s faithfulness and with confidence love our enemies

Songs of Blessing

June 20, 2021 • Pastor Kent Landhuis

SONGS OF BLESSING - Psalm 128 - Pastor Kent Landhuis THEME: God blesses his children. OUTLINE 1. What blessings can we expect? -Genesis 1:28, 12:2-3 -Deuteronomy 28 -Ephsians 1:3-5 -God blesses all of life. 2. Why expect a blessing? -Deuteronomy 28:1-6 -Exodus 34:5-7 -Psalm 103 -God's steadfast love drives God’s blessing. 3. When will blessings come? -Psalm 128:1-3 -Philippians 4:4-13 -God chooses when to bless us. 4. Who gets a blessing? -Psalm 128:4-6 -Revelation 21 -God blesses God’s children. NEXT STEPS Read Psalm 128 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. Count your blessings

Songs of Success

June 13, 2021 • Pastor Kent Landhuis

SONGS OF SUCCESS - Psalm 127 - Pastor Kent Landhuis THEME: God is in control and we are blessed. OUTLINE 1. Winning at Work. *Psalm 127:1-2 *Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, 2:17-26 *Anxious toil is meaningless. God’s work is vital. 2. Winning at Rest. *Psalm 127:2-5 *Proverbs 6:6, 6:13, 19:14, 20:4, 21:25 *Deuteronomy 5:12-15 *Laziness is bad. Rest is good. 3. Winning at Life. *Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 *1 Kings 1:15-21, 3:1-3, 11:14-20 *Fear God and keep God’s commandments. NEXT STEPS: Read Psalm 127 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. Evaluate how you measure success in work and life. Give thanks for God’s work in your life.

Songs of Joy

June 6, 2021 • Pastor Kent Landhuis

SONGS OF JOY - Psalm 126 - Pastor Kent Landhuis THEME: What makes Christians joyful? OUTLINE 1. Look Back and Remember. • Egypt - Exodus 15 • King David - 2 Samuel 22 • Exile - Nehemiah 8 2. Look Forward and Anticipate. • Joy when it rains after a drought. Isaiah 55 • Joy from the harvest at the end of the season. Matthew 13 • Joy when the bridegroom comes for the bride. Revelation 19. 3. Be glad. • We are Glad. Psalm 126:3 • Why are you so joyful? NEXT STEPS • Read Psalm 126 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. • Rejoice. • Throw a party!

Songs of Security

May 30, 2021 • Steve Poole

SONGS OF SECURITY Psalm 125 Steve Poole THEME What does our security in God in look like? OUTLINE 1. The TRUTH is we ARE secure in God • Sometimes our feelings don’t match the truth of Scripture. • We must submit out feelings to the truth. • God’s Word is the ultimate authority, not our feelings. 2. Emotional roller coaster does NOT invalidate our security in God • We are established ‘like Mount Zion’ (Psalm 125:1) • Scepter of Wickedness/Rod (Psalm 125:3) • Isaiah 10:24-25 3. Defeat does NOT invalidate our security in God • Defeats will come, but they are temporary. • His steadfast, covenantal love never waivers and never fails • It’s good to pray for justice. 4. Injustice doesn’t invalidate our security in God • We live in a world corrupted by sin. • We fight injustice from the high ground of our identity in Christ. NEXT STEPS • Read Psalm 125 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. • Declare “Peace be upon Cedar Hills” – a promise for those secure in God. • Where you feel defeat, failure, or despair, pray “Shalom be upon_____”

Songs of Rescue

May 23, 2021 • Pastor Kent Landhuis

SONGS OF RESCUE - Psalm 124 - Pastor Kent Landhuis THEME - Danger lurks all around us. Without God, we would be destroyed. OUTLINE 1. God chooses us. * Deuteronomy 7:7-9 * Isaiah 8:9-10 * God promises to be faithful to us in every circumstance. 2. Danger stalks us. * Isaiah 43:1-3 * John 16:31-33 * Danger threatens to overwhelm us. 3. God frees us. * Hebrews 11:32-40 * Galatians 2:20, 5:1 * We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. NEXT STEPS 1. Read Psalm 124 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. 2. Celebrate the freedom that comes from being rescued from the snare. 3. After you fall into a snare, keep your eyes open to not go there again.

Songs of Mercy

May 16, 2021 • Pastor Kent Landhuis

SONGS OF MERCY - Psalm 123 - Pastor Kent Landhuis THEME - Contempt calls for Mercy. OUTLINE 1. Look up, not down. * Nehemiah 4:1-4 * Hebrews 12:1-3 * When we face contempt, we keep our eyes on the prize. 2. Seek mercy, not satisfaction. * Jeremiah 18:1-5 * 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 * When we face contempt, we ask for grace not to strike back. 3. Give compassion, not revenge. * Matthew 5:38-48 * John 13:12-17 * When we face contempt, we show mercy. NEXT STEPS 1. Commit to taking the “Songs of Ascent” journey. 2. Read Psalm 123 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. 3. Love someone who despises you.

Songs of Rejoicing

May 9, 2021 • Pastor Kent Landhuis

SONGS OF REJOICING - Psalm 122 - Pastor Kent Landhuis THEME - Share the joy! OUTLINE 1. Leap for Joy When You Arrive. * Psalm 63:1-5 * Psalm 105:1-6 * Share the joy of worship. 2. Leap for Joy When We Arrive. * Psalm 149:1-5 * Zephaniah 3:14-17 * Share the joy of belonging. 3. Leap for Joy When Everyone Arrives. * Isaiah 2:1-5 * Jeremiah 29:4-9 * Share the joy of peace.. NEXT STEPS 1. Commit to taking the “Songs of Ascent” journey. 2. Read Psalm 122 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. 3. Share joy with someone.

Songs of Deliverence

May 2, 2021 • Pastor Kent Landhuis

SONGS OF DEPENDENCE - Psalm 121 - Pastor Kent Landhuis THEME - Who will help us? Our help comes from the Lord. OUTLINE 1. Can we depend on ourselves? * Luke 18:9-14 * All who are sick need a doctor. 2. Can we depend on our idols? * Isaiah 44:9-20 * All who trust in idols will be disappointed. 3. Can we depend on our God?. * Job 28:24 * Psalm 18:1-3. * Isaiah 41:10 * All who depend on God will find help. NEXT STEPS 1. Commit to taking the “Songs of Ascent” journey. 2. Read Psalm 121 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. 3. Trust God to help you.

Songs of Truth

April 25, 2021 • Pastor Kent Landhuis

SONGS OF TRUTH Psalm 120 Pastor Kent Landhuis THEME We travel the pilgrim’s journey by placing one foot in front of the other until we discover truth. OUTLINE 1. Life includes suffering • Psalm 120:1-2 • Tough times are inevitable on the journey. • Psalm 10 2. We want more. • Psalm 120:3-5 • The journey is both fleeing from distress and ascending toward goodness. • Psalm 86 3. God offers peace. • Psalm 120:6-7 • God calls us to find total well-being (Shalom) on the journey. • Psalm 23 NEXT STEPS • Commit to taking the “Songs of Ascent” journey. • Read Psalm 120 every day this week with some fellow pilgrims. • Name distress from which you want deliverance. • Name places you long for flourishing (Shalom).