Session 2: Immersed
In Ephesians, Paul speaks of our minds being ‘washed by the word’. In other words, for our minds to have a godly perspective on life, we need to be constantly immersed and re-calibrated by Scripture – which transforms our minds.
Previous session review
Recap on your experiences of last week’s challenge. How did it go? Was it helpful?
If you weren’t able to try the challenge, explore the question: where and how did you experience God last week?
Read the passage several times through, slowly and prayerfully. It might help to use your imagination to picture the scene. At the end of the text you will find helpful background information in our ‘Setting the Scene’ section.
As you read, look out for shockers and blockers.
Shockers – a phrase, word, image or something from the text that resonates, stands out or connects with you.
Blockers – something from the text that raises questions for you.
Psalm 119: 97-112
I deeply love your Law! I think about it all day.
Your laws never leave my mind, and they make me much wiser than my enemies.
Thinking about your teachings gives me better understanding than my teachers,
and obeying your laws makes me wiser than those who have lived a long time.
I obey your word instead of following a way that leads to trouble.
You have been my teacher, and I won’t reject your instructions.
Your teachings are sweeter than honey.
They give me understanding and make me hate all lies.
Your word is a lamp that gives light wherever I walk.
Your laws are fair, and I have given my word to respect them all.
I am in terrible pain! Save me, Lord, as you said you would.
Accept my offerings of praise and teach me your laws.
I never forget your teachings, although my life is always in danger.
Some merciless people are trying to trap me, but I never turn my back on your teachings.
They will always be my most prized possession and my source of joy.
I have made up my mind to obey your laws forever, no matter what.
Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Setting the Scene
- Psalm 119 is the longest and most elaborate of the Psalms. It is a record of reflections on the psalmist’s love for God and his law.
- What the psalm refers to as the ‘law’ is in fact the first five books of the Bible, often called the Torah by the Jews. Law could be read as ‘teachings.’
- In this psalm we see how persistently and eagerly he applies himself to understanding the law, learning it by heart and longing for more. In places it reads like a passionate love song!
- God’s word brings wisdom when we allow it to guide us and teach us. In applying God’s word to our lives we have a ‘lamp and a light’ to help us better see what is around us. God’s word shapes the psalmist’s life and his conduct, giving him hope, peace and confidence.
After you have all had time to read the text, pause and be still to listen to God through the Scriptures.
Begin your reflection time by each naming your shockers and blockers. Listen carefully to each other, share your thoughts and reflect on this passage together.
You might also like to explore these questions:
Q1. How do you feel about the Bible? To what degree do you try to apply it to the way you live?
Q2. What are the main things that deflect you away from Scripture?
Immersed challenge: As a group, create a challenge that will help you increase your engagement with the Scriptures this week, or choose from the following:
01 Listen to the Psalms
Sons of Korah are an Australian band who give the Psalms a fresh hearing through their music. To enjoy a dynamic, rich way to meditate on the Psalms, visit sonsofkorah.com to access their music.
02 Listen to the New Testament
Over the next 40 days, you could commit yourself to listening to the whole of the New Testament! You can purchase a Kiwi Audio Bible from Manna Christian Stores or listen to one online.
Take five to ten minutes each day this week to focus on a small section of Scripture. Read it aloud slowly three times, allowing for a brief time of silence between readings to meditate. In the first reading, listen for a word or phrase or idea that captures your attention. Then focus or meditate on that word/phrase. During the second reading, pay attention to how the word or phrase speaks to your life right now. What could it mean for you? How does it resonate in your life right now? During the last reading, focus on what you sense God might be calling you to do or to become. The Psalms are a good place to start with lectio.
You might like to commit to praying for each person in the group this week as you look to immerse yourselves in the Scriptures more deeply.
‘The only sure rule is to remember that the Bible is indeed God’s gift to the church, to equip it for its work in the world; and that serious study of it can and should become one of the places where, and the means by which, heaven and earth interlock.’
Tom Wright, Simply Christian