Churches and all followers of Christ are fully dependent on God’s Word in order to carry out God’s purposes. Sadly, however, many Christians either don’t read God’s Word regularly or don’t know how to understand it rightly. In this message from Psalm 8, David Platt gives us a helpful tool for getting the most from our time in God’s Word. In order to be a faithful disciple and in order to make disciples, every follower of Christ is encouraged to meditate on and memorize the Word, apply the Word, pray the Word, and share the Word.
Last week we looked at Psalm 1 as an example of what meditation on God’s Word looks like, using the acrostic MAPS—Meditate and Memorize, Apply, Pray and Share. We were going pretty quickly through that time in God’s Word, so by the end I felt like I had successfully scribbled words all over the screen in a way I hoped would be helpful. Then after that, one of my kids diplomatically said, “Dad, it was helpful hearing you share all that stuff, but really, when I open my Bible, I just don’t know how to do whatever you were doing up there.” I appreciated his honesty.
No matter how young or old you might be, this is where I want to help you. When you open the Bible alone, I want you to be able to experience intimacy with God. And not just alone, but also in small groups. As our mission statement says, “We glorify God…”—which is what we talked about last week. We worship and praise God. We want to represent God as admirable and awesome. How do we do that? We do that by “making disciples and multiplying churches among all nations, beginning in Greater Washington, DC.” I want you to think about how spending time in God’s Word makes that a reality—a guaranteed promise.
A guaranteed promise: God’s Word will do supernatural work.
Here’s the guaranteed promise: God’s Word, the Bible, does and will do supernatural work. Reading, studying, meditating on and hearing this Word will do many things. God’s Word changes live, revolutionizes marriages, transforms relationships, makes disciples, multiplies churches, affects communities, mends hearts, heals hurts, provides peace, compels love and produces eternal joy. And I’m really just getting started here. Let me give you an example of this.
Last week all we did during this time in our worship gathering was open up Psalm 1, read it and think together about what it means. That was it. Pretty simple. One woman was visiting here at MBC for the second time. I won’t go into all her story, but she has sought happiness in all sorts of things in this world, but this world has left her and her two young kids hurting. It had gotten to the point where she wondered if she wanted to continue living.
But last week she simply heard Psalm 1 about full and lasting happiness in God through Jesus, then she immediately went back to the baptism area after the service, talked with somebody and put her faith in Jesus. I want you to hear the summary of her story in her own words before she was baptized.
Emily: Hi everyone. My name is Emily Delacruz. My life was a happy one. I thought it was completely happy, but I was wrong. I could say, “I can forget Jesus to be part of my everyday life,” because I thought my life was complete already. But today I heard that Jesus died for me and paid my penalty, because we are all sinners. I believe that I have received the gift of eternal life today and confess to the church and to all the world that Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Savior. Amen.
David: How did that happen? God’s Word did that. God’s Word met Emily right where she was and changed her life. Don’t miss the picture. When our lives and hearts are changed by God’s Word, it changes everything about us. This is why I can say God’s Word revolutionizes marriages when we’re loving our spouse according to God’s Word. God’s Word also transforms all kinds of relationships and affects communities.
I think about visiting one village in India that had never heard God’s Word, the gospel or the good news of God’s love in Jesus. They worshiped all kinds of different gods and spirits. Everybody lived in fear of what this god or that spirit might do which affected the way they related to each other. But then someone came and shared the good news of God’s love. To quote exactly from somebody in that village, “Our village was like hell until we heard about Jesus.” They began to talk about how marriages had changed and how the whole culture of the community had changed based on God’s Word.
God’s Word affects communities and men’s hearts. It heals hurts, provides peace, compels love and produces joy. God’s Word also makes disciples and multiplies churches, because our mission as a church is to lead people to know Jesus as disciples, gathering with other disciples in churches that are multiplying. How do you do that? Well, God’s Word does that work.
Sometimes I’ll hear someone say, “Well, I don’t really know how to make disciples.” The answer is to just sit down with somebody, open God’s Word, read and study it together. The Word will do the work. This is why we say in church planting that the most important thing a church does is read and study God’s Word together, because it will do the work.
A serious problem: Many Christians either don’t read or don’t know how to study God’s Word.
But here’s the challenge. Many, maybe most, Christians either don’t read or don’t know how to study God’s Word. I could give you all kinds of data at this point that supports this statement. One research article said Americans are fond of the Bible but don’t actually read it. I’m concerned that the same could be said, not just about Americans in general, but about Christians who are church members. Or if we do read it, we don’t actually know how to study and understand it. So many people not knowing how to experience God’s Word on their own has to be one of the most glaring voids in the church.
My point in sharing this is not to make you feel badly, if that’s you. My point is to say, as we saw last week, full and lasting happiness is found in meditating on God’s Word. I don’t want to call you to feel bad; I want to call you to pursue happiness. I want that for you and I’m assuming you want that for you. I’m assuming you want healthy marriages and relationships and hearts, healing for your hurts, peace that transcends circumstances, love that transforms the lives of people around you, joy that never, ever, ever ends—God’s Word does all of this!
In looking at Psalm 1 last week, we saw, “Blessed is the one who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his or her delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he or she meditates day and night.” I want to help you do just that. No matter who you are, how young or old you are, what your background is, what your life is like now, I want to help you do this.
So for the next few minutes, I want to take another Psalm and lead us in a time of reading and studying God’s Word in a way that I pray will help you do the same thing tomorrow morning when you wake up or tomorrow night before you go to bed—or maybe both, “day and night.” We will use our acrostic MAPS to experience happiness, joy, peace and life in God’s Word. Do you want these things? If not, then tune out for the next few minutes and ignore God tomorrow. But if you want these things, let’s walk through this Word in the next few minutes and really dive into it, then let’s do this again tomorrow on our own, and the next day, and the next day.
Here’s the deal. I know not everybody here is a Christian. Some of you are visiting with friends or family members. Maybe you’re just exploring Christianity—we are so glad you’re here. I want to invite you to participate with us in this time. We’re actually going to have time in a few minutes when we pause and do a little study on our own. You don’t have to be a Christian to read what the Bible is saying. Anybody can do this.
Psalm 8 calls us to pray:
Let’s start by praying. Whether we’re together or alone, we always want to pause and ask God to open our eyes and hearts to see and understand His Word. This is a supernatural activity. It’s not just reading the news. It’s not just scrolling through some social media outlet. We are hearing from God, so let’s pray.
O God, we praise You for Your Word. We praise You that You’ve not left us alone in the dark about Who You are or how to experience life to the full. Every one of us here wants life to the fullest. So we pray that You would open our eyes and hearts to hear from You. Help us understand what Your Word is saying. We pray that over the next few minutes it would change lives, that it would do what it did in Emily’s life and 16 others who were baptized last week. We pray You would affect marriages and relationships, bringing peace, hope, life and joy through Your Word. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen. Let’s read Psalm 8 together:
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
Before I say anything else, I want to give you a couple minutes on your own to do the first M in MAPS. I want you to just meditate, which means asking what this passage is saying. I want to encourage you to circle, underline, make notes about what it says. For example, look for anything the Psalm might repeat that would give us the theme of the Psalm. Look for words or phrases that repeat. Then think about different phrases. Isolate a phrase and ask, “What is this phrase saying that seems particularly important to the meaning of the Psalm?”
Then as you make notes about what the passage is saying, think about what it means. Ask, “What is this passage teaching about Who God is? What is this passage teaching about who I am?” I’ll stop there. That’s more than enough for a few minutes. So, underline, circle, draw, write out a few notes. This is audience participation. You’re getting engaged right now, trying to understand what it’s saying. Again, I invite everybody to do this, then after a few minutes I’ll bring us back together. Spend some time meditating on the Word by asking these questions. Go for it.
All right, let’s come back together. Hopefully at this point you’ve seen some different things and made some notes. Did you notice anything that this Psalm repeats that might be the main point of the Psalm? This one hopefully was pretty obvious. Did you notice the first verse and the last verse are the same? If you noticed that’s great. The first verse says, “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” and then we see that at the very end. It’s like bookends giving us a primary theme.
Let’s camp out on this verse for a minute. “O LORD, our Lord…” Do you notice anything unusual there? Do Lord the first time and Lord the second time look the same or different? They look different. In the first Lord there is capital L and small caps in the “ORD,” then at the end you have capital L but lower case ‘ord.’ There’s a reason for that. Now I really to minimize the things I mention here that I’ve spent more time studying than the last three minutes, because I want you to see how you can do this on your own. But I will point out some things you may not know just from reading this.
Actually, that leads me to a side note. I want to encourage you, if you don’t already have one, to get a study Bible you can use as you read God’s Word. A study Bible is basically a Bible that has the text, but it also has notes that will draw your attention to particular things you may not know. Maybe there are certain words or phrases that can help you make connections with other verses in the Bible which is really helpful. You can buy a hard copy or you can download a digital copy. I would recommend the English Standard Version. That’s the translation we use most every week here. It has a great study Bible that goes with it—the ESV Study Bible. There are other study Bibles that are also great. This will be very helpful for you to get so much more out of God’s Word.
With that said, back to our passage here. I hope what I’m about to tell you will actually be a helpful piece of information you can store away as you’re reading through the Old Testament. Every time you see the word LORD with small caps, that is the most common name for God in His relationship with His people. In the Hebrew, it’s the word Yahweh. In Exodus 3, God’s people were slaves in Egypt and Moses was called by God to deliver them out of slavery. God told Moses to go and Moses asked, “Who will I tell them sent me?” God responded, “Tell them I AM sent you. I AM WHO I AM.”
So that’s what Yahweh means: “I AM WHO I AM. I’m the One Who is, was and always will be.” It’s a picture of His love in providing for His people and His commitment to deliver His people out of slavery. All that is summed up in Yahweh. So whenever you see LORD (all caps), you’ll know it’s Yahweh. Most of the time when you see Lord (lower case), that’s actually a different word—Adonai—which basically means the sovereign One or the King.
One way to compare Adonai and Yahweh is the actual name. Adonai is more like a title for God, like King Edward. King is his title; Edward is his name. That’s the relationship here. When you see Lord, that’s talking about God’s authority as King, His title, His position. But His name is Yahweh. If you put that together, then the Psalmist is starting by saying, “O LORD”—so he’s speaking to God using His name, which represents His love for His people and the fact that He was and is and is to come. Then he says, “Our Lord,” or our King. I love this because He is not just “the” Lord—He is our Lord.
How to apply MAPS:
So we’re only four words in. Now if you’re using MAPS—Meditate, Apply, Pray, Share—don’t think of it as being step one, step two, step three, step four. They can all happen at once. You don’t have to wait until you meditate through the whole Psalm, ask all the questions, then pray later. Rather, you’ve read, “O LORD, our Lord…” so just pause and start to praise God. “You’re the One Who was and Who is and Who is to come. You’re not just ‘the’ Lord—You are my Lord. You are my King in my life.”
At this point, pull out a song and start worshiping God. “You are the Lord, my Lord; how majestic is Your name in all the earth.”
Think about the way Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name in all the earth. Your name is majestic in all the earth, so make Your majesty known in all the earth.” Just reflecting and meditating on that verse, I would start praying for my kids. “God, help them see the majesty of Your name. Help them stand in awe of You. I pray that my kids would have a fear and reverence for You, that they would not have a low view of You but that they would have a high view of You. And God, I pray that You would make Your majesty known among my friends, family, neighbors and coworkers. Make Your majesty known in this city. Lord, I pray for Your majesty to be made known in Washington, DC. I pray that Your majesty may be made known among the nations, by the Panika people in India—over a million in this people group who are unreached to this day.”
I have an app I use almost every day. This morning I was praying for the Panika people where there are 0.0% followers of Jesus. “Jesus, make Your name known as glorious among the Panika people in India.”
Do you see how you can just soak in the first verse? Now, obviously we’ve talked about Yahweh and Adonai, but even not knowing about that, you can see so much in “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” We’re not speed reading through the Bible. Rather, we can just pause and praise and worship God, asking Him for things based on what we’re reading.
We’ve got to move on because we’ve not even made it through one verse. So keep going in verse one: “You have set your glory above the heavens.” Let’s think about that. Above the heavens, beyond what we can see, in ways we can’t even imagine—that’s where You’ve set Your glory. Did you notice this word “glory” is repeated another time in the Psalm? Verse five. You might put a circle around “glory” in verse two, then jump to verse five where you see “crowned with glory and honor.”
This is interesting. In verse one, above the heavens is where His glory is, beyond what we can see. But in verse five, glory gives a different picture. So let’s hold that in our heads until we get to verse five. We can see that there are different pictures of glory in this Psalm.
Now keep going to verse two: “Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.” What in the world does that mean? I’ll go ahead and tell you there is a lot of difficulty about understanding this verse, so I’m not sure exactly what it means. There are a few different ideas about how it fits into the overall point of the Psalm, but when you come across something that is unclear, keep focusing on that which is clear. That will help you better understand what is unclear. We don’t want to get too caught up here.
But what do we know is clear from this? Let’s think about it. “Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength…” So God’s strength and power are somehow evident in the mouths of babies and infants. Even little babies who can do nothing but babble are in some sense a picture of God’s strength and power. I think that makes sense to anyone in this room who has seen and contemplated the miracle of birth. Just looking at a baby who’s come from a mother’s womb is a picture of the power of God on display.
Then, one of the other things that’s clear is that God has foes. He has enemies and an avenger. Don’t read Iron Man into this; that’s not what the Bible is talking about. But God has foes—enemies and avengers who are opposed to God—and what is this Psalm saying will happen to them? They will be stilled. Those who oppose God will be stilled. :
How does it all fit in? Well, let’s keep going to verse three. “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place….” Now that’s a good verse. Think about it. “When I look at your heavens…” are described later as “…the moon and the stars…” He says all of these are “…the work of your fingers…” When I look at the moon and stars, they are the work of Your fingers. They’re Your artwork. Think about that.
Let me show you my artwork. This is about the best I can do here. I can do a person. I can do a house…windows…door…chimney…snow coming down outside the house. I’m guessing some of you could do better than this. Now, let me show you what God can do. Boom. God can do that. That’s the work of His fingers. He didn’t just draw it—He does it. He speaks and there it is. This video clip is from my most recent trip up in the Himalayas. Here’s a time lapse of what happened above me one night. Did you see that? It’s like smoke. God did that! All these shooting stars were the work of God’s fingers. God set all these stars in place. Scientists tell us there are about a hundred billion stars in our galaxy. Our galaxy is one of about a million galaxies that we can see with our best telescopes. Each one of those is filled with billions upon billions of other stars. Isaiah 40:26 says God brings out the starry host one by one and calls them each by name. By His great strength and power not one of them is missing. “This one right here—that’s Q13469er.” I don’t know what their names are, but our God does. He knows every single one of them. They’re the work of His fingers. He emphasizes this: “Your heavens. Your fingers. You have set them in place. You do all of this.” That repetition is pointing us to the fact that all of this is the work of God. It’s not evolution or natural selection at work. This is supernatural creativity at work.
In light of that, then we get to verse four. Now we’re ready to feel the wonder of this verse. In light of Your glory, above the heavens and in the heavens, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” This verse makes sense to all of us, doesn’t it? When you see scenes like we just saw, when you stand underneath the night sky, don’t you think, “Who am I?” Think about the globe and the seven billion people on it; think about the billions and billions of stars above us. It’s all so vast and big that we just feel so small. You don’t stand in those Himalayan mountains, looking out and thinking, “I feel so huge right now.” No. You’re thinking, “I’m so tiny, so insignificant.”
But this is where I want you to see the wonder of this Psalm, because that’s not what this passage is saying. We might expect it to say, “The heavens are so majestic and I’m so insignificant.” No, this Psalm actually says the opposite. “What is man? Who are we that You, the God Who made all these things, is mindful of us? Who are we as people that You care for us?” This is what blows the psalmist away. It’s not ultimately the heavens and work of God’s fingers—as astounding as that is. What’s really astonishing is that God is mindful of man. We are what’s on His mind. You and I are what’s on God’s mind. He’s always thinking about you and me. And not just thinking about us—He’s mindful of us and cares for us. He’s concerned about us, therefore that He provides for us.
Psalm 8 teaches that God is majestic over the whole earth:
What is this Psalm teaching us about Who God is? He’s majestic over the whole earth. His glory is above the heavens. The work of His fingers is all over the heavens. And in all His glory, He thinks about you and me; He cares for you and me. This is breathtaking.
It gets even more breathtaking in verse five: “You have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.” Think about this. What might “the heavenly beings” be referring to? Well, is God a heavenly being? Yes. But there’s only one of Him. Are angels heavenly beings? Yes. So this is a picture of you and me—“man”—made just a little lower than angels or even God Himself, which sounds like an overstatement until you read the next phrase. “You have crowned him…” Remember Adonai, the Lord as King? He’s given a crown to somebody else. Who? Man. Us. Crowned with what? There it is—glory and honor.
We saw glory earlier in verse one. It’s not just God’s glory above the heavens. Now we see that God’s glory is also on the earth—in whom? In man. In you and in me. Think about it. This is not just breathtaking; this is life changing. Do you want to see the glory of God on display? Yes. Go outside at night, look up at the stars and stand in awe. But do you want something a little easier? Look at the people sitting next to you. They are God’s glory on display. If you look at the people in your family or the people you work alongside, if you look into the faces of the people at the restaurant, store or gas station this week, they are God’s glory on display. The Bible teaches that God has made men and women and children, down to babies and infants, in His image, and they are crowned with glory and honor. This is why I say this is life changing.
When you realize that all people are made in God’s image and crowned with glory and honor, then racism and prejudice are detestable to you. You work to honor all people, no matter what they look like. Your first thought when you see someone who looks this way or that way should be that he or she is crowned with glory and honor. That’s what goes through your mind when you believe Psalm 8. No matter where they may have immigrated from, you honor them.
This transforms your view on abortion, because you know that little baby in a mother’s womb is crowned with glory and honor. You work to protect that little baby.
This compels the way you live in a world of injustice and oppression, because you actually believe that every person around you and every person in the world, from every nation, is crowned with glory and honor. So you work for justice. You serve and stand alongside those in need.
This is not just when you think about other people. This is where things get all the more breathtaking and life changing. Do you want to see the glory of God on display? Look in the mirror and realize that you are crowned with glory and honor by God Himself. Realize that God is mindful of you — the God of the universe, Whose glory is above the heavens and the work of Whose fingers is everywhere. This God Whose majesty is over all the earth—He cares about you. He’s crowned you with glory and honor. You do not need this person or that person, this man, that woman, this boss, that authority to accept or acknowledge you in a certain way. You are crowned with glory and honor by God. You are free from the quest for approval and applause of man. You stand like this before God. See it? Contrary to what science would try to tell us, we are not created just a little higher than animals. We are created a little lower than angels, a little lower than God Himself. In this way, you have unimaginable honor and glory from God Himself. Crowned with glory and honor—that’s you!
Now verses seven and eight tell us the One Who has all authority, the King, has given us authority. “You have given him dominion over the works of your hands” —the works of His hands in all creation. . From animals to fish to birds—the whole picture is everything in creation. God has given us dominion and authority to do what? To reflect His glory in the world around us.
You say, “How do I know that?” Well, after talking about all creation—sheep and oxen, birds, fish—what do you come back to? “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth.” How is the majesty of God made known in all the earth? The picture Psalm 8 has just given us is through men and women made in His image, crowned with His glory and honor, we are reflecting His character, love, justice and goodness in creation all around us. Through our lives, God makes His majesty known in all the earth—through our lives submitted to His Lordship.
This just took the purpose of your life to a whole other level. Just think about how life-changing this is. It’s not just that you were created and crowned with honor and glory. When you wake up tomorrow, the purpose of your life is more than just to get through the day, check off a bunch of boxes, take care of details at work or school, go to sleep, get up and do it again. Yes, there are all kinds of things
to be done tomorrow, but what’s the purpose of it all? The purpose of it all is that you have been commissioned by the King Himself to reflect His love, justice, integrity, holiness and mercy to a world around you. That’s what you were created to do.
You might think, “Well, how can I do that? With all my imperfections, how can I reflect God’s glory to the world?” I’m glad you asked, because this is the gospel. This is the good news of God’s love. In just a second I’m going to show you one other verse. Yes, in the big picture, we’ve seen that God has created each of us crowned with glory and honor. We are all made in His image. Yet we have all sinned against God. We’ve all turned aside from God’s ways to our own ways (Romans 3:12, 23).
As a result, God’s image in us is marred by our sin—by our thoughts, desires, words and actions that don’t bring honor to God. If you’re not a Christian, please pay attention particularly closely here. We are all sinners. God’s image in us has been marred by sin. But the good news of the Bible—the gospel—is that God has not left us alone in this state. God has come to us in the form of Jesus, a perfect Man, crowned with glory and honor, Who had no sin in Him whatsoever. Then, even though He had no sin in Himself to pay any price for or to die for, He chose to die—why?
You might ask, “Where are you getting all this—from Psalm 8?” If you have a good study Bible, it might point you to this. But there’s a later book in the Bible, Hebrews, that quotes straight from Psalm 8. Let’s read what Hebrews 2:6-8 says;
“It has been testified somewhere, ‘What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet.’”
We know that’s a reference to Psalm 8. But what does it say right after this, beginning in verse nine? “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor…”—He’s like us, crowned with glory and honor— “…because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” The whole picture here is that Jesus became like us so that He might taste death for us—for each one of us. Jesus has paid the price for all of our sin against God.
Then after He died for us, He rose from the dead. So put it all together. This means anyone, anywhere, who turns from sin and trusts in Jesus to save them from their sin will be forgiven of all their sin and freed from its power in our lives. As a result, we can live according to God’s good design, be restored to relationship with Him and live under His Lordship to reflect His character in the world around us.
This all leads to the question I want to ask every single person here: Is God your Lord? Who are you living for? Are you living for yourself, according to your own ways, your own thoughts, your own plans, your own desires? Or are you living in submission to God as Lord? The good news of the Bible and
the good news that I have for you today is that He loves you, He cares for you and you are on His mind. He desires for you to experience full life according to His design under His Lordship. If that’s not the case, I want to invite you to make it the case today. If it is, if He is your Lord, I want to invite you to open His Word and meditate on it tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, experiencing all that God has designed for you under His Lordship. Will you bow your heads with me? As you do, I ask you is your life right now under the Lordship of God and Jesus? If the answer to that question is not a resounding yes in your heart, then I believe God has brought you here today to draw you to Himself. I want to invite you, if you would be willing, just to pray with me. Say to God, right there in your heart, “God, I know I am a sinner. I have lived according to my rules, my ways, my desires and my thoughts. But today I am turning from my sin and myself, trusting in You as my Lord. Today I’m trusting in Jesus and His death on the cross for my sin. I want to experience life under Your Lordship. I place my faith in You today.”
If you just prayed that to God, I want to invite you to lift up your hand where you are as a picture of you saying, “Yes, today I’m placing my life under the Lordship of Jesus.” Amen. God, I praise You for bringing people here today. You see their hearts. You know their lives. I praise You for Your love and care, for making a way for us to be forgiven of our sins and be restored into relationship with You so we can experience life according to Your design. God, I pray that You would give them courage to proclaim that through baptism today. I also pray for those who may never have been baptized, for courage to do what Emily and 16 others did last week, to publicly say, “Yes, Jesus is my Lord.”
Before I close us in prayer, I want to give you just a couple of moments to just pray or maybe write something out, using MAPS—Meditate, Apply and Pray. How does what we just looked at in God’s Word affect the way you think, what you desire and how you live? What will be different in your life as a result of what we’ve just seen in God’s Word? I want to give you an opportunity to write that out or just pray based on what God’s Word has spoken to your heart. Take a couple minutes to do that, then I’ll close in prayer.
O God, I think about this other acrostic we use—PRAY. We Praise You. Your glory is above the heavens. How majestic is Your name in all the earth. We worship Your name. We glorify Your name. We praise you for the way You’ve made us in Your image, the way You’ve crowned us with glory and honor.
God, we Repent of sin in our lives, the way we have thought, desired, spoken and acted in ways that don’t reflect Your glory. Please, forgive us by Your grace. We praise You for Your forgiveness through Christ. We say that we want to live in a way that reflects Your glory, Your love, Your justice and Your character. So help us, we pray.
We Ask for Your help to live our lives this week in a way that makes Your majesty, love, compassion, justice and mercy known. We pray that You would use us this week to make Your majesty known in others’ lives—in our families, in places where we work, the places where we go in this community and in this city. God, we pray for the majesty of Jesus’ name to be known among more and more people in Washington, DC, and more and more people among the nations.
We ask for this and we Yield. We lay our lives before You. You are the Lord, our Lord. You are our King. We are so thankful that You are our Lord and our King. We pray that You would lead and guide our lives this week. Help us meditate on Your Word day and night and help us grow more and more into the image of Jesus and into the life You’ve designed for us to live through Your Word. Please may it be so. We pray all these things in Jesus’ name. Amen.
How can we apply this passage to our lives?
According to the sermon, what is the most important thing that the church does? How have you seen this to be true?
What is the difference between “LORD” and “Lord” in Psalm 8?
Why should Psalm 8 compel us to pray for the unreached?
How are we crowned with glory and honor from God?
Who are you living for? How does your response to this question dictate each area of your life?
We glorify God by making disciples and multiplying the church among all nations, beginning in greater Washington, D.C.
God’s Word changes lives, revolutionizes marriages, transforms relationships, makes disciples, multiplies churches, affects communities, mends hearts, heals hurts, provides peace, compels love, and produces eternal joy.
A Serious Problem: Many Christians Either Don’t Read or Don’t Know How to Study God’s Word.
Meditate and Memorize: What does it say? What does it mean?
Apply: How does it transform our thoughts (head), desires (heart), and/or actions (hands)?
Pray: Praise, repent, ask, and/or yield according to the Word.
Share: Write down your reflections and talk about them with others.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!