Welcome to the first week of our August sermon series on Psalms called the Poetry of Trust. Psalm 116 is a response to a rescue. This conversation revolves around three experiences the author goes through and what a thank offering looks like today.
Building healthy and life-giving relationships.
What has been new or challenging in your life since last time the group met? Spend 20–30 minutes checking in with each other.
Share Part of Your Story
What’s one of the craziest situations you’ve had to be rescued from (think flat tire, stuck in snow bank, lost in the woods, etc.)?
What are some things that make a small group a safe place to talk about life’s joys and struggles? How can you make sure your small group is a safe environment?
Taking next steps toward Christ together.
Work together to take turns reading through Psalm 116 aloud. Recap this passage. What’s the main point?
The Experience of a Real Mess
The Psalmist seems to have just come through a terrible experience, probably even life-threatening. What are some of the words the psalmist uses to describe the mess he went through? How do you think he felt as he went through it?
What are some common, but hard experiences people have to go through today? What are some normal emotions during those experiences?
The psalmist had to come to a point where he realized he couldn’t buy, schmooze or think his way out of his problem. What is it like to hit that point? How have you responded at times like that in the past?
The psalmist responds with a simple prayer in Psalm 116:4. What does he say? How can this prayer provide comfort when we can’t see a way out of something?
The Experience of Rescue
The psalmist credits God with rescuing him. As a group, work back through the chapter. What words does the psalmist use to describe God?
The psalmist’s situation changed. What does he say his soul can do now? Why might it be significant to take some time to do this after experiencing what he has gone through? What are some ways you can make time to do it?
What is the question the psalmist considers in Psalm 116:12 after the rescue? How often do you think people remember to do this? Do you feel like this is a question you ask yourself? Why or why not?
The Experience of Expressing Thanks
A modern-day interpretation of those two elements might be to say something and to give something. It is the idea that being thankful isn’t just a feeling, but also something you do. What do you think it means to go public with your praise? What are some different ways that could look?
What are some things we could take a few moments and thank God for when we are with our friends or family? Is there something you need to publicly express thanks for to God in your small group right now?
A definition of a thank offering for our context is giving something of monetary or time value because you are deeply grateful for something God has done for you. What are some things we should want to give a thank offering for? What are some possible ways to give a thank offering? Why do you think it should be simple, small and soon?
Today’s conversation is about offering thanks to God. A thank offering is both giving something and saying something. What’s one way you have been challenged to say something and give something as a thank offering this week?
INVEST IN OTHERS
Valuing people outside the group and outside the faith.
Discuss how you and your group can better engage the people in your life outside your small group.
As we begin to think about the fall, is there someone unconnected to a group that you could add to your group? Spend some time thinking about the different people you know. Maybe it is a co-worker, a former small group member or someone you serve with. Who might need what your group has? Come up with a plan to invite them to join your group.
Download a printable PDF here.