I Am Who I Am, Part 3: God Is Gracious (05.26.20)
A Study & Practice Guide on the Biblical Names & Characteristics of God
This guide does not directly engage with Sunday teachings content, but we do look for thematic connections to help keep the CG Practices in alignment. For example, a theme in Sunday’s teaching on identity was the loving grace of God in calling us His beloved children, which is our core identity. Therefore, this guide explores the graciousness of God.
After the group welcomes one another, have one person open the group in prayer and then take 2-3 minutes of silence. As you sit in silence, ask the Holy Spirit to help you present yourself just as you are to a loving and gracious God.
Set a timer for 1 minute per person to check in:
- What would you like the group to know about your last week?
Read Scripture Aloud
Have one or more people in your group read Psalm 86. It’s highly encouraged to follow along in a physical Bible. As you listen and follow along, silently observe anything that stands out to you.
Cultural & Historical Context at a Glance
Read through these few simple things happening in and around this time.
- This passage is part of the collection of Psalms, which are poetic songs used to direct the Jewish and Christian people to worship God—like an ancient hymnal.
- King David wrote the psalm as a prayer—both expressing his individual heart and the corporate needs of Israel. There are no clear connections between this psalm and specific events in David’s life.
- This psalm was written during David’s 40-year reign as king of Israel, which happened around 1000BC.
Before interpreting the message for how it applies to us today, take 15-20 minutes to make some simple observations of the text in light of the cultural/historical context above or other things you know. Here are a few questions you might jump off from:
- What is happening?
- Who is involved? What do we know about them?
- What are some distinct words or phrases in the passage that stand out to you?
- What other verses in the Bible does this passage echo?
Interpreting the Message
In light of your observations, discuss the message of Psalm 86 for 20-30 minutes.
- What message do you believe that God’s people would have received from this text?
- What does the passage have to say about who God is and who He is not in this passage?
- What further questions do you have to explore with God after studying this passage?
Living in Biblical Truth
After interpreting the message of the text together and what it reveals about God, consider the implications of this truth for your life. Share with one another for 15-20 minutes:
- In what way has your understanding of God been deepened, expanded, challenged, or refined?
- What would it look like to live into the message of this text in your life? How about in the life of your CG? Your home and work relationships?
Pray for your group, our church, our city, and our world.
Questions or Feedback?
Do you have any lingering questions or thoughts about this practice guide series? You can offer them on this form .