Lesson Three
He Is Our Hiding Place

 

  

Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped
as in the beat of summer.  Selah.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”
¾
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.  Selah.
Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found;
surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.  Selah.
Psalm 32:1-7

 

Who am I, anyway, that I could do such things?
Sure, I’ve heard about sin, but what I did . . .
well . . . it seems much larger than that.

Who am I, anyway, that I could be so blind?
Sure, I’ve heard about forgiveness,
but my record is far too long.

Jesus, for your namesake, help me please.
Nothing is too difficult for you.
In you alone will I trust.

 

 

u  Our Sinful Nature

 

In Romans 3:10-18, what is said about human thought, direction, speech, and action?

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According to Mark 7:21-23, what can be found in our hearts?

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What good can be found in our human nature?  Romans 7:15-25

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Where does our righteousness come from?  Romans 3:21-26

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Do Christians sin too?  1 John 2:1-2_______________________________________________________      

 

When we do sin, who speaks in our defense?_______________________________________________      

 

What does this tell you about God’s patience and forbearance?

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Remember it is the blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin!  (1 John 1:7)

 

 

Take time:  You can talk to Jesus about anything . . . ANYTHING!  What’s on your mind?

 

u  Root Sins

 

Often involvement with abortion was a culmination of other sins.  We may have been sexually active outside of the marriage relationship.  We may have taken drugs or alcohol, which helped to loosen our already shaky morals.  But even before the act of sexual intercourse which led to the pregnancy, many of us were involved in reading, viewing, or watching sexually subtle or explicit books, magazines, videos, and/or pictures.  If so, we were involved in pornography.  Women also participate in the sin of pornography (many romance novels are sexually explicit), but men seem to struggle more with this very tempting sin.

 

Read 1 John 2:16.  What three things in the world tempt us to sin?

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These three are what led Adam and Eve to sin in the Garden of Eden.  The lust of the eyes causes us to look at and covet something that is not meant for us (Eve saw and wanted the fruit).  The lust of the flesh causes us to act upon what we have seen (Eve ate the fruit and gave it to Adam also).  The pride of life causes us to deny our sinful actions (Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent).

 

What promise follows in 1 John 2:17?

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Have you ever participated in any of the following?  Be very honest in your answers.

ÿ  Telling dirty jokes or listening to them.

ÿ Talking with other men (or women other than your wife) about sexual things.

ÿ  Thinking sexually about a woman other than your wife.

ÿ  Reading books or magazines that contain any type of sexual content, either in words or pictures.

ÿ  Viewing videos, movies, or television that contains sexual scenes of any type.

ÿ  Lustfully looking at women (i.e., at work, at school, at restaurants such as Hooters, on the beach, etc.)

ÿ  Patronizing “adult” books stores.

ÿ  Going to bars where women are partially or entirely nude.

ÿ  Dancing with a woman in a sexually provocative manner.

ÿ  Any sexual involvement with other men.

ÿ  Any sexual involvement with children.

ÿ  Masturbating as a result of thinking about sexual things.

ÿ  Necking, petting, fondling, or any other act that sexually excites.

ÿ  Fornication (involves all manner of sexual sins, and includes adultery, incest, beastiality, homosexuality)

ÿ  Condoning the actions of other men or women who participate in any of the above.

 

In 1 Corinthians 6:18, what does God command?  What does this mean to you?

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In that same verse, what is the only sin you can commit against your own body?

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Read Matthew 5:28.  What does this verse tell you about lust?

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Read Proverbs 2:10-19.

What must enter your heart to keep you pure? ___________________________________________________

 

In verses 12-19, from what two things will wisdom save you?

(1)__________________________________________
(2)__________________________________

 

Read Proverbs 5:3-23 and summarize this passage in your own words.

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Read Psalm 1.

Verse 1 tells us we are blessed if we do not do these three things: (1) walk in the counsel of the wicked; (2)  stand in the way of sinners; or (3) sit in the seat of mockers.  The progression is gradual.  First we walk with those who are wicked (accompany them), then we stand with them (spend time listening), and finally we sit with them (participate).

 

In Psalm 1:2, what should delight you and how often should you meditate on it?

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What is the result of this according to verse 3? __________________________________________________

 

In Psalm 1:4-6, what happens to the wicked?  What happens to the righteous?

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Read James 1:13-15.  It is important to know that when we are tempted, it is never from God.  Also, temptation is not sin, but acting upon it or thinking about it is.  What does tempt us? ________________________________________________________________________________________

 

In verse 14-15, list the progression of sin:

(1)______________________________
(2)___________________________
(3) ______________________

 

Read Romans 13:14.  What should you do when tempted? _________________________________________

 

 

How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word.
I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psalm 119:9-11

 

 

. . . whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:13b

 

u  Conviction by the Holy Spirit

 

God is prepared to meet all your needs.  He does not just stand on the sidelines, randomly picking when and how He will help you.  He has sent the Holy Spirit to convict the world of guilt in regard to sin, righteousness, and judgment.  In this way, each of us is assured an opportunity to walk steadily on the straight path.

 

When we sin, we soon realize that we’ve grieved the Holy Spirit.  Simply put, we experience true guilt and shame.  Our sin testifies against us, and it is only through Jesus’ cleansing blood that the charges are forever removed . . . blotted from our record.

 

Conviction by the Holy Spirit compels us toward God.  It’s a personal invitation to reach out and tap into His unconditional love and forgiveness.

 

We would all do well to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, to accept His wisdom and resist temptations up front, but the question is: When we do sin and are convicted . . . what will we do?

 

There’s a decision to be made when we are convicted.  We can either:

 

HUMBLE OUR HEARTS
OR
HARDEN OUR HEARTS

 

When we humble ourselves before our Lord, we are willing to confess, repent, and forsake our wrong.  By faith, we trust that He is just and will freely pardon us.  He will not withhold His lovingkindness from us.

 

Conversely, every time we harden our hearts before our Lord, we deny His guiding hand, His love, His help. We cannot fully enjoy the fellowship of our Shepherd.  Why?  Because sin separates us from God.

 

 

u  Heartfelt Troubles

 

From the verses below, describe in your own words, what is being felt in response to sin.  Then place an ý next to the ones you have experienced in the past and a check þ next to the ones you have recently felt.

 

ÿ  Psalm 6:6

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Psalm 38

ÿ  verse 4

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ÿ  verse 5

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ÿ  verse 6

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ÿ  verse 7

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ÿ  verse 8

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ÿ  verse 9

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ÿ  verse 10

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ÿ  verse 11

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ÿ  verse 18

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Psalm 32

ÿ  verse 3

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ÿ  verse 4

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ÿ  Psalm 40:12

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ÿ  Psalm 51:1-4

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ÿ  Ezekiel 20:43

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ÿ  Lamentations 1:20

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ÿ  Jeremiah 3:25

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ÿ  Jeremiah 14:7

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In terms of the abortion, what do you learn from these Scriptures?

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Are some or all of these feelings familiar to you?_____________________________________________      

 

Ultimately, have these feelings motivated you to seek God’s help?________________________________      

 

Our Deliverer is close to the brokenhearted.  Including you.  Did you know that every single time you shed a tear (Yes!  It’s okay to cry.), God takes notice?  In fact, He makes a record of our tears in His book.  Your tears touch Him deeply.  What a Friend we have in Jesus!

 

 

Take time:  Read Psalm 32:1-7 and take at least five minutes to savor these golden words.  You may want to go for a short walk or perhaps recline in a favorite chair.

 


What has the Holy Spirit been convicting you about?

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Meditations

 

 

Will you humble yourself and reach out to Jesus?  Pretty sounding words aren’t required.  Neither are tears.  Make a start.  Talk to your Friend.

 

Would you like to write down any special thoughts about the time you spent with your Lord?

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u  Condemnation by Our Enemy

 

We have learned about conviction by the Holy Spirit and how it works to draw us toward Jesus.  But what about all the other feelings and nagging thoughts?  Where do they come from?

 

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1

 

Condemnation is Satan’s present work and is intended to draw us away from trusting in Jesus.  “Liar” is his name, and breaking down the lines of communication is his game.

 

 

u  Recognizing the Accusations

 

Be alert!  Satan will even take a truth and twist it so as to accuse you.

 

Place a check next to the troubling thoughts that have perplexed you lately:

 
ÿ   You’re a sinner.

 

ÿ   You are not forgiven, you would just like to think you are.

ÿ   God can’t forgive this.

ÿ   You’ve blown it this time.

ÿ   You deserve everything you get.

ÿ   Why would Jesus want to listen to you?

ÿ   What good is your life anyway?

ÿ   What’s the use?  You’re a mess.

ÿ   Confess?  It’s not so important.  You don’t really need to.

ÿ   You’re an unfit father.

ÿ   God is angry with you.

ÿ   You deserve punishment.

ÿ   You should have known better.

ÿ   You should have been stronger.

ÿ   You should feel bad.

ÿ   Why didn’t God help you?

ÿ   You don’t need to repent . . . it wasn’t really your fault.

ÿ   You just didn’t know what you were getting into.  You don’t have to repent.

ÿ  There’s help for others, but not for you.

ÿ   How could you have done such a thing?

ÿ   How could you be so stupid?  So blind?

ÿ  You’re not meant to be loved by a woman.

ÿ   You knew what you were doing and you did it anyway.  And you want help?

ÿ   What makes you think you have any right to ask for help?

ÿ   How many abortions have you participated in?  You should feel bad.

ÿ   Once or twice, maybe, but ___?  That’s too many.  Don’t tell anyone.

ÿ   You might as well give up.

ÿ   God doesn’t really care about you.  Others, yes . . . but not you.

ÿ   There’s no hope.

 

 Satan has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.

How much truth?  NONE.

 

When the enemy’s accusations sneak into your mind, what Scriptural principle must you apply to be rid of him?  (See “WHAT MUST I DO WHEN ATTACKED?” page 18.)

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What is the first thing you should do in order to resist Satan?____________________________________

 

Have you begun to practice this in your daily life?  If yes, what difference has it made?

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If not, will you make a start?  Look up and ask for help.________________________________________      

 

What do you think happens to your ability to trust Jesus when you entertain Satan’s accusations?

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Select at least three of the statements you checked and, using a Bible concordance, search for God’s Truths to respond to the assaults.  Write them down here.

 

ACCUSATIONS                                     THE TRUTH

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What do you think happens when we believe Satan’s lies?

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u  Self-Condemnation

 

Often, we have not resisted the enemy and his deafening slurs penetrate deep into our ways.  We digest his lies as truths.  It is easy to do.  After all, it only seems right that we judge ourselves for what we have done.  It only seems right that we never forget what we have done.
It only seems right that we not allow ourselves to get off the hook so easily.

 

With our own fleshly wisdom, we sentence ourselves to a merciless recount of every possible failing . . . a recital as silent and unending as the grave.

 

From the list of accusations on page 47, replace the word “you,” with the word “I,” “me,” or “my” and write down the statements that sound familiar to you.

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What does this tell you?

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What is the beginning of wisdom?  Psalm 111:10.

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In this context, what does “fear” mean?

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To fear the Lord and shun evil produces what benefit?  Proverbs 3:7-8.

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Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Proverbs 3:3

 

Conviction and Condemnation.  Yes I see.
You know Lord, there’s more on my mind . . .
I am concerned about other things too.
Embrace me Lord, and teach me Your peace.

 

  

u  Our Stormy Cares

 

Read Mark 6:45-52.

 

Why were the disciples afraid?

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What was Jesus’ three-fold response to their trouble?

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Immediately after the disciples cried out, where did Jesus go?

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What happened to the wind that was against them?

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Is it too much for you to believe that Jesus walked on water?  Why or why not? *

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What did the disciples fail to understand in the feeding of the five thousand (Mark 6:30-44) that could have helped them in this experience? *

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*Serendipity House, see Acknowledgements

 

u  Straining at the Oars

 

How often are we frightened by ghosts of fear in our lives?  The fear of not being a good husband or father.  The fear of bearing the scorn of others.  The fear of what tomorrow may bring are our ghosts.

 

Add to that, the unsettling curiosities that catch our attention.  Was my aborted child a boy or girl?  How old would my child be?  If I hadn’t become involved in abortion, how would my life be different today?

 

When we turn to the Son of God, we become calm in the light of His peace and love.

 

Where are you “straining at the oars’ right now? *

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How can Jesus help you? (If you have nightmares associated with the abortion, ask for His help.) *

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*Serendipity House, see Acknowledgements

 

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Matthew 6:.25-27

 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:6-7

 

You [God] will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3

 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

 

[Jesus] replied, “ . . . I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20

 

 

Take time:  Will you spend a few moments to ponder the comforting words of your Provider?

 

u  The Suicide Temptation

 

The consequences of abortion can be very painful.  Cares and worries that haven’t been placed at Jesus’ feet, can snowball until everyday living becomes almost unbearable.  We may isolate ourselves from the love of others and surrender to aloneness.

 

We feel unworthy to live.

We don’t believe a girlfriend or wife can forgive our past.

We are afraid to face God with the reality of the abortion.

We feel overwhelming depression.

We feel emotionally bankrupt; numb.

We interpret our despair as a prophecy of doom.

 

While suicide may appear to be the key to unlock the chains of our dark burdens, make no mistake . . . suicide is not of the Lord.

 

Read Job chapter 3.

 

Job wanted to die because of his burdens.  How would you describe them?

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In Job 38:4-12, and using your own words, how does the Lord respond to Job’s desire to die?

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Who will bear your burdens for you daily?  Psalm 68:19._______________________________________

 

In Numbers 11:1-17, Moses too, is greatly burdened and asks God to let him die.  What is God’s answer?

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In Galatians 6:2 we learn a way in which to fulfill the love of Christ.  What is it?

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In Hebrews 3:13, why is encouragement necessary?

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Who are you allowing to help carry your burdens?

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Have you ever contemplated suicide because of the abortion experience?___________________________      

 

Have you recently entertained thoughts of suicide?  If yes, please contact your pastor, Group Leader, or a friend today.  There is hope.___________________________________________________________________________

 

What three assurances do you have from your Helper?  Isaiah 46:4.

______________________________________________________________________________ me.

______________________________________________________________________________ me.

______________________________________________________________________________ me.

 

 

Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death.
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me.
When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my
soul.
Psalm 94:17-19

 

 

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge ¾ that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever!  Amen.
 Ephesians 3:16-21

 

 

Meditations

 

Read and meditate on the following verses and questions until you’re ready for the next lesson or until your group meets again.

 

Read John 20:19-31.

 

What do you learn about Thomas from his response in verse 25?

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How did Jesus deal with him?

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What does this teach you about Jesus?

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How has your faith been strengthened by the fact that you haven’t touched Jesus’ scars?

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In what ways are you like Thomas?  Unlike Thomas? *

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Why did the disciples keep their doors locked?

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What, if anything, have you kept behind locked doors?

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*Serendipity House, see Acknowledgements

 

Jesus knew the hearts of His followers.  He overcame the locked doors, entered into their dwelling place, and said:

 

“Peace be with you!”

 

 

Turn to the Prince of Peace.  He will meet you where you are.

 


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