Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
Psalms 107, 111-114
Questions & Observations
O. (Psalm 107:1-7): God has such grace and mercy. No matter how far away from God one has strayed, he will always welcome them back and give them a place to reside. What a gift we have in Him!
O. (111:10): Great verse. I have been feeling wiser. Reading the Bible in it’s entirety is the best decision I have ever made. I have wanted to do it for so long and started several times. What could be more important in life than knowing God’s textbook. It should be the foundation for who we are and how we live! I always said — because I hadn’t found time to read the Bible — that as long as I love everyone and act accordingly, I would “make it.” But, I can see that I was naïve! There is a ton more of knowledge available that is helping me know more of what my life is about. I wish everyone could make the time!
O. (112:1): Several years ago, we were gearing up for our daughter to attend Kindergarten. Although we lived in the best school district in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, we wanted our daughter to not just be exposed to Christianity, but to live it, to be it. What a great decision that was! I cringe at the thought of my kids not being allowed to pray or not taught the virtues of the Bible. If there is any bullying going on at school, it is immediately dealt with. In my daughter’s Second Grade class, I have witnessed kids talking through hurt feelings with love and respect. These kids are so compassionate. I left my daughter’s birthday party in tears. Each child said a prayer out loud for her. Classical Christian schools rock! They make it very clear that God should be the center of our lives. I know by talking about this that some may think I’m a know-it-all or inconsiderate because private schools are so expensive. In society’s standards, we can’t afford it. Many things have been put on hold because our children’s education comes first. I’m just saying, check it out! And, there are scholarships available. (Sorry for those of you who are reading this and have no children.)
Q. (112:3): I’m holding out for the riches. Really, God, I will be generous! I do believe that if you follow what God wants you to do that you will have just what you need to be very happy.
A. There’s one of those old “conversations with God” that get used in sermons a lot that I have that I think sums up my thoughts on your question: I asked God to give me happiness. And God said “No”. He said, “He gives me blessings, happiness is up to me.”
O. (112:4): I love these three virtues — generosity, compassion and righteousness. If your life isn’t great by society’s standards, I think it’s awesome that a light can shine if you are a believer of God. I think those three things can help you stay happy by giving of yourself.
Q. (112:7): As I have said in the above observation that our budget is tight. We moved a year ago, my husband started his own business which can be stressful, you know this if you have ever done it, our daughter’s school bill doubled with the change of school and we have another child starting, so our school bill will be quadrupling from two years ago. But, the more we trust in God, the less we are concerned about it. It’s scary that it feels good. I guess money is the fear that we are trying to hand over to God. But, there are more fears like my in-laws are dealing with: many of their friends are fatally ill. I’m sure that makes them look at their own vitality. There are fears about our children being safe. Just pray and hand those worries over to God!
A. (Just as a quick note, when I’m discussing fear in my response, I’m not talking about fear in the sense of reverence for God, and a right understanding of who He is, as in Proverbs 1:7, among other references. I would use the word reverence myself. That’s not the type of fear I’m going to be discussing). Now then: fear (anxiety, cowardice, etc.) though sometimes a powerful motivator, is ultimately a fruitless emotion. And fear is not of God. If you think about it (and as 1 John 4:18 notes), the opposite of love is not hate, but fear. Fear is the very antithesis of what God calls us to. We are called to see the example of His love for us on the cross, and trust Him with the rest. The more we trust Him, the less we will fear. Now that doesn’t mean that fear will just, poof, disappear. We will continue to struggle with fear and sin our whole lives, even as we grow closer to God. But as we see the work of God in the Bible and in our lives, we will see that God calls us to have a spirit of boldness and trust, not a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). One of the most common commands in scripture (especially when encountering God or an angelic being) is, “do not fear”. Trust in God, and learn from Christ what it means to live a bold life for Him.