June 14, 2012
Today, we were invited to go to Ryan’s house for Bible study and we were very lucky to experience community and share God’s word. From this Bible study, I was strengthened, empowered, and refreshed by God’s living word. It seemed to me that we were answered the question how God wants His followers to be. By the end of the Bible study, I concluded that God desires a sincere faith, a pure heart, good motives, and a repentant heart. It is not about the mistakes and sins we have committed, but about how we react to our shortcomings of living out God’s word. Do we repent, get back up, humble ourselves, or do we ignore God’s living word? The reaction is up to us and we all have freedom of choice to live how we desire to live. These questions and values made me question my faith and relationship that I have with the Lord.
Sometimes, life takes us on a dark journey where we see no light, but in that darkness is where our identity sometimes is shaped. There might be darkness in our situation, but we have to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Faith is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel when the current situation looks dark and miserable. The man who was after God’s own heart proclaimed, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Pslams 23:4). Even though David was going through a difficult time in his life, he believed that God was still with him every step of the way. He saw the light at the end of the tunnel through his faith in the Lord. It only requires faith as big as a mustard seed to make every thing happen.
Some thing very unique about David was that he loved God sincerely and had a repentant heart. God called the man who committed adultery and murder “a man after my own heart” (Acts 13:22). God said this because David loved the Lord with all his heart. His relationship with God was sincere, genuine, and personal. He did not praise God as a young boy in the wilderness to show off, brag or to be honored by men, but rather because he loved God from within. The Israelites forgot their King and wanted a mortal king to reign over them like other nations. As a result, God gave them what they desired, Saul, to be their King over them. However, God was unpleased with Saul because he did not respect God’s word and obey His commands. Saul was more concerned what people taught rather than what God wanted him to do and that is why God took the kingdom away from him and gave it to someone else who had a good heart.
Later on, God told Samuel to anoint one of Jesse’s sons to be king over His people. Seeing through his fleshly eyes, Samuel assumed that God was going to pick the well-built son of Jesse, but soon enough God convicted him that none of them were His choice. This left Samuel to ask Jesse if these were all his sons and God honored the one that secretly loved Him in the wilderness while tending the sheep. God is concerned about our actions in secret and not what we do in public to impress others. God cares about the inside and not the outside. Good deeds done to impress others are hollow and empty while good deeds done for the right reasons are meaningful and sincere. David’s business was with God, he did not care what people taught of him. People say this and people say that, but in the end what people say does not really matter, because we came from dust and we will return to dust. Every thing will pass away but God’s eternal Word will never pass away. Jesus shows us how we should be when he says, “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on you head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matt. 6:16-18). God desires that we do things for the right reasons. You can do good deeds but still have bad motives. God desires that we do both good deeds and have the right motives. Good deeds with twisted motives only end up hollow and unacceptable in God’s eyes.
From this Bible study, I learned that whatever I do I should try to impress God and no one else. The right people in my life will be impressed because I am doing God’s will any way. My relationship with God is personal, meaning that it is between me and Him. I don’t need to shout to people what great deed I’m doing. I also learned that my identity should not be built by the ideas of this world but by God’s living word. It seems that the ideas of this world are very contradictory to God’s Word.