This week we really started moving toward the arrival of the Messiah. Let me just take a second to say that I am loving this study. If you’re looking for a Bible study for your church, small group, friends, or for yourself, Seamless is outstanding. It’s changing how I see Scripture, especially the connection between Old Testament and New.
1. Like Saul, do you ever let other people’s opinions shape your actions? How does that work out for you?
Let’s see . . . how about the first, say, 24 years of my life? Kidding (mostly). But while I see how negative the mindset of “what does so-and-so think of me?” can be, I also see how letting the *right* people’s opinions shape my actions can be a good thing. Not to gush about my husband or anything, but when I met him and started getting to know him, I could tell he was good. Good heart, good morals, just all-around good guy. And I wanted him to have a positive opinion of me, not just because he was cute but because I value the opinions of good people. That’s okay, right?
I think the trouble is when we get caught up in people’s opinions about what doesn’t matter. If we’re thinking too much about what people think of how we’re dressed, how we look, or how much money we have, we’re getting it all wrong. And believe me, I’ve been down that road. It didn’t lead anywhere happy, and it was only a distraction from God.
2. Has there been a time when you felt punished by God? How has that affected your relationship with Him?
Honestly, I’m not sure how to answer this question. I see my experience as a Christian as being separated into two main time periods: The Pursuing and The Listening. For years, I pursued God. And that’s a good thing! Really! But I went about it all wrong. I thought there was some list of rules to follow or things to say to people or actions that were very smug and self-righteous, and that all of those aspects somehow added up to . . . well, I’m not sure what it added up to, exactly. Heaven? A relationship with God? Earning an A in Being a Good Christian 101? The whole situation was very much driven by me, and I didn’t stop to listen or to think (or even to read the Bible, believe it or not). There were many, many, many times in The Pursuing that I felt punished by God, but it was because I had such a shallow understanding of Him.
Now that I’ve moved on to what I call The Listening, I still don’t have it all figured out–not by any stretch of the imagination, promise!–but I do feel as though I’m at least letting the Captain steer the ship instead of elbowing Him out of the way.
3. What did you see in Isaiah 53 that points you to Jesus?
Can I give the obvious answer and say the crucifixion? I’m not very good at match-that-verse-with-its-book, so if you’d asked me to guess Old or New Testament, I would’ve looked at you like you were nuts and said, “Old? Why is that even an option? New, duh.”
I know what you’re thinking. I’m a Biblical scholar in disguise.
But these are the kinds of ah-ha moments I keep having during this study. And I am so thankful for them.
Okay, on to week 5! Can’t wait!