After some comments on the Flame of Love devotion, our study of Psalm 146 starts with the psalmist's exuberant burst of praise which we explore in two directions, viz., in liturgy as the eternal loving work of God's people and the need to make use of the time we have on Earth according to Paul's admonition to "redeem the time." The latter led to a lengthy discussion about why our spiritual lives seem to become more arduous as we grow close to God.
We go on to examine the psalmist's comparison of relying upon man to relying upon God and dwell on how God is not only all powerful and eternal but faithful.
This study spends a lot of time on the Psalmists' statement that he trusted even when afflicted including an example of this from the diary of Saint Faustina. We spoke of the need to recognize bounty even in the midst of trials and looked at some statements from Saint Paul in this regard. We examined some of the sacrificial practices mentioned and considered how seriously God takes affliction and even the death of His people. The connection between love and trust was a persistent theme as well as how far and how deep that love and trust can go.
Tonight's study begins with Psalm 4 as a possible response of David to Absalom's rebellion. We branched into how we can and must find joy in our afflictions, digressed into one reason for intercessory prayer including prayer to Saints, and concluded with a discussion of complete trust in and surrender to the will of God.
We then continued on to Psalm 134 by first introducing the Songs of Ascents. We referenced the round the clock praise of God in the temple and its extension into our need and desire as a community to provide for those who today offer their lives in constant prayer and praise. With finished by dwelling on the deep intimacy we can have with God.
We then turned off the cameras and prayed Night Prayer of the vigil of All Saints which uses Pss 4 and 134 as the psalmody.
In the short first half of tonight's study, we address the question, "do we have to suffer to learn to love God?"
In the second half, we begin our introduction to the book of Psalms including structure, origin, editing, challenges in translation, and, very importantly, what does it mean when we say the Bible is the Word of God.
In tonight's study, we revisit the important role of suffering in bringing us to holiness, explore the signs of breakdown in Christian communities growing weary under suffering, and examine the difference between the way the merciful and the merciless are judged.
We examine James' exhortation to patience in the face of oppression and supplement it with similar exhortations in II Peter, the message to the Ephesians in Revelation 2, and the in the letter to the Hebrews. We explore how the discipline of suffering brings us to the adulthood of Christianity and read several excerpts on suffering from the Diary of Saint Faustina.
We continue our exploration of James including the exaltation of the poor, the humbling of the rich, endurance and embracing of trials, and living life fully.
This study explores the first four verses of the first chapter of James. Topics include some historical trivia of how the 10 tribes of Israel became intertwined with the Kingdom of Judah and thus the Jewish Diaspora of James' day, trials, suffering, love, faith, perseverance, aggressively driving out sin, and perfection. We also briefly introduce concordances and commentaries.
In this conclusion to the Foundations of Bible Study series, we review Elihu's speech, see how God addresses Job whom He had so complimented at the beginning of the book, see how Job's coming to self knowledge in the face of God transforms his relationship with God, and then review how the entire Foundations of Bible Study series ties together.
In this study we review suffering and savior, discuss the meaning of redeemer, and begin a study of the Sermon on the Mount.
In this study, we explore the relationship between Love, Freedom, Faith, and Suffering and also explore the meaning of the word Savior.
In this study, we consider the role of Freedom in our salvation.
We suggest you begin here:
Foundations of Bible Study