Have you ever overheard a parent saying, “God does not like it when you do that. He is mad at you. You had better watch out!” I have. And it drives me crazy. The Bible is never meant to be just a tool that strikes fear into the heart of people to change their behavior. It is never meant to be a tool to manipulate, or intimidate.
Does God hate sin? You bet. But His Word makes it clear that pointing out sin and its consequence never changes a heart when separated from the truth that He also bought forgiveness for everyone through His Son, Jesus.
The Old Testament story of Ruth and Naomi reminds us of God’s love for all of his people.
In it we learn of His ability to use seemingly insignificant people and events for His purposes.
The story, which involved famine and the untimely passing of a father and two sons, shows how God turns things that appear awful into something good in the lives of those who trust and love Him.
In short, Bible stories like that of Ruth and Naomi, are able to build us up as we examine the lessons they teach about us humans, about our loving Father, and about His plan to bless us.
We spend time in the Bible every day at SPLS because we firmly believe that it builds up. Not with gushing fawning about how good looking or smart we are. That kind of talk never really encourages and stifles us the first time we figure out we are not the smartest or best looking.
It builds us up by recognizing our flawed human nature and our existence full of successes and failures. He knows us as we are.
It builds us up by reminding us that God loves us anyway, not because of what we possess or are able to do, but simply because we are His. And that He showed that love in an amazing way.
It builds us up by reminding us that he is “there for us all the time” as our students say,
In light of the ability of God’s Word to build up, we must ask ourselves if that is the message we send when we apply God’s Word.
In His Children’s Service, Robert C. Boyd