Christianity is a journey of faith that is characterize by walking in the ways of the Lord. The Holy Bible is richly textured with verses that promote Christians in their walk with Christ and enables them to understand the Kingdom of God. Through my Bible study, I have identified numerous characters traits that I would love to emulate. The virtues that I would love to focus on are purity and peacefulness. Aside from these two, through my Bible study I have found learnt a lot through the themes of wisdom and grace. This journey summary entails the virtues and themes that I chose to focus on throughout my Bible study.
I chose the virtue of purity because I would like to strengthen my understanding of it, promote positivity, and ensure that I am free from unhealthy emotions or thoughts. Through my study of the scripture, I came across Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God” (New International Version). According to this verse, God does not require us to be pure in flesh or display outward purity only but to ensure that our thoughts and the desires of our heart are also pure. In maintaining purity, this verse has enabled me to consider my thoughts and their effects on my relationship with God. Another verse that triggered my reflection on purity was 1 Thessalonians 4: 3-7. “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality that each of you should learn to control your own body…not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God… For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.” Verse 8 of the same chapter teaches Christians that anyone who rejects these instructions rejects God who provides human beings with his Holy Spirit. As such, the verse made me meditate about how I would like to conduct myself in my pursuit of purity. Through this verse, I learnt the importance of maintaining purity and the need to pray to God about any temptations that may hinder me from this objective. One of the characters
As a Christian, I believe that being a peaceful person is important and reduces our likelihood of ill-treating others. I chose to study ways of acquiring this virtue through the Bible because I would like to explore God’s way of tranquility and learn how to ensure that I form positive relationships among friends, family, and other people who surround me. Among the verses that I came across that have helped me in my development of this virtue include Hebrews 12:14 and James 3:18. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). Through this verse, I learn the need to show not only kindness to other people, but to ensure that I make peace with others. The Lord despises troublemakers. “Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:18). This verse taught me the importance of being peaceful at all times. As a Christian, I noted that, my pursuit of holiness and righteousness could be improved though maintaining peaceful relationships with others.
In my Bible study, I chose to reflect on the theme of wisdom because I would like to expand my understanding of thoughts and actions of good judgment. I would also like to embrace the philosophy and teachings that focus on wisdom from the Bible. The Bible verses that I came across while studying about how to acquire wisdom include Psalms 37:30 and Proverbs 3:7. “The mouth of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just” (Psalm 37:30). “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil” (Proverbs 3:7). Through these two verses, I learned the importance of considering God’s opinions on my actions rather than my own understanding. They have also helped me to understand the importance of maintaining truthfulness and seeking God’s guidance in decision-making.
As a Christian, I believe in the grace of God and its importance in helping Christians pursue the Kingdom of God. My focus on this theme was fueled by the need to reinforce and embrace the beauty of grace despite hardships and maltreatment by others. I would like to strengthen the knowledge of God’s manifestation of teachings on salvation for sinners. Through the verses in 2 Corinthians 12:8-9, I learned the importance of relying on God for strength during any trials and challenges. He declares that His grace is sufficient for His followers. “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Acts 6:8, that focuses on the works of Stephen, taught me that God saves His people from maltreatment through Hi grace.
My understanding of these virtues and themes has improved over time through the study of the scripture. The Bible has equipped me with knowledge on how to attain these traits and improve my understanding of God’s message.
Many characters among them, Virgin Mary, have displayed purity in the Bible. In Luke 1:26-28, the Bible shows how God favored the Virgin Mary, who had lived a life of purity. She was approached by the Angel Gabriel and informed about how she will conceive a son, named Jesus. Her belief in Angel Gabriel and her experience also made people such as Joseph, who doubted her at first, believe in the power of God. Through her experience people have come to understand the great works of God (Venerable Mary of Agreda, 2014). Paul practiced peacefulness in his life. He taught Christians the importance of repenting to obtain the same kind of peacefulness (Romans 5:1). Paul faced a lot of challenges in terms of rejection and hardships. He was burdened with the responsibility of preaching about Christ to the people of Corinth who were wicked. However, he made great contribution by teaching the word of God to masses of people and helping them obtain salvation (White, 2012).
King Solomon is one of the character who displayed the theme of wisdom in the Bible. When asked by God what he wanted, instead of asking for wealth or injustice towards his enemies, he asked for wisdom (1 Kings 3:12). Through his character, I learned the importance of seeking wisdom over other earthly riches. He is considered as the father of wisdom and many have learned the importance of wisdom through his actions (Williams, 2010). The Bible also makes reference of Stephen and how he relied of God’s grace in His life. The book of Acts 6: 8-15 depicts the challenges that Stephen went through. His reliance on God’s grace made him victorious against the Sanhedrin. Although Stephen faced the challenge of being stoned because of his belief in God, his strong belief in God teaches Christians the need to commit themselves to Christ (Hunt, 2018).
Through these characters, I learned the importance of depending on the Bible for guidance as it offers the stories of Christians whose relationship with God built their characters and understanding of the Kingdom of God.
While exploring the Bible to seek more clarification on these virtues, themes, and the characters who displayed them, I discovered that the concepts were linked to the need to maintain salvation and rely on God for his guidance. Although I learned a lot during my Bible Study and faced numerous struggles in trying to understand the relationship between the characters and these concepts, meditation and prayer also helped me to understand what the Bible really needed me to understand. Another challenge that I faced during the first few days of my study was relying on a single resource. Through Bible exposition books and related literature, I gained a better understanding of the teachings in the Bible.
Hunt, A. (2018). Paul, Apostle of Christ: The Novelization of the Major Motion Picture. Baker Books.
Venerable Mary of Agreda. (2014). The Mystical City of God, Volume 1 “The Conception”: The Divine History and Life of the Virgin Mother of God. Catholic Way Publishing.
White, E. G. (2012). Ministry to the Cities. Review and Herald Pub. Association.
Williams, P. (2010). The Leadership Wisdom of Solomon: 28 Essential Strategies for Leading with Integrity. Standard Publishing.