Bible

Don’t Tell Me

Don’t tell me the Bible is irrelevant.
When our laws are grounded in Ten Commandments,
words engraved in stone translated into ink on paper.
Even before rules were recorded, morality was expected –
Abel’s murder forced Cain into banishment,
Dinah’s rape, the tremor of a city’s fall,
Rebekah’s lies passed from generation to generation,
lessons in dishonesty not paying off.

Don’t tell me the Bible is irrelevant.
If we calked God’s carefully laid path,
disparity between rich and poor would cease to be a national crisis.
Greed alleviated, generosity weighing heavier,
equilibrium reached through sharing at centre.
Not convinced?
Leviticus 25; Deuteronomy 15 or 24 will fill you in.

Don’t tell me the Bible is irrelevant.
Keeping Sabbath holy benefits health,
time to recharge between weeks.
Constantly grinding kills our batteries, shutting down bodies unexpectedly quick.
Powered by moments of reflection, fellowship with others,
plugged into rest away from hustle of working days.
Did you know it’s linked to Loma Linda’s famed longevity of living?

Don’t tell me the Bible is irrelevant.
Foretold prophecies in Daniel and Revelation already come to pass;
others to be fulfilled in earth’s enduring story,
drawing near to its closing chapter.
Behaviours lined up in Matthew 24 and 2 Timothy 3 brought to life around us –
hearts gone cold, love for money verging on obsession,
disobedience to parents ramped to rebellion.

Don’t tell me the Bible is irrelevant.
Its influence glaring through film and television screens,
jumping off pages of fiction books – it has everything.
A hero tasked with saving the world,
betrayals of brothers, partners, friends.
Stories of redemption, romance, wisdom, war,
drunkenness ending in mistakes, polygamy ending in hurt.
Tales of actions supernatural, deep family bonds,
consequences of wrongs committed, mistreatment of those deemed different.

Don’t tell me the Bible is irrelevant.
Poetry and song hum from its verses,
prayer and praise run throughout.
Battle between faith and works not just for our time – religion blocking relationship.
Women showing bravery, intelligence, resilience
Men showing sacrifice, tenacity, strength –
Two wholes to become one, equally supporting the other.

Don’t tell me the Bible is irrelevant.
It’s provided comfort and hope,
Taught me right from wrong,
Advised how to live the best life,
Laid out inspiration in Jesus’ example of perfection.

Don’t tell me the Bible is irrelevant
without having read a page of it.

Don’t tell me the Bible is irrelevant
because you cannot comprehend it.

Don’t tell me the Bible is irrelevant
because you’ve chosen not to believe in it.

Shaniqua Benjamin

My Top 5 Books of the Bible

I filled you in on my Top 5 Books on Thursday, and today it’s time for my Top 5 Books of the Bible.  I love getting into the Bible, reading amazing stories of past figures in history, being encouraged by the inspiring words and learning many great lessons from the God who knows what’s best for me.  So here they are, my Top 5 Books of the Bible.

 

5. James

I became properly acquainted with the book of James over the past year or two, when I studied it during one of the quarters for my Sabbath School lesson.  More than that, I also wrote a segment for one of the day’s in the study guide, which was a great achievement for me.  James is an insightful and down-to-earth book, full of messages that are extremely relevant to all of us today and lots of references to faith in action, which I love and value a lot.

 

4. Hebrews

I enjoyed studying Hebrews a little while ago, as it gave me a greater perspective on Jesus as our High Priest.  However, the main reason why I love the book of Hebrews is because of its eleventh chapter, which is my overall favourite chapter in the Bible.  Hebrews 11 is known as the faith chapter, outlining numerous Biblical figures and the great faith they had in God.  It inspires and encourages me every time I read it.

 

3. Genesis

I love the book of Genesis, because it is full of so many great stories.  This includes the story of Joseph, which is one of my ultimate favourites, rising from adversity at every turn because of his belief and strength in God.  I also love reading the story of Creation, Noah and the ark, and the different stages of Abraham’s life.  It’s also interesting to read about how sin entered the world and that God had a plan in place to save us from the beginning.

 

2. Matthew

Matthew is an amazing book, full of amazing messages and amazing words by Jesus.  I loved the many parables Jesus told and how he always had a sharp, witty comeback when the Pharisees tried to trap Him.  Yet what I love most is the Sermon on the Mount, found in Matthew 5-7, which I think are some of the best passages in the Bible.  Reading Matthew was a special experience that really touched me and made me appreciate Jesus even more.

 

1. Esther

Number one has to be Esther.  The story of Esther is my most favourite in the Bible, reading about the beautiful virgin queen who God put in the right place, at the right time, and was able to save her people.  The story of a strong woman in Biblical times is incredibly inspiring to me, especially as women do not always play a prominent place in the Bible.  I’ve read this book numerous times and I never, ever get tired of it, because I love the story that much.

 

There you have it, my Top 5 Books of the Bible and my final Top 5 post in this little series I’ve done.  Thank you for taking the time to read, like and give your feedback on all of the pieces I’ve written.  I just hope you enjoyed them and were able to learn a little more about me, what I like and what makes me tick.  But before I go, tell me, what are your favourite books of the Bible?

 

By Faith

When studying my Sabbath School lesson today, I was instructed to read Hebrews 11.  I get excited every time that I read Hebrews 11, which happens to be the faith chapter.  I love reading about the different examples of faith shown by characters throughout the Bible and the strength that these characters exude.

Hebrews 11 is definitely my favourite chapter in the Bible, not only because of the inspiring character studies, but because I feel that faith is incredibly important.  In my opinion, you can believe in God, but having faith in God is completely different.

The individuals referred to in this chapter had a very strong faith in God, which led them to do great things and set them up for even greater rewards in the future.  These individuals inspire me, because I want to have a faith that strong and be able to put that faith into action, without questioning what God has in store for me.

I have struggled with my faith in God at times and believed that my faith was stronger than it actually was.  However, over the past year, my faith in God has grown in leaps and bounds.  I can pray in faith and know that God will do what is right for me.  I can act in faith and live the way that God wants me to.

I am just so glad that God knows what is best for me and I am thankful for the great things that He is going to do with my life, but more than that, I’m glad that I am finally listening to his voice and having faith in the plans He has for me.  I have made so many mistakes by ignoring His voice and wanting to have my own way.

All who are mentioned in Hebrews 11 had to face a difficult road at times, but they knew that God would come through for them, because they stood firm in their faith.  I want to stand firm just like them and become what God wants me to be, as I live by faith.  I know that it will be hard at times, but my reward will be so worthwhile.