The Old Testament is full of prophets and their prophecies about God’s will for that time and the age to come. But what about today? Do we still have prophets? The following has been adapted from The Baptismal River: Studying the Sacrament throughout Scripture.
Reading the Bible seems easy enough, doesn’t it?
Reading the Bible seems easy enough until you find yourself knee-deep in a genealogical list of seemingly unpronounceable names, waist-deep in Levitical laws, chest-deep in the sacrifices and imagery of the temple, neck-deep in the perplexing visions of prophets such as Ezekiel or Daniel, and in-over-your-head with St. John’s visions in Revelation. Let’s be honest. The Bible can be very difficult to understand and rather incomprehensible at times. When reading it, you might even find yourself wondering, “What does any of this have to do with what I previously read?” and “What does this have to do with my daily life?”
There are many of Jesus’ sayings and teachings from the New Testament that are frequently misunderstood. Whether the verses are taken out of context or the understanding behind them is simply harder to uncover, Jesus’ words can seem harsh or backward from how Christians see Him.
Devotionals are a pivotal part of any daily faith enrichment. Just as you try to have conversations with your friends daily, it’s important to keep a conversation going with God the Father so He can guide you in life. He pours His love and grace out to you when you sit with Him through reflection and prayer. Additionally, devotions give you a moment of rest and reset from the busyness of daily life. Come back to God daily with the help of these top ten devotionals that are certain to fit your lifestyle.
The longest chapter in the Bible is Psalm 119. The Psalm is divided into twenty-two sections, one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Each section speaks about God’s Word in a vast variety of ways. We hear God’s Word referred to as His precepts, testimonies, Law, statutes, commandments, rules, ways, and of course, Word.
Psalm 119 is a masterpiece of meditation and prayer. It brings the reader or hearer of the psalm back again and again to a love of God’s Word, a delight in learning and understanding more about God.
Before I officially joined a church, I tried to study Scripture on my own. I wanted to learn more about Jesus and how the Old and New Testaments both point to salvation through Jesus Christ alone. But I didn’t know how to, and I was embarrassed that I didn’t understand it and couldn’t just “do it on my own.”
When I talk to others—even those who have been involved in churches since birth—I hear similar sentiments. Do you find studying Scripture on your own to be difficult? We all need to be reminded that reading Scripture is a skill that needs support and structure. That might seem totally different from other types of reading, but when we read Scripture, we are studying an ancient text. It makes total sense to structure studying.
When we quote Bible verses, our intentions are often good. We want to encourage ourselves and others, so we put Bible verses on home décor, shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, and social media. However, it can be easy to take Bible verses out of context if we don’t stop to ask, “How did we get here?”
Author Andrew R. Jones shares three popular Bible verses that are misunderstood and provides context for them below.
One popular and worthwhile goal is to read the Bible in a new year. This often gets derailed around February as Bible readers find themselves slogging through Leviticus and Numbers. As the Israelites wander aimlessly in the wilderness, so, too, do many Bible reading goals. If you want to keep to the resolution and finish the entirety of the Bible in a year, here are a few tips that will hopefully propel you through any difficult sections.
I am what my friends have deemed an ambivert: a perfect 50/50 split between an introvert and an extrovert. This was confirmed with a personality test, as my friends became obsessed with them during quarantine. Of course, given the results, it was almost a guarantee that quarantine would be easy for me. After all, this halfway introvert has more than enough books on her bookshelf to survive for quite a while. But in our society of go, go, go, being forced to stop, even for introverts, can give feelings of anxiety, nervousness, or unproductivity. Still, working seven days a week isn’t natural. Even God did not work seven days a week: after a long six days of laboring, He rested.
Have you ever fully thought about God’s forgiveness? About what it means that He has forgiven us?
I’m not good at forgiveness. I hold grudges. I say I forgive but then I don’t forget. I am not slow to anger and quick to forgive. In my sinful nature, I don’t want to forgive someone easily. They need to earn my forgiveness. I am so thankful that God’s forgiveness isn’t like mine.
Forgiveness is at the heart of our relationship with Christ. Through the forgiveness won for us on the cross, we are a part of God’s family. It’s an amazing gift that we receive through the Sacraments. Here are four verses to consider when thinking about God’s forgiveness toward us.