Category: Bible Study

THE WHY-WAIT

“After a fierce struggle Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who slew about four thousand men on the battlefield. When the troops retired to the camp, the elders of Israel said, ‘Why has the Lord permitted us to be defeated today by the Philistines’ ” —1 Samuel 4:2-3 When we suffer tragedy, it is good to ask God: “Why?” Then we must wait on ourselves to receive the Lord’s revelation. The defeated Israelites asked the right question but didn’t wait. They assumed that they wouldn’t get an answer, so they proceeded to fight another battle in which “Israel lost thirty...

LISTEN FOR GOD’S VOICE

“Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.” —1 Samuel 3:9 Our modern world is filled with noise. Everyone seems to have an opinion and demands to be heard through talk radio, online comments, constant chatter on TV, chat rooms, conversations, etc. Anyone who has sat in a hospital waiting room listening to the non-stop droning of the TV understands the incessant noise of the modern world. The young Samuel learned to listen for the voice of the Lord. He “stilled and quieted [his] soul” (Ps 131:2) and listened only for God. Samuel heard God speak and became so effective in...

THIS IS THE LIFE

“This is the time of fulfillment. The reign of God is at hand! Reform your lives and believe in the gospel!” —Mark 1:15 The goal of the rest of our lives is to displace the culture of death with a civilization of love and life. This will probably be done not primarily by popes, presidents, judges, generals, or billionaires. Of course, the lives of prestigious people are important in God’s plan (see Rm 13:7). However, the Lord typically chooses to change the world through teenagers like Mary, carpenters like Joseph, toddlers like Samuel, weeping women like Hannah, loving husbands like...

THE END OF CHRISTMAS AND THE BEGINNING OF A NEW WORLD

“After Jesus was baptized, He came directly out of the water. Suddenly the sky opened and he saw the Spirit of God descend like a dove and hover over Him.” —Matthew 3:16 “Mary” Christmas on this last day of the Christmas season, the celebration of the Baptism of Jesus. The Lord is calling us to end Christmas by going back to Baptism, the beginning of our Christian life. Today is an ideal time to renew our baptismal promises by rejecting Satan, all his works, and all his promises and by believing ever more deeply in the Triune God. When we...

DECREASING RETURNS

“He must increase, while I must decrease.” —John 3:30 “A controversy about purification arose between John’s disciples and a certain Jew” (Jn 3:25), but John the Baptizer did not join in the dispute because he was committed to living so that Jesus would increase. St. John was losing his popularity to Jesus. When this was brought to his attention, John was completely joyful (Jn 3:29), for he wanted Jesus to increase. John was thrown into prison for stating the truth about the adultery of Herod and Herodias (Jn 3:24; see also Mk 6:17ff). However, John was not intimidated or manipulated,...

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