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Showing Tag: "bible" (Show all posts)

Our Daily Bread for February 19, 2012

Posted by Site Webmaster on Sunday, February 19, 2012, In : Daily Meditations 

A Word From the Lord

Noted preacher and theologian Helmut Thielicke (1908–1986) endured great opposition from the Nazi regime in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s. Yet he remained committed to proclaiming God’s presence and power in Jesus Christ during a difficult and perplexing time. Scholar Robert Smith said that as Thielicke addressed modern issues and problems in his sermons, “he sought to answer the question, ‘Is there any word from the Lord?’”

Isn’t that w...


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Revelation

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Rv 1  —  HAPPY HOUR

"Happy is the man who reads this prophetic message, and happy are those who hear it and heed what is written in it, for the appointed time is near!" —1:3

The book of Revelation is addressed to slaves of Jesus Christ. It was written to make us happy. It focuses on Jesus. If we're not happy when we read Revelation, we're not getting the message. This is either because we're not totally committed to Christ, or we don't have our eyes fixed on Him.

Prayer: Jesu...


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Jude

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Jude   —  HATING THE SIN AND LOVING THE CHURCH

"I was already fully intent on writing you, beloved, about the salvation we share. But now I feel obliged to write and encourage you to fight hard for the faith delivered once for all to the saints." —Jude 3

"Certain individuals have recently wormed their way into your midst" (4). "They pervert the gracious gift of our God to sexual excess and deny Jesus Christ, our only Master and Lord" (4). "These men are blotches on your Christian...


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3 John

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

3 Jn  —  FIGHTING IN CHURCH

"Therefore, if I come I will speak publicly of what he is doing in spreading evil nonsense about us." —10

John wrote to Diotrephes, the leader of a local church, to ask the church to provide hospitality for missionaries from John's community. Diotrephes not only refused to welcome the brothers himself; he even hindered those who wished to do so and expelled them from the church (10). So John told Gaius to defy Diotrephes and provide for the missionarie...


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2 John

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

2 Jn  —  SPEAK THE TRUTH IN LOVE (Eph 4:15)

"In truth I love each of you — and not only I but also all those who have come to know the truth." —1

Love is not the permissiveness of letting everyone do their own thing. "Love is based on the truth" (2). True love is "tough love." We should love people enough to tell them the truth, and even to break off fellowship with them if they do not "remain rooted in the teaching of Christ" (9).

Prayer: Father, may I accept the suffering, s...


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1 John

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

1 Jn 1  —  DO YOU KNOW HIM OR JUST ABOUT HIM?

"God is Light; in Him there is no darkness." —1:5

Some members of John's community did not have a deep personal relationship with Jesus. This left them open to all sorts of confusion and deception from the evil one. Some maintained they had fellowship with Jesus, were free of the guilt of sin, and even that they had never sinned. However, they were liars or self-deceived because they did not know Jesus personally.

Prayer: Jesus, ma...


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2 Peter

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

2 Pt 1  —  FOR SURE

"It was not by way of cleverly concocted myths that we taught you about the coming in power of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we were eyewitnesses of His sovereign majesty." —2 Peter 1:16-17
"Besides, we possess the prophetic message as something altogether reliable." —2 Peter 1:19

Jesus promised He would come back a second time. Seventy years later, He still hadn't returned and many people wondered whether His promise was true. Many people today are also doubtf...


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1 Peter

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

1 Pt 1  —  OBEDIENCE SCHOOL

"By obedience to the truth you have purified yourselves for a genuine love of your brothers." —1 Peter 1:22

Peter described the Christian life as "a life of obedience to Jesus Christ and purification with His blood" (1:2). The church of Peter's time was being made holy through purification and obedience in the midst of suffering.

Prayer: Father, may I express my faith and love by obeying Your commands that I most resist.
Promise: "Praised be the Go...


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James

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Jas 1  —  LONG DIVISION

"A man's anger does not fulfill God's justice. Strip away all that is filthy, every vicious excess." —James 1:20-21

James' church, like ours, was divided. The worldliness of the church promoted selfishness and division. James lists various steps toward unity:

  1. We should rejoice even in bad circumstances because when our faith is tested this makes for endurance and maturity.
  2. We must ask for God's wisdom to deal with disunity.
  3. "Let the brother in humble circums...

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Hebrews

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Heb 1  —  "ALWAYS ABLE"

"When He had cleansed us from our sins, He took His seat at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven, as far superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs." —Hebrews 1:3-4

The book of Hebrews was written to encourage Christians who were suffering persecution (13:22). The encouragement given in this book is not superficial but based on the ultimate realities. We have reason to be encouraged because the Son of God has become man, ...


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Philemon

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Phlm   —  THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

"Perhaps he was separated from you for a while for this reason: that you might possess him forever, no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially dear to me; and how much more to you, since now you will know him both as a man and in the Lord." —Philemon 15-16

The early church changed social structures through evangelization. Paul led Philemon, a slave owner, to the Lord. Later he led Onesimus, Philemon's runaway s...


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Titus

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Ti 1  —  BLESS THIS MESS

"In his teaching he must hold fast to the authentic message, so that he will be able both to encourage men to follow sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict it." —Titus 1:9

The church of Crete was a mess. Paul said: "There are many irresponsible teachers, especially from among the Jewish converts — men who are empty talkers and deceivers" (1:10). "They are upsetting whole families by teaching things they have no right to teach — and all for...


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2 Timothy

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

2 Tm 1  —  STIR-FRIED

"I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God bestowed when my hands were laid on you. The Spirit God has given us is no cowardly Spirit, but rather One that makes us strong, loving, and wise." —2 Timothy 1:6-7

When Timothy told Paul he was thinking of quitting his ministry in Ephesus, Paul refused to accept Timothy's resignation. He told Timothy to stir up the Holy Spirit in his life and bear his "share of the hardship which the gospel entails" (1:8).

...
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1 Timothy

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

1 Tm 1  —  CHANGES

"I have a solemn charge to give you, Timothy, my child. This charge is in accordance with the prophecies made in your regard, and I give it to you so that under the inspiration of these prophecies you may fight the good fight and hold fast to faith and a good conscience." —1 Timothy 1:18-19

Paul told Timothy "to stay on in Ephesus in order to warn certain people there against teaching false doctrines" (1:3). The situation was bad but the Lord could change any...


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2 Thessalonians

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

2 Thes 1  —  "BLESSED ASSURANCE"

"In God's communities we can boast of your constancy and your faith in persecution and trial." —2 Thessalonians 1:4

Paul wrote to the Thessalonians again because they were suffering more persecution and confusion. He assured them: "You endure these as an expression of God's just judgment, in order to be found worthy of His kingdom — it is for His kingdom you suffer" (1:4-5). The Lord "will provide relief to you who are sorely tried, as well as t...


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1 Thessalonians

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

1 Thes 1  —  BEAUTIFUL BABY CHRISTIANS

"Our preaching of the gospel proved not a mere matter of words for you but one of power; it was carried on in the Holy Spirit and out of complete conviction." — 1 Thessalonians 1:5

The Thessalonians were baby-Christians when Paul wrote to them. Paul was praying for them constantly, and they became models "for all the believers of Macedonia and Achaia" (1:7). He wrote: "Throughout every region your faith in God is celebrated" (1:8). The peop...


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Colossians

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Col 1  —  FULL-FILLED

"It pleased God to make absolute fullness reside in Him and, by means of Him, to reconcile everything in His person, both on earth and in the heavens, making peace through the blood of His cross." —Colossians 1:19-20

In Christ is absolute fullness. In Him, we can attain:

  1. "full knowledge" of God's will (1:9),
  2. full sufferings (1:24),
  3. "His word in its fullness" (1:25),
  4. "the full measure of wisdom" (1:28), and
  5. "full assurance" (2:2).

Prayer: Jesus, may I be "compl...


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Philippians

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Phil 1  —  JOY ON DEATH ROW

"I long to be freed from this life and to be with Christ, for that is the far better thing; yet it is more urgent that I remain alive for your sakes." —Philippians 1:23-24

Philippians seems to be a collection of letters for the purpose of encouragement. Paul tells the Philippians that he thinks of them all the time. He thanks God for them and the way they "have all continually helped promote the gospel from the very first day" (1:5). He loves them "w...


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Ephesians

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Eph 1  —  WHO AM I?

"Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens!" —Ephesians 1:3

Who are you in Christ? You are a saint and a believer who is chosen to be blameless and full of love. You are an adopted child of God, forgiven of sin, and redeemed through Jesus' blood. You are predestined to praise the Father's glory and to carry out His plan, "namely, to bring all things in the heavens and on e...


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Galatians

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Gal 1  —  CONFUSION OR COMMITMENT?

"Some who wish to alter the gospel of Christ must have confused you." —Galatians 1:7

Paul exclaimed: "Even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel not in accord with the one we delivered to you, let a curse be upon him!" (1:8) Paul emphasized that the gospel he proclaimed was "no mere human invention" but "came by revelation from Jesus Christ" (1:11, 12). If we have first-hand experience of Jesus, we will not be unstable i...


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2 Corinthians

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

2 Cor 1  —  MAKING MATTERS WORSE

"If we are afflicted it is for your encouragement and salvation, and when we are consoled it is for your consolation, so that you may endure." —2 Corinthians 1:6

Once again, the Corinthians have Paul beside himself. He writes more to them than to anyone else. They drive him to write his most personal letter. In Asia, Paul was crushed beyond his "strength, even to the point of despairing of life" (1:8). The Corinthians only made matters worse by ...


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1 Corinthians

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

1 Cor 1  —  CROSS PURPOSES

"The message of the cross is complete absurdity to those who are headed for ruin, but to us who are experiencing salvation it is the power of God." — 1 Corinthians 1:18

Of all the churches in the Bible, Corinth may have been the most similar to the churches of today. Corinth was sharply divided, bound by sexual sin, and crazy about sports. In His mercy, the Lord richly endowed them "with every gift of speech and knowledge" (1:5). However, they were in...


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ROMANS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Rm 1  —  ALL ROADS LEAD TO ROME

"I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God leading everyone who believes in it to salvation, the Jew first, then the Greek." —Romans 1:16

Paul planned to make Rome an evangelistic base for his mission to Spain (15:24). He wrote to the Roman Christians to prepare them for this by promoting unity between the Jewish and Gentile Christians. In the course of expressing the basis of this unity, Paul revealed in depth the fallen condition o...


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ACTS OF THE APOSTOLES

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Acts 1  —  THE UPPER ROOM

"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes down on you; then you are to be My witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, yes, even to the ends of the earth." —1:8

In an upper room, Jesus gave us His body and blood in Holy Communion at the Last Supper. In an upper room, Jesus baptized His disciples with the Holy Spirit. The upper room was a place of prayer. For nine days, "together they devoted themselves to constant prayer" (1:14).

T...


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JOHN

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Jn 1  —  CREATION AND RE-CREATION

"In the beginning was the Word; the Word was in God's presence, and the Word was God." —1:1

God created the world in seven days. Likewise, in seven days (see 1:29, 35, 43; 2:1), Jesus, God's Son, began the re-creation of the world by calling His first disciples and changing the water into wine (2:1ff).

Prayer: Jesus, may I be a new creation and be baptized "with the Holy Spirit" (1:33).
Promise: " 'Rabbi,' said Nathanael, 'You are the Son of G...


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LUKE

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Lk 1  —  MARY, MODEL OF DISCIPLESHIP

"I too have carefully traced the whole sequence of events from the beginning, and have decided to set it in writing for you, Theophilus, so that Your Excellency may see how reliable the instruction was that you received." —1:3-4

In his gospel, Luke teaches us what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. We want to be like Mary and not like Zechariah.

MARY

  1. Overshadowed by Spirit
  2. Faith-filled
  3. Praising
  4. Obedient
  5. Fruitful

ZECHARIAH

  1. Stifling the Spirit
  2. Doub...

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MARK

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Mk 1  —  DIVINE AUTHORITY

"Here begins the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." —Mark 1:1

Mark's gospel is outlined in the first verse. The first half of the gospel culminates in the recognition of Jesus as the Christ (the Messiah) (8:29). The second half concludes with the centurion declaring: "Clearly this Man was the Son of God!" (15:39)

Mark begins to reveal Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God by focusing on Jesus' authority. He is more powerful than John the Bapt...


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MATTHEW

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Mt 1  —  VIRGIN BIRTH

"A family record of Jesus Christ, Son of David, Son of Abraham. Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers." —Matthew 1:1-2

Our heavenly Father has the nerve to begin the New Testament, the greatest revelation of all times, with what appears to be a page from the phone book. His ways are certainly not our ways (Is 55:8). God's meaning here is that all Israelite history leads to the miraculou...


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MALACHI

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The Lord concludes the Old Testament with a special message from the prophet "Malachi," a name which means "My messenger." Malachi warns us to prepare for the Messiah's coming by faithfulness in worship, priesthood, marriage, tithing, and family. If we are serving the Lord in these basic areas of life, we are ready for His final coming. Amen.

Key word    COMINGS
 
Key verse    "Lo, I am sending My messenger to prepare the way before Me; and suddenly there...

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ZECHARIAH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

This book announces a series of dramatic, overwhelming visions. It is a basis for the book of Revelation and prophesies aspects of Jesus' Passion. Zechariah leaves us breathless as he leads us into the depths of God's mysterious plan of salvation. To begin to experience the unique prophetic vocation of Zechariah, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you about these five prophecies of Jesus' Passion (see 9:9; 11:12-13; 12:10; 13:7; 14:3-4). You will experience the fear of the Lord which is t...


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HAGGAI

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Many of the Jews had returned from Babylon to Jerusalem eighteen years before Haggai's prophecies but still had not started to rebuild the temple. Instead, they had remodeled their own homes. Haggai prophesied that the people would be discontent and plagued by tragedies until they made rebuilding the Temple their top priority. So the people began to rebuild the Temple. From the day on which the foundation was laid, God blessed the people. Although the new Temple seemed like nothing ...


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ZEPHANIAH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Zephaniah prophesied during the years 640-630 B.C. He was one of the few prophets who was immediately successful. His prophecies were part of the great reform of King Josiah of Judah. Zephaniah prophesied the day of destruction for Judah and the nations because of their idolatry. However, a remnant of Judah would be spared. The Lord will rejoice over this remnant and even sing joyfully because of it. Eventually, even the nations will join the remnant in adoring the Lord.

K...

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HABAKKUK

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

When Habakkuk saw Judah about to be destroyed, he asked God the perennial question: "Why?" The Lord explained the situation, but Habakkuk had to live by faith. He finally decided to do that and promised God that he would rejoice and exalt in Him no matter what.

Key word    FAITH
 
Key verse    "For though the fig tree blossom not nor fruit be on the vines, though the yield of the olive fail and the terraces produce no nourishment, though the flocks disapp...

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NAHUM

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, was nicknamed "the bloody city." It had slaughtered, enslaved, and mutilated its victims by the thousands. Nahum was happy to prophesy its destruction. Reading this book together with the book of Jonah helps us understand why Jonah did not want the Ninevites to repent and be spared.

Key word    VINDICATION
 
Key verse    "The Lord is slow to anger, yet great in power, and the Lord never leaves the guilty unpunished." —1:3...

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MICAH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Micah, a country boy, prophesied especially against the capital cities of the Northern and Southern kingdoms. He recognized the complicity between political and religious leaders who created a system that manipulated and oppressed the poor through real estate and banking. Despite the gross injustices, Micah had hope; he prophesied that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem and lift up the remnant to restore His people after the nation was destroyed.

Key word    JUSTIC...

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JONAH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Jonah ran away from God's call because of his unforgiveness toward the Ninevites, who were brutal enemies of the Israelites. The Lord sent a large fish and a little worm to teach Jonah a lesson. The worm may have been more successful than the whale. In the midst of God's jokes, He leaves us with the question: "Is our unwillingness to evangelize rooted in unforgiveness?"

Key word    UNFORGIVENESS
 
Key verse    "This is why I fled at first to Tarshish. I k...

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OBADIAH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Following Amos and preceding Jonah, Obadiah continues the condemnations from Amos and precedes the vengeance of Jonah by putting forth twenty-one verses of venom. He prophesied that Edom would be destroyed for taking advantage of Judah and oppressing it after the Babylonian exile. This vengeful attitude is in stark contrast with the mercy and forgiveness of the crucified Christ.

Key word    VENGEANCE
 
Key verse    "Because of violence to your brother Jac...

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AMOS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Amos warned the Northern kingdom of its imminent destruction. It was oppressing the poor and defiling its worship due to its pleasure-seeking life-style. Amos prophesied that almost all of the nation would be destroyed for its sins, although a remnant would be spared.

Key word    JUSTICE
 
Key verse    "So now I will deal with you in My own way, O Israel!" —4:12
 
Command verse    "But if you would offer Me holocausts, then let justice sur...

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JOEL

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Joel considered the natural disaster of a locust plague to be a call to repentance and a preview of the end of the world. If we repent, the Holy Spirit will be poured out on us to prepare us for victory as the world ends.

...
Key word    REPENT
 
Key verse    "Yet even now, says the Lord, return to Me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God." —2:12-13
 

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HOSEA

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The Old Testament concludes with the twelve minor prophets. It's best to read them all together, like twelve chapters of one book.

The book of Hosea compares God's love for His people to marrying a harlot. We commit adultery by compromising with the world. The Lord will take us back, if we only repent.

Key word    MARRIAGE
 
Key verse    "I will heal their defection, I will love them freely; for My wrath is turned away from them." —14:5
 
Comm...

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DANIEL

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The book of Daniel was written during the bitter persecution of the chosen people by Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Seleucid king. The book assured God's people of victory by the Lord's sovereign power. We are to obey the Lord, not compromise with the world. We are to keep our eyes fixed on God's throne and not man's brutality. "In all this we are more than conquerors because of Him Who has loved us" (Rm 8:37).

Key word    VICTORY
 
Key verse    "As the visi...

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EZEKIEL

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

After a dramatic experience of God's glory (chapter 1), Ezekiel prophesied that the Lord would give His people a new heart and a new spirit (chapter 36) in creating a new Jerusalem (chapter 48). Ezekiel's prophecies could make dry bones rattle and rise from the dead (chapter 37). He prophesied about the end of the world (chapters 38-39) and the wonderful heavenly stream (chapter 47). Ezekiel's visions of God and his prophecies are a main source for much of the last book of the Bible...


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BARUCH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The prophet Baruch wrote hundreds of years after the Babylonian exile. Zerubbabel, Joshua, Ezra, and Nehemiah had attempted to restore the temple, walls, and people of Jerusalem. But the renewal needed renewal. The message is: "Back to the basics"—confessing our sins, living God's word, prophesying to the dry bones (Ez 37), and not compromising with the idols of the world.

Key word    THE BASICS
 
Key verse    "They wept and fasted and prayed before the...

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LAMENTATIONS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

In five laments the author tries to express the utter horror of the fall of Jerusalem. As painful as it is, it's good to relive suffering, pain, and death. When we face the reality of our sins and their devastating effects, we may also discover the reality of Jesus, the Savior.

Key word    LAMENT
 
Key verse    "Come, all you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like my suffering, which has been dealt me when the Lord afflicte...

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JEREMIAH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Jeremiah prophesied for over forty years. The nation seemed to listen to him at first, but later they refused to repent and therefore died in their sins (see Jn 8:21). Jeremiah's message was primarily "violence and outrage" (20:8). He became extremely unpopular and according to tradition was killed by his own people. By worldly standards, he lived and died a failure. By God's standards, Jeremiah was victorious because he was faithful. The Lord still uses Jeremiah to change the heart...


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ISAIAH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The first part of Isaiah (chapters 1-39) is a call to repentance. Only through repentance can we stand in the presence of the all-holy God. This call was not heard, and as a result, the Israelites were destroyed as a nation and sent into exile in Babylon. The second part of the book (40-66) is a prophecy of restoration. Yet how can a dead nation come to life? How can a scattered and defeated nation be restored? How can sin be atoned for? How can God be just without destroying us? Th...


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SIRACH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

This book is the ultimate expression of Wisdom literature. It takes secular wisdom and puts it in the context of the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of true wisdom. When we fear the Lord, we can discern the good and bad of secular wisdom. However, without the fear of the Lord, theology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, and other disciplines become mere exercises in futility and confusion. Nothing makes sense or is truly helpful to us, unless we are centered on the Lord.

...
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WISDOM

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The secular humanism of our day is undermining the Christian faith. In the last century before Christ, many Jewish people were also losing their faith because of the influence of secular humanism. The writer of Wisdom answers the secularists' objections against Judaism and Biblical revelation. Secularists are hung up on death and tragedy. Wisdom shows how these things are not contradictory to the idea of a loving God. God created a world of justice and harmony, but Satan, by using o...


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SONG OF SONGS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The Christian life is a relationship with the Lord, a total commitment of unconditional love. It is analogous to marriage but much greater. Our relationship with the Lord is the deepest personal relationship possible for a human being.

Key word    LOVE
 
Key verse    "For stern as death is love, relentless as the nether world is devotion; its flames are a blazing fire. Deep waters cannot quench love, nor floods sweep it away. Were one to offer all he owns...

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ECCLESIASTES

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Qoheleth, the writer of Ecclesiastes, convincingly argues that all human activity is meaningless. This book is ultra-depressing, but accurate and realistic, considering it was written before Christ. Life is worth living only because of Jesus' love poured out in His death and resurrection.

Key word    VANITY
 
Key verse    "Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity!" —1:2
 
Command verse    "Fear God and k...

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PROVERBS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

This book is an attempt to benefit from secular wisdom by seeing it in the perspective of the fear of the Lord. This book reveals how to live a life pleasing to the Lord, it does not tell us how to receive the power to do it. Only in Christ are we able to live the Proverbs and thereby live a life pleasing to the Lord (see Rm 7:21-25).

Key word    WISDOM
 
Key verse    "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; wisdom and instruction fools despise...

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PSALMS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The book of Psalms contains some of the greatest words ever written, sung, and prayed. Unlike other books of the Bible, this book is to be read every day of our lives. It is the prayer book of the Church.

The psalms are often lyrics of songs for worship or outlines of liturgical services. When you read the Psalms, try to imagine the movement of the people at worship in the Temple. Also, remember that the Psalms are poetry. Therefore, they are more to be proclaimed than explained. Fi...


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JOB

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Job suffered several catastrophes in one day. His ten children were killed and his fortune lost. Later, he himself was afflicted with severe boils. Job prayed to die. Job's three friends and later, a young man named Elihu, tried to make sense out of Job's sudden destruction. Finally, the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. God's presence overshadowed even Job's terrible sufferings, and Job was rendered speechless. This book does not explain the meaning of suffering; rather, it point...


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2 MACCABEES

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

This book recounts many of the same events as 1 Maccabees narrates, but the perspective is different. In 2 Maccabees, there is much greater emphasis on God's intervention than on man's works (see 3:24-30; 10:29-30; 11:8; 15:12-16). Prayer is seen as the major weapon in warfare and not as a supplement to physical force. Because of the resurrection of the dead, the martyrs have a greater victory than the military men. This book is invaluable in helping us understand and practice what ...


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1 MACCABEES

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The Seleucid king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, gradually introduced and then mandated a secular way of life for the Jewish people. He did this by building a gymnasium and instituting anti-religious laws. Throughout history, secular entertainment and politics have often been used to undermine Christianity. The Maccabees resisted to the point of abandoning their possessions, shedding their blood (see Heb 12:4), and giving up their lives.

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Key word    SECULAR HUMANISM
 

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ESTHER

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

This book gives the origins of the Jewish feast of Purim. The word "pur" means "lot," referring to the lot cast by Haman to determine the time for the extermination of the Jews. Haman's plan was dramatically reversed. The Jews were able to destroy their enemies instead of being destroyed. This reversal was due to the fasting, courage, and wisdom of Queen Esther. This supernatural reversal of a plan for destruction into overwhelming victory is celebrated in the feast of Purim and pre...


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JUDITH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Because the Israelites did not join the Assyrian alliance, the Assyrians attempted to force them to die of thirst. However, the beautiful widow Judith saved the nation by beheading the drunk Holofernes, the commander of the Assyrian army. This again is the Exodus theme. God's people are victorious even in impossible circumstances for the sole reason that they are God's people.

Key word    VICTORY
 
Key verse    "Not for vengeance did the Lord put them in ...

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TOBIT

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Tobit was a faithful Jewish believer in exile. He would often make the trip alone to Jerusalem to worship in the only true Temple. In addition to the loneliness of exile, Tobit suffered when he became a fugitive and all his property was confiscated. He later was blinded and impoverished. Nevertheless, Tobit was faithful to the Lord despite the isolation, loneliness, and suffering.

Tobit prayed that the Lord would kill him and put him out of his misery. Sarah, his future daughter-in-...


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NEHEMIAH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The walls of Jerusalem were in ruins for over 140 years. Nehemiah fasted, prayed, and obeyed, and the Lord used him to accomplish the monumental task of rebuilding the walls despite constant opposition and harassment. This was all done to make it possible for the Jewish people to engage in the Temple worship and live the holy Law. Nehemiah, Ezra, and the Chronicler knew that the chosen people would be restored in power if only they worshipped the Lord in Spirit and truth (Jn 4:23). ...


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EZRA

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

By His sovereign power, the Lord used King Cyrus of Persia to provide for the restoration of the altar and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem. Even after opposition halted the work, the Lord used King Darius of Persia to complete the work.

Although exterior restoration of the Temple was eventually completed, the people were not restored interiorly. A symptom of this was mixed marriages with pagans. The Lord again used a Persian king, Artaxerxes, to send Ezra to Jerusalem. Ezr...


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2 CHRONICLES

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

This book concludes that the only hope for the chosen people is Temple worship. Therefore, Solomon's construction and dedication of the Temple is emphasized. However, when the Temple worship was defiled by idol-worship, the nation split, deteriorated, and finally the Northern kingdom was destroyed. There was hope through the renewal of Temple worship under Hezekiah and Josiah. However, both of these kings died tragically. Temple worship was the answer, but who could purify the Templ...


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1 CHRONICLES

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

In the late 400s B.C., it was very obvious that the chosen people were weak, scattered, and defeated. The Chronicler exhorted the people to praise the Lord by focusing their attention on the promises God made concerning the Davidic kingship and the Temple worship.

Christianity today is also weak, scattered, and often defeated. Like David, we must bow down and worship the Lord in the power of the Spirit. We will praise our way out of bondage and prison (see Acts 16:25-26).

...

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2 KINGS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

1 Kings ends on a happy note with the power of God manifested through Elijah. 2 Kings begins with Elijah and Elisha continuing to work wonders. Then we see the unfaithfulness, sin, and idolatry of king after king from both Israel and Judah. Every Israelite king is condemned, and of the kings of Judah only Hezekiah and Josiah are praised without reservation. Eventually, Israel is destroyed by the Assyrians, and Judah by the Babylonians. 2 Kings illustrates one Scriptural promise in a...


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1 KINGS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

This book begins with the glory of Solomon and ends with the glorious works of Elijah. In the middle of this glory, there is a civil war, resulting in the split between the Northern and Southern kingdoms, and the beginning of the end for both kingdoms of the Israelite nation.

The destruction of Solomon's great empire was due to sin. Because of sexual lust (see Sir 47:19), Solomon was unfaithful to the Lord. Later, Jeroboam, the king of the Northern kingdom, committed the almost unp...


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2 SAMUEL

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

We obey Yahweh not only by obeying the letter of the law but also by expressing awe, reverence, and fear before the Lord. David showed this in 1 Samuel when he spared his bitter enemy, Saul, because Saul was the Lord's anointed (12:1 ff; 26:1 ff). Out of respect for the Lord, David executed the man who assisted Saul in suicide (1:14-16), commended the men of Jabesh-gilead for burying Saul (2:4-5), mourned over Abner, Saul's general (3:31), executed the murderers of Saul's son, Ishba...


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1 SAMUEL

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

This book, as do all the Deuteronomic writings, illustrates the absolute necessity of obedience. If we truly believe in the Lord, we will obey Him. If we truly love Him, we will obey Him (Jn 15:10). Obedience is better than sacrifice (15:22). Through perfect obedience, the one Man, Jesus, saved the whole world and made atonement for all the sins that ever have or will be committed (Rm 5:19). The Christian life is simply "a life of obedience to Jesus Christ" (1 Pt 1:2). Because of di...


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RUTH

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Ruth's husband and father-in-law died. When Naomi, Ruth's mother-in-law, planned to return to Bethlehem, she told Ruth to remain in Moab. Ruth's best chance of survival was to stay in her country where she could have a better opportunity to marry or receive some help. However, Ruth remained loyal to Naomi, although this could have been social and financial suicide. Ruth's faithfulness resulted in her becoming the great-grandmother of King David, from whose family came Jesus, the Mes...


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JUDGES

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The judges were twelve military leaders whom the Lord raised up in times of crisis. The Israelites were repeatedly in crisis because of their disobedience. They were blessed or cursed in direct relationship to their obedience or disobedience.

Therefore, repent. The Lord has called us to attack the gates of hell (Mt 16:18) and not merely endure a series of crises. You are a conqueror and not just a survivor. Repent! "Yet in all this we are more than conquerors because of Hime Who has...


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JOSHUA

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The name "Joshua" is the same name as "Jesus." Jesus is our Way into the promised land and the land of promises. The Lord's promises are true despite adverse circumstances and delays. "For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late" (Hab 2:3). To inherit the promises, "keep this book of the law on your lips. Recite it by day and by night, that you may observe carefully all tha...


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DEUTERONOMY

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Think of collecting excerpts from the greatest sermons of Bishop Sheen, Billy Graham, and Pope John Paul II. What a powerful book that would be! Deuteronomy has collected some of the greatest sermons over hundreds of years so as to motivate God's people to obey Him and thereby enter the promised land. These great exhortations were put in the context of the eve of Moses' death. The great Moses, the liberator of the people from Egypt, was dying at the age of 120. These were his dying ...


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NUMBERS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 
This book begins and ends with a census (Chapters 1 and 26). The total of the first census was 603,550. In the second census, the final count was 601,730. The book of Numbers draws the conclusion that, after forty years of struggling, the chosen people were worse off than when they started. Numbers is a chronicle of how to endure everything and go nowhere. The final message is that we must worship and obey God or be cursed with frustration, futility, and failure. ...
Key word   

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LEVITICUS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 
This book is the center of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). It reveals the answer to the problem of our fallen human nature: We must make atonement for our sins through a vicarious sacrifice. Instead of sacrificing ourselves, we can substitute the offerings of animals and cereal. Vicarious sacrifice was eventually the way of our atonement, redemption, justification, and salvation. However, animals can not substitute for human beings, "because it is impossible for the...
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EXODUS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 
The book of Exodus is not primarily about the Exodus. The plagues and the departure from Egypt are only an introduction to the book's final sixteen chapters, which deal with the Dwelling of God and its furnishings. This emphasis on the dwelling was an Israelite way of saying that the worship of God is the essence and goal of life. We are freed from Egypt's slavery and freed for worship at God's throne in Spirit and in truth (Jn 4:24). ...
Key word    DWELLING (tabernacle)
 

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GENESIS

Posted by Site Webmaster on Tuesday, March 29, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

The word "genesis" means "beginning." In this first book of the Bible, the Lord reveals the beginnings of creation, the sabbath, humanity, marriage, sexuality, sin, suffering, murder, and alienation. These beginnings are treated in the first ten chapters. The next forty chapters are concerned with the beginning of the chosen people. After the devastation of the Babylonian exile, the people are going back to their roots to see if they are really the chosen people. If your life has fa...


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One Bread, One Body - Reflection for March 28, 2011

Posted by Site Webmaster on Monday, March 28, 2011, In : Daily Meditations 

Mass Readings: March 28

First: 2 Kings 5:1-5
Resp: Psalm 42:2-3; 43:3-4
Gospel: Luke 4:24-30

PROSPERITY GOSPEL?

"Naaman set out, taking along ten silver talents, six thousand gold pieces, and ten festal garments." –2 Kings 5:5

Naaman, the army commander of Aram, was a leper. He brought a great treasury of wealth (2 Kgs 5:5) to the prophet Elijah, hoping to obtain a cure for his leprosy. Elijah sent his servant Gehazi to tell Naaman to wash seven times in...


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The Bible on Sex

Posted by Site Webmaster on Sunday, March 27, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

In our secular humanistic society, we see the beauty of sexuality and married love sadly unappreciated. Many "temples of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor 6:19) are degrading themselves and others by sexual sin. This book is a call to repentance, abundant life, and true sexual freedom. By totally committing our lives to Jesus, the Truth, we will be set free (Jn 8:32).

I dedicate this book to my mother, Mary, and her Immaculate Heart.

THE SANCTITY OF SEX

"That is why a man leaves his...


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Lesson 2: The Bible and Tradition

Posted by Site Webmaster on Friday, March 25, 2011, In : Catechism Lessons 
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all in these days hath spoken to us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the world."  (Hebrews 1:1)
  1. What is the Bible?

  2.     A collection of writings which were inspired by God.
    "All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice, that the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good wor...

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Life Changing Prayers from the Bible

Posted by Site Webmaster on Thursday, March 24, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 
The Bible is our prayer book. We should not only read the word but also pray it. The Spirit uses the word to teach us how to pray, since we do not know how to pray as we ought (Rm 8:26). The following prayers are guaranteed by God to change lives because they are based on the word. Most of these prayers have been used for several years in evangelistic ministry. They have repeatedly put thousands of people in touch with the life-giving power of God. The prayer of a holy person "availeth much" ...
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HOW TO READ THE BIBLE

Posted by Site Webmaster on Thursday, March 24, 2011, In : Catholic Bible Study 

Have you told yourself a thousand times you were going to read the Bible? Do you fall asleep when you try? Are your bewildered by the Bible, feel lost, and confused? Have you stuffed yourself with the things of the world and become spiritually anorexic so as to have little appetite for the Bible? Then this is the pamphlet for you.

COME, HOLY SPIRIT

"No one knows what lies at the depths of God but the Spirit of God." — 1 Corinthians 2:11

The Bible reveals the depths of God and on...


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Pax et Bonum!


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