This Catholic Bible Study was so good! It brought back up memories of a time when I wanted so badly to know, love, and serve Jesus the “right” way. I focused on my outward appearance, from a good heart mind you. The problem was, it didn’t help me know, love, and serve Jesus better and I surely didn’t share Him more–what’s wrong with that picture!??!
Catholic Bible Study
“Here I am,” Jacob replied.
This was Jacob’s reply to God speaking to him…at night. What is my response…at night? Do I listen for the voice of the Lord, even at night? Maybe especially at night when the rest of the world is quiet and the Lord’s voice cannot be easily drowned out? I would love to answer like Jacob, “Here I am.”
Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt…I will go with you down to Egypt…
Here’s one of the many, many times in the Scriptures where the Lord says, “Do not be afraid.” Not only does he tell Jacob not to be afraid, he tells him how great he will become. I go back to the first part of this reflection, what instruction, encouragement, promise of the Lord am I missing because I’m not listening or responding with a, “Here I am Lord”? What if Jacob had just turned over and gone back to sleep? What if he would have said, “God, I”m tired. Let’s chat in the morning, M’kay?
God telling Jacob not to be afraid to go down to Egypt reminds me of one of my favorite songs, “Egypt”.
So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh.
Wait! So the same kid who was thrown into a pit by his own brothers, sold, falsely accused, and imprisoned…is now buying entire countries for the most powerful man in the region? So maybe, just maybe, like the Scriptures state, what seems like a disaster, might end up being for my good???? Is that how that works in the Divine economy of God? So maybe instead of being so quick to moan, groan, wail, and be all dramatic, I could maybe wait a fat minute and think, “This might be from the hand of God for my GOOD!”
These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.
Yikes! Verses like that make me step back and take a quick little examen of my life, worship, my spiritual practices, and my friendship with God. That can get a little uncomfortable.
Then Jesus called to the crowds and said, “Listen o what I say and try to understand. You are not defiled by what you eat; you are defiled by what you say and do.”
Oh boy does this take me back to the whole Traddy issue of skirts vs pants. (And if you’re reading this, don’t come at me. This is my reflection. This is my story. I’ve lived the whole skirts only vs pants. I’ve been in both camps.) Here’s one of my primary filters now, “Does this help me grow in closer friendship with Jesus? Does this help me know, love, and serve better? Does this help me share Jesus?”
Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be rooted up, so ignore them.
I love it when Jesus gives up permission to ignore people, LOL! Obviously not in a mean way, but in a, “they’re only a distraction” way.
But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them.
Again, I can wear skirts all day, every day, I can attend daily Mass and pray on my knees…but what are my words to others? To myself even???
But she came and worshiped him and pleaded again, “Lord, help me!”
There’s no shame in asking again! And again…
She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.” “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
And rather than scold her or tell her to quit with her “vain repetitions,” the Lord answered her prayer because of her faith; she kept asking because she knew Jesus was her only hope, He could do it, and He would do it!
The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.
I need to get out in nature more!
How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
This reminds me of the prayer, “Search me,” laid out in the book, Dangerous Prayers: Because Following Jesus Was Never Meant to Be Safe. I have to say, this is one of the best books I read in a long time, maybe ever? It’s definitely in my top 5 books!
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Wouldn’t this make a beautiful daily prayer?