Simple Bible Reading Guide
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"The revelation of Your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple." —Psalms 119:130
God's word is intended for all people. For thousands of years God has communicated to millions of simple people through His word. In fact, many things are hidden from the learned and clever but revealed to the merest children (Lk 10:21). Of course, God's word is sometimes so difficult to interpret that we need the Church to teach us. Therefore, highly academic Bible study has its place, but it is not the principal approach to God's word. The word is not primarily for an educated elite but for everyday people praying and reading by the power of the Spirit.
Nevertheless, not many books about the Bible are written to help the average person. What most people need is something short, simple, and practical that encourages, motivates and guides. We need something that will help us read the Biblical texts and not just about the text. This is the purpose of this simple Bible reading guide. "We have aimed to please those who prefer simple reading, as well as to make it easy for the studious who wish to commit things to memory, and to be helpful to all (2 Mc 2:25).
Note: The breakdown of the Bible into chapters (although not always adequate) has served God's people for centuries. So in general we will use a chapter-by-chapter structure for our comments.
Be sure to read each chapter of the Bible along with the introductory comments.
P.S. We have prayed before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament about our choice of the verses in this reading guide. We hope the Scriptures will have a prophetic, life-changing power for you.
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 doubtful about Jesus' second coming. 2 Peter unequivocally proclaims that we can count on God's promises and prophecies. Yes, Jesus will surely come.
Prayer: Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus, as soon as possible.
Promise: "He has bestowed on us the great and precious things He promised, so that through these you who have fled a world corrupted by lust might become sharers of the divine nature." 1:4
2 Pt 2 — HERETICS
"These men are waterless springs, mists whipped by the gale. The darkest gloom has been reserved for them." 2 Peter 2:17
Many false prophets are denying the second coming and even denying Jesus. These people "live for the flesh" (2:10). "Their lustful ways will lure many away. Through them, the true way will be made subject to contempt" (2:2). They "pour abuse on things of which they are ignorant" (2:12). They promise "freedom though they themselves are slaves of corruption" (2:19). "When men have fled a polluted world by recognizing the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and then are caught up and overcome in pollution once more, their last condition is worse than their first" (2:20).
Prayer: Father, may I never believe the lies of secular humanism.
Promise: "The Lord, indeed, knows how to rescue devout men from trial, and how to continue the punishment of the wicked up to the day of judgment." 2:9
2 Pt 3 — WHEN WE LEAST EXPECT IT
"Note this first of all: in the last days, mocking, sneering men who are ruled by their passions will arrive on the scene. They will ask: 'Where is that promised coming of His?' " 2 Peter 3:3-4
Why has Jesus waited two thousand years to come back? "This point must not be overlooked, dear friends. In the Lord's eyes, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years are as a day. The Lord does not delay in keeping His promise though some consider it 'delay.' Rather, He shows you generous patience, since He wants none to perish but all to come to repentance" (3:8-9). "So, beloved, while waiting for this, make every effort to be found without stain or defilement" (3:14). "Consider that our Lord's patience is directed toward salvation" (3:15).
Prayer: Father, I am "looking for the coming of the day of God and trying to hasten it!" (3:12)
Promise: "Grow rather in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Glory be to Him now and to the day of eternity! Amen." 3:18
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, April 25, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 28, 1997
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