Monday, June 3, 2013

"Anything" Bible Study- Week 1


Anything Bible Study Week 1

Monday- Today was the first day of the Anything Bible Study at Good Morning Girls. The first verse to read and SOAP is John 8:1-11. It is the story of the woman at the well. 

From the book: "And to protect her from eternal judgement, he whispered the same thing that he whispers to us: Repent, because you are not good; you are not okay. Come back to me. You need me. He says, Go and sin no more, which is impossible apart from the righteousness Christ offers to those who come to him in faith. He is what makes us right" (Jennie Allen, Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul, pg 18)

From the catechism: CCC#1451: Among the penitent acts, contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."

My observations: In today's verse, God is calling the woman at the well to repentance. He says that we are all sinners and we must turn from our sin and live a life worthy of a child of God. As the author states, we are nothing without Him and we should always remember that. The catechism states that contrition is the most important part of penitent acts, meaning that in order to truly repent from our sins, we must be sorry and wish not to sin again.

Tuesday- Today's verses were John 1:5-10. It is about John the Baptist leading the way to the Lord.

From the book: "Sin becomes distasteful because it fights with who we are. God becomes our chief desire. These are marks that we are believers. Unless there is some craving for God and some distaste for sin in us, we should question if we are believers." (Jennie Allen, Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul, pg 27)

From the catechism: CCC#718: John is "Elijah [who] must come". The fire of the Spirit dwellls in him and makes him the forerunner of the coming of the Lord. In John, the precursor, the Holy Spirit completes the work of "[making] ready a people prepared for the Lord". (CCC#717-720 is all about John the Baptist)

My observations: In John 1:8, the SOAP passage for today, the Bible describes John the Baptist as "not the light but came to testify to the light". Many people mistakenly believed that John was the Messiah but he was just a prophet who pointed directly to Jesus as Messiah. From the moment he leapt in his mother's womb until the day he died, John pointed towards Jesus and proclaimed the importance of repentance and turning towards the Lord.

Wednesday- Today's verses were Mark 2:13-17. It is about Jesus eating with the sinners. He says that he did not come for the righteous but for the sinners.

From the book: "Jesus' first command after nearly every encounter with a needy person was for them to repent. He promised these broken people hope and healing. He promised to make a way for them. Often, after these encounters, he would turn to religious people who seemed to have it all together and confront their sin of pride and pretending. Yet with every opportunity, for the most part, they never repented. They thought they were fine without Jesus. They did not need him."

From the catechism: CCC#1484- "Individual, integral confession and absolution remain the only ordinary way for the faithful to reconcile themselves with God and the Church, unless a physical or moral impossibility excuses from this kind of confession." There are profound reasons for this. Christ is at work in each of the Sacraments. He personally addresses every sinner: "My son, your sins are forgiven." He is the physician tending to each one of the sick who need him to cure them. He raises them up and reintegrates them into fraternal communion. Personal confession is thus the form most expressive of reconciliation with God and with the Church.

My observations: Today's message is one of my favorite verses in the Bible and is also the weekly memory verse this week. The most ironic part of all is that we are all sinners and Jesus came for all of us because no one under the son can truly call himself righteous although there are many that do. Jesus came to heal us and those of us that are under the most weight from our sin are the ones that he is constantly calling, wanting to give us that healing touch that we need. You see, sin is like leperacy. No matter how much we don't want it to, it affects (infects) everyone around us. We need healing and we need it often so that we don't get so sick that we make others as sick as we are. We need to be well in order to lead others to the healing hand of Jesus.

Thursday - Today's verse was from the book f Galatians. Paul is such a profound preacher- I sometimes wish I lived back then so I could hear him preach! I read Galatians 5:1-6. Today's SOAP entry was Galations 5:1.

From the book:  "Stepping out wholly dependent on God to come through, stepping away from what is secure and comfortable exposes the holes in our faith. And then if God comes through, it expands our faith." (Jennie Allen, Anything: The Prayer That Unlocked My God and My Soul, pg 10)

From the catechism:  CCC#1741- Liberation and Salvation. By his glorious Cross Christ won salvation for all men. He redeemed them from the sin that held them in bondage. "For freedom Christ has set us free." In him we have communion with the "truth that makes us free." The Holy Spirit has been given to us and, as the Apostle teaches, "Where the spirit of the Lord it, there is freedom." Already we glory in the "liberty of the children of God."

My observations: This passage is about freedom, freedom from the bondage of ritual and superstition. I think that in modern times, Paul would tell us Christians that we need freedom from the bondage of consumerism and relativism. Instead of worrying about what others are doing, we should concern ourselves with what God wants from us.

Friday - Today's verse had me a little worried. I was afraid that we were going to get into the faith vs. works debate when I first read the entire reading (Romans 3:21-31) but relaxed when I saw that the SOAP verse was Romans 3:23- All have sinned and are deprived of the Glory of God.

From the book: "His presence is the only place where invisible weight is lifted. The only place where hidden, broken spaces are mended. The only place where we are defined apart from our successes and our failures."


From the catechism: CCC#402- All men are implicated in Adam's sin, as St. Paul affirms: "By one man's disobedience many [that is all men] were made sinners": "sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned..." The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with the universality of salvation in Christ. "Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.

My observations: We are all sinners. We are all tax collectors, prostitutes, and murderers. Not one of us is better than anyone else and not one of us deserves the love of God but we have it- through the sacrifice of Jesus. Praise be to God!


Check back next week for Week 2 Observations!
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