Bible Reading Habits

What are your daily bible reading habits? How do you read? How long? Note taking, or just simply reading?

I typically read in the morning and before bed.

Couple of pages a day. Sometimes more. Usually evening time. No note taking.

Usually I read during my sons nap time. :slight_smile: I don’t set a goal or limit on how much or how long I read. I will also read a bit before bed. I don’t take any notes at the moment, but I am looking at getting a bible study program, so I may start then.

Very Respectfully,
turtlegirl

I generally read only one chapter in the mornings and evenings. I spend 10 minutes on the chapter, regardless of its length. I spend that time reading and re-reading the chapter, so that I can really absorb the details. I simply read, no note taking. This is because I want to incorporate the would-be notes into my beliefs. It’s kind of like forcing myself to remember instead of thinking, “Ah, I wrote it down. I’ll come back and memorize it later”.

I read every morning. No time limit. Always have paper ready for notes, but only write if I read something relevant that I need to focus on during my daily turning away from sin, or if I come across something that I have been speaking to others about. (Which is a different topic, but we lay Catholics should challenge ourselves to speak outwardly about Christ more often)

By starting my day this way, I can then pray about the passages throughout the course of my day…in the shower, in the car, in the back of my mind at work, etc.

The key for anyone, IMHO, is to do any reading…even one line…each day.

Peace in Christ

What gets me is that lots of it, OT, is so hard to understand with all the wrath of God! I would find it hard to use those bits as ‘prayer’.

Oh, I think I understand your concerns on this…and I use those verses to remind me to be thankful that God loved us enough to save us. I pray about how ‘God’s wrath’ isn’t so much about God, but about us and the conflict that exists between our sin and His perfect holiness. God’s wrath isn’t like yours and mine. God doesn’t get ‘moody’. His temper doesn’t flare up…God just IS. He doesn’t change. And I am reminded that God IS love. So I pray a thankful prayer that the primary location of God’s wrath isn’t in God, but in us. Our sins and God’s Holiness do not mix. And I then pray thankfully that God gave each of us the means to avoid His wrath: you and I call them the Sacraments of Baptism, Confession and the Eucharist.

James Allison, Catholic theologian, once said it this way, which is part of my prayer when I read the verses about God’s wrath: “Wrath, rather than being an act of divine vengeance, is instead a divine non-resistance of human evil.”

In this way, I feel I can use every line to grow closer to God. Maybe it won’t work for you to try it that way, and it isn’t a perfect approach, (I struggle to find other parts prayerful myself) and it took me 40+ years to find a way that worked to build my faith best through scripture outside of Mass.

Peace in Christ

Thanks but still confusing

Perhaps I can help. My opinion differs a bit from Hawkiz. Remember that we are made in God’s image–aka, we think and behave similarly to how God would. Humans have an intellect, emotions, attitudes, etc. Similarly, God has an intellect, emotions, attitudes, and so on. Also, God portrays Himself as a father figure.

Now, the OT is all about Israel’s early days, which was no walk in the park for anybody. But the one thing that Israel was excellent at was idolatry. If Israel was a Pokemon, its special ability would be “Go Astray”. Try reading the story of how Israel was led out of Egypt (Exodus 14). God gives the Egyptians and the Israelites a show of His awesome power, ending in Moses splitting a sea in half. All through this story, the Israelites complain to God about how harshly the Egyptians are treating them. In the following chapters, Moses and company go into the wilderness. What do the Israelites do? “We have no food! We have been lead out here so we can die!”

Pause. God just gave these people the unspeakable honor of seeing His wonders worked to help them out of Egypt. Now if I were God, who has emotions like any other person, I would be a bit frustrated with the Israelites lack of faith. Not to mention getting a little fed up with hearing nothing but complaints. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t like to hear people complain all the time, especially when I’ve been doing favors for the complainers.

Play. Moses and friends reach Mount Sinai, where Moses will go up onto the mountain alone for 40 days. Before Moses goes, God shows Israel again the power He has. God covered Mount Sinai in great billows of smoke, with thunder and lightning abundant tumbling out (we’re at Exodus 19 by now). It gave Israel quite the scare. So Moses goes up on the mountain, hangs out for 40 days receiving the law from God, and comes back to what? Exodus 32, the chapter where we find out that the Israelites ask the second-in-command guy Aaron to make idols for the people.

Pause. Imagine you were God, performing all these wonders, doing all these favors, and this happens. You show your glory, turn your back for five minutes, and Israel has already found another god to worship. Is it any wonder that God flipped His lid? All God wanted was for Israel to be His people, and for Him to be their God, and Israel stubbornly refuses to cooperate.

So yeah, there’s one story where God has to put up with a whole pile of bull from Israel. One of many, many times. I find it easier to understand God when I put myself in His shoes for a moment and consider, “How would I react?” Quite frankly, I would have given up on Israel right after the whole Mount Sinai incident.

But God stuck around for much longer than that. He was there when Israel repented, and asked God to bless them again. He was there to rescue them from their enemies when certain destruction was at hand. On the times that Israel worshiped God, God flooded the land with blessings. So is He a wrathful God? Yeah, when we aren’t cooperating, but who wouldn’t be upset in such a situation? And is He a loving God? Definitely. God has feelings just like us, and He might get angry with us every once in a while, but His deepest yearning is that we would love Him and worship Him, so that He can be our God and we His people.

So, is it because of Jesus Christ that these things dont happen these days?

I’m not sure that Jesus had much impact on how God deals with nations. God is still involved with nations today, but I’m not sure how involved His prophets are.

In the OT, God seemed to be in constant contact with Israel through the prophets. Israel rarely took the prophets seriously, however, and often laughed the prophets’ warnings to scorn.

While God has an enormous patience, He does get tired of not being heard. God sent Israel into captivity a handful of times because of their idolatry, and rescued Israel from their enemies when they repented. But it wouldn’t be long before Israel found something other than God to worship. God eventually gets tired of the whole shabang, so He scatters the nation of Israel.

So why don’t we have prophets wandering the streets, preaching repentance? My best guess is that either God already tried that–a LOT–and to no avail, so He gave up on that move. Or, God does send prophets in the modern world, but we don’t hear about them because people today don’t take them seriously and laugh the prophets to scorn. In today’s world, we have tv and internet that can tell us about all sorts of people who claim to be sent by God or believe that they are God. If an actual prophet showed up on the scene, he would need to do something to distinguish himself from the crazies. I don’t doubt that God would provide a way for the prophet to distinguish himself and make himself heard, but it would be up to the nation to take him seriously enough to spread his word.

God will continue to judge nations or bless them, however. The laws given to Moses on Mount Sinai were the conditions that a nation would have to follow if God was going to watch over a nation. If the nation agreed to enter a covenant with God–that is, the nation agreed to obey God’s commands, and God would protect and bless the nation in return–then that nation can be judged for straying from Him.

God makes Himself very clear about the blessings and curses He would bring upon a nation in Deuteronomy 28. If the nation sticks with God and obeys His commands, then blessings will abound (verses 1-14). But God is very serious about the curses He would bring upon a nation if the nation goes astray (verses 15-68). If you read through it all, you can realize just how scary it could be to have God as an enemy.

Through the OT, you’ll be able to see how God blesses Israel when Israel is worshiping God, and you’ll be able to read about how God responds to Israel when they start going astray (again). While God threatens to scatter the disobedient nation at the end of Deuteronomy (see verse 64), God never fully carried out this threat until he was completely fed up with the Israelites and scattered the nation for good. I suppose it’s up for debate whether you want to call the captivities “scattering” the nation

But how does that apply today? Since I’m not as familiar with the United States’ history, I will borrow my information from “The Harbinger” written by Jonathan Cahn. “The Harbinger” is a book written in the form of a narrative that explains how God is passing judgement on the United States right now. Cahn asserts that the United States was formed on a Christian foundation, entering into that covenant with God. God would bless the US and bring it to become a superpower in the world in a matter of two centuries because the US would continue to follow God (wow, 200 years straight worshiping God? This already seems like a better track record than Israel). But now, as the US falls farther away from God, He begins to remove His blessings and cause the US to be vulnerable in multiple ways (economically, militarily, etc.). Curiously, though, the narrative is mostly between the main character and a prophet.

I personally believe the book is right, and that the US is under judgement from God. I believe this because Cahn is able to link together a large number of eerie “coincidences” that would better be explained as a series of messages sent from the divine. Again, this is just my personal feelings toward the book; I recommend that you read it yourself instead of taking my word for it.

Aside from the United States, I don’t know of another modern-day nation that accepted God’s covenant, and so no other nations in the world are subject to His blessings or judgments as listed in Deuteronomy 28. Granted, I know very little about other countries, so you may have to research this one for yourself if you wanted to know more.

I guess that Israel has always been detached from God in some of the things it has done. Look what has happened during WWII and now in this time! Could it be punishment?

You know, I’ve wondered if Jews are still being punished today a bit myself. People just hate Jews for whatever reason, and they’ve hated Jews all through the ages (as far as I’m aware. I’m definitely not a history expert!). The way people treat Jews does kind of sound like the end curses of Deuteronomy 28:

“(64) And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. (65) And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the soleof thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: (66) And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:”

However, the nation of Israel being created again is part of something else, I would say. There are prophecies about the end times made by OT prophets that make me think that Israel becoming a nation again could be a sign that the end is neigh. These are my personal interpretations of scripture; feel free to disagree.

Even though God scattered Israel, He promised to bring them together again into their own land. In Ezekiel 36:17-38, God promises to regather the scattered Israelites back into their own land. He says that He won’t do this for their sakes, but rather for His holy name’s sake. Once regathered, He will bless the Israelites as He did before, and the Israelites will loathe themselves for their unfaithfulness.

Another set of verse I want to mention is in Isaiah. When Israel would be turned into a nation again, evidently it was going to happen overnight:

Isaiah 66:7-8 “(7) Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child. (8) Who hath heard of such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”

Again, since my knowledge of history kinda sucks, I’m going to borrow information from a credible source. According to this BBC news article that gives an overview of how Israel came into being and is faring today: “The state of Israel was proclaimed by the Jewish leader, David Ben Gurion, on May 14, 1948, and officially came into being on the 15th, after British Mandatory rule ended at midnight.” (Source: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/events/israel_at_50/history/78597.stm). According to the article, groups of desperate Jews began settling back into the promised land back in the 1880s.

I remember some bits of scripture that say something along the lines of nations rising up to fight against Israel, but God will miraculously bring Israel the victory. Since I don’t remember these passages well enough to quote them, I’m going to warn you that I might not be remembering these passages correctly. If those passages do in fact exist, then the internet should lead you right to them. (It’s getting a bit late where I am, so I’m going to hold off on looking them up myself this time)

I’m afraid that most of the end time prophecies are beyond my understanding at this point, but I do feel confident that Israel becoming a nation again is a prophecy fulfilled. I don’t know what the main characters are in the end times prophecies–the harlot, the beast, and the false prophet–but I assume those will be revealed in time. If you’re interested in learning more, I trust that the Church likely has an official interpretation of these figures, or at least something to point you in a certain direction. I’m actually a protestant who lately took an interest to Catholic doctrines, so I’ve never looked into what the Church has to say about the end times.


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