Desert Battle – Good News for February 21

21 02 2010

Luke 4:1-13

Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert for forty days, to be tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and when they were over he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”

Jesus answered him, “It is written, One does not live on bread alone.”

Then he took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a single instant. The devil said to him, “I shall give to you all this power and glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I may give it to whomever I wish. All this will be yours, if you worship me.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “It is written: You shall worship the Lord, your God, and him alone shall you serve.

Then he led him to Jerusalem, made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here, for it is written: He will command his angels concerning you, to guard you, and: With their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.

Jesus said to him in reply, “It also says, You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.

When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from him for a time.

The Daily Path: Thank goodness (God) it’s Sunday! After reading that passage I can’t wait to get to church. Where will you go to see Him?

Dinner Guests – Good News for February 20

20 02 2010

Luke 5:27-32

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.

Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were at table with them. The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus said to them in reply, “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do. I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”

The Daily Path: That explains it! Now I know why Jesus asked me to supper.

Psst… even though it’s Lent, I’m having a second helping at His table!

Fast Forward – Good News for February 19

19 02 2010

Matthew 9:14-15

The disciples of John approached Jesus and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.”

The Daily Path: “Why do we have to do this if you don’t?” “Why do you do this? We don’t?”

Perhaps the questions to ask are: Am I trying to get to the same place as you? Does that road begin within?

Going For Gold – Good News for February 18

18 02 2010

Luke 9:22-25

Jesus said to his disciples, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. What profit is there for one to gain the whole world yet lose or forfeit himself?”

The Daily Path: Watching the Winter Olympic Games I’m reminded of how many athletes have dedicated their lives to their sport. Tremendous sacrifice was required just to compete in the Vancouver Games. Still more to reach medal platform, where only three will ascend. There is the difference: Jesus promises that all who sacrifice for God will win the gold medal, guaranteed.

When More is Lent – Good News for February 17

17 02 2010

Mark 6:1-6; 16-18

Jesus said to his disciples, “Take care not to perform righteous deeds in order that people may see them; otherwise, you will have no recompense from your heavenly Father. When you give alms, do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win the praise of others. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will repay you.

“When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you may not appear to be fasting, except to your Father who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

The Daily Path: “Stan, Lent is here! Lent is here!”

“Oh, no. You again. Go away. I like my extra portions of pie for dessert.”

“Come on Stan, you get extra during Lent, not less. Extra time to focus on God.”

“Does that mean I can sleep in on Sunday morning if I dream holy thoughts all night?”

“Aaw, Stan. Don’t be so gloomy. You know what I mean. Lent really can be a time of more. Instead of thinking about pie all day, why not think about God to fill your craving?”

“You’re nuts. God doesn’t taste as good as peach pie. Besides, all we ever learned about as kids was give up this and give up that for Lent. Where is the joy in that?”

Obviously my friend Stan Doubtsall doesn’t get it. But I don’t fault him. I never liked Lent either until a friend asked me to try and incorporate a little God into each day during the season. Since I had a lot of time during my long commutes I gave it a try. As crazy as it might sound… the more conversations I had with God during the day, the more I wanted. I suddenly found myself conversing frequently during the many pauses in my day.

Friends, I’m not tooting my horn down in the temple, but I wanted to share with you how my perspective of Lent has changed. The Lenten season presents me with an opportunity to deepen my relationship with the Father. To really focus on my faith. It’s Mardi Gras in reverse. A time to find excess in God.

“Go ahead Stan, have another slice…”

Room to Chat: Father, open up the direct lines. It’s time to add more daytime calling minutes!

Forgotten Bread – Good News for February 16

16 02 2010

Mark 8:14-21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” They concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread.

When he became aware of this he said to them, “Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?” They answered him, “Twelve.”

“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?” They answered him, “Seven.”

He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

The Daily Path: Do I forget? Can I understand?

Other Shores – Good News for February 15

15 02 2010

Mark 8:11-13

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.

The Daily Path: Are the pharisees in your life getting you down? As you can see from this passage, they’ve been around for two thousand years… and they will likely continue to plague us into the foreseeable future. But don’t waste your time on them. Get back in your boat and go find the joy (love) instead!