Advent Day 8 – Good News for December 5

5 12 2010

Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

The Daily Path: John the Baptist is an Advent Man. He’s preparing the populace for the coming of Jesus. This is exactly what we should be doing in these days before we celebrate the birth of Christ. Do yourself a favor. Trade in a frantic holiday moment for some peaceful reflection with God.

Withdraw To Advance – Good News for January 8

8 01 2010

Luke 5:12-16

It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”

Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it.  Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.

The Daily Path: I have found that finding opportunities to withdraw from the day-to-day madness is vital to my health and well-being. By withdrawal I don’t mean hiding in the garage. Sure, it’s good to have joyful diversions in life, but in this instance I’m referring to setting aside time to talk with God.

Luke tells us of Jesus going off to a deserted place away from the crowds for periods of prayer. We can only imagine how many he cured and, although Christ could do all things in the Father, there are many accounts that seemingly point to the toll it took on Him. He must have been tired in some way. We don’t read of Jesus going off to a soft bed for a two-day siesta. No, he recharges his spirit through prayer with His Father.

It’s my experience that prayer has amazing therapeutic powers. My conversations with God provide peace to a troubled mind and heart. They also boost my energy level, giving strength to move ahead. Long-time readers of GNTG know what a difference prayer has made in my day-to-day and long-term living. Find time to withdraw and talk with God, even if only for a few moments, even if only within your mind. I know that doing so will provide great peace to help you get through the day.

But don’t believe me… give it a shot and see for yourself.

Room to Chat: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life. (John 5:11-12)