The Formula – Good News for February 6

6 02 2009

Hebrews 13:1

Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels.

Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body.

Let marriage be honored among all and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers.

Let your life be free from love of money but be content with what you have, for he has said, I will never forsake you or abandon you.

Thus we may say with confidence: The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

The Daily Path: Here’s another reminder of the simple way God asks us to live our life. Another roadmap to quickly reference and get our bearings straight. I’m glad that these keep popping up. It’s so easy for me to forget this basic formula while dealing with the world around. Earlier this week I talked about the discipline I need. Remembering love and mercy has to be part of my daily workout as I continue to build my strength on the journey home. One repetition. Then another. 

The playing field may change but these guidelines are a constant… just as Christ is always there for me and for all of us.

Room to Chat: Do you have 10 seconds somewhere in your day? Try this 10 second connection to God: The Lord is my helper, and I will not be afraid. What can anyone do to me?

No Pain, No Gain – Good News for February 4

4 02 2009

Hebrews 12:4-7, 11-15

Brothers and sisters, in your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:

My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges.

Endure your trials as “discipline”; God treats you as his sons. For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline? At the time, all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain, yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. Make straight paths for your feet, that what is lame may not be dislocated but healed.

Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one be deprived of the grace of God, that no bitter root spring up and cause trouble, through which many may become defiled.

The Daily Path – Anyone who has worked out in the gym or trained as a competitive athlete knows that you have to push your body repeatedly to get better results. It takes great discipline. I remember the pain as I strained my muscles to do just one more repetition with the weights. It wasn’t fun. I didn’t like it. In fact, I hated it. There were a million other things I would rather have done than sit in a smelly gym. But when I finished, I felt good about what I had done. My tired muscles would be sore the next day, but that soreness actually felt good. When it came time to compete my body was better able to respond.  

Following God is not unlike training as an athlete. I have learned that there is the same discipline involved. I remember my parents referring to “crosses” that people have to bear in life. A seemingly impossible weight (like the cross Jesus had to carry on the way to his death) or insurmountable difficulty that these people had to deal with for a long time. Somehow they managed to carry on and cope with their challenge every day.

God does put challenges (discipline) in our life. I see where He’s disciplining me. In the midst of dealing with these challenges you think “How can I do this even one more time?” But somehow you do. You take one more step even though it hurts like hell. Then another. And another. You find a way to get through it, just like working out.

And in the end, you do feel a sense of peace. It may be exhaustion and the outcome may not be exactly as hoped… but you know you gave it all you had and that feels good (peace). Your spirit is perhaps better prepared to deal with the next challenge.

I know that God continues to discipline me with challenges every day. Some days I’ll fail miserably (as my wife will attest). But now I’m committed to another attempt. Yet another rep. I know that these reps will make me stronger. If I keep at it (respond to the discipline) perhaps I’ll get it right the next time. I also know that if I continue to give it my all… then my chances of winning are that much better.

Room to Chat: Running late for a meeting or appointment? Frustrated that the elevator is taking forever or the traffic is holding you from your destination? Let it go and say hello to God instead.