Touch Him – Good News for September 7

7 09 2010

Luke 6:12-19

Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles:

Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

The Daily Path: This morning I woke up feeling a great heaviness after a night of troubled dreams. Then I read the words of Luke’s gospel: Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

Room to Chat: Jesus, count me among the great crowd of disciples who come to you for healing.





Forgiving 77 – Good News for August 11

12 08 2010

Matthew 18:21 – 19:1

Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.

When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt.

Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.

The Daily Path: The image below reminds me of the pain that is held by those who seek forgiveness. Who wouldn’t like to be forgiven for a transgression against another? Who among us has not felt this pain? Are we who hold the power of forgiveness not also the suffering?





Foreign Relations – Good News for August 9

9 08 2010

Matthew 17:22-27

As Jesus and his disciples were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were overwhelmed with grief.

When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax approached Peter and said, “Does not your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes,” he said.

When he came into the house, before he had time to speak, Jesus asked him, “What is your opinion, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take tolls or census tax? From their subjects or from foreigners?”

When he said, “From foreigners,” Jesus said to him, “Then the subjects are exempt. But that we may not offend them, go to the sea, drop in a hook, and take the first fish that comes up. Open its mouth and you will find a coin worth twice the temple tax. Give that to them for me and for you.”

The Daily Path: I would like to think that I have dual citizenship as a child of God and as an American. One status is greater than the other. Even though I live in what so many consider to be the greatest nation on earth, I am first a follower of Christ. In essence I am really a foreigner here. So as not to offend I pay taxes. I am committed to meet my earthly citizen obligations until the time when I am called home.

This is an act of faith. As Peter was instructed by Jesus, I fish to find the means to meet my obligations and sustain my citizenship – but it’s my first passport that I’ve come to honor most. Yet holding entry status among those who pursue the kingdom of God is not easy. Like all of us, I am conflicted on a daily basis. Give unto God in what I am doing or give unto Caesar?

When I stand before the border guard between this life and the eternal, only one passport will gain me access. Will my faith have been strong enough to open the gate?





Human Think – Good News for August 5

5 08 2010

Matthew 16:13-23

Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi and he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Then he strictly ordered his disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

From that time on, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised. Then Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, “God forbid, Lord!  No such thing shall ever happen to you.” He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan!  You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

The Daily Path: Human think is an obstacle in my life as it must be for many. I recently told a good friend that I feel closest to God when I am suffering. It’s then that I seem to get beyond the constant rationalization and desire for control. In those moments I am able to just say “I give up.”

“Giving up” in human think is failure. Instant relegation to the bottom of the heap. You can’t be a Mad Man if you can’t succeed. You can’t climb the pinnacle of earthly achievement if you fail. That’s what human think would lead us to believe.

But what about giving up in God think? We don’t say “give down”, the term is “give UP” Where did Jesus go when he returned to the Father? He ascended, He went UP. Jesus looked UP to his Father… Jesus held UP the bread…

In those moments of worldly defeat and suffering when we give ourselves UP to accept His will over ours, isn’t that the time when we ascend into God think?





The Faithkeeper – Good News for June 29

29 06 2010

Matthew 16:13-19

When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”

They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”

Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The Daily Path: Who do I say that Jesus is?

Although I had the benefit of knowing the tradition of faith, handed down for over 2,000 years, I didn’t fully embrace Jesus as the Son of the living God until late in life. And even then it took some true acts of God to awaken the fire within me. Having this experience in my own life makes Simon Peter’s understanding even more remarkable. He knew our Lord and Savior before witnessing any of the events we now hold true as followers of Christ.

Room to Chat: Jesus, if it is your will, show me how I can be more like Peter, your faithkeeper, in my daily life.





Days of Faith and Healing – Good News for June 26

26 06 2010

Matthew 8:5-17

When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion approached him and appealed to him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.”

He said to him, “I will come and cure him.”

The centurion said in reply, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I say to you, many will come from the east and the west, and will recline with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the banquet in the Kingdom of heaven, but the children of the Kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

And Jesus said to the centurion, “You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you.” And at that very hour his servant was healed.

Jesus entered the house of Peter, and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. He touched her hand, the fever left her, and she rose and waited on him.

When it was evening, they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he drove out the spirits by a word and cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet:

He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.

The Daily Path: “Only say the word…”

“If it is your will…”

The past two days we have read about the incredible faith in God held by two men. Let’s remember the leper and the centurion as we travel the path before us.

Room to Chat: Lord, I am not worthy to receive you, but only say the word and I shall be healed.





Unfaithful Beans – Good News for June 9

9 06 2010

Timothy 2:8-15

Beloved,

Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my Gospel, for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory.

This saying is trustworthy:

If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.

Remind people of these things and charge them before God to stop disputing about words. This serves no useful purpose since it harms those who listen. Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God, a workman who causes no disgrace, imparting the word of truth without deviation.

The Daily Path: Who among us has the ability to remain 100% faithful to anything? Perfection is not a sustainable gift for human beans. (Yes, I know, but that’s what one of my kids called human “beings”). Even saints had moments of weakness on this earth. Jesus best friend was the poster child for the unfaithful bean club.

And in our imperfection is where we also get a glimpse of God’s perfection. Although we screw up all the time – like those kids who are perpetually in the principal’s office for the inability to remain focused in class – God remains perfectly faithful to us. As Timothy reminds us, God cannot deny himself. We are part of Him. As such, He cannot be unfaithful to us.

“I see we’re back again today, heh, Mr. Robles?”

“Yes, God.”

“What was it this time?”

“I didn’t feel like opening my heart to you.”

“Why not?”

“It wasn’t convenient. I was too busy playing with my stuff.”

“I see. Do you still feel that way?”

“No, God.”

“Good. Will you try to do better today?”

“Yes, God. I will.”

“Wonderful. Now go wash your face and hurry back to class.”

“Thank you, God.”

“Oh, just one more thing… even though you’ve been unfaithful to me thousands of times, I still love you.”

Maybe we can get through today remaining faithful to God. If not, I’ll see you in the wash room.