Keep Moving Forward

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I recall being a child and constantly getting yelled at for running around everywhere. My father and mother had to be embarrassed because I would run up and down the aisles at movie theaters and at church. I was just being a kid enjoying the notion of never looking back. What happened to those days? As an adult, I notice we aren’t as adventurous or daring as we once were. Maybe its wisdom, or maybe we are just too lazy to be curious again – to look at things as if we were seeing them for the first time. As adults, we also find ourselves constantly being haunted by our pasts. Yes, we don’t want to make the mistakes of yesterday, but instead, we dwell in fear and we find ourselves paralyzed not being able to act. In some cases, it is simply just easier not to look ahead.

Life is filled with ongoing choices of sorting out priorities, which are important to us. For some us, we don’t seek to look what is ahead because we are too distracted with so many tasks in front of us. We wake up each day being a zombie going through the same schedule as the day before. Others, plan the day to the exact detail filling their itineraries to the max, and they too are distracted to see what still lies ahead – God.

Jesus calls us to follow him and to not look back. He wants us to make him a priority in our lives. He wants us to experience our life plans with Him in it. He wants to be apart or our decision making so that we can prepare for what is ahead in life- our eternal salvation. Jesus has the power to fill you with his grace so that we can be freed from our past so that we can live with him for God’s glory.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus says, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62) Jesus speaks about the severity and the unconditional nature of Christian discipleship. Jesus wants us to live in him at all times so as not to be distracted from our purpose of glorying God.

Every person has the choice to accept God into our lives. God calls us each differently and individually. We can choose to accept the love and grace He has provided for us or choose to continue to look backward and live in the past. God is what is forward in our lives. When we acknowledge that God is in everything we do our lives are filled with opportunity. When we place God as the most important priority in our life, things just get easier. Our daily activities become acts of glory. When we choose God first, we choose to the important work of proclaiming his kingdom. Will you accept this opportunity?

Dear God,

Help me to move forward in my life. Help me not to dwell in the past. Grant me strength and courage to make you a priority in my life. I understand that placing you first in my life allows me to offer up all my obligations and duties for your glory. Send forth your Spirit that I remain steadfast in proclaiming your everlasting kingdom.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

What Do You Hunger For?

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I told myself this is the year that I would get myself into shape. So, I do what most people do. I joined a gym. I admit working out and getting healthy has really never been high on my priority list. But, I made this goal and I want to commit to it. My hopes are that my weak damaged heart will get stronger and stronger. I also hope those pants I bought will fit me better. So far, I have been making every effort to get the gym at least three times a week. I noticed that while my cardio sessions at the gym; I have developed this rather unique habit. I am not sure if it’s good or bad. I just know that I do it for some reason.

At the start of every cardio session, I get my headphones on and I place myself in front of a television that has the food network playing. That’s right. I watch cooking shows or shows about the best food to eat. I am such a sucker for great sandwiches and decadent desserts. Also, I am such fan of great bread. The thing is I love to eat and I love the feeling of great food satisfying my hunger.

In this Sunday’s Gospel, we hear the story of the multiplication of loaves and fishes. We learn about Jesus’ true compassion and hospitality for His people. Jesus also foreshadows the Last Supper as He blesses over the remaining loaves and fishes producing food for five thousand revealing God’s love and how He is committed to feeding His people.

We have that choice to accept God’s nourishment. We have to open up our hearts and minds to His great love and compassion for us. But, I know it’s hard to find God at difficult times. It’s easy to look the other way or ignore Him when you aren’t getting the results you desire.

So, what is it that you hunger for? Maybe it’s a physical, spiritual, or financial need that you desire, whatever it may be; God wants us to be part of it. He wants us to ask Him for our daily bread so that we can be satisfied in everything we do.

Now is the time to offer up our prayers and thoughts to God. Let us continue to remain steadfast in our faith in Him. Let us not get discouraged with how He answers our prayers, but understand that He provides what we need and not with what we want.   

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the many blessings that you have provided to us. Help us to remain faithful, and remind us that Your love and grace is all the nourishment we need. Let us build the habit of coming to You with for our daily bread so we may have our fill of Your love.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.