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Thursday, August 31, 2017

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1 Thessalonians 3:7-13
Matthew 24:42-51
Psalm 90:3-5, 12-14, 17

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the courage to live abundantly

"What thanks can we give to God for all the joy we feel in His presence because of you?" —1 Thessalonians 3:9

Christians experience much consolation through much distress (1 Thes 3:7). In addition to consolation and distress, Christians feel amazing joy (1 Thes 3:9). They also "overflow with love for one another and for all" (1 Thes 3:12). Life in Christ is exciting, dangerous, and joyful.

All human beings have a natural fear of living abundantly (see Jn 10:10). Life can be so overwhelming and terrifying that we feel compelled to use such defense mechanisms as distracting ourselves or numbing our consciousness. This prevents us from facing life head on. We complain about being bored but are afraid to live the ultimate excitement of letting ourselves "fall into the hands of the living God" (Heb 10:31).

Will you stay cowering in the corner of mere worldly stimulation? Will you waste "what remains of your earthly life on human desires"? (1 Pt 4:2) Have you sold your birthright for a half-life of indulging in petty pleasures? (Gn 25:31ff) Will you stay glued to your electronic devices and merely simulate living?

"Choose life" (Dt 30:19). Don't be afraid to live. Choose Jesus, "the Way, and the Truth, and the Life" (Jn 14:6).

Prayer:  Jesus, may I live the life You died on the cross for me to live.

Promise:  "Stay awake, therefore! You cannot know the day your Lord is coming." —Mt 24:42

Praise:  Realizing he spent more time in spectator sports than in serving Jesus, George prayerfully decided to join a prison ministry instead.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2017

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