Looking Forward

Kings / 19:16, 19-21

The LORD said to Elijah: “You shall anoint Elisha, son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah, as prophet to succeed you.”Elijah set out and came upon Elisha, son of Shaphat, as he was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen; he was following the twelfth. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please, let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and I will follow you.” Elijah answered, “Go back! Have I done anything to you?” Elisha left him, and taking the yoke of oxen, slaughtered them; he used the plowing equipment for fuel to boil their flesh, and gave it to his people to eat. Then Elisha left and followed Elijah as his attendant.
  • I don’t know about you, but for me sometimes reading the Bible is like reading “Lord of the Rings” (LOTR).  I’m too adult ADD to remember who’s who with all of the exotic names – both in the Good Book and in LOTR.  And, then I’m lost and I have to put the Books down.  Sometimes in life, we get caught in the details and not in the substance.  While it matters who Elisha and Elijah are and where they came from, it matters more that the Lord spoke to someone (Elijah) to go and get someone else (Elisha) to be His protege to the people (the Jews).  And it matters that he (Elisha) obeyed and said “yes”.  When Saul became Paul in Acts, it mattered most that the sworn enemy of the Christians did a complete 180.  It’s interesting that his name was changed, but it’s more important that the Hitler of that time flipped to help the people that he was persecuting – to his very death.  It also matters that Mary obeyed and said “yes” at the risk of it all.  Her family lineage is crucial showing her link back to Adam & Even, but the “yes” is the biggie.  How are we getting lost in the details of our lives?  How are we failing to say “yes” to the Lord?

Psalms / 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge; I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you. O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup, you it is who hold fast my lot.” R. I bless the LORD who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me. I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. R. Therefore my heart is glad and my soul rejoices, my body, too, abides in confidence because you will not abandon my soul to the netherworld, nor will you suffer your faithful one to undergo corruption. R. You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. R.
  •  Promises are precious and should treated with extreme care on both ends – the delivery and the reception.  God never makes a promise that He doesn’t keep.  The Psalm this week is all about His promise to us; reinforced over and over again around the promise of our “Inheritance”.  It’s like a mantra.  Repetition and practice yield memory and results – just look at final exams, sports, etc.  Why do we fail at times to remember God’s promise to each of us?  Why do we think that we “deserve” a punishment for our shortcomings?

Galatians / 5:1, 13-18

Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love. For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourselfBut if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

  • “Freedom” – I can still hear Mel Gibson screaming it as William Wallace in “Braveheart” while he’s being disemboweled.  Another part of the movie has Gibson telling everyone to “hold, hold, hold” as the British are charging at them on horses while Wallace’s men are crouching on the ground.  While “Braverheart” focuses on the external struggle of the Scottish versus the British, it also focuses on the internal struggle of the Nobles in Scotland which eventually leads to Wallace’s torture and death.  Here’s the thing – our flesh is in an all-out war with our Spirit internally every day of our lives.  Like Wallace’s men, we need to Trust that God will take care of us if we Obey His Spirit even when the horses are charging at us.  The Church and its Laws are good, but our Faith is in the Spirit.  Not in circumcision or going to Mass or Confession, etc.  The Law is an extension of our Faith; our Faith starts from within with a simple Choice.  While it is simple, it is not easy.  How do we struggle daily with the flesh?  How might we Trust the Spirit more?  How can we help each other to Trust the Spirit more?

1 Samuel / 3:9; John 6:68

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Speak, Lord, your servant is listening; you have the words of everlasting life. R.

  • “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.”  James 1:19.  While we all know that God has the Words of everlasting life, are we really listening?  What keeps us from “hearing” the Word of God and what He truly wants from each of us?

Luke / 9:51-62

When the days for Jesus’ being taken up were fulfilled, he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem, and he sent messengers ahead of him. On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for his reception there, but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem. When the disciples James and John saw this they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?” Jesus turned and rebuked them, and they journeyed to another village.As they were proceeding on their journey someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” Jesus answered him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.”And to another he said, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, let me go first and bury my father.” But he answered him, “Let the dead bury their dead. But you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” And another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but first let me say farewell to my family at home.” To him Jesus said, “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”
  • We all have Friends and Family who are not “fans” of ours.  I mean, someone somewhere in your life mocks you and sometimes even mocks your Faith.  Too often, we are looking over our shoulders and turning around.  Lot was told to keep looking forward as he and his Family fled Sodom and Gomorrah – Lot’s Wife didn’t Obey and she was turned to salt.  I want to encourage us all to love and pray for those in our lives, but I am also quick to point out that you’re not called to look back.  We are called to look forward.  Does it really matter that you might have offended someone a dozen years ago and they are still bitter?  Doesn’t it matter more that you love them regardless of how they feel about you?  Keep moving forward, Knights and Saints.  Look ahead in the distance and see the Light waiting for us all.

Reflection of the Week:

Please watch and listen the video to TobyMac’s “Move” song (lyrics below).  Whether or not you like the genre of music, it’s important to remember that we need to keep moving forward regardless of the carnage of this world.  God’s got this thing under control and it’s not over yet.
Another heartbreak day
Feels like you’re miles away
Don’t even need no shade
When your sun don’t shine, shineToo many passin’ dreams
Roll by like limousines
It’s hard to keep believin’
When they pass you by and byI know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left
Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet soMove, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes
Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yetEchoin’ inside your head
Are the words that your sweet momma said,
“shoot for the moon, my dear”
So you took aim out of this atmosphere
Between high stakes and pump fakes
You’re feelin’ like you can’t buy a break
I can hold your hand, but I can’t turn your eyes to freedomI know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left
Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet soMove, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes
Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yetHold on, hold on
Lord ain’t finished yet
Hold on, hold on
He’ll get you through this
Hold on, hold on
These are the promises
I never will forget
I never will forget [x2]I know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet so

Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
Move, keep walkin’ until the mornin’ comes
Move, keep walkin’ soldier keep movin’ on
And lift your head, it ain’t over yet, ain’t over yet.

Published by Gregg McDonald

Gregg McDonald is a Founding Member of Men As Christ (MAC); an int'l Christian Faith Group that shares the Word of God with ~30,000 people around the world in 114 countries. He is all about Faith, Family, and Love and enjoys the opportunity to share God's love with everyone.

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