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Friday, March 2, 2007

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Ezekiel 18:21-28
Psalm 130
Matthew 5:20-26

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will you be a trophy for satan?

"If the virtuous man turns from the path of virtue to do evil, the same kind of abominable things that the wicked man does, can he do this and still live? None of his virtuous deeds shall be remembered, because he has broken faith and committed sin; because of this, he shall die." —Ezekiel 18:24

When we accepted Jesus as our Savior, "He saved us" (Ti 3:5). We put our lives in His hands, and His hands were a welcome, loving embrace for us. Jesus makes it clear that neither Satan, his demons, or any person has the power to snatch us out of Jesus' hands (Jn 10:28-29). Alleluia! Praise Jesus, our Savior!

However, God's word makes it abundantly clear that we ourselves have the power to renounce the salvation we once accepted with such fervor. If we persist in taking our eyes off Jesus (cf Heb 3:1) and choose to selfishly focus on the enticements of this world (1 Jn 2:16), we are forced to choose between the world or Jesus. We will hate one and love the other.

If we choose the world, we'll eventually hate Jesus (Mt 6:24). We'll now view His hands as choking us instead of embracing us. We will scream: "Jesus, get Your hands off me!" We will serve the world and crucify Jesus to get Him out of our life (Heb 6:6). This is the worst condition possible (see 2 Pt 2:20-21; Lk 11:25-26). It's nearly "impossible" for us to "repent again" and return to Jesus after such a disastrous decision (Heb 6:6). We are now a trophy for Satan; he has lured us away from Jesus.

Jesus says: "By patient endurance you will save your lives" (Lk 21:19). Accept Him as your Lord and Savior — every day of your life.

Prayer:  Jesus, save me from myself. Give me the grace of final perseverance, and never let me be parted from You.

Promise:  "With the Lord is kindness and with Him is plenteous redemption." —Ps 130:7

Praise:  Miranda practices ministering to and looking for Jesus in the most marginalized and the "least" (Mt 25:40).

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 3, 2006 & September 18, 2006

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