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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

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1 Thessalonians 2:9-13
Psalm 139:7-12
Matthew 23:27-32

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are you spiritually contracepting?

"We encouraged and pleaded with you to make your lives worthy of the God Who calls you." —1 Thessalonians 2:12

Jesus came that we might have abundant life (Jn 10:10). God is the God of the living (Lk 20:38). He wants His people to live "upright, just, and irreproachable" lives (1 Thes 2:10). The Lord wants His people to be life-giving and fruitful. In this way, He will add to our numbers daily those being saved (Acts 2:47).

However, we are tempted to be spiritually contraceptive and abortifacient. We can choose to be "like whitewashed tombs, beautiful to look at on the outside but inside full of filth and dead men's bones" (Mt 23:27). We, like Herod (Mk 6:26), can refuse to hear the words of life and can choose to kill the prophets who speak these words (see Mt 23:31-32).

In this culture of death, Jesus, the Life (Jn 11:25; 14:6), challenges us: "I call heaven and earth today to witness against you: I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life" (Dt 30:19). Paradoxically, choose life by choosing to die to self. Abundant life comes from Jesus' death on the cross. Be crucified with Christ (Gal 2:19). Choose life.

Prayer:  Father, may I continually carry about in my body the dying of Jesus so that "the life of Jesus may also be revealed" (2 Cor 4:10).

Promise:  "We thank God constantly that in receiving His message from us you took it, not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God at work within you who believe." —1 Thes 2:13

Praise:  By repeatedly choosing life, Thomas and Elizabeth have been blessed with many children, both spiritual and adopted.

Reference:  (Presentation Ministries offers a retreat, The Gospel of Mark How to Teach the Bible in the Power of the Holy Spirit, on Oct. 15-20 at our Retreat Center in Peebles, Ohio. Call 513-373-2397 or visit our website at www.presentationministries.com for more information.)

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

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