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November 28, 2015

Good News for Today

Jesus said to his followers: “Watch out that your hearts do not nod off from partying, drinking too much, and the stresses of daily life—so that the “moment” catches you by surprise like a trap. That kind of instant becomes an challenge for everybody just sitting around on the face of the earth. Stay awake all the time, pleading that you have the strength both to escape the problems that loom and to be standing up in the presence of the ‘son of man’—your fellow humans.” (Luke 21)

You need to consider this crucial little passage for its importance in waking you up and keeping you awake. Awake to what—that is always the question. Note the word “heart.”

It is your “heart” that needs to be awake. For its meaning here, you need to get it that “heart” does not refer to love, nor feeling. “Heart” refers to: “You gotta have heart!” or “That linebacker showed he had heart all that game” or “Put your heart into it!” You are called to that general attitude of dedication, enthusiasm, and whole-heartedness.

You need it. Problems and challenges come up to override your kindness, to disregard or mock your forgiveness, or to laugh at your quiet compassion for a stranger. You do strange things as a follower of Jesus, and people “of this generation” call you on it. And you and I slip into habits—fall asleep at the wheel. The deer is in the headlights, and you need to respond. A racist or revengeful act appears. A chance for greed or lust or jealousy arises in a subtle way. You can get away with something. That is when your heart responds.

The Good News that you are as a follower of Jesus seizes the moment—turns it around—heals and helps. Wake up. Stay awake!

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