The Knockout Punch

Challenge: Take some time today to reflect on the situation of your spiritual life and jot down a few areas needing work, so that you can follow up with them on a daily basis.
by Matthew Reinhardt, Consecrated | Source:

September 2, 2008
Tuesday of Twenty-Second Week in Ordinary Time

Luke 4: 31-37
Jesus then went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee. He taught them on the sabbath, and they were astonished at his teaching because he spoke with authority. In the synagogue there was a man with the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out in a loud voice, "Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are-- the Holy One of God!" Jesus rebuked him and said, "Be quiet! Come out of him!" Then the demon threw the man down in front of them and came out of him without doing him any harm. They were all amazed and said to one another, "What is there about his word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out." And news of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.

Introductory Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of your Son. He is the greatest treasure the world has ever known and the treasure of my life. Teach me to take care of the treasure of my relationship with him through fighting to grow closer to him and become more like him every day.

Petition: Lord, grant me the strength to fight for holiness.

1. On the Move 
The passage preceding today’s Gospel left off with the people from Jesus’ hometown rejecting him and nearly throwing him off a cliff. Today’s passage begins with Jesus on the move to Capernaum, a leading city of Galilee. This sequence of events teaches us the toughness with which Christ confronted his mission. The rejection in Nazareth does not slow our Lord down; rather it emboldens him to teach with authority. This is the type of follower Christ needs to change our world: resilient, bold, brave, daring, courageous, confident… another Christ!

2. The Perfect KO 
Have you ever seen a Rocky movie? You may have asked yourself, “Why have those movies had so much success… and so many sequels?” One reason is because of the excitement produced by seeing two people fighting tirelessly for victory. In this passage Christ is in the middle of a fierce spiritual fight with a demon that has gone into a man. The words exchanged are like the punches in a boxing match. But the demon poses no real challenge for the Son of God, and he comes out of the man without doing him any harm. Is this the God I follow and have put my trust in? Is this the God I trust will solve my problems? Don’t tell God how big your spiritual opponents are – tell your spiritual opponents how big your God is, and then with Christ at your side knock them out!

3. Success Breeds 
Success After Christ defeated the demon, the Gospel tells us: “News of him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.” Isn’t this what the world so desperately needs today? How great it would be if Christ’s message could spread to all the regions of the world just as it did 2000 years ago when Jesus defeated the demon in the regions of Galilee. The great news is … it can! The best way to spread the news of Christ everywhere is to defeat sin, the fiercest spiritual opponent in our life, and help others to defeat sin in their lives.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, how much this world needs you! Your love is the only answer to all the problems that afflict countless lost souls. I want to help, Lord. Strengthen me with your grace today so that I can conquer myself for you and truly spread your words to the surrounding regions I will visit today.

Resolution: I will take some time today to reflect on the situation of my spiritual life and jot down a few areas needing work, so that I can follow up with them on a daily basis.

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