Enemies One-a-Day Wednesday  12/13/17

A life worthy

See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me! (Psalm 25:19).

OK, so I don’t literally have people out to kill me.

To the best of my knowledge

Still, there are days when finances and job stress and finances and traffic idiots and finances and holiday shoppers and finances and house repairs and finances and car issues and finances leave me feeling that I am surrounded on all sides by people with bad attitudes and pointy sticks. Beyond that, I live in a society that is moving further and further away from the values that I hold and into a nether region of silliness and sin. It may not attack my body, but it daily attacks my sense of right and wrong.

Not to mention my logic

So, yeah, I can identify in a very small way with David’s plight here. Far more importantly, I can identify with David’s rescue. The Psalmist knew he would be saved, because he knew his savior.

As do I

As do you

Take a deep breath, Beloved of Christ.

Happy Wednesday

Priorities One-a-Day Tuesday  12/12/17

A life worthy

Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins (Psalm 25:18).

I don’t think I’ve ever really read this verse before.

I mean, I’ve read over it, but…

David is alone and afraid and hurt and under attack and what does he ask God for?

A clean heart

Forgiveness

A right relationship with his Lord

David is a man who understands priorities.

Me? My prayers would probably be more along the lines of, “Heal my body and crush my enemies to powder.”

“Please”

Let’s see if we can keep first things first today, ya?

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Turn to Me One-a-Day Monday  12/11/17

A life worthy

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish (Psalm 25:16-17).

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  It’s a time of joy and peace and laughter and fellowship with the ones we love.

You know…for some.

For others, this can be a really lonely, empty time.

If you find yourself in Category A, let that fact be one more reason to celebrate this season.

If you’re stuck in Category B, I’m so sorry.  I’ve been there, and I know that few things are as painful as watching others rejoice when you are in the pit. But know this, Beloved of Christ–

You feel lonely, but you are never, ever alone.

You feel empty, but His spirit fills you.

You weep, but you will laugh with the angels.

Look, I know that those words can feel empty and useless and meaningless in the face of all you’re dealing with today.

But they’re true.

You are loved by the One who knows you better than anyone else.

Seriously,

He knows you

and

He loves you.

Pretty amazing, ya?

So, if nothing else, rejoice in that today.

Because that’s a lot.

In fact, when you get right down to it

that’s everything.

Happy Monday, Beloved

Freedom!! One-a-Day Friday  12/8/17

A life worthy

My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare (Psalm 25:15).

You are trapped

hurt

alone.

It doesn’t matter whether the Hunter has trapped you

or you have put yourself here–you’re doomed.

The he arrives.

He stretches out his hands

and you

are

free.

Look to your rescuer today, Beloved

and be free.

Happy Friday

Confident Confidant One-a-Day Thursday  12/7/17

A life worthy

The Lord confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them (Psalm 25:14).

You know.

Wow.

You know the story–beginning to end, Alpha to Omega, you know how it all turns out.

You know the secret to eternal life.

You know who wins.

This is better than getting the Lotto numbers the night before they’re picked, better than getting the answers to tomorrow’s test today, better than knowing that the idiot driver is going to stop in the middle of the intersection while there’s still time for you to stop.

Why do you get to know this?

Because you’re amazing?

No, although you are amazing.

Because I’m amazing?

Aww, thank you so much, that’s really sweet, but still a no.

Because you’re his.

That’s it. You’re his, and he wants you to know all you can about him.

That includes his plans.

Not bad for a person who can’t even find their car keys half the time.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Inheritance One-a-Day Wednesday  12/6/17

A life worthy

Who, then, is the man who fears the Lord? God will instruct him in the way chosen for him. He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land (Psalm 25:13).

Verses like this one bug me.

(Yep, I just said that there are portions of Scripture that bug me. Feel free to grab your pitchfork, light your torch, and head over to my house–you won’t be the first.

Actually, you would be the first. Please do not do that. If you’re offended, you probably should just stop reading…but I hope you won’t do that either.)

You see, I’m a hard core believer in the inerrancy of Scripture, so it bothers me when I read something that I can’t reconcile with the world out there. So many believers trust God, fear God, serve God, and yet are destitute. Why?

But Michael, you point out, this Psalm is from the Old Testament. The promises were for Israel; they don’t apply today. Maybe so, but this really seems to be a general principle of trust and provision, not a specific time-and-place promise. If it is a general principle, the implication is that those who are poor just don’t fear God enough–and that doesn’t fit with what I know about our Lord.

But Michael, you next propose, this is a general rule. It isn’t meant to apply to every single person at every single  moment. Perhaps, but what a bummer for you if you’re the exception to the rule.

But Michael, and here you bring out the big guns, you have to look at it spiritually. We are prosperous in the Spirit, and our inheritance is in Heaven. I hear you, and you’re probably right. We are, of course, children of the King of the Universe, and nothing can compare to that. It’s just that I always feel as if I’m copping out a bit if I classify text as spiritual simply because it doesn’t fit what I see. It’s the kind of thing non-believers point to and say “Ah-HA!”

And I hate it when they say “Ah-HA!”

Fret not, Beloved. My faith remains solid, my stand for inerrancy unchanged. I just like to be honest with you, and this is frustrating. If you have insight on this verse, please share it. In the meantime, I will place it on the shelf with other verses that my mind can’t fully grasp…yet. I will hold on to the fact that I am his, and he is mine, and that is eversomuchmore than enough.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Fear One-a-Day Tuesday  12/5/17

A life worthy

Who, then, is the man who fears the Lord? God will instruct him in the way chosen for him (Psalm 25:12).

Fear can be a good thing.

In our culture, we act like fear is something to be avoided at all costs.  Maybe it’s our rebellious, pioneer, Westward Ho! roots.

Perhaps we just don’t understand the healthy side of fear.

Fear is an acknowledgment that something is beyond our scope, beyond our ability to command.  It doesn’t have to be blind, cowering terror; it’s more a healthy respect for power.  I fear lethal doses of nuclear radiation.  I fear rabid dogs.  I fear really bad haircuts—as a middle-school teacher, this is by far the most dangerous of the three.

I fear God.

But I’m not afraid of God.

Of course, nonbelievers have every reason to be afraid; indeed they’re foolish not to, when considering the consequences of an eternity without Christ.

But I believe.  My name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

I fear God’s power, because I know that he could erase me with a thought.

I am not afraid, because I know he won’t.

He has given us many promises that we who are his are his forever.  Still, that power is there, and he has no qualms about using it to keep me in line should I stray.

Which makes me want to stay very close to him.

And that, Beloved, is the beginning of knowing him.

Fear him today.

But do not be afraid.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

For Your Sake One-a-Day Monday  12/4/17

A life worthy

For the sake of your name, O Lord, forgive my iniquity, though it is great (Psalm 25:11).

For the sake of your name.

Not mine.

Because my name, frankly, is not worth saving.

But my name is so loud in my own ears that

it drowns out your voice

your wisdom

your word.

Perhaps the only way I can serve you is to stand as the object of your mercy.

That will be enough

and more.

Instruction One-a-Day Friday  12/1/17

A life worthy

Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.  He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way (Psalm 25:8-9).

I’m a teacher.

I teach.

I teach the excellent students, whose eyes are bright with understanding and a deep desire to learn and grow and understand the things of life.

Aaaand the other ones, the ones I lovingly call “pathetic lumps of flesh.”  

I offer what I have to both, because both need it.

Howeversomuchmoreso with God.  He offers his wisdom to saint and sinner, because both desperately need it.

Why does he do this?  I mean, I get teaching your followers, but why waste wisdom on the wicked?  Well, it’s right there at the beginning of the verse:

Because he is good.

Also, I think God remembers something that I tend to forget:

That sinner?

That humble man?

They are both me.  Just depends on when you catch me.

Happy Friday, Beloved

Selective Memory One-a-Day Thursday  11/30/17

A life worthy

Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.  Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O Lord (Psalm 25:6-7).

Selective memory is a beautiful thing.  

David knows who he is.

More than that, he knows that God knows.

David’s asking God to conveniently forget the less savory aspects of his life, and to remember only that he loves David.  My grandma had that ability to pick and choose what she remembered.  We thought it was dementia–perhaps it was a spiritual gift.

Anyway, here’s the amazing thing:  God does it.  When God looks at David, he chooses not to remember the sin and rebellion and foolishness.  He sees only his Beloved.

He does the same when he looks at you and me.  

How do I know this?

Well, we’re here, aren’t we?

Happy Thursday, Beloved.