To the Praise of His Glory Monday 2/19/18

A life worthy

Having heard, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession–to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:14).

His glory

Not mine

Not because of what I’ve done, but

because of who he is, despite what I’ve done.

It begins

and it middles

and it ends

with Him.

Today is Monday, Beloved. Breathe deeply and praise him this morning.

He deserves it.

Happy Monday

Redemption One-a-Day Friday  2/16/18

A life worthy

Having heard, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession…(Ephesians 1:14).

It won’t be forever.

It might feel like forever

but

it won’t be forever.

The day will come.

You will be

Redeemed

Restored

Ransomed

Rescued

Rehabilitated

Raptured

and other “R” words I can’t think of at the moment.

Hold tight to your inheritance, and take heart, Beloved.

Happy Friday

Deposit One-a-Day Thursday  2/15/18

A life worthy

Having heard, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance…(Ephesians 1:13-14).

I love that God understands us.

He knows that we get a little twitchy when we have to wait for more than about thirty seconds for anything. He knows, he understands, and so he gave us a deposit–just a little taste of our inheritance.

You know…the Holy Spirit.

He sent a part of himself to live in us, to serve as a reminder of the promise that one day, one unimaginably awesome day, we will be with him completely.

Take a moment today to get quiet and still and let the Holy Spirit remind you who you are…and whose.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Love One-a-Day Wednesday  2/14/18

A life worthy

…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

It’s Valentine’s Day, right?

OK, so let’s talk love.

Forget the hearts and flowers.  Forget the candy.

OK, remember candy.  Candy is good.  But set it aside for the moment.

Real love sacrifices.  Real love gives, even when there is no reasonable expectation of a return on the investment.  Real love sees you at your worst, and does not turn away.

While we were still sinners.  While we were totally unworthy and unlovable.  Beyond pot bellies and vanishing hairlines.  Beyond bad hair and no makeup.  While we were steeped in darkness, inside and out, Jesus died for us.

For you.

Want him to prove his love?

He did.  We call it the Cross.

When I write these One-a-Days, I often call you “Beloved.”  I’m not putting the moves on you, nor am I trying to be J. Vernon McGee. I’m praying, along with Paul, that you, “May…grasp how high and long and wide and deep is the love of Christ.”

In the Song of Songs, God gives us a picture of the love between a man and a woman.  Beyond that, though, he paints a picture of Christ’s love for his Church.

He calls the Church his Beloved.

He calls you his Beloved.

And so you are.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Beloved.

Seal One-a-Day Tuesday  2/13/18

A life worthy

Having heard, you were marked in him with a seal… (Ephesians 1:13).

The Lord of Everything has claimed you as his own. He has marked you, making it clear to all the universe that you are his.

I gotta tell you, if we were talking about anyone else, we’d call that seriously creepy. I mean, if I told you that I tattooed my wife to show that she belonged to me, of had my kids branded…

But God is not like me.

Feel free to “Amen!” that.

God is not like man. He does not need to prove his power or establish his dominance. His seal tells the darkness, “This one is mine. Hands off!” It’s like we’re wearing his ring, or his letterman jacket.

If you’ve had issues with dominating people in your life, then this analogy can make you understandably uncomfortable. But I remind you–God is not a man, insecure and needy and prone to bullying in an effort to control. He is the Lord of the Universe.

He is also the Lord of Love.

And, yes, the Lord of You.

Rejoice that you are his, and he is yours, and that is good.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Included Monday 2/12/18

A life worthy

And you were also included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. (Ephesians 1:13).

You belong.

You’re in the club.

You’re on the team.

You’re one of the cool kids.

Well, maybe we won’t go that far.

Beloved, if you have ever felt excluded, odd man out, on the outside looking in, left out, left over, or overlooked, know this:

You are part of the only truly important club in the history of the world. You’ll get a code name, a club jacket…the works.

So don’t ever worry about fitting in.

You’re already in.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Still Chosen One-a-Day Friday  2/9/18

A life worthy

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will…(Ephesians 1:11).

There’s that word again.

Chosen

OK, so there’s a theological debate out there. When Paul says “we,” is he talking about all believers, or just the Jews? And if there’s predestination, what about free will? The Bible’s pretty clear that we have to choose Christ, so…?

Beloved, I’m a big believer in keeping things simple. Paul addresses this letter to “The saints, the faithful in Christ Jesus.”

That sounds like all who believe, if you ask me.

Granted, nobody has asked me.

So, while I am always open to being schooled in theology, until someone convinces me otherwise I’m gonna stick with what the words say.

He chose you.

His plan–his perfect, unbeatable, fromthebeginningofalltime plan–includes you.

You–with all your bumps and barnacles–are part of God’s will.

So, take that into your weekend.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Head One-a-Day Thursday  2/8/18

A life worthy

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth under one head, even Christ… (Ephesians 1:10).

I like my Study Bible.

It has all kinds of useful stuff in it.

For example, it tells me that the word Paul used here that is translated head has multiple meanings. It can mean “authority,” which is how I’ve always read this verse. God’s plan is for every knee to bow and every tongue to confess Jesus as Lord.

Amen to that!

The word can also refer to the sum of a column of figures, the reconciling of various numbers that may not seem to relate to one another.

So, Jesus makes a senseless world make sense.

Feeling like life is a little too random, Beloved? Seem like the equation doesn’t balance?

Fear not; in the end, it all adds up

to Him.

Happy Thursday, Beloved

Timing One-a-Day Tuesday  2/6/18

A life worthy

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment… (Ephesians 1:10).

God’s timing is not our timing.

How often have you heard that phrase, or something like it?

How often have you used it?

How frustrating has it been, every single time?

Look, I’m not saying that I know better than God, but if I could just get ten minutes alone with his calendar–

I’d probably ruin everything.

Beloved, we can trust God with the fate of all mankind.  His plan is perfect, his timing is precise, and his control is complete. And if we can trust God with the fate of all mankind,

can we not trust him with Tuesday?

Hmmm?

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.