The Reason One-a-Day Monday 2/24/20

A life worthy

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better (Ephesians 1:17).

That they would know God better

That’s the reason Paul prayed.

So often, we get caught up in trying to solve people’s problems in prayer. We want to “pray specifically,” which kinda means we solve their problem, then give God the plan.

God doesn’t, as a general rule, need our plan.

Paul keeps it simple. He prays that God would be at work in his friends, and that they would know God better. If those two things are happening, all kinds of good will result.

I think I’m going to swipe Paul’s prayer here and use it as my own.

I don’t think he’ll mind.

Happy Monday, Beloved

Good Gifts One-a-Day Friday 2/21/20

A life worthy

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation…(Ephesians 1:17)

Wisdom, to know that God is working in the world you see.

Revelation, to know that God is working in the world you don’t.

It all comes from the same place,

or rather,

the same Person.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Persistence One-a-Day Thursday 2/20/20

A life worthy

I keep asking…(Ephesians 1:17)

That word “Keep” caught my eye this morning.

I was all set to talk about the What Paul prayed, and the Why Paul prayed.

I almost missed the How.

Paul kept praying. He didn’t throw the occasional “Hey, God, please take care of my friends” up to the sky. He was persistent, because these people mattered to him.

I ask myself, “Am I that consistent?”

And, well, you probably know the answer to that.

Now, for those of you among the Beloved who are OCDish–and you know who you are–be careful here. This is not a call to 24/7/365 intense, ignore-everything–and–pray-till-your-brain-explodes-then-feel-guilty-because-you-stopped-praying-to-clean-up-the-mess-your-brain-made-when-it-exploded kind of prayer. You may wanna just close your eyes, take a deep breath, and remember that God adores you. This is a reminder for the rest of us–those who are more ADD than OCD–to keep asking. Be like the widow of Luke 18, who kept asking until she received what she asked for. Be like Dory, only with prayer, and without the amnesia.

Yeah, no–just be like the widow.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Thankful One-a-Day Wednesday 2/19/20

A life worthy

For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers(Ephesians 1:15-16).

I like this.

I gotta remember this.

See, I pray for my friends–not enough, but I do pray for them. Usually, I’m praying that God will bless them, encourage them, help them through tough times, that kinda thing.

Very rarely do I stop to thank God that they are saved.

Today I will. Today I focus my prayers on thanking God that he has chosen these people, that he has called them to be his own, that they are his and he is theirs. I thank God that he has placed them in my life, in large ways or small. I thank him for the way they bless and love and serve as an example for me.

I will be praying for you, today. Whether or not we’ve ever met, the simple fact that you’re reading this makes you a blessing in my life. You provide me with a reason to rant and ramble, with the possibility that my words might, on occasion, bless a few people. You are my ministry, and I thank God for you.

Close your eyes–not until you’re done reading this–and let God bring to mind the people he has blessed you with. Look at those faces–such as they are–and thank God that he has chosen them, that he decided Heaven would be incomplete without them.

As it would be incomplete without you.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved

His Glory One-a-Day Tuesday 2/18/20

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 a new day, Beloved. Breathe deeply and praise him this morning.

He deserves it.

Happy Tuesday

Redemption One-a-Day Monday 2/17/20

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 Monday

Love One-a-Day Friday 2/14/20

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.

Deposit One-a-Day Thursday 2/13/20

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 amazing 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.

Sealed One-a-Day Wednesday 2/12/20

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, or 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 protects us, it identifies us, it 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 people in your life who were possessive or dominating, 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 Wednesday, Beloved.

Included One-a-Day Tuesday 2/11/20

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 already fit.

You’re already in.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.