Worry One-a-Day Monday 12/17/18

A life worthy

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? (Matthew 6:25)

This may be the hardest command Jesus ever gave us.

I mean, think about it: most of us aren’t murderers, don’t do much in the way of thievery, and tend to avoid fomenting nuclear holocaust.

But worry?  Oy.

Worry is a silly, useless, bothersome thing.  It’s also really dangerous. In essence, when we worry we tell God, “I trust you with the creation and sustenance of the universe, with defeating darkness and beating back the forces of evil, with the rescue and reclamation of my very self.  But the car insurance? Lord, I’m really not sure how that’s gonna get paid.”

Silly

Dangerous

Prideful

Yes, prideful.  Worry is a combination of underestimating God’s power and overestimating ours.

Look, Beloved, I don’t want to add guilt over worry to your worry. I just want to remind you…us…that God is God.

He is able.

He loves you.

He has chosen you–yes, you–out of this world of sin and pain to be his Beloved.

You are utterly safe in him.

Try to keep those thoughts in your head as you move into your week.  And if you forget, don’t worry. He is totally able to remind you.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Master One-a-Day Friday  12/14/18

A life worthy

No one can serve two masters.  Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24).

Choose

this day

whom

you

will

serve.

It is, perhaps, the toughest choice you will ever have to make.

And yet it is no choice at all.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Lamp One-a-Day Thursday  12/13/18

A life worthy

The eye is the lamp of the body.  If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)

I used to have this cool flashlight.  It had several modes to it. It could throw red light, it could throw green light, it could strobe, it could even flash SOS signals. You know, the only thing it didn’t do well was throw normal, clear, steady light.

Which, of course, was the only thing I really needed it to do.

Yeah…I got rid of that flashlight.  

In the last several verses, Jesus has been telling his people to be the real deal.  He calls us to forgive truly, to serve honestly, and to spend our strength on real treasure. In order to do that, we need to see things for what they are.  We need the pure light of Christ pouring into us, filling us and showing us what is right and good and true and godly.

If our eyes are good–if we are seeing things as God sees them–the Light of the World will shine in us and through us and from us. If our eyes are bad–if we are seeing things as the World sees them–well, our Enemy masquerades as an angel of light, does he not?

But his light is not light at all.  It is darkness.

I wonder, if Jesus were speaking this lesson today, if he might have used the analogy of a window instead of a lamp.  His audience did not have glass windows to let in light, but we do. If the glass is clean and clear, the light can shine in full and bright.  If the glass is covered with dirt and grime, the light is diminished and the view is distorted. Just a thought.

Light your lamp.  Clean your windows. Let the Light in today.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Treasure One-a-Day Wednesday  12/12/18

A life worthy

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:19-21).

You have limited resources.

Your time, your strength, your money, your energy, your talent, your skill, your stuff–these are finite assets.  How are you using them?

Invest wisely today, Beloved.

Posing One-a-Day Tuesday  12/11/18

A life worthy

When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting.  I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (Matthew 6:16-18).

Yesterday I mentioned that God has little room for hypocrites.

Well, he’s not much into posers, either.

Let your time with him be with him, Beloved.

Not him and the crowd.

Because, in the end, there’s only one person in the audience who matters.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved

Forgive One-a-Day Monday 12/10/18

A life worthy

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.   But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins (Matthew 6:14-15).

I keep waiting for some pastor or teacher to explain how this verse doesn’t mean what it seems to mean.  You know, how there are 72 Greek words translated forgive, and how our position in Christ has absolutely nothing to do with the way we treat our fellow man.

Frankly, I think I’ll be waiting a long time.

This verse means…what it means.

Our Father has little room in his kingdom for hypocrisy.

Does God call you to be a doormat?  No, Beloved. Some relationships are toxic, and should not continue.  But that does not mean that you let bitterness and anger and frustration and betrayal and vengeance fill your heart and rule your life.  You have to let God sweep that junk out, and forgiveness is the broom.

What?  You’re not strong enough to forgive what they did?  You need help?

No problem, Beloved.  I know a guy…

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Forever One-a-Day Friday  12/7/18

A life worthy

For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever, amen (Matthew 6:13).

There will never come a day when he is not King.

There will never come a day when he is not strong.

There will never come a day when he is not glorious.

There will never come a day when he does not know you.

There will never come a day when he does not love you.

There will never come a day when he does not forgive you.

There will never come a day when he is not your Father.

There will never come a day when he is not your friend.

There will never come a day when you are not his child.

There will never come a day when you are not his Beloved.

Forever is a good thing.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Glory One-a-Day Thursday  12/6/18

A life worthy

For yours is the kingdom, and the power,and the glory… (Matthew 6:13)

Glory is an interesting word.  It’s not one we use often, or about ordinary things.  Glory is the stuff of epic and legend and Marvel®ous myth, of achievements and beauty and power far beyond our own.  

Glory is the currency of heroes.

When you think of God, how do you picture him?  Do you see him as the kindly old grandfather, patient and gentle and loving–

or do you see a warrior-king, awesome in power and strength, blinding to look at?

He’s both.  

And so much more.

You serve a glorious Lord, Beloved.  Walk in awe today.

Happy Thursday

Power One-a-Day Wednesday  12/5/18

A life worthy

For yours is the kingdom, and the power…(Matthew 6:13)

His strength is made perfect in your weakness.

Remember that one?

Good…because you’re weak.

Don’t get uptight, Beloved.  I’m weak, too. As a matter of fact, when it comes to spiritual matters I’m kind of pathetic.  I try to be strong, and on occasion I pull off a good imitation of strength, but in my heart I know the truth.  I just don’t have the power to be the man I know God has called me to be.

Sound familiar?  No? Oh, well…then I just feel silly.

Fortunately for me, God does not require me to supply the go-juice for my spiritual walk, any more than I had to redeem myself or find God on my own.  His is the power to get me where he wants me to go.

He has made us many promises, Beloved.

And he has the power to back them up.

Happy Wednesday

Whose Kingdom? One-a-Day Tuesday  12/4/18

A life worthy

For the next few days, I will be looking at what some might consider a questionable part of Scripture.  The traditional ending of the Lord’s Prayer is not in the earliest copies of Matthew, so many people don’t consider it canon.  Look, Beloved, I’m not going heretic on you. It’s simply that I memorized this passage by learning the song, and the song includes the doxology at the end, and so it feels incomplete not to include it.  Besides, there is nothing in these lines that contradicts the rest of Scripture. I hope you’re cool with that.

For yours is the kingdom…(Matthew 6:13)

God’s in charge.

I think the theological response to that is, “No duh.”

And yet, this is the critical statement for every living being.  It is God’s kingdom, not mine. No matter how much I want to be the boss, no matter how desperately I feel the need to be in control of every situation, it is not my kingdom.  Recognizing and embracing that is the first step in relationship with Him, and it’s a step that I have to repeat daily.  It’s kind of a simple paradigm realignment:

You are God.

I am not.

That is good.

Now I can go on with my day.

So, Beloved…

He is God.

You are not.

That is good.

Happy Tuesday.