Blessing One-a-Day Friday  1/19/18

A life worthy

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).

Think you aren’t strong enough?

Think you aren’t smart enough?

Think you aren’t rich enough?

Think you aren’t…enough?

You have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.  Not some…not even most.

Every.

All.

The Totality

I can’t even imagine what all that means, but I’ll bet it means this much: everything you need to live the life God has called you to, He has already given you.

So what are you waiting for?

Go get ‘em, Beloved.

Happy Friday

Can’t Have One Without the Other One-a-Day Thursday  1/18/18

A life worthy

Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:2).

Have you ever considered the relationship between the words graceand peace? Paul always puts them together. Look through his letters and you will see that, in almost every case, he pairs these two words.

Go ahead and look.  I’ll wait.

So why are these words so often together? And why in this order? Was Paul cutting and pasting his way through life? Perhaps, but I think unlikely. I think it more likely that these words, in this order, are the only way life works.  It is only through God’s grace that we can have peace.

Seriously—apart from God’s grace, why should you have peace? You are a hopeless, pathetic lump, destined for destruction.

Feeling encouraged yet?

Ahh, but you are not apart from God’s grace, are you, Beloved?  If you belong to Him, you have his grace, sufficient to all your needs. Your pathetic lumpiness has been forgiven, atoned for.  You, my friend, are complete, you are whole, you are loved.  You are His.

Embrace his grace, Beloved of the Father.  Know his peace today.

Happy Thursday

Be Strong One-a-Day Wednesday  1/17/18

A life worthy

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord  (Psalm 27:14).

Maybe today

Might be tomorrow

A week from Tuesday, perhaps

I can’t tell you when he will come to break what needs breaking and heal what needs healing and rescue his Beloved.

I can only tell you that he will.

So, hold on tight

to him.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved

Before Someday One-a-Day Tuesday  1/16/18

A life worthy

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living(Psalm 27:13).

Someday, it will all be perfect.

Someday, our Lord will return for us, and creation will be made right.

But

He is at work today, too.

Here

Now

Keep your eyes open, Beloved. See him at work in your Tuesday.

You don’t want to miss out.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Brotherhood Monday 1/15/18

A life worthy

How good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the Lord bestows his blessing, even life forevermore (Psalm 133).

When I was little, my mom used to sing to me at bedtime. One of my favorites went like this:

Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world

Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight 

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

In today’s climate, some will consider that song wildly inappropriate. “Red children? Yellow? How racist!” Others will ask, “What about brown children? Why are they left out?” None of those questions ever came into my little-kid brain.  All I heard was that Jesus loved us all; all children were precious to him.

Today we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. The best way to do that? Dwell together in unity, brothers and sisters of the One who loves us all.

The oil is entirely optional.

Happy Monday, Beloved

Enemy One-a-Day Friday  1/12/18

A life worthy

Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, breathing out violence (Psalm 27:12).

You have an enemy.

As it happens, he is The Enemy.

Your enemy wants you to fail,

to fall.

He lies about you

and to you.

He wants to separate you from the One who loves you.

But guess what?

He won’t.

He can’t.

Because your life, your soul, your self, is safe in the hands of Almighty God

and

He isn’t giving you up.

Not now

Not ever

You can bank on that, Beloved.

Happy Friday

The Straight Path One-a-Day Thursday  1/11/18

A life worthy

Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors (Psalm 27:11).

Sounds a little mercenary, if you ask me.

Sounds like David wants to follow God in order to avoid getting smacked by the bad guys, not just because he loves God.

Does that bother you?

Beloved, I wish all my motives were pure. I wish I went to work solely for the joy of teaching children and helping them to grow strong and wise and capable.

But I also go for the paycheck.

I wish I obeyed traffic laws simply because it is the right and safe and good thing to do.

But I also want to avoid a ticket.

I wish I had accepted Christ only because of his goodness and love and mercy.

But, yeah, escaping eternal death was in the mix, too.

This world is a minefield. You need help navigating it if you want to avoid spiritual boom. So, yes, we follow Christ in part because it gets us through the day with body and soul intact. But we also follow him because he is worth following. He is the One worthy of our life, our soul, our all.

The only One.

Our motives are mixed, Beloved. They always will be, as long as we’re in this world and in this flesh. But that’s OK. He knows, and he loves, and he waits for the day when we will be purely, wholly, completely his.

Me too.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Parent Plus One-a-Day Wednesday  1/10/18

A life worthy

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me  (Psalm 27:10).

You know, I just can’t imagine my mom turning me away. I can’t conceive of a situation in which I would go to her, lost and desperate for help, and she would say, “Meh. I don’t think so.” For one thing, she has never in her life said, “Meh.” For another, she loves me. I am her son, to whom she has devoted much of her life. There’s no way I can picture my mother turning her back on me and leaving me in the cold.

But she would before God would.

My friend, his love for you, his commitment to you, goes beyond anything you can dream of.

And you know, maybe you can imagine the above scenario. Perhaps it is your rotten lot to have parents who have forsaken you, in small ways or big. This world and its people are broken, after all.  These things happen.

This verse is for you as well, Beloved. Though every other relationship in your life should falter, though every other person prove to be a dandruff-ridden louse, you can know that the Lord of Everything has got your back. He will never abandon you, never forsake you, never fail to take you into his arms and heart.

How could he?

He is God

and

you are his Beloved.

Happy Wednesday

Faithful One-a-Day Tuesday  1/9/18

A life worthy

Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, O God my Savior (Psalm 27:9).

Because I know what I deserve.

I deserve, frankly, to be rejected, forsaken, turned away. I have done nothing, no thing, that would earn me the right to call on God for help. On the contrary, I have done eversomuch to earn God’s rejection.

But…he loves me.

I know, right?

He loves me, and he has been there for me in the past, and he calls me to call on him and he promises to be faithful.

And I do.

And he is.

And Hallelujah!

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Seek His Face Monday 1/8/18

A life worthy

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek (Psalm 27:8).

It’s simple, really.

Your heart knows.

Be careful, Beloved. I don’t think David is talking about his emotions when he talks about his heart. We all know that trusting and following our emotions can bring on a whole world of pain and embarrassment and regret.

I mean, I remember a time when…

never mind.

But the heart is deeper than that. You’ve gotta get past the emotions that throw you around like the proverbial storm-tossed ship. You have to move beyond all the turmoil to get to the still place, the quiet place, the place where life becomes very simple indeed:

Know God.

Seek his face.

Remember who he is.

In this Psalm, David was under attack, and there was no simple way to fight back. His response, and his advice to us today…

seek his face.

Shall we?

Happy Monday, Beloved.