One-a-Day Thursday, 3/13/14

number 1…neither the present nor the future… (Romans 8:38c).  

Neither the present…

when I’m distracted and frazzled and busy and sad and lonely and frightened and desperate and insecure and so completely overwhelmed that I barely have time to read this silly little devotional

nor the future…

when I have no idea what will happen

…though God does

or what mistakes I will make

…though God does

or what sins I will commit

…though God does

or who will hurt me

…though God does

and I can only cling to his Word and trust and pray and hope that he really is all he promises to be.

Yes, that’s about it.

How about this: I’ll cling and trust and pray and hope for you today, and you do the same for me. Whaddaya say?

Thanks, Beloved.

One-a-Day Wednesday, 3/12/14

number 1…neither angels nor demons… (Romans 8:38b)

I would love to see into the spiritual world.  When I read of Daniel’s visions, or John the Apostle’s, I get hungry, wondering what it will really be like to see into that world.  I know that it’s there, and filled with unimaginable power, but I can only perceive the tiniest fraction of it.

And yet, interesting as it may be, ultimately the world of angels and demons has little effect on our eternity.  My life—your life—is hidden with Christ in God.  It’s done.

I don’t really know why or how an angel might want to separate me from God.  That’s beyond the scope of this brain to comprehend.  I can understand why a demon might—and what tactics may be involved.  I’m sure that I have even experienced the attempt, though I may not have realized it at the time.

Doesn’t matter.

You may stand at the center of a spiritual melee, but you are secure.

You may swim in a whirlpool of spiritual attack, but you will not be pulled down.

God’s got you, and nothing can take you from him.

It’s Wednesday—go get ‘em, Beloved.

One-a-Day Tuesday, 3/11/14

number 1For I am convinced that neither death nor life… (Romans 8:38a)

If I get squished by a narcoleptic cement truck driver on my way to work, I will still belong to God.  In fact, I will immediately be ushered into his presence, to spend eternity in his glory.  I understand that.

You know…sorta.

But the “life” part, that’s something to chew on.  Life can’t separate me from God, either.  Because frankly, that’s the far more likely scenario of the two.  There are so many things out there that are designed to separate us from God’s love.  Everywhere you turn, there is darkness reaching for you.  If it were up to you, your strength, you would be swept away.

But, of course, it’s not.

God is strong enough to hold you, even when sin and fear and insecurity and doubt and laziness and despair try to tear you out of his grasp.

I wouldn’t suggest that you go out of your way to test that promise, but you can trust it.

You can trust him.

One-a-Day Monday, 3/10/14

number 1No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37).

Some days I feel like a conqueror; some days I feel like the conquered.  The “things” that Paul mentions—persecution, famine, peril, sword, and all the rest—are ever so much tougher than anything I’m likely to face today, even though it is Monday, and we did just set the clocks ahead an hour.

Three words to notice this morning: are, through, loved.

Are: Do you notice that God doesn’t say that we feel like conquerors?  He says we are.  The Lord of the Universe knows our emotions—he created them.  He knows the power they have to motivate us to goodness; he also knows the power they have to confuse, to distract, to deceive us.  We say, “I feel.”  God says, “You are.”

Through: When God first sent the Israelites into the Promised Land, they balked.  The enemies they saw were too many, too big, and too fierce, and they refused to go fight them.  So God rebuked his people, telling them they would stay in the desert for the rest of their lives, and their children would take the land.  At this, the Israelites had a change of heart and went up to battle—against God’s instructions.  They got whipped.  Of ourselves, we are alone, small, and afraid.   Through Christ, living in His power, we are unstoppable.

Loved: We always seem to end up here, don’t we?  He loved us enough to give his Son.  That redeeming love has brought us into his family, made us his in ways that we can never fully grasp.  He has conquered sin and death—past tense, even though it may not always feel that way—through and because of his great love for us.  For you.  If you are his, you conquer with him.

You are a conqueror.

Wrap yourself in his love and charge into your Monday, Beloved.

One-a-Day Thursday, 3/6/14

Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (Romans 8:34b).  

He died in darkness.

He rose as the Light.

He died as a sacrifice.

He rose as the victor.

He died drenched in sin.

He rose wrapped in glory.

He died because he is man.

He rose because he is God.

And he stands as your intercessor.

No worries, Beloved.

One-a-Day Wednesday, 3/5/14

number 1Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns? (Romans 8:33-34a).

Usually it’s me.

For the most part, I am the one who brings charges against me; I am the one who condemns.  You see, I have lots of inside information that I can use—I am an expert witness against myself.

You probably can’t identify with that.  It’s most likely just my little quirk.

I guess I still have trouble believing that God would choose me for his own.  And yet he promises that he has.  Knowing all my expert testimony, and with all that he could add if he chose to, he has justified me, at great cost to himself.  He has paid the penalty for my many crimes.  And so, the charges won’t stick.  The condemnation won’t hold.

Not even my charges.  My condemnation.

That makes for a happy Wednesday, Beloved.

One-a-Day Tuesday, 3/4/14

number 1He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32).

I have a son.  I love him more than my own heart. I can’t imagine giving him up for my closest friend, much less for this sinful, broken world.

If God was willing to give his Son for you, he’s not going to deny you anything you need.  If you feel like you are missing something, that God is holding out on you, remember this:

He knows you better than you know yourself.

He loves you better than you love yourself.

He is far more capable of taking care of you than you are.

If he’s not giving you what you ask for, I’m sorry.  I really am.  If I had the power, I would give it to you.  But then, that would probably mess up some important lesson God is trying to teach you, or some important quality he is working to develop in you.  I guess that’s reason #34 to be glad I’m not God.

Trust him, Beloved.  Let him work in you today.

One-a-Day Monday, 3/3/14

number 1What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

For the record, the “this” above refers to the fact that God has predestined, called, justified, and glorified us.  We talked about it last week.  This is why it’s a good idea to read your One-a-Days every day…keeps you in the loop.

God is for you.  He is on your side.  I don’t wanna get all Greeky on you, but that “If” at the beginning of the sentence does not imply “maybe so, maybe no,” but rather “since.”  We could read it, “Since God is for us…”

Since God is for us, who can be against us?  I want you to do something this morning.  I want you to make a mental list of all the things and people and circumstances that seem to be against you.  Pile them all on one side of your mental scale.

On the other side, put the Creator, Sustainer, and Lord of the Universe.

What happens to your scale?


So, hold on to that picture today.  Whatever Monday tries to throw at you, remember that it pales in strength next to the One who is on your side.

The One who created you.

The One who died for you.

The One who calls you his own.

Walk in confidence today, Beloved.