One-a-Day Friday, 10/18/13

number 1You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:22-24)

You probably give great thought to what you wear each morning.  How much thought goes into the “self” you put on?

One of my favorite stories is “Ragman,” by Walter Wangerin, Jr.  In it Jesus appears as a peddler trading fresh, clean clothes for old, filthy ones. You can see where this is going, because you are very perceptive.  As he travels, Jesus meets people broken in body, mind, and spirit.  He takes the old, foul rags with which they cover themselves.  As he does so, he takes their infirmities as well.  In exchange, he gives fresh, clean garments, and leaves healthy, whole people.

I love that story.  I love it best because of the truth in it.  God has a fresh, clean you for you to put on this morning.  Take the time to put it on.

Oh, and if it doesn’t quite fit yet, don’t worry.  You’ll grow into it.

One-a-Day Thursday, 10/17/13

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you number 1must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. (Ephesians 4:17-18)

It’s amazing how often I catch myself thinking, acting, behaving, “As the Gentiles do.”  Remember, Beloved of God, that you have been freed from all that.  You have a whole new frame of reference for living. Let’s work this verse backwards…

He has given you a new heart,

So you are free of the ignorance which separated you from God.

God has enlightened you and made your plans and thoughts fruitful.

Go and live your Thursday—in the world, yet free from it.

One-a-Day Wednesday, 10/16/13

number 1Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.  (Ephesians 4:14-15)

When is “Then?”  As in, “Then we will no longer be infants..?”  Scripture tells us it is when we become mature in Christ.

Ah.

And when will that be?

Good question.  How many times have you felt like you were being blown hither, thither, and yon by people claiming to know what’s what?  I remember, as a baby Christian, being caught up in a group of people who taught that the Rapture was imminent—like, right now imminent.  One woman came into work and told me, with great excitement, that she had heard the trumpets begin to sound that very morning.

Twenty-six years later, it would appear that she was wrong.  But what did I know?  I was an infant, maybe two or three months old in Christ.  I was tossed about quite a lot in those days.  God, however, is faithful, and over the years he’s taught me to surf.

Here’s a promise—you will grow.  You are growing, right now, even as you think about and chew on his Word.  Every day, moment by moment by moment, God is conforming you to the image of his Son.  Your words are growing richer in wisdom, and fuller of love. Not always, but often, and more so as the days go by.  You will grow, by his grace and in his time, into the person he has called you to be.

In the meantime, hold on tight when the waves get high.

One-a-Day Tuesday, 10/15/13

number 1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received (Ephesians 4:1).

I know; I keep coming back to this verse.  It’s just too powerful to let go.  Paul is leading the way here—he is living his calling, though it landed him in prison.

So, what is your call?  Let’s keep it simple; after all, it’s only Tuesday.  Your call, beloved of God, is to bring him glory.  How do you do that?  Well, the context of the verse says that you do that by keeping the peace.  At the cross, God brought peace between Man and Man as well as between Man and God (Eph. 2:14-18).  Our job is to live in such a way as to help maintain that unity and that peace.

Blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9)

May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me (John 17:23).

Think about the people you are likely to see and deal with today.  How can you glorify God by being, “completely humble and gentle…patient, bearing with one another in love”? Yeah, I know it isn’t easy—and they’re probably thinking the same thing about you.

Hmmm…prison…solitary confinement…maybe Paul had it easier than I thought.

One-a-Day Monday 10/14/13

number 1Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine, according to the power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!  Amen.     (Eph. 3:20-21)

Now, there’s a kick-start to your week!

I have quite an imagination.  I mean, I can be pretty creative, you know? But I serve a God who can do “immeasurably more” than I can even think of asking for.  Once again, Paul reminds me that God is too big for me to wrap my brain around.  And yet, that power—the power that created the universe—lives in me.  That sound you hear?  That is my brain exploding.

Yes, to him be glory for ever and ever!!!

The Call of the Window

window washerOnce upon a time, while sitting in an airport in Bucharest

Great start to a story, isn’t it?  I should follow up with a tale of espionage, intrigue, fast cars, and spiffy accents.

Except, I’m me.

Once upon a time, while sitting in an airport in Bucharest waiting for my flight, I observed two men toiling at a job both menial and fraught with danger.

They were window washers…sort of. Continue reading

One-a-Day Friday 10/11/13

number 1…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19). This is kind of Part 2 to yesterday’s thoughts. This love that surpasses knowledge…a love that is more than my brain can contain…frankly, that he loves us at all is mind-blowing—wouldn’t you agree? To be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God…to be so full of God that there’s no room for anything else.  You know what that makes me think of?  It makes me think of the scene in It’s a Wonderful Life when Jimmy Stewart is wooing Donna Reed.  He talks about lassoing the moon, and bringing it down for her. She could then swallow the moon, and the moonbeams would shoot out from her fingertips and the ends of her hair.  That’s what this verse makes me think of.  Paul wants us to be so full of God’s love that it pours out of us—shoots out of us in all directions. He seems to say that, if we could just grasp the giganticatiousness of God’s love, we would be filled to capacity with his…well, with him. Chew on that as you move through your Friday.  Pray that God would help you to know his love, that you might be filled to the brim, and pour out into the lives all around you. God runs a full-service station.  Fill ‘er up. By the by, this concludes the first week of One-a-Days.   I hope you find them of some value.  Please leave me some feedback to let me know if you like this new direction.  Tomorrow should bring a regular, full-length post. Happy Friday.

One-a-Day Thursday 10/10/13

number 1And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ… (Ephesians 3:17b-18).

If you only knew.

We can’t understand God’s love.  It is totally beyond our brains.  We can use metaphors—parent and child, husband and wife—but ultimately, they fall short.  Can you imagine a trillion of something?  I’ll give you a hand.  One trillion seconds equates to about 31,000 years.  Which you also can’t imagine, since you’ve been around less than a hundred years.

Most of you.

The problem is, we’re so stinking finite.  How do we grasp the idea of an infinite God, and his infinite love?

It’s a good problem.

I think that, the more we can understand of the sheer magnitude of God’s love for us, the more our problems will shrink in comparison.

Is God’s love big enough to cover…?

Does God love me even though I…?

Can God’s love handle all the…?

If you only knew.

One-a-Day Wednesday 10/9/13

number 1For he (God) chose us in him (Jesus) before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (Ephesians 1:4).

You are the chosen one.

Well, maybe not the chosen one, but certainly a chosen one.

Before he made the world, God had you in mind.  He knew who you would be, how you would be, your many sins, your epic, endless failures.

And he loved you.

And he chose you.

Wow.

Consider this: God is not bound by time, right?  Past, present, future—it’s all kind of now to him.  So, when he looks at you he sees you not only as you are, but as you will be.

Holy.

Blameless.

Now, if only you could learn to see yourself as he sees you.

One-a-Day Tuesday 10/8/13

number 1Praise 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.

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?