Stand Firm One-a-Day Tuesday 6/11/19

A life worthy

Therefore, my brothers, you whom I long for, my joy and my crown, this is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends! (Philippians 4:1).

Stand firm in your own power.

Nope

Stand firm in the glory of your vast intellect.

Yeah…no

Stand firm in the light of our benevolent government and its great wisdom.

Um, you’re kidding, right?

Beloved, we of all people anywhere, are able to stand firm. We’re the only ones with a foundation that won’t crumble right out from under our feet.

Remember that.

Whatever personal earthquakes you endure today, your feet are planted on solid rock.

The Solid Rock.

Stand firm today, Beloved.

Happy Tuesday.

Transformation One-a-Day Monday 6/10/19

A life worthy

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (Philippians 3:21).

Paul isn’t trying to body shame you.

He has no idea when you last went to the gym, or Fatty Burger Barn, and he doesn’t care.

His point is, when Jesus comes for us we will be transformed.  The aches, the pains, the flab, the laugh lines, the frown lines, the receding hairlines, the fading eyesight, the flaring back pain, the bags, the sags, the general raising of our cholesterol and lowering of our center of gravity–all of it will be gone.

Poof

We will be given a body like Jesus has.

I don’t know exactly what that will be like, but my extensive research and decades of Biblical education lead me to this deepest of theological insights:

It will be better.

So, as you haul your bacon out of bed today, remember the promise:

You are going to be amazing.

You are going to be glorious.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I need a donut.

And a nap.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Power One-a-Day Friday 6/7/19

A life worthy

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control,  (Philippians 3:21).

He has the power.

He has everything under control.

And…he likes you.

So take a deep breath, and walk in confidence today.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Eagerly One-a-Day Thursday 6/6/19

A life worthy

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ… (Philippians 3:20)

Eagerly

Like a little kid on the last day of school

Like my pooch at the back door when the neighbor’s cat is in the yard

Like an office worker at 4:59

That’s how you think I’d be, contemplating the arrival of the Most Important

Person Ever.

But I’m not…at least, not often.

Not enough

Oh, the reasons are many–busyness, stress, the surreality of it all.

But the fact remains

I’m not.

How about you?

Hey, whoa, look, I’m not going for guilt here.  You manufacture enough guilt on your own; you definitely don’t need my help. Besides, we serve a God of redemption, of transformation, not of guilt.

Then what are you doing, Michael?

I’m trying to remind you–us–that we can have that eagerness. We can have that excitement. You see, the kid on Christmas morning is excited because he has been obsessing about these presents for months.  He has been thinking and wondering and imagining and picturing himself with his new Nifty Zoom 3000. It’s filled his eight-year-old brain, the same way the neighbor’s cat fills my dog’s brain.

Such as it is.

So here’s the challenge, Beloved of Christ. Think about him today. Not only in prayer, but in your mental down time. Your in-between moments. Imagine what it will be like when he comes to you, when he transforms you, when you stand before him clean and whole and forgiven and bathed in his perfect love. Dwell on it today, and see if that doesn’t produce a little eagerness.

But don’t drool.  Dogs can get away with it–you can’t.

Happy Thursday, Beloved

Citizenship One-a-Day Wednesday 6/5/19

A life worthy

But our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).

I teach a class for my local community college.  It’s for immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens.  We work on English, US History, Civics…that kinda thing.  One of the questions I ask is why they want to become citizens in the first place.  The best answer I’ve ever received is this:

I want to belong here.

Ya, you betcha.

Citizenship means I belong, that no one can force me to leave this place that I call home.  There is no danger of being kicked out, because this is where I am supposed to be.

We are citizens of heaven, Beloved.  We belong there. No one can force us out or take away our right to an eternity with the One who knows us best and loves us most. We have the right to enter boldly, because it is our home.

I could make an illegal immigration analogy here, but I’ll resist…except to say that God’s border security awfully tight. There’s only the one way in.

Enter boldly, Beloved.  It is your right.

Happy Wednesday

Enemies One-a-Day Tuesday 6/4/19

A life worthy

For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is their shame. Their mind is on earthly things (Philippians 3:18-19).

Even with tears.

That’s the part that gets me.

Paul was not exulting over his enemies.  He wept over them, because he knew the truth.

They weren’t really his enemies.

They were Christ’s.

And as such, they were utterly, thoroughly lost.

We all know people like this, folks who are far more concerned with their stuff life than their spiritual life.  We shake our heads in their general direction, we sigh at their shallowness, we may even pity them.

But do we weep?

Do I weep?

Father God, give me your eyes, your tears, your heart today. Let me care–no matter how much it hurts.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved

Role Model One-a-Day Monday 6/3/19

A life worthy

Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you  (Philippians 3:17).

To live a life so focused, so devoted to God, so dominated by His grace and His love that you can confidently call others to follow your example…

I want that.

At least, I want to want that.

For now, I’m still more of a “way pointer” than a “trail blazer.”

For now, but not forever.

That’s my prayer this morning.

Care to join me?

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Do What You Know One-a-Day Friday 5/31/19

A life worthy

Only let us live up to what we have already attained (Philippians 3:16).

So, this could be my life verse.

Except I hate it.

It’s way too specific.

And reasonable

I like vague. Vague is safe, because it keeps me from having to do anything.

Vague, and somewhat ambiguous–that’s my favorite kinda verse.

Beloved, what would our life be if we stopped worrying about the things we don’t understand  or can’t explain and just followed what God has made abundantly clear?

Yeah…I know.

Let’s consider it our challenge today, ya?

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Majors One-a-Day Thursday 5/30/19

A life worthy

All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some lesser point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you (Philippians 3:15).

It’s called majoring in the majors, and minoring in the minors.

If you believe that there is one God, who exists eternally in three persons

If you believe that you are made in God’s image, but are poisoned by sin beyond your ability to repair

If you believe that the Father, who made you and knows you and loves you, sent his Son to die in your place so that you might be free from the penalty of sin and restored to relationship with him

If you believe that Jesus, eternally God, became man

and lived

and died

and rose from the dead

so that you could be with him forever

Then you are my brother and my sister (well, one of the two).

Every other disagreement can be argued and debated and ultimately put on the shelf until we know more…until we are more.

Major in the majors today, Beloved.

Happy Thursday