Forever and Ever One-a-Day Friday  5/25/18

A life worthy

Now 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).

Sometimes this world seems so

chaotic

unstable

random

that I forget that the most important things, the God things, are

forever

and ever

and ever

and ever

and ever

and ever

and ever

and ever.

You know what I mean?

Happy Friday, Beloved.

In Christ One-a-Day Thursday  5/24/18

A life worthy

Now 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…(Eph. 3:20-21).

Jesus brings glory to the Father.

Now this makes sense to me.

The Son, who has power and wisdom and authority beyond all measure or comprehension, willingly set it aside out of obedience to the Father. He chose to make the Father’s will his own, and to follow the Father’s plan even when it led him, quite literally, to the gates of hell.

Because he loves his Father.

Yeah, I would imagine that brings glory to God.

Happy Thursday, Beloved

In the Church One-a-Day Wednesday  5/23/18

A life worthy

Now 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 … (Eph. 3:20-21).

Glorifying God in the Church…what a novel concept.

Sorry, I don’t mean to be sarcastic–well, I do, but I shouldn’t.

The Church glorifies God when we lift each other up, when we hold each other accountable, when we encourage and teach and carry burdens and generally draw each other closer to the One who has called us all. The world looks at that and thinks, “Whew, they’re a bunch of messed up people, but look at how they love each other! There must be something to this Jesus thing…”

And glory be to God.

The problem, of course, is that too often we approach the Church the way we approach life–we’re here to get, not to give. When we don’t get what we think we are entitled to, it can all get pretty messy. Then the world looks at us and thinks, “Huh, why do I need that? They act just like the folks in my office.”

And the world goes on as before.

Beloved, what version of the Church will we be today? What will we show the world?

Because they are watching.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

The Power in Us Tuesday  5/22/18

A life worthy

Now 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… (Eph. 3:20).

Some mornings, I don’t really feel it. I don’t feel “the power at work within me.”

This may or may or may not be one of those mornings.

On those mornings I wake up feeling like I haven’t even gone to bed yet, as if my alarm clock is a liar from the pit of hell.

I feel tired.

I feel stressed.

I feel useless.

I feel hopeless.

I feel broken.

I feel empty.

I feel old.

I feel weak.

Guess what, Beloved?

My feelings are full of beans. I know this, because I serve a God who tells the truth–who is the Truth–and he tells me that his Holy Spirit is at work in me right here, right now. He is filling me, strengthening me, protecting me, empowering me, building me, guiding me, transforming me into the image of the One who created me with his very breath and loved me to the depths of hell

and back.

Oh Lord, let me not be ruled by my feelings,

They are such fickle masters,

But let me trust you and walk in your truth

Today and always

Amen

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Immeasurably More Monday 5/21/18

A life worthy

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine…(Eph. 3:20).

I have quite an imagination.  

So do you.

I mean, we can be pretty creative, ya? But we serve a God who can do “immeasurably more” than we can even think of asking for. Once again, Paul reminds us that God is far too big for us to wrap our brains around. And still I keep trying. That sound you hear? That is my brain exploding.

Happy Monday, Beloved

Filled to the Measure One-a-Day Friday  5/18/18

A life worthy

—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Ephesians 3:19).

Filled to the measureto 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 tells her he’s gonna lasso the moon and bring 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. Beloved, if we could just grasp the giganticatiousness of God’s love, we would be filled to capacity with his…well, with him.

And if you overflow into the lives of those around you…

well…

would that be so bad?

Happy Friday, Beloved

Beyond One-a-Day Thursday  5/17/18

A life worthy

…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge…(Ephesians 3:19).

Paul isn’t finished praying yet.

Fine by me.

So, how do you know that which is, by its very nature, unknowable?

You don’t…yet.

But you and I get to spend the rest of forever knowing more, which will cause us to grow more, which will enable us to know more, which will cause us to know more, which will enable us to grow more…

Until always

Further up and further in, Beloved!

Happy Thursday

If You Only Knew One-a-Day Wednesday  5/16/18

A life worthy

And 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 really grasp 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 we also can’t imagine, since we’ve been around less than a hundred years.

Most of us.

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 to have, really.

Seems to me, 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, Beloved.

Happy Wednesday

The Prayer Tuesday  5/15/18

A life worthy

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith (Ephesians 3:16-17a).

This is pretty much the perfect prayer.

Out of his glorious riches–God already has all you need or could ever need.

…he may strengthen you with power–It is God who does the work in you.

…through his Spirit–He has sent the Holy Spirit to teach and guide and heal and empower us.

…in your inner being–God is not concerned with outward appearances, but with the true you.

…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts–kinda the purpose of life, ya?

…through faith–without which, none of this works.

So, yeppers, a truly excellent prayer.

Who will you use it on today?

I’m pretty sure Paul won’t mind if you borrow it.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Fatherhood   Monday 5/14/18

A life worthy

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name (Ephesians 3:14-15).

So, about two weeks ago–our time–Paul took a little side trip to remind us of what God has done for us through Paul’s life.

Well, now he’s back.

Gotta love those rabbit trails.

In any case, Paul mentions something about God here that I find fascinating. Almost in passing, he says, “from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derived its name.” Another translation says, “from whom all fatherhood in heaven and on earth…”

I like that.

God is the archetype, the epitome, the model of all fatherhood. The concept originates with him. He defines it. When I see God protecting, loving, providing, teaching, giving, disciplining, guiding, leading, forgiving, sacrificing, restoring–I realize that’s what I’m supposed to be. Then I consider my own track record as a dad and I see my own inadequacies and I begin to hyperventilate

until I remember

grace.

Beloved, if you are a father, you have been given a great name. Do all that you can, in His grace, to live up to it.

Beloved, if you have a father, think of him with grace, knowing that the bar is set pretty high. And remember, no matter what sort of earthly dad you may have, you have a heavenly Father who is all you need always.

Happy Monday, Beloved.