His Choice One-a-Day Friday 4/9/21

A life worthy

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!  (Philippians 2:8)

He didn’t have to die—you know that.

He chose to die, for reasons I still can’t fully grasp.  I mean, I understand the basic theological concept of redemption.  He who knew no sin, taking the burden of my sin upon himself, dying in my place to pay the price for that sin and restore my relationship to the Father.  He took the punishment because—and here’s where my brain locks up—he thinks I’m worth it.

I hope he’s right.

I can’t wrap my head around the concept, but I can wrap my heart around it.

That’s enough for now.

Still, the whole thing is just so very not the way I would have done it.

And there you go, folks—reason #37 to be glad I am not God.

Thank you, Lord, that you were willing to pay the price I could never pay.

Thank you, Father, that it did not end with the cross.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Attitude One-a-Day Thursday 4/8/2

A life worthy

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (Philippians 2:6-7).  

He was perfect.


He knew everything

Had everything

Was everything

Everything that has ever been was made with the thought of his heart and the breath of his mouth.

But he stepped down from all that into a broken world.  A world of


and pain

and tears

and blood

and death

for you

for me.

That is the attitude to which we are called, Beloved.  We step into that same world today. We may know


and pain

and tears

and blood

and death

for them

for Him.

Are you up to the challenge?

Me neither.

Let’s pray for each other today, Beloved.

Happy Thursday

Like Him One-a-Day Wednesday 4/7/21

A life worthy

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:5)

No pressure here—just have the same attitude as the Lord of the Universe, OK? Got it?


This is your calling, Beloved of Christ.  God wants you to become like him, to be conformed to his image, to see the world through his eyes and love it with his heart.  Tomorrow we will look at what Paul means by an attitude, “The same as that of Christ Jesus.” For today, just consider this: God has called you—commanded you—to be like him.  Not in some cultish “I will be a god myself one day!” sort of way, but in a, “I love you so much that I want to be just like you!” kinda way.

If you provide the want-to, he’ll provide the how-to.

And frankly, if you ask, he’ll even provide the want-to.

He’s pretty awesome that way.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Humility One-a-Day Tuesday 3/6/21

A life worthy

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves  (Philippians 2:3).

But they’re not.

Better than you, that is.

Seriously, isn’t it hard to consider others better than yourself when you know the way they live?

The way they speak?

The way they drive?  

Does God really expect you to put…them before your own needs and wants?


Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

And Today One-a-Day Monday 4/5/21

A life worthy

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever  (Psalm 145:1-2).


Easter’s over.

It’s Monday.

I hope yesterday was very special for you. I hope you worshipped and prayed and rejoiced and felt especially close to Jesus as you celebrated his resurrection.

And now there’s today.



As we move into our week, as all the stuff and garbage that we put aside yesterday comes flooding in with a power that only Monday can muster, can I ask you to do something?

(And by you, I mean me, too.)

Let’s try to approach Monday with the same joy and reverence and celebration that we felt yesterday.

The tomb is still empty.

He is still risen, indeed!

The One who made you and knows you and died for you and rose for you still loves you more than you can possibly imagine.

Walk in that love today, Beloved of Christ.

Happy Monday

Risen!! One-a-Day Sunday 4/4/21

A life worthy

…because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay (Psalm 16:10).

But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself (Psalm 49:15).

For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave (Psalm 86:13).

 “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death.  Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (Hosea 13:14/1 Corinthians 15:55)





It’s what I imagine the disciples felt on that Sunday morning.  They must have figured that, after all, Jesus had failed.

Has anyone ever been more gloriously wrong?

On Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene went with some of the other women to make sure that the body of Jesus was properly cared for.  Oh, the surprise they got! The tomb was empty, the body was gone, and an angel announced, “He is not here; He has risen!”

Can you imagine?

Seriously, can you imagine it?  Imagine going with Mary and seeing the stone rolled away. Imagine hearing the angel’s words.  Imagine being with the disciples when she brings them the news. Imagine running with Peter and John to see for yourself, and finding the tomb empty, the grave clothes neatly folded.  Imagine standing with Thomas, the doubter, as he touched the wounds on his living Lord.


His death satisfied the requirements of the old covenant—a perfect sacrifice to cover all sin always.

His resurrection broke the power of Death forever, and ushered in the New Covenant—a promise of grace and hope and peace.

His return will bring the fulfillment of history, as he gathers those who put their trust in him and takes them home forever.

He is risen, indeed!

Walk in joy today, Beloved.

Alone One-a-Day Saturday 4/3/21

A life worthy

Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones (Zechariah 13:7b).

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).

Everybody loves you when you’re winning.

What happened to the crowds?  Was it just last Sunday that the people were lining the streets, cheering for Jesus?  Now where are they?


When the soldiers came for Jesus, the disciples scattered.  John followed, but at a distance. He needed to know what was happening, but he couldn’t bring himself to intervene.

Peter, like John, followed at a distance.  He mingled with the crowd, where he could blend in and, hopefully, go unnoticed.  While he was standing with a group, a servant girl recognized him. Here was Peter’s chance to stand tall for Christ.  Here was his golden opportunity to proclaim his loyalty to Jesus and stand with him—die with him, if need be. After all, that is what he had promised Jesus.

What did he do?  You know what he did.  He denied his Lord. Big, strong Peter couldn’t stand up to the questions of the lowliest servant girl.

What of the rest?  All we know is that they ran for it.

Like bunnies

Don’t be too hard on the disciples.  I’m convinced that they genuinely believed they were up to the challenge.  When Peter said he would never betray Jesus, I think he meant it down to the marrow of his bones.  He didn’t have the courage, because he was only human. Like us. We know that John, and Mary, and a few others came to the cross before Jesus died; Jesus even spoke to John from the cross. But in the end, Jesus had to fulfill his purpose himself.

In the end, Jesus went to the cross alone.

He went to the grave alone.

He rose from the dead alone.

Because he had to.  That was the point—if anyone else could have done it, if anyone else could have helped, we wouldn’t have needed the perfect Son of God.

Jesus stood alone so that you will never have to.

Because he loves you.


Walk in thankfulness today, Beloved.

Good Friday One-a-Day Friday 4/2/21

A life worthy

Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me (Psalm 41:9).


It’s a bitter, ugly word for a bitter, ugly deed.

Perhaps the worst thing about betrayal is that, by its very nature, it involves someone you trust.  In a sense, you have to give the betrayer the power to hurt you by making yourself vulnerable. Those who never make themselves vulnerable to others can never be betrayed.

But then, they can never really love, either.

The most powerful of all persons made himself vulnerable, opened himself to rejection, let himself be betrayed, to rescue his beloved.

That would be you.

Good Friday, Beloved

The Lamb One-a-Day Thursday 4/1/21

A life worthy

The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you.  No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt (Exodus 12:13).  

He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth (Isaiah 53:7).

After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities (Isaiah 53:11).

You sin.

If that’s news to you, well, there you go.  At least you’re in good company—pretty much everyone.

That sin gets between you and God and messes up your relationship, just like lying, cheating, or whatnot hurts any relationship.  The Old Covenant had a means for dealing with sin and restoring your relationship with God.


Don’t like that part?  Well, I don’t blame you, but there it is.  As Paul says, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 3:23)  When Adam and Eve first sinned, death was the result. God took an animal, killed it, and used the skin to cover their nakedness…their sin.  From that point on, animals were sacrificed to atone, or make up for, man’s sin.

Why would God want us to kill animals, and how does that make up for doing bad things?  By itself, the idea doesn’t seem to make much sense. But think of it in context. God used the sacrifice—the physical death—of innocent animals to remind us that sin causes spiritual death in us.  And it couldn’t be just any animal—it had to be your best. Woe unto you if you brought leftovers to the Lord of the Universe.

The Passover Lamb was a particularly special sacrifice.  It reminded the people of their rescue from slavery. When God broke Pharaoh’s will and forced him to release the Hebrews, he did it by sending an angel to put to death the firstborn of all Egypt.  To spare his people from this nightmare, God had each family kill a lamb—a perfect lamb, without any defect—and sprinkle its blood on the doorposts of their house. The Lord promised to “pass over” those houses sprinkled with blood.  The Jews continue to celebrate the Passover as a most holy day.

As we saw yesterday, Jesus brought a new covenant.  As he celebrated Passover with his closest friends, he said he was instituting, “A new covenant, in my blood.”  You see, the old covenant was limited in its power. The blood of an animal could temporarily cover a man’s sin, but it could never remove it.  A man’s blood was useless, because the sacrifice had to be perfect, and no man was perfect.

Until Jesus.

Jesus lived a sinless life, and thus was the one man in all of history who did not need to offer a sacrifice.

So he offered himself as the sacrifice.

For us.

There is no way to adequately explain Christ’s sacrifice; certainly not in these few words.  My Bible covers it in about 2000 pages, and I still don’t fully get it. So let’s rest in these words from Paul:

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.  (2 Corinthians 5:21)

In Christ, you are righteous; in him, you are righteousness.  I can’t get my brain around that, but I know I want it.

Do you want it, Beloved?

Then take it.

Happy Thursday, Beloved

New Covenant One-a-Day Wednesday 3/31/21

A life worthy

“The time is coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.  It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)

Most Christian churches take communion on a regular basis.  If you have been part of a church for many years, you can probably recite Paul’s words from memory

“The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread…”

How many times have you eaten the bread…or cracker, and sipped the wine…or juice?  What does it all mean?

The first communion took place during the Passover, a reminder of the Old Covenant.  The Passover celebrated the night that God supernaturally broke the power of the Egyptians over the Hebrews.  He established a covenant with them, promising that he would be Israel’s God, and they would be his people.


For the most part, people in today’s world deal with each other through contracts.  A contract is a business relationship between partners.  Each side has obligations to and expectations of the other.  If these obligations and expectations are not met, the contract is broken, and the terms become invalid.  The people who were wronged by the violation of the contract can seek justice through an impartial third party, the court.

A covenant is more like family.  When my children were little, I gave them rules to follow, but those rules were for their benefit as much as, or more than, for mine.  If they violated those rules I disciplined them, but they did not cease to be my children. My covenant with my children to love and support them as their father remained, even if, from time to time, they didn’t live up to their end of the bargain.

Which they didn’t.

Because they were children.

Jesus brought his disciples, and all of us, a new covenant.  This covenant was not based in rules, but in relationship—in the person of Jesus himself.

Think about the relationships in your life.  Do they feel more like covenants, or contracts?  What about your relationship with God? Do you feel like you are under the grace of his covenant, or like you are bound to a contract which you cannot possibly fulfill?

You are a child of the covenant, Beloved.  He makes the promise. He paid the price. All you need do is accept the grace that he offers.

Walk in that grace today.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved