Inheritance One-a-Day Wednesday  10/10/18

A life worthy

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5).

Let’s not read too much into this, shall we?

I doubt that Jesus was literally promising you the world.  Really—what would you do with it if you had it? A town, certainly, maybe even a small state—but the entire world?  Come now. And what about that woman down the street, or the guy at work; do they also inherit the earth? How do we do the sharesies on that one? Jesus is teaching that those who walk with God will have all their needs completely met.  The earth and all that is in it are the Lord’s, and he gives joyfully to those who are his.

On another note, “Meek” is not the same as “Weak.”  When we read this verse, it’s easy to get the picture of these mousy, quiet, timid little oatmeal-eating people running the world someday.  It makes you wonder how anything would ever get done. “Meek,” in the biblical sense, means to be humble and gentle before God and man. A meek person trusts God to provide for him, and doesn’t feel the need to push and shove in order to get what is his.  One who trusts God, fully and completely, isn’t worried about the other guy. He has nothing to prove and no one to beat. He can afford to be gentle.

So, Beloved, will you walk in meekness today?  There may be a small county in it for you.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Mourning One-a-Day Tuesday  10/9/18

A life worthy

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted (Matthew 5:4).

It’s good to mourn.

Oh maybe not good in the sense of, “Woohooo, my heart is breaking, I’ve lost everything I love—let’s get ice cream and cheesy puffs!”

Not good in that sense.

Good in the sense that it’s a natural part of who we are.  It’s healthy; it shows that we love. After all, we do not mourn that which we did not love.

God mourns.  Jesus mourned Jerusalem (Matt. 23:37).  He wept at the grave of Lazarus. I believe that the Father mourns those who choose to live and die apart from him. When we mourn, we show that we are made in his image.  We reveal the stamp of our Creator.

And when we mourn, we are comforted.

There’s the promise.  The God of all peace, all healing, all love, stands ready to comfort us in our loss.  And that comfort outweighs our pain.

Eventually.

So, once again God invites us to be vulnerable and rest in his protection, to be weak and draw on his strength, to be empty and let him fill us, to be broken and allow him to restore.

When we are weak, he is strong—in us and through us.

What have you lost, Beloved?  What do you mourn?

Walk in his comfort today.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved

Poor in Spirit One-a-Day Monday 10/8/18

A life worthy

The words in red are calling to me.  Whaddaya say we spend some time with the Sermon on the Mount?  

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven(Matthew 5:3).

You’re not impressing him.  You know that, don’t you?

OK, so you pray, and you read the Word, and you tithe; you even visit sick orphans in prison. That’s great.  I applaud you. But don’t think that you’re going to parlay that into some kind of spiritual currency. It just doesn’t work that way.

Man, I sometimes wish it did, but it doesn’t.

Jesus says to be poor in spirit—to recognize that all you have to offer is really not so much at all.  I once survived for three weeks on generic ramen noodles, a dozen eggs, and tap water. I couldn’t afford shampoo—I used dishwashing liquid. I don’t recommend it.  Needless to say, I did little entertaining during those weeks. I knew that I had nothing to offer.

When we come to God, we need to realize that we have nothing to offer that he needs.  He owns everything. He doesn’t need our spiritual ramen. When we come to him, we need to be poor in spirit.

The tax collector in Luke 18 had it right.  He came with no demands, but with one simple plea: have mercy.  That’s the ticket to the kingdom.

It’s Monday.  The Lord of all stands ready to shower you with his love, his grace, his peace this morning.  You didn’t earn it; you can’t pay for it. But you will need it before the day is out. Receive it, Beloved.  Open your heart wide and receive it.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Prosper Us One-a-Day Friday  10/5/18

A life worthy

In your good pleasure make Zion prosper; build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you; then bulls will be offered on your altar (Psalm 51:18-19).

David concludes this very personal prayer with an appeal for his people.

I like that. It’s classy.

David asks God to bless his people, so that they might glorify Him.  Perhaps that’s a prayer we can join in today. Maybe we ask God that we take all the blessings he showers on us and use them to praise his name.

Beloved, consider all that you deserve, but have not received.

Consider all that you do not deserve, but have received.

It could be so different, couldn’t it?

Offer up a sacrifice of praise today. I suggest we skip the burnt offering–that might be problematic. Instead, praise him with your voice and your heart and your time and your obedience.

He is always listening.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Response One-a-Day Wednesday  10/3/18

A life worthy

Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will turn back to you. Save me from blood guilt, O God, the God who saves me, and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.  O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise (Psalm 51:13-15).

What, we got a little quid pro quo going on here?  Is David trying to make a deal with God, sort of you-help-me-out-here-and-I’ll-do-you-a-solid-down-the-line?

Yeah, no, I don’t think so.

David knows better than to bargain with God.  He has already thrown himself on God’s mercy and acknowledged that he can do nothing without God’s strength.

But David is making a promise.  He promises that he will give God full credit for restoring David.  He will help others to learn from his mistakes. David will spread the word of God’s righteousness at the top of his lungs, and he will do everything in his power to bring God glory.

Have you ever done that, Beloved?  Have you ever been so carried away by God’s goodness that you vowed to declare his praises to the world?

Um…this is a bit of an awkward question…but…did you follow through?

Follow through, Beloved.

Happy Wednesday.

Restoration One-a-Day Tuesday 10/2/18

A life worthy

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me (Psalm 51:12).

Boy, that David.  It’s all gimme, gimme, gimme with him, isn’t it?

Forgive my sins!

Cleanse me with hyssop!

Create in me a pure heart!

Stay close to me!

Restore my joy!

Renew my spirit!

Yep, David asks and asks and asks…

And God gives and gives and gives.

Remember that, Beloved.

Happy Tuesday

Stay With Me One-a-Day Monday 10/1/18

A life worthy

Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me (Psalm 51:11).

Priorities

After all that he has done, after all the grief he has caused, in the face of all the consequences of his most heinous crimes, David has one thing going for him.

He has finally gotten his priorities straightened out.

I mean, I think I’m on safe theological ground if I say that David’s priorities were a little out of whack going into this.  Adultery, conspiracy, murder—not exactly in line with God’s truth. David was no longer content for the Lord to be his shepherd.  He wanted to be Captain of his own fate, master of his own soul.

And look where it got him.

But

By the grace of God, David got his head and his heart straight.  He realized his true danger—and it wasn’t the danger of embarrassment, or losing his kingdom, or even being executed for his crimes.

The true danger was losing God’s presence in his life.

David realized that there is nothing, nothing, as valuable as knowing and being known by his Lord.  It is the one thing he was most terrified of losing.

Hmm…

Beloved, do you realize that, post-resurrection, we have the opportunity for a closer relationship with God than even David knew?

Live in that relationship today.  Take a few moments to simply be with Him.  Enjoy his presence. Fellowship with the Lord of the Universe.  Such is your right, your privilege, and your joy.

Because you are his Beloved.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

A Pure Heart One-a-Day Friday  9/28/18

A life worthy

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10).

David gets it.

He doesn’t make any excuses before God, and he doesn’t make any promises he knows he can’t keep.  I mean, some of us—and by us, I mean me—would be tempted to tell God all about how we’re going to do better, try harder, be more.  We would try to convince God that, if he would just give us a second chance—or third, or eighty-seventh—we wouldn’t disappoint him.  David knows that’s bunk. He will never be clean unless God cleans him. He will never be reliable unless God builds that in him. He will never be of any use to God unless God does the work through him.

Yep, David gets it.

Do we?

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Blot it Out One-a-Day Thursday  9/27/18

A life worthy

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity (Psalm 51:9).

“Wow, I hope nobody saw that.”

How many times have you thought those words?

Oh, come on—it’s more than that and you know it.

When you do something embarrassing, you simply don’t want people looking at you.  Whether it’s missing the easy shot, tripping over your own feet, or walking into the only tetherball pole in an entire acre of middle school asphalt—all of which I have done—you don’t want an audience.  You kinda want the ground to open up and swallow you, just so that no one can look at you.

When you do something truly wrong—when you intentionally sin—that feeling goes way past embarrassment.

It becomes shame.

And you would do anything, just anything, to turn back the clock, to undo what you did, or at least to dissolve into the ground, just so that no one can look at you.

David gets you.  He’s been there, only bigger.  He cried out to God to look away from him, to act as if he hadn’t seen David’s sin.  He begged his Lord to take the sin away, to make it as though it had never occurred.

And God did.

Consequences?  Oh, yes, there were consequences.

There always are.

But David’s relationship with God was restored.

God did that because David was his Beloved.

Oh, yeah—you and I are Beloved, too.

Wow.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.