Dwelling One-a-Day Friday  4/27/18

A life worthy

And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit  (Ephesians 2:22).

He lives in you

and me

and you and me.

You know that, right?

It’s pretty cool,

and

kind of scary.

I mean, what if I’m not up to His standards?

Well, guess what, Beloved?

I’m not…and neither are you.

No offense, but apart from grace we wouldn’t be fit for a roach motel, spiritually speaking.

But…

we are not apart from grace.

We are all mixed up in it, and the Builder is applying it liberally to his project.

Sorta like spiritual bondo–only it heals instead of just covering up.

So don’t worry about whether the house is worthy of the One who lives there.

Let the contractor take care of that.

You…you just keep the door open.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Temple One-a-Day Thursday  4/26/18

A life worthy

In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:21).

In him

Not just for him–though it is for him.

Not just to him–though it is to him.

In him

So…we are a temple to God, and the temple is in God, and Christ himself, who is God, is the foundation stone of the temple.

I don’t totally get it,

but

I like it.

I also like that, when you admire a building, you are admiring the entirety of it, not the individual pieces. I mean, you don’t usually hear someone exclaim, “Wow! Look at that brick!” or, “Hey, what a great slab of marble!” or, “Now that there’s a 2X4 if’n ever I seed one!”

Which means that if I, as brick #94738274, am a little wobbly or chipped or cracked or rough, it’ll be OK. I’m still part of something truly amazing.

I’m not that important

and yet

I’m absolutely essential.

Yeah, I don’t totally get it,

but

I like it.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Cornerstone One-a-Day Wednesday  4/25/18

A life worthy

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20).

The cornerstone is the one that determines the placement of every other stone in the building.  Without it, there is no beginning, no structure, nothing at all.

Jesus is the One you build your life

your hopes

your dreams

your world

on.

Solid as a rock, and then some.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Firm Foundation Tuesday  4/24/18

A life worthy

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets…(Ephesians 2:20)

We’re so silly.

We, as a society, have this tendency to throw out and disregard anything that we deem “old.”

Music

Fashion

History

People

It’s a pride thing, really. We find it threatening to think that something may have been excellent before we ever even existed. It’s just so hard to imagine that some things might have been just dandy fine without our input.

So, we go for new-new, shiny-shiny.

When it comes to theology, I mostly go old school.

Take a moment this morning to thank God for those who have gone before us, who lived and taught and sacrificed and suffered and even died for the sake of the Gospel, so that you and I can read pithy devotions on our mobile devices. Some of the names are famous, and some we’ll never know this side of glory, but they all have served to bring Truth to a lost and dying world.

And just maybe, if the Lord tarries, our names will one day be on that list.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Family Monday 4/23/18

A life worthy

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household…(Ephesians 2:19)

You belong.

No longer alone

No longer an outsider

You are family.

Now, listen, families aren’t always perfect.

They squabble.

They battle.

They include OCD firstborns

and spoiled babies

and angst-ridden middle kids.

Then there’s the occasional psycho cousin that you try to avoid.

You know, unless that’s you.

But here’s the deal: whether you grew up in Mayberry or in Dysfunction Junction, you now belong to a family that is eternal.

We have a perfect Father, a righteous big brother, and forever to get it right.

I can’t wait to see the whole family photo.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Peace One-a-Day Friday  4/20/18

A life worthy

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near  (Ephesians 2:17).

Pace Domnului

When I was in Romania many many many years ago, this was a common greeting between the brothers and sisters in Christ.

It’s pronounced pah-chay-domn-loo-eee.

Sort of

I remember the children getting the giggles every time I tried to communicate in their tongue. I can only assume it was because my pronunciation was so perfect it delighted their very souls.

In any case, Pace Domnlui translates roughly to “Peace of mind.” Embedded in the greeting is the understanding that peace comes only from Christ, that he alone can bring peace to our crazy lives, our frantic schedules, our troubled and fearful and utterly stressed-out minds.

Pace Domnlui, Beloved of Christ.

Oh, and Happy Friday

New Man One-a-Day Thursday  4/19/18

A life worthy

His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility (Ephesians 2:15-16).

Those who were bound by legality

and

those who were lost to licentiousness

brought together

at the cross

and made new,

bought and

paid for and

finally

forever

free.

Abolish One-a-Day Wednesday  4/18/18

A life worthy

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations (Ephesians 2:15).

Now wait a minute, Paul.

Jesus himself said, Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17).

So…

Beloved, you know I’m not a Bible scholar, but this is how it seems to me:

The Law is good. God created it, and if Man could live by the Law, it would save him.

But

man couldn’t…not even for a little bit. So the Law became a wall dividing men from God, and dividing Jews from everyone else.

When Jesus came and lived the Law to perfection, he became the only one ever to earn Heaven on his own merit. When he died on the cross, paying a price he didn’t have to pay, he completed the process of atonement that no one else could complete.

Hence, It is finished.

So it seems to me that when Paul talks of abolishing the Law, he is speaking of those effects of the Law that separate us, the “commandments and regulations” that kept people divided into camps.

Jesus died and rose to knock down walls.

So, let them fall.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Let the Wall Fall Tuesday  4/17/18

A life worthy

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility…(Ephesians 2:14)

Jew and Gentile

Insider and Outsider

Us and Them

Paul is specifically talking about the separation between Israel and the Gentiles here, showing that Christ’s sacrifice has given everyone equal access to God’s kingdom. But it applies across the board, does it not? Race, gender, age, politics, socioeconomic status–none of the things that divide us matter if we belong to Jesus.

And none of the things that unite us matter if we don’t.

Do you belong to Jesus? Then you are my brother or sister. The differences between us may be real, but they are insignificant in the light of his love for us.

If we can just carry that attitude into our world today, what can we not accomplish?

Let’s find out.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Peace Monday 4/16/18

A life worthy

For he himself is our peace…(Ephesians 2:14)

It isn’t so much that he brings peace

or makes peace

or counsels peace

or helps you find peace

or teaches peace…though he does all those things.

He is peace.

Now, that’s a big concept for me to get my heart around, but I’m going to try today. Frankly, it simplifies things somewhat:

Stressed? Turn to Jesus.

Frightened? Turn to Jesus.

Angry? Turn to Jesus.

Lonely? Turn to Jesus.

Confused? Turn to Jesus.

Sad? Turn to Jesus.

I think this might be the ultimate life-simplification strategy.

Walk in Christ today, Beloved.

Happy Monday