Conscience One-a-Day Tuesday 5/17/16

A life worthy

My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me (1 Corinthians 4:4).

Somehow, I don’t find this comforting.

I mean, a clear conscience…that’s supposed to be a good thing, right?

Yep, it’s good.  

Just not good enough.  Beloved, your conscience is being renewed, just like your mind and your heart, by the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit.

But it ain’t there yet.

In the meantime, your sense of right and wrong is just a little bit askew.  The balance of justice and mercy in your heart is a bit off–heavy on the mercy for you, perhaps, heavy on the justice for others.  You are possessed of an amazing, near mythic ability to justify your actions and thoughts and, you know, sin.

Yeah, so, your conscience…not quite the infallible judge.

Fortunately, you don’t need to be the judge of yourself.  The Lord of the Universe is going to take care of that little detail for you.

Aren’t you the lucky one?

Yes, actually.  You are.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Self Judgement One-a-Day Monday 5/16/16

A life worthy

I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself.  (1 Corinthians 4:3).

Wait a minute.

Paul doesn’t care what the world thinks of him.  He doesn’t even care what he thinks of himself.  He is trusting in God’s judgement of him.

Look, Beloved, there’s a lot to chew on here and in the following verses, and we will.  We’ve got time, Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.  For this morning, though, as you begin your week, can you just live in this bit?  

You don’t need to care what the world thinks of you.

You don’t even need to care what you think of you.

What matters is what God thinks of you.

And you already know what he thinks of you.

You are his Beloved.

Happy Monday

Faithful One-a-Day Friday 5/13/16

A life worthy

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful (1 Corinthians 4:2).

When I was a little kid, my mom put me in charge of getting the mail.  We lived in an apartment, and the trip from our door to the mailbox was a grand journey for my little kidiosity.  I was entrusted with the key and given the responsibility of keeping it and our mail safe.  I was totally faithful in that responsibility until I wasn’t.

One day I got lazy or careless or both and I left the key in the lock, little mailbox door wide open, as I returned home with the mail.  The next day I went to get the mail, but I couldn’t find the key.  I figured space aliens must have stolen it; Mom had an idea a little closer to the truth.  We went to the box, but found nothing.  I was in a panic.  

Do not be afraid for my little kid self, Beloved.  As it happened, a neighbor had come upon the open box before the space aliens got there.  She locked the box and removed the key, and returned it to us the next day.  But, of course, I didn’t know that at the time.  All I knew was that I had been given a trust, and I had proved unfaithful.  Mom, not unlike God, was graceful, but still…  

You have been given a great trust, Beloved.

Mind the key.

Happy Friday.

Servants One-a-Day Thursday 5/12/16

A life worthy

This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed (1 Corinthians 4:1).

Paul is talking about himself, Apollos, and the other apostles when he refers to, “Servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed,” so that line doesn’t apply to us.

Except that it applies to us.

Seriously, if Paul is pointing out that he is a mere servant entrusted with a gift–in other words, that he is not the one in power, not the one earning anything–how much more does that apply to us?

You’re his servant, Beloved.  Yes, his child and his friend and his Beloved, but also his servant.  And like a servant entrusted with the most precious thing his boss owns, you have been entrusted with the Gospel and all it entails.

Imagine entrusting your servant with your jewels, your Maserati, your yacht.

OK, so first I have to imagine having jewels, a Maserati, or a yacht, then I have to imagine having a servant.  Then I can imagine entrusting said servant with the aforementioned riches.

Actually, I wouldn’t even want a Maserati.  I only said that because I can’t spell Lamborgini…Lambourgini…Lamborguini…

See?

You have been given a great trust, Beloved.

Use it wisely.

Happy Thursday.

Of God One-a-Day Wednesday 5/11/16

A life worthy

All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future– all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God (1 Corinthians 3:23).

 

OK, remember that this whole passage started with the idea that we shouldn’t follow mere men as leaders.  

You do remember that, right?  Please nod.  Thanks.

People were claiming to follow Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or Frank, or whomever, and they were pitting their guy against the other guys like it was Mixed Spiritual Arts or roller derby or something.  Paul has spent several verses making it clear that men are, at their best, instruments of God.  They plant, they water, they work, but ultimately they have no power.  The power is all God’s.

And that power is at work in you, because you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.

Now if I remember my eighth-grade algebra, the transitive property states that when a=b and b=c, then a=c.

If I got that wrong, feel free to keep it to yourself.

The point, if I may be so bold, is that if we are one with Christ, and Christ is one with the Father, then…

You do the math.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Of Christ One-a-Day Tuesday 5/10/16

A life worthy

All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future– all are yours, and you are of Christ… (1 Corinthians 3:23).

Woah there, pardner.

Don’t let that one go by too fast.

You

are

of

Christ.

Do you fully understand what that means?

Yeah, no, me neither.

But I get this much–I belong to Jesus, and with him.  In some way that my little brain can’t grasp I am a part of him, and he of me.  Because Jesus loves me and died for me and rose for me I am covered in his holiness, his righteousness, his power, his grace, his…him.

It makes no sense at all…and yet it is the only thing that makes any sense at all.

Can I get a Hallelujah this morning?

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Now and Then One-a-Day Monday 5/9/16

A life worthy

All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future–  (1 Corinthians 3:22).

Now is yours.

Now, this day, this moment, is when you can meet with God.  Now is when he can work in your heart and bring you a little closer to the image of his son.  Now might be joyful, it might be painful, but now will certainly be God-full, if you let it be.

Now is yours.

Then is yours.

Then, in the future, you will arrive.  You will be…complete.  At long last, the image in your soul’s mirror will match the reflection in God’s eyes when he looks at you.  Then will be glorious.  You will be glorious.  

So meet with him today.  Let him work in you. Let him bring Now one step closer to Then.

Because he can do that…even on a Monday.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Life or Death One-a-Day Friday 5/6/16

A life worthy

All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world, or life or death … (1 Corinthians 3:22).

Mortal life, while it lasts, is a grand adventure.  Explore his creation, his people, his power here on Earth.  Grow in the depth of your understanding of our wonderful God, knowing that the best of life here is but a pale reflection of the glorious forever to come.

Mortal death, when he brings it in his time and by his command, is a release from pain and fear and stress and sadness.  It is its own adventure, the necessary path to knowing him with more fullness and more depth than this brain of flesh can ever attain.  

All is yours,

all is good,

and

all is well.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

It’s All Yours   One-a-Day Wednesday 5/4/16

A life worthy

All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas  (1 Corinthians 3:22).

Here’s the great thing about following God:

You get the best of everything.

Think about it.  When you follow a person, you get the good, the bad, the ugly, the unpleasant, the less-than-acceptable, and the downright icky.  You also get the guilts if you decide to sample some teaching elsewhere, because folks tend to get pretty territorial.  So, you might miss out on some good teaching just because the person you’re tied to doesn’t ascribe to it.

But if you’re following Christ…

The very best that Paul or Apollos or Cephas or Ted or anyone else can come up with will simply be a reflection of God’s truth.  You’ll recognize it as such, because you’ll be so grounded in God’s Word that Truth will resonate and lies will nauseate.  

Hmm…Truth will resonate and lies will nauseate…I like that.

Anyway, follow Christ, Beloved.  The best of the rest will follow.

Happy Wednesday