Idolizing One-a-Day Tuesday 5/3/16

A life worthy

So then, no more boasting about men! (1 Corinthians 3:21)

How many times have you seen a church grow and grow and grow because of the ministry of one particular man.  He’s a great teacher, or a powerful speaker, or he’s charming and compassionate and now that you think of it you hear more about what the pastor’s doing in the church than what God’s doing in the church.

Danger, Will Robinson!!  Danger!!

Been there.  Done that.  Seen the failed churches and broken lives and bitter, betrayed refugees of Christ.  Because, let’s face it–people fail.  Even good people will falter and fall at some time.  If you have built your faith–even a tiny portion of it–on anything or anyone other than Christ, you will be disappointed.  Worse, you do a disservice to the brother you are following, because you are holding him to a standard to which he can never measure up.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand.

All other ground is sinking sand.

This entire section of Scripture has been a warning against following men rather than God.

So…don’t.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Contradictions One-a-Day Monday 5/2/16  

A life worthy

As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” (1 Corinthians 3:19-20)

Things I’ve seen in the media over the past few weeks…

Demonstrators protesting against angry and hateful rhetoric by burning flags and destroying property…

A woman who preaches tolerance confronting a man because she is offended by his hair style…

Students who claim to promote the First Amendment refusing to let a candidate speak at their school…

A movement that is vehement about protecting a woman’s safety and privacy applauding rules that allow a man to enter a public restroom while a little girl is in there, or a college boy to use a dorm bathroom while women are showering…

The wisdom of Man is derived from and focused on…well…Man.

Man is inherently selfish, unstable, and full of contradictions.

And we wonder why the world is in the shape it’s in?

Beloved, this is not about politics.  It is a reminder of what happens when we substitute our “wisdom” for the wisdom of Almighty God.

Nothing good

Walk in his wisdom today, Beloved.

Happy Monday

Fool One-a-Day Thursday 4/28/16

A life worthy

If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise (1 Corinthians 3:18).

OK boys and girls, it’s time for a spiritual self-check!

How much do you want to be like Jesus?

No…really

Are you willing for your neighbors, your colleagues–the world–to think you’re a fool?

Are you ready for them to call you a fool?

Because they will, you know…if you really follow.

Do you really want wisdom?

Every once in awhile, we need to stop and count the cost again.

This is one of those awhiles.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Deceiver One-a-Day Wednesday 4/27/16

A life worthy

Do not deceive yourselves.  (1 Corinthians 3:18).

But we’re so good at that!

We do it all the time.

Well, at least I do.

Sometimes I think I’m strong when God knows I’m not.

Sometimes I think I’m brave when God knows I’m not.

Sometimes I think I’m smart when God knows I’m not.

Sometimes I think I’m wise when God knows I’m not.

Sometimes I think I’m Godly when God knows I’m not.

Of course, it works the other way, too.

Sometimes I think I’m weak when God knows I’m not.

Sometimes I think I’m cowardly when God knows I’m not.

Sometimes I think I’m stupid when God knows I’m not.

Sometimes I think I’m foolish when God knows I’m not.

Sometimes I think I’m lost when God knows I’m not.

Sometimes I think I’m worthless when God knows I’m not.

Either way you slice it, whether I’m high on myself or down on myself,

I’m deceiving myself

because I’m focused on…

you guessed it.

Myself

Beloved, when will I ever remember that I will never see Truth in the mirror over the bathroom sink?  I will only see it in the mirror of His word,

His heart,

His love.

Someday, Beloved.

Some glorious day.

Happy Wednesday.

Warning One-a-Day Tuesday 4/26/16

A life worthy

If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him, for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple (1 Corinthians 3:17).

Yep, that would be a warning, right there.

Don’t mess with God’s people.

Remember, this is in the context of “I follow Paul;” “I follow Apollos.”  We are being warned not to do anything that would fracture the body of believers.  Don’t worry, though: this warning only applies to people who actually have the power to create division in the body.

You know, like pastors

and teachers

and leaders of big ministries

and small time wanna-be devotional bloggers

and anyone who has contact with other believers.

Uh oh.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Tread carefully.

Temple One-a-Day Monday 4/25/16  

A life worthy

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

We are God’s temple.

We, plural, collectively, as in The Church.  A little later in this letter, Paul is going to speak of the individual as the temple of the Holy Spirit, but right now he is talking about the body of believers.

So let’s ponder that for a moment.

The God of the Universe chose to place his Spirit into weak, silly, divided, bickering us.  Me with me bad eyes, creaking joints, and disloyal follicles.

You with your…

You.

Together, we reflect God’s glory.

Together, we are his hands and feet to accomplish his work.

Together, we are his ambassadors to a world that does not, cannot understand his love.

Together

Keep that in mind as you walk through your Monday, as you deal with people who claim Christ but who are selfish, weak, shallow…

people like me.

We’re in this together.

We’re in Him together.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Testing One-a-Day Friday 4/22/16

A life worthy

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.  If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.  If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames (1 Corinthians 3:14-15).

But, Michael…I thought we didn’t hafta do anything!

Remember Monday?  You said that we were like the dirt, and that God was gonna farm us and raise the crop.  Now you’re saying that we’ve gotta build stuff!  What gives?

Oh, Beloved.  You should know by now that there are always two sides.

Your salvation?  Your position in Christ?  Yep, those are from him alone.  Nothing you need do besides let him in to do his work.

But…

We are always building, Beloved.  We are created in the image of the Creator, so we must create.  It is what we do.  It is who we are.

So the question is not will you build,

but

what will you build?

How do you spend your days, Beloved?  What do you do with your time?  Are you building a life of fluff and nonsense, that will disappear with a flash and a puff when the flames come?

or

Are you building a life of Godly character, marked by charitable deeds and edifying pursuits?

Hear me, Beloved–I know some of you will take this post as an express ticket to Guilt City.  I am not saying for a moment that there should be no rest, no recreation in our lives.  We all need down time–God grants it and expects it.  So, don’t get nutty on me here.  But ask yourself: How much of your last twenty-four hours will survive the fire?

Just one life, ‘twill soon be past.

Only what’s done for God will last.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Fire One-a-Day Thursday 4/21/16

A life worthy

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light.  It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work (1 Corinthians 3:13).

Fire

Paul is not talking peaceful campfire here, nor cheerful blaze in the hearth,  nor festive bonfire complete with bad singing, roasted weenies, and s’mores.

He’s talking about the all-consuming flame that sweeps through your life and utterly destroys all that is not worthy.  

You may have experienced this fire in the past.  If not, you will.

Yeah, it’s a metaphor, Beloved.

A good one

Happy Thursday.

Building Materials One-a-Day Wednesday 4/20/16

A life worthy

If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light (1 Corinthians 3:12-13).

Simple question today, Beloved.

I know what your life is built on,

but

what is your life built of?

Hmm…maybe not so simple after all.

Happy pondering, Beloved.