Agree With Me  One-a-Day Thursday  6/23/22

A life worthy

I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought (1 Corinthians 1:10).

I know.

I know.

Some people are just so wrong about so many things.  I mean, just because they’re believers doesn’t mean they aren’t wacked out when it comes to points of doctrine, or social issues, or political parties.

Of course, if they’re believers, I guess they’ve got the most important thing right.

You see, Beloved, that’s Paul’s point.  If they’re believers, then nothing else really matters.  If we allow any peripheral fluff to cause division, to ruin our fellowship, then the world says, “Look, they’re no different” and the enemy wins.

And you know they’re watching.

So maybe you don’t agree on that point of doctrine, or that social issue, or that political party.  God’s not calling you to abandon your brain.  But we can agree that we are one in Christ, we can stand together, and we can let our love for each other demonstrate the power of God’s grace in our lives.

Besides, you may be the one who’s wrong.

Or, worse yet…

I may.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Fellowship with God One-a-Day Wednesday  6/22/22

A life worthy

God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9).

Yeah, I remember when I decided to go searching for God.  I figured, you know, if there’s a God out there, I’d better find him and figure out some way to have a relationship with him.  Seemed like the least I could do, what with him being so busy running the universe and all…

What?  That’s not the way it happened?

Oh, yeah…right.

Beloved, this fellowship with God thing was his idea, not ours.  He called you, not the other way around.  God knows how to make it work.  He doesn’t need us to instruct him or advise him.

Just to trust him.

God is not like that friend who calls you to come over, and then when you get there says, “I dunno; whadda you wanna do?”

He knows what he wants to do, and he has called you to be part of it.

Because he loves you.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

Strong and Blameless   One-a-Day Tuesday  6/21/22

A life worthy

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:8).

Sometimes I wonder if the Bible even applies to me.

Because I don’t feel strong, and I know I’m not blameless.

Peek into my heart and you will see.

Yeah, on second thought…don’t.

Those are the times when I have to remind myself that this passage really isn’t about me at all.

It’s about him.

It’s about the power of his grace to be strong in my weakness, to take my overwhelming blame and make it his, then make it gone.  It’s about God’s unfathomable ability and promise to create in me the man he has called me to be, so that I will–no might, no should–be ready when he returns for me.

So, this passage rings false if I make it about me, but makes complete sense if I make it about him.

Kinda like life.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Nothing Lacking One-a-Day Monday  6/20/22

A life worthy

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed (1 Corinthians 1:7).

You have all that you need to live the life Christ has called you to live until he returns.

Stop and soak in that for a moment.

All the wisdom

All the vision

All the faith

If you are living in his grace, you already have the whole package; there’s nothing to hold you back.

Except you

That’s so comforting

and challenging

and terrifying

and true.

Go get ‘em, Beloved.

Happy Monday

Thank God for You! One-a-Day Friday  6/17/22

A life worthy

I always thank God for you, because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.  For in him you have been enriched in every way–in all your speaking and in all your knowledge–because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you (1 Corinthians 1:4-6).

Do you see what Paul is telling the Corinthians here?  He says, essentially, “You people are proof that all that stuff I’ve been teaching about Jesus and grace and forgiveness and transformed lives is true!  God’s grace has made you awesome!”

I mean, you know, that’s a paraphrase, but I think it’s kind of his point.

The same is true of you, Beloved.  God’s grace is at work in you, proving the power of his love and redemption.  You are a living example of the truth of Christ’s death and resurrection and saving grace.

I know, right?

What?  You don’t feel like an example of grace?  You feel more like a pathetic lump of flesh and hair and sloth and sin?  Yeah, I know those feelings.

Feelings lie.

Do you belong to Jesus?  Have you knelt before him and confessed your sin and accepted him as lord of your life and savior of your soul?  Then his Holy Spirit is at work in you, and the results are there for the world to see.

No matter what your feelings say.

Hey, look!  It’s that grace again.

Walk in it.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Grace and Peace   One-a-Day Thursday 6/16/22

A life worthy

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:3).

Paul begins each of his epistles with these words.

And always in this order.  

Grace and Peace

Go ahead and check for yourself.  I’ll wait…

See what I mean?

Grace comes first, because without grace there can be no peace.

No peace with God

No peace with family

No peace in your own heart

None of it happens without the grace of God.  And why would it?  Without grace, you are judged solely on your own merit.

And you know how far that gets you.

Nope, peace is not something you can earn or deserve or accomplish.

Only receive.

You can’t get there, but you can be there.

Oh, of course you know all that already, you being so spiritual and all.

But Paul seems to think it’s worth the reminder, and who am I to argue?

Walk in grace, Beloved.  And know peace.

Happy Thursday

The Church of God One-a-Day Wednesday  6/15/22

A life worthy

To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ–their Lord and ours:  (1 Corinthians 1:2)

That’s you.

That’s me.

That’s us.

Oh, I know that Paul wrote to a specific group of people, and I know that you and I weren’t even twinkles in the eye at the time this was penned.

But 

It’s still to us.

We are the Church–God’s people here on the earth.

We are the sanctified, cleansed by the blood of Christ and set apart from this world for God’s purpose.

We are the ones called to be holy.

We are those who call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

As you begin your day, remember who you are.  Square your shoulders, lift your head high, and walk into this day as a Child of Almighty God.

In…you know…utter humility.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved

Branded One-a-Day Tuesday    6/14/22

A life worthy

Finally, let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers.  Amen (Galatians 6:17-18).

Have you ever thought about the number of scars Paul must have had?

He’d been beaten and stoned and shipwrecked and lashed.

Those things leave marks–inside and out.

Paul claims those marks as badges of honor.  

Not to get all Greeky on you, but that word “marks” was the same word used for the brand that would be put on slaves to identify them as their owner’s property.

Paul is basically saying, “You see this scar?  This burn?  This dent? They tell you that I belong to Jesus.  So back off, Boyo.”

Or, you know, something like that.

I know Paul was not reputed to be all that impressive in person, but I gotta tell you, right here he sounds like a leather-clad, Harley-riding biker.

Beloved, my body doesn’t bear the marks that Paul’s did.  I haven’t been called to that level of sacrifice.  

Perhaps someday.

But my spirit bears his mark, his brand, his seal.

I’m guessing yours does, too.

You are his Beloved.

You are his, Beloved.

Happy Tuesday

Gently   One-a-Day Monday    6/13/22

A life worthy

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently  (Galatians 6:1).

You know how when a person has a dislocated shoulder on TV someone grabs their arm and practically rips it out of the socket to reset the joint?

It’s not like that.

Nor is it like old-school CPR, where you beat the snot out of the person’s chest to get their heart beating.  It’s not even like ripping the bandage off and taking half their arm hair with it.

No, it’s more like when the Lord appeared to Elijah–not in the tempest, not in the earthquake, not in the fire, but in the gentle whisper.

You don’t have to scream to be heard.  You don’t have to beat them over the head with their sin to show them they’ve fallen.  You don’t have to chest-punch them to touch their heart.  The Holy Spirit can do just fine without your theatrics and need for vindication.

Remember, you’re on the rescue squad, not the demolitions squad.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Restore One-a-Day Friday    6/10/22

A life worthy

Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently  (Galatians 6:1).

In this world we gain power by making others feel weak.

In this world we stand tall by knocking others down.

In this world we are counted wise when we make others look foolish.

Remember, Beloved: we are in this world

but not of it.

Such power you have.

You have the power to restore.

Use it.

Happy Friday, Beloved.