One-a-Day Thursday, 3/6/14

Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us (Romans 8:34b).  

He died in darkness.

He rose as the Light.

He died as a sacrifice.

He rose as the victor.

He died drenched in sin.

He rose wrapped in glory.

He died because he is man.

He rose because he is God.

And he stands as your intercessor.

No worries, Beloved.

One-a-Day Wednesday, 3/5/14

number 1Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?  It is God who justifies.  Who is he that condemns? (Romans 8:33-34a).

Usually it’s me.

For the most part, I am the one who brings charges against me; I am the one who condemns.  You see, I have lots of inside information that I can use—I am an expert witness against myself.

You probably can’t identify with that.  It’s most likely just my little quirk.

I guess I still have trouble believing that God would choose me for his own.  And yet he promises that he has.  Knowing all my expert testimony, and with all that he could add if he chose to, he has justified me, at great cost to himself.  He has paid the penalty for my many crimes.  And so, the charges won’t stick.  The condemnation won’t hold.

Not even my charges.  My condemnation.

That makes for a happy Wednesday, Beloved.

One-a-Day Tuesday, 3/4/14

number 1He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:32).

I have a son.  I love him more than my own heart. I can’t imagine giving him up for my closest friend, much less for this sinful, broken world.

If God was willing to give his Son for you, he’s not going to deny you anything you need.  If you feel like you are missing something, that God is holding out on you, remember this:

He knows you better than you know yourself.

He loves you better than you love yourself.

He is far more capable of taking care of you than you are.

If he’s not giving you what you ask for, I’m sorry.  I really am.  If I had the power, I would give it to you.  But then, that would probably mess up some important lesson God is trying to teach you, or some important quality he is working to develop in you.  I guess that’s reason #34 to be glad I’m not God.

Trust him, Beloved.  Let him work in you today.

One-a-Day Monday, 3/3/14

number 1What, then, shall we say in response to this?  If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)

For the record, the “this” above refers to the fact that God has predestined, called, justified, and glorified us.  We talked about it last week.  This is why it’s a good idea to read your One-a-Days every day…keeps you in the loop.

God is for you.  He is on your side.  I don’t wanna get all Greeky on you, but that “If” at the beginning of the sentence does not imply “maybe so, maybe no,” but rather “since.”  We could read it, “Since God is for us…”

Since God is for us, who can be against us?  I want you to do something this morning.  I want you to make a mental list of all the things and people and circumstances that seem to be against you.  Pile them all on one side of your mental scale.

On the other side, put the Creator, Sustainer, and Lord of the Universe.

What happens to your scale?

Exactly.

So, hold on to that picture today.  Whatever Monday tries to throw at you, remember that it pales in strength next to the One who is on your side.

The One who created you.

The One who died for you.

The One who calls you his own.

Walk in confidence today, Beloved.

Welcome Back to My Mid-life Crisis

When I first started this blog a couple of years ago, I had maybe two readers.  Now that I’m up to five, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit the thoughts and questions that got me started in the first place.  Kinda remind myself of the vision, you know? If you please, meander back with me to my very first post.  

midlife crisisMine hit while I was standing at the bathroom sink.  It had not been a good day.  A virus was mocking my immune system.  My part-time “extra” job was giving me fits.  I had just been fired from my primary job–a job that I didn’t even like in the first place.  I was breathless from the walk up the stairs, and I knew I couldn’t blame it on being sick.  Feelings of failure, and weakness, and plain old ineptiosity were creeping in.

Then my wife, beloved of my heart, partner of my life, stood behind me at the sink and uttered the magic words.

“You have a bald spot.”

Mid-life crisis hit me right between the eyes. Continue reading

One-a-Day Friday, 2/28/14

number 1…those he justified, he also glorified… (Romans 8:30c).

Glorify: to cause to be or treat as being more splendid, excellent, etc., than would normally be considered.

I love that definition.

Paul tells us that God, having predestined, called, and justified us, now glorifies us.  He treats us as more than we are; he gives us more excellence than we deserve.

You may not feel particularly glorified on this Friday morning, but it’s a done deal.

You were predestined to be his.

You are called to love him.

You have been justified so that you can have fellowship with him.

As you love and serve him, you bring him glory, and he graciously lets some of that glory slop back onto you.

Revel in that fact today.  Drink it in.  Know that you are his, and he is yours, and he delights in you.

Now and always.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

One-a-Day Thursday, 2/27/14

number 1

 

…those he called, he also justified… (Romans 8:30b).

When I use the word justify in the context of my life, it usually means trying to get away with something, like taking a sick day when I’m not really sick, but justifying my actions by calling it a mental health day.

Not that I ever do that.

Ever.

In theological terms, the word justify means to absolve of guilt, to declare someone innocent.  You see, Beloved, you were useless to God when you were in your sin.  Oh, sure, he could use you as a tool, like he used Pharaoh or Pilate or Judas, but that’s not what he’s looking for with you.  You he wants as a partner.  Junior partner, yes, but a willing partner all the same. In order to accomplish this, God needed you to be clean in his sight, free from the effects of sin.  He needed the penalty for your sins to be paid.  Since you couldn’t do that for yourself, he provided a substitute to pay for you.

He provided his son.  But you know that part of the story.

If you have accepted Christ, you are justified, clean in the eyes of God.

Now he can use you.

And he will.

One-a-Day Wednesday, 2/26/14

number 1And those he predestined, he also called… (Romans 8:30a).

You have a purpose.

Oh, yes you do.

You have been called by the Lord of the Universe, who knew you before the world began.  You have been called to love him and to let him love you, to serve him and let him care for you, to trust him and let him lead you, to glorify him and let him fill you with his Holy Spirit.  You have been called to be his servant, his friend, his brother or sister, his child, his bride, his beloved.

You want something more specific?  Seriously?

How’s about we get a handle on the above list, generic though it may be, before we ask for more?  Hmmmm?