His One-a-Day Thursday 3/2/23

A life worthy

Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head (1 Corinthians 11:4).

When my students enter my classroom, I expect them to remove their hats. There are practical reasons for this–like making sure they’re not wearing earbuds–but mainly it is a sign of respect. The military does this as well, also as a sign of respect.

Paul is commanding the same thing here, and for much the same reason. 

From what I can tell, the “prays or prophesies” part or this verse is in reference to the public worship service. It could mean only the leaders, but seems to be best understood as referring to all the men in the congregation, who would be praying  and worshiping together. As for the word translated “head,” well, it seems that the first use refers to the physical head, and the second to the spiritual head–Christ. So, a man who is worshiping in public with his head covered is dishonoring the very Lord he has come to honor.

Folks have a lot of ideas about what the head coverings Paul refers to were. Some say it referred to long hair, which was decidedly feminine in that culture.  Others say Paul was talking about pulling their cloak up over their heads, which was a practice of those worshiping the pagan gods. Some say he meant the veiling of their heads, which was a practice of the Jews. Regardless of what exactly the Corinthians were doing, Paul’s point was clear. For a man to cover his physical head during the public worship service dishonored his spiritual head–Christ.

Beloved, most of our churches don’t have dress codes, and to be worried about what someone else was wearing would be, to us, a shallow thing.

But we are not they, and this is not then. Paul’s concern was that the people of God take their worship seriously, and approach the throne with a humble heart. 

What of you, Beloved? Do you go to worship in reverence and respect, or…?

It’s not a dress code. It’s a heart code.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Heads One-a-Day Wednesday 3/1/23

A life worthy

But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God  (1 Corinthians 11:3).

Well, here we go.

You know, I thought about skipping this bit and hoping you wouldn’t notice. But I didn’t want to be a wuss, so…

There is an order to things, an order which God has baked into the cake. The word “head” here refers to honor and submission. Jesus, though in very nature God, submits to and honors the Father. Likewise man is to honor and submit to Christ, and woman is to honor and submit to her husband. It’s not a popular idea in our society, but it’s here, and it’s in Ephesians, and it’s in Colossians–even Peter talks about it. We have different roles, but the same value before God.

As a teacher, I think of this in a classroom setting. The teacher is called to submit to the principal, but that in no way diminishes the  value or importance of the teacher. In fact, the system is designed to protect and support and empower the teacher. The fact that some administrators abuse their power does not negate the wisdom if the design

In any case, Paul is mentioning this to set the stage for discussing proper behavior in the public worship service. He’s going to talk hats and hairstyles and other things that we don’t pay a lot of attention to in 2023. The point, however, will come back to honoring God. 

As it always should.

So, ladies and gentlemen, set aside your pride and prepare to talk hair.

That’s not a command, just an invitation.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved

Hold On One-a-Day Tuesday 2/28/23

A life worthy

I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you  (1 Corinthians 11:2).   

My bible is a bit tattered, to be honest.

It’s dog-eared, and the front cover has fallen off.

A few of the pages are stained with tea or dirt or slightly puckered from water. 

The damage has come honestly, through thirty-seven years of daily reading.

It makes me think of a treasure chest from one of those old pirate movies.

The outside is battered and worn and looking ready for the ash heap, but inside…


We have a heritage, passed down from generation to generation.

It’s been translated many different ways, but the Truth has been preserved and protected by the Truth Giver. 

It’s like a Thomas Guide for life, and well, it’s well worth following.

So follow.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved

Example One-a-Day Monday  2/27/23

A life worthy

Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1).

I gotta tell you something, Beloved.

Just between you and me

I would love to be able to say what Paul says here.

To be able to say, “Watch me, and do what I do.”

But I’m not there,


Perhaps someday I’ll be a man worth following, but until then it is good to know that I have an example in the pages of Scripture.

As do you

So as we dive into our week, let’s play Follow the Leader, shall we?

And we’ll play for keeps.

Happy Monday, Beloved

Clean Conscience One-a-Day Friday 2/24/23

A life worthy

Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.

If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience’s sake–the other man’s conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another’s conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because I thank God for?

So whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, or Greeks, or the church of God–even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved (1 Corinthians 10:25-33).

We have, I think, reached the end of the “Food sacrificed to idols” Q&A.

It comes down to a pretty simple message in the end: You have tremendous freedom in Christ. That freedom should be used in such a way that it blesses others and brings them closer to God. If you enjoy the things of this world in a way that causes others to stumble, you have missed the whole point.

Next up–women and head coverings. That should be fun.

Happy Friday, Beloved

Again, Not About You One-a-Day Thursday 2/23/23

A life worthy

“Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others (1 Corinthians 10:23-24).

It’s not about you.

Amazing how often this idea recurs in Scripture.

Paul is still talking about the food/idol issue, but really…

Kind of applies across the board, doesn’t it?

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Participating in the Sacrifice One-a-Day Wednesday 2/22/23

A life worthy

Consider the people of Israel: Do not those who eat the sacrifices participate in the altar? Do I mean then that a sacrifice offered to an idol is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but the sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not to God, and I don’t want you to be participants with demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than he?  (1 Corinthians 10:18-22)

But I thought Paul said it was OK to eat the meat sacrificed to idols.

What gives?

Beloved, Paul makes an important distinction here. He reaffirms that idols are nothing, and so the meat offered to them is nothing. However, that doesn’t mean that the ceremonies are nothing. Just as Christians and Jews who participated in Communion or the Temple worship were pledging themselves to God, the pagans were, in their rituals, pledging themselves to demons. Sure, they called them gods, but we all know what they really were. So, eating meat that you purchased in the meat market was one thing; joining the pagan revelries was quite another.

I’m gonna figure that you aren’t engaging in pagan sacrifice. If you are, we really need to talk. But the message for us is clear: Don’t play with the enemy. Don’t flirt. Don’t see how close to the line you can get. That, Beloved, is a dangerous game, with dangerous prizes.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved

Communion One-a-Day Tuesday 2/21/23

A life worthy

Therefore, my friends, flee from idolatry, I speak to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks the blood of Christ? Because there is one loaf we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf  (1 Corinthians 10:14-17).   

First of all…the Therefore.

Gotta go back to last week for that one.

Last week, we saw that God would not let anyone be tempted beyond what they could bear, but would always provide a way out. Therefore…that’s the fleeing piece.

So what’s this about cups and loaves? 

You’re right, Beloved; Paul’s talking about the Lord’s Supper. Paul is reminding the Corinthians–and us–that taking Communion is serious business. We are partaking in the body and blood of Jesus.

And what, exactly, does that mean?

Good question. I don’t see evidence for transubstantiation–the idea that the bread and wine are transformed on the altar into the actual body and blood of Christ.

And yet, I believe that it goes beyond a mere symbol. There’s more, somehow.

I just don’t know what…or how.

Regardless, Communion is part of what binds us together as the people of God. And that’s a big deal, as Paul will explain tomorrow. In the meantime, chew on the idea that you–yep, you–are a part of the body of Christ.

Forever and always

Happy Tuesday, Beloved

Flee One-a-Day Monday  2/20/23

A life worthy

Therefore, my dear friends, flee from idolatry (1 Corinthians 10:14).

Not, “Look the other way from.”

Not, “Watch ambivalently, but remain detached from.”

Not, “Move away from at a calm and steady pace.”


As in, “Run for your life.”

Beloved, Corinth was a Greek city. So, the Corinthians were literally surrounded by pagan culture. Most of Paul’s audience had come to Christ out of some form of idolatry, which he warned them to stay away from at all cost.

Beloved, you may not have worshiped Aphrodite


you are surrounded by idols.

(Now that I think of it, maybe you did worship at the altar of Aphrodite. After all, she was the goddess of love, beauty, and sex.)

When the idols beckon, flee.

When your old life comes calling, flee.

When the sin which once held you captive now seems kind of exciting and enticing, flee.

Sometimes we act like a person in an abusive relationship: we cry out for rescue, but then return, again and again, to our abuser.

Don’t look back, Beloved.

Just flee.

Happy Monday

Temptation One-a-Day Friday 2/17/23

A life worthy

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it (1 Corinthians 10:12-13).

He will provide a way out.

But here’s the deal; you have to want a way out.

You have to look for it and listen for it and take it when it is offered.

You can’t put your hands over your ears and say “La la la” when the Holy Spirit is offering you strength.

In short…you must want God more than you want the sin.

Do you?

Happy Friday, Beloved