Attitude One-a-Day Wednesday  5/22/24

A life worthy

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking on the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness (Philippians 2:6-7).  

He was perfect.

Complete

He knew everything

Had everything

Was everything

Everything that has ever been was made with the thought of his heart and the breath of his mouth.

But he stepped down from all that into a broken world.  A world of

dirt

and pain

and tears

and blood

and death

for you

for me.

That is the attitude to which we are called, Beloved.  We step into that same world today. We may know

dirt

and pain

and tears

and blood

and death

for them

for Him.

Are you up to the challenge?

Me neither.

Let’s pray for each other today, Beloved.

Happy Wednesday

Just Like Him One-a-Day Tuesday  5/21/24

A life worthy

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: (Philippians 2:5)

No pressure here—just have the same attitude as the Lord of the Universe, OK? Got it?

Good

This is your calling, Beloved of Christ.  God wants you to become like him, to be conformed to his image, to see the world through his eyes and love it with his heart.  Tomorrow we will look at what Paul means by an attitude, “The same as that of Christ Jesus.” For today, just consider this: God has called you—commanded you—to be like him.  Not in some cultish “I will be a god myself one day!” sort of way, but in a, “I love you so much that I want to be just like you!” kinda way.

If you provide the want-to, he’ll provide the how-to.

And frankly, if you ask, he’ll even provide the want-to.

He’s pretty awesome that way.

Happy Tuesday, Beloved.

Humility One-a-Day Monday  5/20/24

A life worthy

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves  (Philippians 2:3).

But they’re not.

Better than you, that is.

Seriously, isn’t it hard to consider others better than yourself when you know the way they live?

The way they speak?

The way they drive?  

Does God really expect you to put…them before your own needs and wants?

Yep

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Be One   One-a-Day Friday  5/17/24

A life worthy

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose  (Philippians 2:1-2).

Does it show?

Does your relationship with Christ have a visible effect on who you are in the world?

Does your fellowship with other believers reflect the fellowship you have with the Holy Spirit?

You know it’s supposed to, right?

Let’s make that the focus of our prayers this morning, as we head out into a day filled with people who are not as easy to love as Jesus is.

Go and love, Beloved of Christ.

Happy Friday.

Worthy One-a-Day Thursday  5/16/24

A life worthy

Whatever happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. (Philippians 1:27)

What will happen to you today?

Oh, you can probably guess a good portion of it, but you can’t be sure, can you?  Laughter, tears, love, anger, pain, joy, indigestion—who knows what the next hours hold?

Better question—How will you conduct yourself today?

Will your laughter be at others…or with them?

Will your tears be for yourself, or for the broken?

Will your love be selfish or selfless?

Will your anger be trivial or righteous?

And what of your pain?

And your joy?

Perhaps we need not elaborate on the indigestion.

Live worthy today, Beloved.

Happy Thursday.

Perspective One-a-Day Wednesday  5/15/24

A life worthy

For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21)

Is it?

Is your purpose, every day, to get closer and closer to Jesus?  To bring him honor and glory with your every breath? To know him, and then know him better?

Do you look to the eventual end of your life as the fulfillment of all your earthly desires?  The great graduation day when you receive all that you have earned, and all that you could never earn?

Oh, Beloved, I hope so.

As for me, well, I still let the mundane cloud my view of eternity far more often than I would like.

I’m going to make this verse my prayer today, with the hope that the power of the Holy Spirit will drive it deep into my soul and make it who I am.

Care to join me?

Happy Wednesday, Beloved.

No Shame One-a-Day Tuesday  5/14/24

A life worthy

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death (Philippians 1:20).

The word that strikes me in this verse is courage.  The walk of faith is not for the faint of heart.  If I want my life to exalt Christ, it will take courage.

And I have so stinking little.

A while back, I encountered a man who was perhaps not entirely psycho-emotionally stable. Here’s the situation: I was sitting in a coffee shop working on my One-a-Days.  This man was at a table right in the middle of the room. He sat alone, speaking at full volume, sort of streaming consciousness to the world at large. He waxed eloquent on politics and science and space aliens and economics and religion and space aliens.  Conspiracy theories abounded, and though distracting, it was all quite entertaining.

Except

Some of what he was saying was a blatant denial of Christ.

And he was saying it to a room full of people.

I knew I should talk to him, I felt the nudge to engage, but for the longest time I just sat and tried to ignore him.

While I typed a devotion on preaching Christ.

Ironic much?

Why did I dread the thought of going over there? I mean, I’m a pretty talkative dude, and this guy didn’t seem violent, just….crazy. 

It’s hard to articulate, but it comes down to fear.  Fear of being uncomfortable, fear of looking silly in front of the other customers, fear of being identified with Captain Disturbo, fear that I might not be able to answer his arguments effectively, and might end up doing more harm than good.

Fear

Eventually, I went over and engaged the man in gentle debate—if I hadn’t, I doubt that I would be sharing this story with you. Nothing dramatic happened.  There were no lightning bolts, no angelic choirs. He didn’t break into tears and confess his sins, but he didn’t shiv me, either. I didn’t change his mind, but I stood my ground.

Take those minor victories where you can get them, Beloved.

Pray for me, and I will pray for you, that today we will have the courage to exalt the One who loves us.

Be not ashamed, Beloved.

Happy Tuesday.

Every Day One-a-Day Monday  5/13/24

A life worthy

The important thing is that in every way, from false motives or true, Christ is preached.  And because of that I rejoice (Philippians 1:18).

How will you preach Christ today, Beloved?

With words?

With actions?

With tenderness, kindness, compassion?

With love?

Will you climb upon a soap box, or sit down for a quiet conversation?

You don’t need a stage, a crowd, or a microphone.

You do need a heart, a story, and the Holy Spirit within you.

And you have that.

How will you preach Christ today?

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Whatever it Takes One-a-Day Friday  5/10/24

A life worthy

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.  As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.  Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly  (Philippians 1:12-14).

I once ran over my foot with a pallet jack loaded with about 50 cases of soup.

I don’t recommend it.

The wheel of the pallet jack ran up my foot, paused ever so briefly, and returned to the ground.  During its journey, it took a moment to split my big toe like a grape.

It hurt.  A lot.

The guys I worked with at the grocery store gathered around and tried to help…but there’s not much you can do for a popped toe. One of them, knowing I am a Christian, offered the following: “Hey, you’re not allowed to cuss, are you?  Want me to cuss for you?” He then proceeded to turn to the store at large and scream a really creative string of profanities.  Fortunately for us all, the customer count was pretty low at 1:00 a.m.

I became a bit of a curiosity for the guys, because although the pain was pretty intense, I didn’t pitch a fit or curse the heavens. As it happened, from that day on they took me, and perhaps my faith, a little more seriously.

Did what happened to me serve to advance the gospel?  I think, in a really truly very small way, yes.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you have never been imprisoned because of your faith in Christ.  I certainly haven’t.  I’d be hard pressed to show any moment in my life in which I was persecuted for the gospel.  But difficult things have happened to me, just as they happen to you.  The way that we respond to these difficulties shines like a beacon to the people around us.

Today, tomorrow, this week or next, something hard is going to come your way.  When it does, let it serve to advance the gospel. Let those who see you see that you are different.  Maybe they’ll even ask you why you’re different.

Then you get to tell them.

Happy Friday, Beloved.

Fresh Fruit One-a-Day Thursday  5/9/24

A life worthy

…filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God (Philippians 1:11).

Notice that the “Fruit of Righteousness,” the right behavior expected of you as a Christian, comes from the same source as righteousness itself.

Jesus Christ.

You can’t manufacture fruit any more than you can manufacture righteousness, so stop trying.

Seriously—knock it off.

If you want the fruit of righteousness, you’re going to have to let God develop it in you.  It goes back to what we were talking about yesterday.  As you grow in knowledge of God’s word, God can use that knowledge to develop wisdom and discernment in you.  You will know the right thing to do, and you will be empowered to do it.

Remember, God’s got a vested interest in you.  He wants to give you wisdom and discernment so that you can glorify him.  In us that might sound self-seeking; in God, it just sounds right.

So let God do what he does.  He’s really, really good at it.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.