No trappings necessary?


My friend, may I ask you a question? Do you believe God because you have plowed through the Bible and surrounded yourself with the knowledge of God? Or do you believe because he has called you?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.


I’ve had beard for decades. Originally it was a dark, short, manicured Van Dyke sort of thing. Over time it waxed and waned in length with interspersed changes in style. The greatest change over the decades, however, has been the color. In my Forties the salt and pepper look arrived. As I reached my Fifties it became mostly gray. Now in my Sixties it’s snowy white. Coupled with the fact that I’ve allowed it to grow long and my head is quite bald, there are times I give the impression of the Jolly Old Elf himself, Santa Claus. This past Thanksgiving Day my wife and I attended services at a local church where we’re not generally known. Sitting in a back pew, we were able to witness family after family leaving their pews and filing past us down the center aisle when the service ended. One family with a little four or five-year-old little girl in tow started down the aisle as well but suddenly paused, as the little girl pointed at me and whispered something to her Dad. He looked at me and then told her to “Just ask him, Sweetheart.” Anticipating her reaction, I leaned out of my pew and greeted the little girl as she passed. I had been mistaken for Santa Claus again. Especially as the Christmas season rapidly approaches, Santa Claus is on the minds of many children, and this little girl was no different. Her simple reaction to the old man with the bald head, glasses and the long white beard was in tune with the season. Through the eyes of a little girl, I simply looked like Santa Claus despite the fact that back pews in small country churches aren’t where he usually hangs out.

That little girl obeyed her sweet, Christmas-blessed little heart as she saw a man who looked like Santa Claus and decided he was Santa Claus. Her imagination took her there without the least regard for the inspiration of a red suit, a reindeer, or a bag of toys. Her imagination was poked and she fell under the spell of the beard. There just was no way around obeying what her heart told her was so.

The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 11:3: “But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” We have choices therefore. Just as Eve was deceived by Satan’s trappings of holiness which inspired her to believe and ignore the truth about holiness, we can choose to be inspired unto holiness by looking for a higher level of what it means to be holy, the trappings of godliness, or we can choose to be devoted to it simply, following the obedient imagination of our hearts wherein the Holy Spirit dwells, guides and calls us to himself. The first is the path of much philosophy, the second the path of a child-like faith that believes God simply because our hearts tell us so; no trappings necessary.

We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you Lord for calling us to faith in Christ without requiring us to know everything about faith. Help us to maintain a child-like understanding of devotion to believing and not simply believing in devotion. Forgive us when we seek out a holy life without regard for the understanding that true holiness is IN Christ and not ABOUT him. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. Thank you for tuning into This Passing Day. Join us at thispassingday.com. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don’t let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to “This Passing Day!” <markcbrunner@thispassingday.com> God bless you for Jesus sake.

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