Five Minute Friday is Once a Week but not Once for All

If you read God’s Word and it doesn’t change you, look again.

“Once” must be a word that those trying to learn English must find difficult. Even those born in a culture that speaks English find it difficult. I usually stop to think about words like effect and affect. When I am reading a Facebook post, I smile when I see someone say “there” when they mean “their.” To make matters worse, some words include letters that you don’t even pronounce when you say the word.

“Once” can mean then, one time, when, previously (once upon a time), and immediately. Mom would say to me, “once you finish your homework you can have a cookie.” But she didn’t mean I would be eating my last cookie, just this cookie would follow the homework. She meant this time. The meaning of “once” varies, as we know, based on how it is used in a sentence. If I say I take a shower “once a week” I’m actually doing it 52 times each year, which isn’t one time. Isn’t English crazy?

Once in Romans

There are times when once means once. I take encouragement from the meaning of this word in Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. He told them that the entire payment for their sins (and mine) was paid on the cross. That changes how I live. I consider myself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Jesus said, “It is finished” on the cross. He did not say, “I am finished.” He finished the work that I could not do, and he rose again as an exclamation point to prove what he said was settled forever.

“We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So, you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Romans 6:9-11 ESV

There is an everyday aspect for careful consideration in my response to “once for all.” It is found in James.

Once in James

“For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.” James 1:23-24 ESV

I should carefully remember that because Christ died and rose once for all, I need to examine my life in the light of what he taught his followers more than once. I should use the mirror of God’s Word to change from what I once did to what I now  should be and do moment by moment.

Five Minute Friday

This post is part of the weekly Five Minute Friday link-up.