The Full Brim (#jammed daily devo, day 272)

September #jammed: Free Grace.

Day 272: Filled to the brim with grace overflowing.

“Stay awake.” Matthew 25:13

My morning cup of coffee ushered in the new day.  Awake and alert to read from the Life day 272that God left us to ingest, His presence fills my soul to the brim. 

Today’s Scripture warns us to stay awake at the end of a parable that Jesus taught about a wedding. It’s a Real Housewives episode waiting to happen.

Jesus: Or picture the kingdom of heaven this way. It will be like ten bridesmaids who each picked up a lantern and went out to meet a certain bridegroom.

We can all picture what it’s like to get ready for a wedding that we are a part of. There is a lot of preparation involved. Weddings aren’t typically planned overnight. Especially no weddings with ten bridesmaids in them, like the example Jesus gives us in this passage.

Five of these women were sensible, good with details, and remembered to bring small flasks of oil for their lanterns. But five of them were flighty, too caught up in the excitement of their jaunt, and forgot to bring oil with them.  

Five bridesmaids had it together, and had thought and prepared in advanced. The other five were, “flighty.” Too caught up in catching the bouquet and worrying who they were partnered with …what everyone’s hair looked like and if their nails and makeup coordinated. There are people who truly stand by us in life and others who just want to claim a space. The same is true in the case for faith. A real relationship with Jesus cannot be swiftly and sentimentally wound overnight.

The bridegroom did not turn up right away. Indeed, all the women, while waiting, found themselves falling asleep.

The truth about people is fickleness. We rush to get ready and then complain about the wait. Walking with Christ, we must constantly remember what we are waiting for, preparing for, and living because of.

 And then in the middle of the night, they heard someone call, “The bridegroom is here, finally! Wake up and greet him!”  The women got up and trimmed the wicks of their lanterns and prepared to go greet the groom.

Who will be ready the moment Jesus comes back? There’s no way to know when that day will come. If it happened in the next 24 hours …would we be ready? Are we prepared?

 The five women who had no oil turned to their friends for help.

Ill-prepared Bridesmaids: Please give us some of your oil! Our lanterns are flickering and will go out soon.

But the five women who’d come prepared with oil said they didn’t have enough.

Prepared Bridesmaids: If we give you some of our oil, we’ll all run out too soon! You’d better go wake up a dealer and buy your own supply.

This is the part of the story that makes us want to criticize the selfishness of the friends that will not share their oil, but it’s my favorite lesson that Jesus teaches within this story. It’s not up to our friends to carry us to the foot of the cross.

He calls us each by our own name. He knew all of us and died for all of us by name on that cross. It’s not our friends responsibly to take us to Him or prepare us for Him. God places people in our lives specifically and purposefully, and we undoubtably need each other …but we must grab the baton individually and seek after Him ourselves.

 So the five ill-prepared women went in search of oil to buy, and while they were gone, the groom arrived. The five who stood ready with their lanterns accompanied him to the wedding party, and after they arrived, the door was shut.

Look what happened to the women who were unprepared. They were out of time. The door was already shut. Jesus won’t shut the door until every name has had the chance to hear the truth and accept Him as their Savior. But once that door is closed …

Finally the rest of the women turned up at the party. They knocked on the door.

Ill-prepared Bridesmaids: Master, open up and let us in!

Bridegroom (refusing):  I certainly don’t know you.

People are fickle. They will turn their backs, and then whip around when it’s convenient for them. We can expect that. It’s human nature, and though we’d all like to claim “we’d never…” let’s be honest. Our patience is not godly! For the love… But when Jesus returns, there will be no fooling the One who can read every intention of our hearts.

 So stay awake; you neither know the day nor hour [when the Son of Man will come].

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:augFather, Praise You for the story! Thank You for the love Jesus exuded through parables He preached. Forgive us for thinking we have more time to get to know You. The time is now, and our days are numbered. Help us to live each one fully in Your purpose. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Preparing,

Megs

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The Teenage Word of the 90's. (#recall 12 series, August)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where we are memorizing a little bit of God’s great Word each month! This month’s verse is: 

“Fill your minds with beauty and truth.” Philippians 4:8a

recall12 August image 1

“Whatever, Dad …”

My teenage voice echoes in my head every time I hear the word, ‘whatever.’ I said it so many times in those seven years of my teenage life that my Dad eventually started to call me, “Whatever.” It became a family joke. The first time one of my children say it to me will be gut-breakingly funny! Paybacks always come that way …or so I’m told. Whatever.#recall12 August Tweet 1

This month’s verse is followed by a string of ‘whatever’s.’ Let’s take a look at the second half of Philippians 4:8:

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:8b (NIV)

Determining “whatever” is a common challenge, but the author of this verse enlightens the principles we should be steering our thoughts towards. Paul knew that whatever  “people allow to occupy their minds will sooner or later determine their speech and action. ” NIV Notes. 

“Whatever is true…” In the original Greek text, ‘true’ is the Greek word, ‘alethes.‘ It means “loving the truth, speaking the truth, truthful.” More than simply honest inclinations, we are called to be an outstretched arm of Truth, Himself.

“Whatever is noble…” Other translations use, ‘honorable.’ God’s character holds the true definition of what is honorable. God is good, all of the time. His timing is perfect, and He is fair and just.  He is Love …and Honorable.

“Whatever is right…” Strong’s Concordance defines “dikaios“(the Greek word for ‘right’) as “a way of thinking, feeling, and acting that is wholly conformed to the will of God.” Jesus was the only one worthy to walk out that definition. When we want to think about things that are right, we can look to the way that He lived His earthly life.

#recall12 August image 2

“Whatever is pure…” Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary says that innocence is“not be limited to sexual purity,” but that we should “keep away from any involvement in the sins of others.” Purity is self-restraint and resisting peer pressure.

“Whatever is lovely…” “Just give me more of Jesus,” an author said when asked what new writers should base their content off of. What is more lovely than Grace? Grace that died on a cross for us before we knew Him. When we know Jesus, we begin to see reflections of His loveliness in each person we meet.

“Whatever is good…” God is good, all the time. To meditate on goodness is to think of Him.

“Whatever is excellent or praiseworthy…” The best way to think about excellent and praiseworthy things is to praise Him. Worship in song or in still admiration of the sun rising puts God’s glory on display.  The primary task of humankind is to give this praise to God (Phil 4:8) and not oneself- Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary

“Fill your minds with beauty and truth.” Philippians 4:8a

#recall12 August Tweet 2“Whatever” is filling statement. It leaves no room for dispute and shuts the conversation down. It can be an open invitation to listen, or a closed door for consideration. Our minds fill up with God’s Words when we are listening to ‘whatever’ He says. Others benefit from Jesus’ love when our arms are outstretched with ‘whatever’ He wills for our lives.

“Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.” Philippians 4:8b (VOICE)

When we meditate in conversation with God, He fills our thoughts with ‘whatever.’

The Voice translation uses the word ‘meditate,’ which lends more depth to the sentiments we consider thinking about. To meditate is “to engage in thought or contemplation; reflect.”(Merriam-Webster) It specifies that these aren’t just random thoughts blurring through our brains, but notions we grab a hold of and let marinate in our minds. It’s there, in that pocket of relaxed concentration, that we witness the “beauty and truth” that God instructs us to “fill our minds with” in this month’s verse.

“Think about such things.” Philippians 4:8b(NIV)

Father, Praise You for teaching us so much through one word. Thank You for so clearly defining what we are to think about, speak of, and listen for. Forgive us for the times we don’t hear Your voice because we aren’t listening. Bless our thought-life to reflect Your love. May the Spirit that Jesus died to grant us access to be ever-present in our conversations with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Megs

Click HERE or on the image below for FREE VERSE MEMORY CARDS.

#recall12 August Verse Memory Cards PDF2#recall 12 August memory verse cards

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