The White Donkeys (#jammed daily devo, day 296)

October #jammed: Free Grace.

Day 296: Old fashioned highlight reels.

“You who ride on white donkeys, sitting on your saddle blankets, and you who walk along the road, consider the voice of the singers at the watering places. They recite the victories of the Lord, the victories of his villagers in Israel.'” Judges 5:10-11

Scrolling through the latest edition of smiles and happy sentiments is mostly fulfilling,day 295 but every so often a season of comparison and discouragement sets in as my social media feeds refresh. It can come out of nowhere and be triggered by nothing in particular. The constant seed of jealousy will threaten to plant itself in our minds and take root in our hearts unless we purposely practice being happy for other people.

In the Old Testament, white donkey’s were the highlight reel of choice:

While donkeys were ridden by the upper classes as symbols of status. Among the Canaanites the economically powerful advertised their social standing further by dressing the donkeys with luxurious “saddle blankets.”  NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible.

Yet, the Bible says, “consider the voice of the singers at the watering places. They recite the victories of the Lord, the victories of his villagers in Israel.'” God’s people were encouraged by His victory in their lives, as the white donkeys of progress and prosperity passed them by. 

Through the thick of social media, we are called to remember the blessings and victories the Lord has accomplished in our lives. When we look for the Light there, we’ll see it. We may have to unfollow a few people, but there’s light to be found, and we have light to shine there, too. 

As we look around the world, sifting for our place in it all, comparison is a normal reaction.  Christ builds our confidence in who we’ve become through following Him. Be happy for the white donkeys, but know that we possess something so much more valuable.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:augFather, Praise You for the way You teach us how to become who we are through Your Son. Thank You for the reminder to be happy for others and grateful for our victories and blessings. We confess the discouragement that has been bred out of the comparison we have let our minds wander into, and pray that Your blessing and protection over where our minds drift and our lives travel. 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 Sift-Surfing,

Megs

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Stay encouraged!

The One Verse (#jammed daily devo, day 277)

October #jammed: Free Grace.

Day 277: The power to turn us.

“Shamgar son of Anath rescued Israel.” Judges 3:31 NLT

Mom’s know that there are little words required to get our point across when the edgeday 277 has been trampled over and the house rules lie shattered on the ground. In fact, words aren’t always required.

Today’s one verse tells the entire story of a man’s life. One source suggested that Shamgar’s very name was a riddle! In the book of Judges, God sent, enlightened, and empowered hero’s to save His people at their request. Again and again they would stray away, and then come back and beg God for help.

Our loving Father, though He cannot in His perfectly just manner be in the presence of or excuse the consequence of sin, will never leave us alone and abandoned when we cry out to Him. In this one verse, He sends Shamgar.

Shamgar ben Anath was not intentionally serving Israelite interests, yet Yahweh still provided deliverance by his hand. -NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible

We are all potential instruments of the good works of God, and the amazing feats that come from the drafts of His creative hand.

He once killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad. Judges 3:31

There’s no way on earth Shamgar was that strong or that capable. To destroy hundreds of men with a stick is unrealistic. It’s impossible. And it’s exactly the kind of thing that God does.

An oxgoad was a long wooden stick, sometimes having a stone or metal tip. It was used to poke oxen to make them keep moving when working. It was a simple farm instrument that many Israelites owned, and for Shamgar to use it successfully against hundreds of well-armed Philistines shows God’s supernatural blessing on his exploits. -NIV Quest Study Bible Notes

We may not understand death and destruction, why God allows it and why He doesn’t stop it. How suffering is allowed at the hand of one and cursed at the hand of another. There is much we don’t know and will never comprehend. But we can trust that God is good, and that He is the God of the impossible. He will never leave us stranded, even in the wake of our own bad choices. Jesus died on the cross to wipe away anything that could ever separate us from God.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:augFather, Praise You for the heroes of the Old Testament, and the lessons that we learn from the works You drafted in their lives. Thank You for the lessons we learn from Shamgar’s impossible feat, and unintentional service on Your behalf. Forgive us for thinking we accomplish impossible feats by our own strength, and bless us to give You honor for the amazing things You do in all of our lives. 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 One Verse Searching,

Megs

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Stay encouraged!

The Make-up. (#jammed daily devo, day 210)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 210: Take care of what’s underneath.

“During that period, there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what seemed right to them.” July 29Judges 21:25

“Mom,” my youngest daughter informed, “I’m going to play with all of my make-up today.”

Her Saturday plans were spread out all over her bedroom floor. Every free sample and clearance kit I had ever passed to her was cracked open and ready.

“Let’s make a space for that today so you don’t have to sit on the floor,” I suggested.

I gave up telling her ‘no’ and instead taught her how to blend so she didn’t look so scary when she caked eyeshadow and blush on in a rainbow of colors. She’s not allowed to wear it out of the house, and knows she doesn’t need it to be pretty. But, she likes to play with it.

Today’s verse comes from Judges, a time when God’s people had very little restraint and sporadic leadership. “Everyone did what seemed right to them.” Pictures pre-schoolers running around the playground with a full face of make up on. That would be ridiculous, right? There has to be some limit …for them at this time, there wasn’t. And it got them into a lot of trouble …over and over again. The Promised Land was being wrecked.

There’s a lot of pressure for Christians to remain relevant. It’s important to be able to relate to the next generation and our job to reach them for Christ. To help hurting people, we have to be where they are at.

Relevancy often lies in the stories we are too scared to share. Human pain and suffering is something Christians are not immune to. Many of us can look back on a time when our lives looked like something out of the book of Judges. No rules and whatever we wanted.

Let’s remember not to extract our ‘relevant’ stories in our efforts to reach others with the love of Jesus. Our passion for our Savior’s love runs as deep because of what we’ve been through. Remaining relevant is remembering where we were before He pulled us up.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for who we are. Thank You for the struggles that each of us wear in this life. We confess forgetting and shoving them down into our past …and pray that You inspire us to pull our truth out to cross bridges …to get to hurting people …and love them for You. 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 Friend-ing

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

Stay encouraged!