The Brightened Dark. (#jammed daily devo, day 361)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 361: Finally here.

“…the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified…”

Luke 2:9

If we succumb to a fast paced life that isn’t suited to shelving schedules and opinions to DECJAM27stand and welcome God’s presence, we will miss a marvelous piece of the Christmas story.

Chills run down our spine as we worship together. What did the shepherds feel as angels appeared when Christ was born? What was it like to stand in the very presence of God when they visited baby Jesus? What we read about their indescribable experience is only a glimpse of how it affected them.

 

Jesus was born, walked the earth, and died so we could stand in awe of our most holy God.  It’s to be sought after. It’s in us. To be surrounded by the Lord’s glory doesn’t have to come in the form of heavenly angels, but it did for the shepherds.

glory (doxa) – opinion, judgment, view. – Strong’s

At the first glance of glory defined, we can see why they were terrified. What an immense feeling to be immediately taken from the dark and exposed to the light.

doxa- opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone (in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory)- Strong’s

Always a good opinion. 

Being in God’s presence pulls all of the good that we are to the front of our minds …because that’s how He sees us. He sees the image of Him that He created, suffering for the curse of sin. He knows us apart from and beyond our struggles. A plight we can’t even relate to yet on this earth.

“splendour, brightness” (Strong’s)

Past the all-consuming and fascinating brightness of the sun, the moon and the stars, is glory. The Glory that the Shepard’s witnessed was the arrival of God’s glory on earth in Christ.

  1. a thing belonging to God
  2. the kingly majesty which belongs to him as supreme ruler, majesty in the sense of the absolute perfection of the deity
  3. a thing belonging to Christ  (Strong’s)

“God in this place.” Even in worship with our eyes shut we can feel Him brightening us. Even if we’re only removed from our suffering temporarily …it’s enough. Enough to get us through to the other side, with a glimpse of what we’re to do for the Kingdom in the meantime.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for the Christmas angels that terrified the shepherds. Thank You for coming low so that we can know Your presence. Forgive us for wallowing in the heartache and struggle of this world, and help us to let go and just be in Your presence through worship and service. 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 Squinting,

Megs

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The Laundry (#jammed daily devo, day 307)

November #jammed: Gracious.

Day 307: Thankful to Stay.

For you are the fountain of life,
    the light by which we see.” Psalm 36:9307

Loads and loads and loads of laundry. There are weeks that I choose buy more underwear for everyone instead of facing the state of the laundry room.

Today’s verse can help us find life and light in any task we set out to do, even a room full of sticky, smelly laundry. When flipped to gratitude, each complaint takes on a new personality. The time to do the laundry and the means to afford the machines. The people that throw all of those clothes into the corner behind the bathroom door and all over the floor. The time to be home to get it all done.

“You are the fountain of my life, the light by which I see.”

When I look back and see God’s hand calling me over to this mountain of laundry, laughter starts rising from the depths of my soul. Memories of prayers for little feet and dirty hands, married life and motherhood …answered. We all have our mountains of laundry in life, but looking back reminds us that life is riddled with blessings and answers.

“See” in this verse means to experience, have, enjoy, glimpse, find … (NIV NOTES). God’s hand on and in our lives goes beyond what we can see with our literal eyes. In the deep part of who we are, God meets us with His will for our lives. A conversation starts, and we aren’t always able to translate and see what’s happening in real time. But when we look back to all the times we can remember tackling our mountains of laundry …we can see Him there.

When we seek Him for life, He gives us His Light. ” Ultimately, for sinners, God provides the water of life through Jesus Christ.” NIV Notes. Through Christ, we find our sight. And with Him, we can see over life’s mountains.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Christ! Thank You for Light and Love. Forgive us for complaining about our mountains of laundry, and help us to look back and see Your hand on our lives, trusting You are here now and will always be to guide us with Your Light. 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 Sorting & Folding,

Megs

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

Stay encouraged!

The Strengthening Sun (#jammed daily devo, day 297)

October #jammed: Free Grace.

Day 297: Love is blinding.

“May all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength.” Judges 5:31

A pink slit in the sky announces the giant ball of fire about to pierce through the clouds. day 297The show of colors that come before the morning sun is sometimes more beautiful that the actual site of it rising. Once it comes up, it’s too bright to look at, but the anticipation of it’s rising is beautiful to behold. The smallest fractions of light bounce into an array of colors that is never the same way twice.

Today’s verse is a prayer at the end of a song written by Deborah to commemorate a national victory.  It celebrates before the nations the righteous acts of the Lord and of his warriors. -NIV Study Bible Notes 

Deborah declared our love for the Lord to be as powerful and unique as the mark each sunrise leaves on our hearts. She speaks as someone who had witnessed a lot of amazing sunrises in her lifetime. As someone who rushes out to meet the sky each day, I recognize the same marvel of power that so quietly comes up over the horizon.

Our faith doesn’t have to be loud to be powerful. When we walk with Christ, the light is visible. In fact, sometimes it’s little too much for some people. It’s strong and radiant and it reaches into the cracks of darkness all around and lights it up.

The people that we were meant to shine on in this life, and those meant to shine on us, are all unique. Like the sunrise each morning, each one of us comes alive on this earth in our own way …in our own time …with our own purpose. We follow the Son’s steps home to heaven, and in the time in between, love shines bright.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:augFather, Praise You for the sunrise! Thank You for each day being different than the last, from beginning to end. We confess our passing by of days without effort to notice and be blessed by the brushstrokes of Your love. Bless us to shine, Lord. 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 Shining,

Megs

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

Stay encouraged!

The Baby Star (#recall12 series, April)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where our goal is to memorize a little bit more of God’s Word each month. This month’s verse is:

“We do not belong to the darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5

It can take billions of years for one moment of brilliance to come to fruition. In the life of a star, time is it’s very existence. There are stars that exist in dim light for millions and trillions of years before they are visibly bright enough to see.

april-recall-12-image-1Life can take a toll on our perspective, making it easy to pass by the simple purpose of light. When we strain to see in the dark …we miss the Light. As the verse above illumines, that’s not where we belong. Through this month’s verse, God reminds us why we are “children of the day.”

Find the Light.

“For you all are sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night or of darkness—” 1 Thes.5:5 (TLV)

After God spoke light into creation(Gen. 1:3), He declared it “good” and intentionally separated it from the darkness. Every good thing comes from God, because He is good.  Everything created by God, from the specific balance of nature’s cycles to the orbiting patterns of stars, is good. A flicker of goodness lies in every person, each one crafted in the image of Goodness and Light, Himself.

Jesus answered … Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” John 10:9-10

Though division in the world may spotlight conflict, difference is an innate quality of humanity. Jesus speaks about walking in the light as opposed to the dark. He doesn’t tell us to watch out for other’s intending to trip us in the dark. No, He tells us to walk in the light so we won’t trip. As the matter of a baby star turns inward and begins to spin, it’s light becomes visible. When we look a little deeper at ourselves and each other through His eyes, our perspective sight is illuminated.april-recall-image-2

Listen to the Light.

” For you are children of light. You are sons and daughters of the day. We are not created of night, nor are we owned by darkness.” 1 Thessalonians 5:5 (VOICE)

There is a spark in each human heart that beckons to be lit; and when we accept Christ as our Savior, that’s precisely what begins to happen. A young star begins to shine when enough matter has fallen on it. When we witness Light, bright beams permeate our landscape, and little bits of Him shine on everything …and everyone.

 Then Jesus told them, ‘You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. ‘” John 12:35

april-recall-tweet-2We’re privy to do something with the knowledge that keeps us from stumbling in the darkness. God’s Word is the way He communicates to us, when our ears are open to receiving what He has to say. That’s why Jesus is crucial. Through Him we receive the illumination of the Holy Spirit who reveals, reminds, and allows us to listen  …follow ..and walk in the Light.

Follow the Light.

“But friends, you’re not in the dark, so how could you be taken off guard by any of this? You’re sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. ” 1 Thes. 5:4-6(MSG)

After waiting millions of years to begin shining, a star is still not really a star. It will remain in transition for millions more…or perhaps trillions of years as it continues to mature.  Jesus walks with us in transition as we grow in spiritual maturity …a process that eventually leads us home to heaven.

april-recall-image-3

” This was the happy condition of the Thessalonians as it is of all true Christians …they were the children of the day, for the day-star had risen upon them; the Sun of righteousness had arisen on them with healing under his wings.” -Matthew Henry Commentaryapril-recall-tweet-1

Elohim, Creator of light and time, space and sky, nature and humanity, knows us. He calls us the light. He made us for day. Yet for now, we shine in the darkness, spinning inward and increasingly growing closer to our Father until one day …we will transition to the main sequence of our life beyond this one. And there, in heaven, we will remain forevermore. We are put here by good hands with a good plan and a good Guide. Jesus is the Light.

“I am here to bring light in this world, freeing everyone who believes in Me from the darkness that blinds him.” John 12:46 (VOICE)

Happy Brightening!

Megs

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