The Child Among His Children (#jammed daily devo, day 362)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 362: His arrival.

Suddenly a messenger of the Lord stood in front of them, and the darkness was replaced by a glorious light—the shining light of God’s glory. They were terrified! Luke 2:9 (VOICE)

The tickets were paid for long in advance, but I had mentally ducked out of the plans I DECJAM28had spun into existence several times as the date crept up.  What’s the point of standing in worship under bright lights, as opposed to at church on a Sunday or in my ears-buds walking down the pier?

When “God is in this place,” as He promises to be when we gather to worship Him together, He’s omnipotently arranged something. We can pretty much count on that. God calls us to “go,” and walking with Jesus will illuminate the purpose of every chance experience.

For the shepherds in the field that witnessed God’s angels, purpose was layered into the very thread of who God knew they were.  Let’s look at the feelings the shepherds felt.

Suddenly –happening or coming unexpectedly; changing angle or character all at once. (Merriam-Webster)

The shepherds were instantly changed when the sky lit-up. They couldn’t unsee what they saw, un-feel what they felt, or un-hear what they heard. Jesus doesn’t need to prep our hearts for His arrival. In an instant admission of belief, we are changed forever. Suddenly, we see. In fact, we’re blinded. There’s no going back.

front- facing forward; directed forward. (dictionary.com)

The shepherds weren’t startled because the angels crept up behind them. They were right in front of them. Do we know that God faces us? That we can face Him? Christ Jesus, the child among His people. The ones He choose to die for …to look at, face to face.

light- something that makes things visible or affords illumination (dictionary.com)

Light allows us to see where we are going, but the light of the Lord Jesus allows us to see who we are. In a dark world, Christians can be joyful because He allows us to see His light. The light came to us on Christmas, when God’s glory came to earth.

terrified- to fill with terror or alarm; to make greatly afraid.

In order to understand the awe, coupled with the fight-or-flight shock that accompanied the shepherds reaction, here is terror defined:

terror- intense, sharp, overmastering fear

Sometimes our greatest terror is sprung from a fight within us and around us. Knowing and being able to feel and witness God’s glory in that moment in the field announcing Jesus’ birth, the shepherds felt the overwhelming awesomeness of God. Yet, something in them told them to be afraid. When we experience fear, we can determine where to steer it by remembering who God is. The shepherds choose to obey. They headed the angels and went to see Jesus, and told everyone about His birth.

How often do we let our fear fuel our self-doubt? But if we let our awe of God drive us to obedience, we get to experience Jesus.

The shepherds witnessed the Son of God. The very glory that turned the darkness of night into shocking brightness, come to earth.

The Child among His children.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for the obedience of the shepherds. Thank You for choosing those of simple stature in society to witness the Savior of the world lying in a manger. Forgive us for overlooking the circle of light that took place on Christmas, as Jesus’ glory came to earth. Bless us to appreciate and obey the awe-striking moments of opportunity You illuminate in 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 Shimmering,

Megs

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

Stay encouraged!

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

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

 

 

Stay encouraged!

The Praise-Proof (#jammed daily devo, day 351)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 351: The “In” Crowd.

 The shepherds returned to their flocks, praising God for all they had seen and heard, and they glorified God for the way the experience had unfolded just as the heavenly messenger had predicted.” Luke 2:20 (VOICE)

It’s always interesting to see why God brings a group of people together. More than the DECJAM17“why,” it’s amazing to witness the “what.” What happens is nothing short of a miracle. Lives weave in and out with similar stories and struggles. Things that we don’t account for at face value have a way of touching our hearts. For this girl, wanting to be friends with everybody, a new group coming together is nothing short of Christmas come early.

Today’s verse tells of the shepherds reaction to baby Jesus. What a roller coaster ride of emotion they had been on: “terrified” by the angels that revealed themselves with a message of the Savior’s birth; and witness to scene exactly the way it was the angels foretold.

We always have a little doubt lodged in our hearts before we can attach a visual to audible text. Why did God put that there? The desire for visual affirmation?

God left a trail of proof all throughout history, when He didn’t have to. Faith is believing what we cannot see. But oh, do we long to see!! We strain our necks to see things …quiet our breathing to overhear …we’re constantly searching for evidence. It’s our nature. But, why?

“The shepherds returned to their flocks, praising God for all they had seen…”

The proof is in our praise. In each individual life and set of circumstances and experiences, a trail of proof is being laid. No one will ever bear witness to God’s miracles in our lives if we suffer from a lack of praise. When we give our miracles vocal recognition, it allows others to see them.

God reveals miracles to us and to others the same way He moves in and out of His Living Word, touching our hearts a hundred different ways at a hundred different times with the same story.

Miracles.

We are the evidence.

And our praise is the proof.

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise you for miracles! For the miracle of Jesus, and the trail of proof you leave for us to discover. Thank You for working in our lives so personally, and forgive us for questioning our miracles! Instead, help us to give our miracles a voice of praise as proof to hurting hearts that You are our Healer. 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 Praising,

Megs

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

Stay encouraged!