The Word "No." (#jammed daily devo, day 279)

October #jammed: Free Grace.

Day 279: The Good “No.”

Barak told her, “I will go, but only if you go with me.” Judges 4:8

day 279

We teach our kids “just say no,” and to stick up for themselves, but then tell them to
accept everyone. It’s confusing, and a perfect reflection of an imperfect world. It doesn’t get any easier to determine the right time to say no and the right time to be accepting. Our attempt to accomplish the combination of the two is the most important thing we’re put on this earth to do. Love.

Barak is in a similar conundrum of sorts in today’s verse. He’s told Deborah, “No.” He’s not going into battle without her. She’s their leader, and though a woman and a rarity in Old Testament days and beyond, Deborah used her talents to inspire Israel during a dark time. (NIV Student Bible Notes.)

Throughout the Bible we can hardly find a more well-rounded leader, male or female, than Deborah. She was a military leader and judge, mother and wife, prophet and poet. Her wisdom was so renowned that people brought their disputes to her as she sat under a large palm tree, the Palm of Deborah.

It’s no wonder Barak hung onto her words and her faith like his life depended on it. God provides great beacons for us to hold onto in this life, but we must never clutch to them as if they are as great as or greater than God. All beacons in this life point to His compassionate love for us. 

We walk with God when we believe in Jesus. Unlike any human on earth we look to, we can put our full confidence in Christ. He will go with us always. Never parting, never failing, never dying or leaving. He is and was and ever shall be with us. When we are afraid to go into the battle of the day, we can rest in His confidence. We can follow His guidance, trusting that we are safe in His leadership.

Jesus was the only One that ever accomplished love on earth perfectly. His voice is the only one we should follow unabashedly. Don’t be afraid to “just say no,” to any and all other voices in life. Align all words, always, to His.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:augFather, Praise You for Deborah. Thank You for showing us that gender doesn’t determine our limitations in this life, but help us to remember to consult You first concerning what we are supposed to do in this life …instead of focusing on what we are capable of entitled to. We confess our ambition and defense of the latter, and pray that You bless and guide our steps to lead down the path of Your will for 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 Going With,

Megs

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

 

Stay encouraged!

The Bother (#jammed daily devo, day 225)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 225: Keep asking.

“Do not ever swear an oath.” Matthew 5:34August 13

If I had a dollar for every time my kids assured me beyond a shadow of a doubt they did something I asked them to do, my husband and I would be able to retire.

Why is your homework still in your folder?

I thought you said you cleaned your room?

Weren’t you supposed to pick up all of the yard bombs?

I told you to shut the door.

What are you doing?

Matthew knew what he was talking about when he wrote “don’t make an oath.”

oath-a solemn, usually formal calling, upon God -or a god -to witness to the truth of what one says, or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says.

An oath isn’t just a promise. As ornery as my kids are, they aren’t swearing to God that they’ve completed their chores …at least, not yet. But, many of us let that verbiage fly out of our mouths everyday without a thought of what we’re actually saying.

What begins with a simple attempt to honor something becomes a tangled up mess of misrepresentation and consequence. Dishonesty doesn’t stand up well to the Truth. And the  Truth, God’s Word, tells us not to “swear to God.” Beyond just curse words, we are called to honor our word by honoring His Word. It’s the premise of honestly committing to something we genuinely thing we can uphold.

“Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.'” Matthew 5:37

That’s a seemingly simple solution that is hard to live by amidst the pressure that we put on ourselves concerning our reputation with others, and our pride within. But when we walk with Christ and spend time in God’s Word, the Spirit will strengthen us to straighten out our words.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for the promises You keep. Thank You for meeting us in Your Word and preparing our hearts to receive it. We confess that we do not always stop to recall Your guidance before we speak, and ask that You send Your Spirit to help alert us. 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 Speaking,

Megs

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

Stay encouraged!

The Book Fair (#jammed daily devo, day 179)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 179: Wise choices.

Careful words make for a careful life.” Proverbs 13:3 (Message)June 28

“Do not get a toy.” I sternly stared into my six-year-old’s eyes as I slid her book fair money into her folder.

“What about books that come with a toy….” she plotted and ployed in search of the perimeters of her choices.

“Lauren.” That was the last warned tone I advised her with before zipping up her book bag and kissing her ‘bye’ for the day.

After days of begging me for a specific book that ‘needed’ to be squeezed onto her overcrowded book shelf, fresh possibilities were creeping into her mind along with the ten dollar bill swimming around in her backpack. She was preparing me for a decision she might make, and fishing around to find out what would happen …

Today’s verse reminds us of the careful choices we must make with our words. We are all prone to take our emotion out on those around us instead of looking inward reflectively, and upward prayerfully before we speak. Words are a preface to action.

Those that say anything they want to are often prepared to justify actions, as well. “Those who are the loudest are not the most loyal.” Steven Furtick. The ones who let fear swallow their words often allow themselves to be pulled into situations and conversations that make them feel uncomfortable.

The only way to find middle-ground is through Christ. Jesus came to give the perfect example of when to speak and what Truth to stand on. The Holy Spirit is upon us when we walk with Christ, and it is through His power that we are able to control our tongue or exert the courage to speak up. Through moments of prayer He helps us interpret what’s appropriate to say …or not say.

Bounding out of school and down the sidewalk adjacent to the pick-up line, in her purple ruffled coat and Chewbacca book bag, wearing the biggest smile I’ve ever seen on her face …came my daughter with her spoils from the book fair. A giant, purple cat poster that said “Mermaid at Heart.”

We never talked about a poster. She didn’t ask, and I didn’t say no.

“Don’t worry, Mom!” she assured me …“it was the same price as my book…”

Be still my heart.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for the humorous way in which You teach us life lessons. Thank You for my little Lo’s sparkling spirit, and for the reminder to choose my words carefully. Forgive us for letting our words, or lack thereof, take center-stage, and grant us the peace and guidance of Your Spirit to help us know what to say and when to say it. 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 Talking …or not,

Megs

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

Stay encouraged!