The Brim (#jammed daily devo, day 49)

February #jammed: Dunked in Grace 

Day 49: Simply Protected.

“Did someone forget to tell you that when we were initiated into Jesus the Anointed through baptism’s ceremonial washing, we entered into His death?” Romans 6:3 (VOICE)

“Did someone forget to tell you?”post-image-49

This reminds me of the warning labels and protective information that surround our daily life. We have to be privy to read labels because their writers can’t always be trusted, and mindful that our prescriptions don’t transform us into addicts. Cancer seems more plausible than avoidable. The sun is bad for our skin, but if stay completely out of it we’ll become deficient in vitamin D.

The book nerd is constantly reading and the health nut I am loves to be healthy …but sometimes it all just gives me a headache. Instead of hiding inside,  I apply SPF and head out into the sun under the brim of my hat. At least I’m semi-protected from the glare of the sun without blocking out it’s cheeriness.

In today’s verse, Paul is aggravated with his audience at the perplex stipulations they seem to be placing on sin. Does this count? How bad is this? What about if we ….? When my kids ask me if something is inappropriate, my response is, “if you have to ask, then it is.”

We go through a lot of preventative efforts in this life to avoid physical circumstances, but are often lacking a healthy soul. Relationship with our Father is crucial …not just our survival …but to our happiness!

“How did it get this far so fast?” Sin takes root in our hearts and spreads rapidly. We have a very real enemy on the prowl looking to give it a foothold, and without the freedom of forgiveness, it’s libel to take over. Jesus died so that we can leave our cancerous sin at the cross through repentance and relationship with God. The best testimony is a changed person.

All who have it look different than before. When we lift the weight of the world off of our shoulders and into the capable hands of Jesus, we begin to crave more grace. The brim of grace covers more than sunburn.

“Did someone forget to tell you?”

jammed-tweet-blueFather, Praise You for protecting us. Thank You for loving us perfectly. Forgive us for spending more time preventing measures other than the health of our soul! Guide us as we tend to the bodies that You have blessed us with, and send Your Spirit to tend to our soul as we read Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

What’s are you most worried about trying to prevent? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Label-reading,

Megs

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The Invisible Fire.

My little girl’s tears streamed onto my cheeks as she hugged me tight. Fearful that in the darkness of night our house would catch on fire, unreasonable emotion gripped her blotchy red face. Her pierced blue eyes searched mine for an answer …for comfort …for reassurance …all of which I was unqualified to promise her.invisible-fire-2

The anxieties we answer to in this life grab us much like Lauren’s sweet six-year-old heart, that can’t bear the thought of being separated from her teddy bear. Life is fragile. We want to look around and depend on each other to get through things that may never happen. We want to believe that everything is going to be ok, but it’s simply not always going to be. In fact, we’re promised that it will get much worse.

We can help our children cope with fear and anxiety by teaching them to pray these Words of God:

“Do not worry.” Matthew 6:34

“Do not fear.” Isaiah 41:10

invisible fire 4.jpg

Step Back.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Matthew 6:34 (The Message)

Our duty as parents is not to have all the answers, but to point to the One who does. We can aim to protect our children but we cannot promise them safety. Only God is sovereign to make good on the assured direction of their future.

“Lauren, can I pray for you?”

She nodded ‘yes’ through slowing sobs.

“Lord, you tell us not to fear, and not to worry. But that’s hard. We need Your help. Help Lauren not to worry, and not to be afraid. Let her rest in knowing how much you love her. God we pray that You protect and bless our home. Keep it and us safe. In Jesus Name, Amen.”

My godly duty as her mother is to reassure that she is loved …not just by me, but far invisible-fire-3greater. Her little heart needs to hear that He is good, that she can trust Him, and that He he cares about her fears and worries.

“Jesus explains the futility of such worry for one’s life (Mt 6:25), time (6:27, 34), clothes (6:28), and even what one will eat (6:31). Such a focus is not only a wasted effort on something that one cannot change (cf. Lk 12:25), but it leads to unhealthy anxiety.” Mounce’s Complete Expository Dictionary

If the thing I want to be able to promise will never harm a hair on her head singes her life, He will get her through. He will love her. He will grow her. He will never leave her side.

Through the calamity of this world, God does not promise Christians a free pass from pain. He gifts us the grace, peace and hope to keep walking through it. We grip Him in fear, look to Him in awe, and trust Him with it all …through it all.

Let Go.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Night after night my little Lo cried at bedtime, afraid our house would catch on fire. Night after night we prayed together, and repeated those truths to her tiny heart and my overwhelmed one. Until one night, her brave blue eyes stared right into mine and with a small, still voice, wondered:

“Mom, can I say a special prayer?” I nodded, misty-eyed.

“Dear God, Please bless us and don’t let our house catch on fire. Keep everyone in our family safe, and my teddy and blankie and all of my toys. We love you God and Jesus, Amen.”

Our great God hears the prayers of tender little hearts, and understands their fears.

invisible-fire-1

Sometimes it takes months, years, decades, lifetimes …before the discipline to turn to God first replaces our knee-jerk reaction to solve humanity’s dysfunctional fears and worries. But I believe that when God’s truth repeated is alive,  powerful, and in motion.

My greatest prayer as a mother is that my daughters will know that God loves them perfectly, even when I do not.

“The scope of these verses is to silence the fears, and encourage the faith, of the servants of God in their distresses.“ Matthew Henry Commentary on Isaiah 41:10-20

Prayer becomes powerful conversation. The grace of accepting Jesus’ sacrifice as allows us to experience a power that is not of this world. Discernment of text that is much more that black and white letters on a page. It’s much more than a good story. He is God.  He was here. And now His Spirit lives in us.

Invisible fire, indeed.

Happy praying,

Megs

 

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