The Agenda (#jammed daily devo, day 202)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 202: What we’re up to.

“He deserted His own sanctuary at Shiloh,the tent where He had lived in the midst of His people. July 21He handed His strength over to captivity; He put His splendor under the enemy’s control.” Psalm 78: 60-61 (VOICE)

When I was in school, we had all passes, but substitute teaching has introduced me to the “agenda.” Apparently, it’s easier to sign an entire book and carry it with than initial a pass. Either way, it keeps tabs on where the students are at, and holds them accountable for where they are going.

These verses out of Psalm 78 speak of a time during the Judges when the Ark of the Covenant was stolen by the enemy. What I love about this verse, is that the Author reminds us who was ultimately in omnipotent control.

“He …His …He …His… He…His …He …His…”

Israel had been a rebellions pain in the but, and God allowed them suffer the wrath of their poor choices. Just Judge that He is, and perfect Father discipling His imperfect children …away the Ark …and everything that it meant and symbolized to His people …went. They followed the Ark though the desert for forty years. Broke it down and set it back up for each move of the pillar of cloud.

Without the presence of the Ark to keep tabs on where they were at and hold them accountable for where the were going, the Israelites lost more than ever before.

Jesus died to be our agenda. To keep us on a straight path and in check with Whose we are and where we are headed. He personally saved each one of us on that cross. Knew us before we knew of Him. Guides us until we meet Him in heaven. Through Christ as our Savior, the Spirit moves in and our of our lives, as we pursue a heart more like His. It’s life’s agenda.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for giving us an Agenda. Thank You for Jesus! In Him, we have the perfect example to follow and friend to lead us. Forgive us for faltering in our lives as we stumble to make our own way instead of trying to find You. Bless us to seek Your agenda 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 Friend-ing

Megs

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

The Dogfights (#jammed daily devo, day 201)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 201: Dukes up.

“Moses (to God):  Who am I to confront Pharaoh and lead Israel’s children out of Egypt?'” Exodus July 203:11 (VOICE)

Today’s verse is a dogfight. God is telling Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand the release of the Egyptians, and Moses is telling God ‘no.’

dogfight-A device used in marches and piano rags to introduce a contrast in style and break the flow of the composition with a loud and intense musical statement.

“Who am I?” Moses says. Moses …it’s God! Just do what He tells you to do! Are you kidding? 

 The dogfight is special because it characterized by a musical interaction between instruments or groups of instruments playing a short musical phrase followed by another short musical phrase by a different group of instruments.

A dogfight is a musical conversation. Can’t you just hear the trumpets play as Moses whines? And the big bellowing tubas as God responds to Moses. Back and forth, until God finally allows Aaron to speak for Moses.

“Who am I?”

When we wonder who we are, God reminds us we are His. Even when we dig our heals in, turn and run, or bury our heads in the sand. We are still His. Always His. Whether or not we acknowledge our Creator, Author of us He is. We may not be able to talk directly to Him through a burning bush like Moses, but we can dogfight through prayer. He will respond.

Moses was honest with God, and God looks at the heart. He honors those who honor Him. Moses felt unworthy, unqualified, and scared. When we feel the same, we can talk to Him, too. Jesus is bridges the gap from our unworthiness to God’s holiness. He is the Way we talk to God. He is the Truth God speaks to us. He is the Life we receive when we accept Him as our Savior.

Who are we?

His.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You that we are Yours, now and forevermore. Thank You for Jesus, and His willingness to lay down His earthly life for us so that we can dogfight with You. Forgive us for our doubt and hesitation. For our lack of faith in who You made us to be. Please bless us and strengthen our hearts and resolve to follow Your Son. 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. 

The Accidentals (#jammed daily devo, day 200)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 200: A slightly different sound.

“This is My name forevermore, and this is the name by which all future generations shall
remember Me.” Exodus 3:15

July 19

When I heard the name of one of my favorite bands while subbing for the High School Band teacher, I realized just how out of my element I was.

“Watch out for the accidentals,” the student teacher advised.

I almost shouted, “Hey, I know them! Love that band!”

But the room full of adolescents knew exactly what he meant, and went on playing without  missing a beat. I scribbled in my journal instead of asking what it meant. And this is what I …well, Google …found:

“An accidental in music is a symbol that indicates the modification of a pitch.”

Interesting, isn’t it? Our pitch can change. We definitely go through a lot of change as we grow up and grow old.

Not God. Today’s verse assures us that He is the same. Then, now, and always.

“I am.” Exodus 3:14

God is unchanging. We don’t need to watch the verse stanzas for the accidentals. He is the same from the beginning of the Bible to the very last page. For all of time and to the end of time …God promises, “I am.”

We may be all over the place in this life, but Christ is constant. The Way. The Truth, and the Life. He knew us when God knit us. He loved us when He hung on a cross for us. When we accept Him, our hearts will forever be on a course charted to be more like His. And He will always walk with us. The key to our insecurity lies in trusting that in His arms, we are secure.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, You are constant, and we praise You. Thank You for Your loving us as much today as You always have. The perfect love of the great I Am. We confess any previous denial of Your Son, and fully accept Jesus Christ to be our personal Savior. Forgive us, and grow us in holiness, forevermore. 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. 

 

The #GodisGreater Shirt (#jammed daily devo, day 199)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 199: Be bold.

“So the impossible is possible with God.” Luke 1:37 (VOICE)July 18

In a sea of high-schoolers, it’s cool to see a #GodisGreater t-shirt drifting down the hall. It’s been a while since I walked the halls of a high school, and I wasn’t sure what to expect.   Young people are impressive. They’re generally ready to make a difference, and it’s encouraging to see so many of them are on a mission to make a difference for God.

My daughters are still in elementary school, but the teenage years will be here before I’m ready. The challenges that era of life will bring, for them and I, will be a chapter we’ll remember …for better or worse. As a parent, I scratch my head trying to figure out how that can be my kid walking the hall proudly with the #GodisGreater t-shirt on. How can I protect them from making the same mistakes I made?

“The impossible is possible with God.”

Impossibilities are the challenges God has prepared us to face ….with Him. My daughters don’t have to walk down the same roads I did if they are following His lead. God’s grip on my life serves as a witness of Him to them.

“For no word from God will ever fail.” Luke 1:37 (NIV)

Not one word. When I say that something will never, ever happen …I feel an automatic feeling of regret. That’s become a signal to the next challenge I’ll inevitably have to face. But when God says it, He’s capable of fulfilling it. His Word is Truth.

“We’re not waiting on the proof of God, we are proof of God.” Pastor Steven Furtick

Our lives are proof of His possibility, and our children are in His hands. Jesus will chase them, as He did us. I’ll be the first one to hug them if they do, but I pray that my daughters wont’t have to live through the same messes and mistakes I did.

Once we learn to trust God and follow Jesus, the Spirit translates our striving into purpose.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for impossibilities. Thank You for allowing us to witness so many of them become possible through our faith in Your Son, Jesus. Forgive us when we fear the future and doubt Your capability through our faith to break cycles. Bless our children to follow You fast and furiously, never veering …to experience the full calling You have on their 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 Friend-ing

Megs

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

The Crowd (#jammed daily devo, day 198)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 198: Fit in there.

“I’m working hard to comfort and encourage them so that they will be knit together—that manyJuly 17 hearts would become one through His love.” Colossians 2:2 

When Paul was writing this letter, there was a lot of talk about the kind of knowledge required to “know” Christ. And Paul, I like to imagine in his own wonderfully over-dramatic way, had to be shaking his head and wondering how they could have missed the mark by so much.

Loving Christ has less to do with what we know, and everything to do with what we believe. Questioning and seeking factual and historical knowledge can be crucial to building a solid foundation of faith. And should be encouraged! The Bible’s historical accuracy is fascinating! But the quest for that type of knowledge has never been a requirement to follow Jesus.

“Believe, and follow me.” That’s the key to eternal life. Believe and follow Jesus. That’s it. It’s cool to know all kinds of Biblical trivia, but it’s not necessary. That’s not the point of spending time in the Word. The wonder of God’s Word is the witness of His movement in and out of our lives.

He speaks to our prayers, guards and guides our hearts. God’s Word is living, moving, and breathing. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, the Word begins to flow in and out of our lives like the wind …invisible but palpable. The Spirit moves to translate our prayers and His Words into a spiritual, soul-stirring symphony.

Over-dramatic Paul. Shipwrecked, beaten, jailed, and tormented Paul …had Peace. And he so desperately wanted everyone else to have it to. Especially the beloved followers he spent time nurturing. Because when one soul meets Jesus, it sparks a wild fire. He knew every thread of our being and every thought we entertain before He died on that cross. His love is incomprehensible to the human mind. It’s surreal …Truth.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for Paul. Thank You for the trail of his life and of Your love that we read and experience through Your Word. Forgive us for neglecting to make more time for to spend in it. Bless our days with stretched-out minutes to experience the soul shaking reality of Your Living Word. 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. 

The Next Turn (#jammed daily devo, day 197)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 197: What’s next.

” So now who will lead us…?” Judges 1:1July 16

“How did I miss that?!” I laughed, knowing my tendency to overlook HUGE details …like the fact that my passport had not expired before sending in my request to renew it. I filled out the rest of my mission application, scanned it, and sent it off. I could feel the excitement … the ‘meant to be’-ness of it all. My dream was finally coming true. I was going to Africa! Until … I discovered ten minutes later that the next trip conflicted with the dance recital dates that I had triple checked.

“Now what?” In a swing of twenty minutes, my hopes were realized …and then deferred.

Today’s verse tells of God’s people looking for their “now what?” Moses passed leadership to Joshua, so after Joshua’s death, the people naturally looked for the next leader that God would provide. The book of Judges records an in-between era, before the first king of Israel was chosen. In that time, God’s people were dealt judgement for their disobedience, and deliverance from invasion.

The promised land was in disarray. How could they have let that happen?

The story of God’s people is one of what not to do with hope deferred. Let’s not fill in our own answers when God is quiet. To remain faithful and hopeful and know that He’s got the best plan, and that all of steps in it are equally as important. I will prepare, and follow, and serve until it’s my turn to go …to Africa. I think sometimes, He checks our hearts for the ready and willingness to go when He says it’s time.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for missions! Thank You for the opportunities we have to serve and love Your people around the world. Forgive us for becoming frustrated with hopes deferred and trips delayed. Help us to trust You and hear Your voice louder than all others. 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 Traveling,

Megs

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

The "How many more…?" (#jammed daily devo, day 196)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 196: Hope rises.

 His is the greatest of plans and the deepest of comprehensions.” Job 12:13 (VOICE)July 15

“How many more days ….?”

They start asking as soon as we get home, and don’t stop until we’re in the car on the way back …when they then switch to …

“Are we there yet?”

Missing family that is far away never gets any easier, but we do get used to it. My kids …and my husband and I …have learned to trust God’s plan for our lives over what we want to happen. And for that, we have all become stronger …and closer …to Him.

“To God belong wisdom and power;
    counsel and understanding are his.” Job 12:13 (NIV)

There are going to be many things in this life that we are not going to understand. Through every heartache, we grow closer to Jesus. Everyday is a countdown of sorts …knowing that with every passing day we are one day closer to hugging Him in heaven. And whatever He has in store for us along the way will only add to the suspense. This early place starts to feel temporary as we grow closer to Him …and home.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for the things we don’t understand in life. Thank You for trials that strengthen us. We confess that we almost always react with resistance and emotion when life blindsides us, but ask You to strengthen our hearts and draw us closer to 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. 

The Piece (#jammed daily devo, day 195)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 195: What’s missing?

 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people.” July 141Samuel 2:26

Finding peace is a process.

The story of Samuel, a prophet of the Old Testament days, is endearing to me because he was an answer to prayer. His mother, Hannah, was unable to have children …and mocked by her husband’s other wife for it. When Hannah went to the temple to pray for Samuel, she was so lost in earnest prayer to God that the priest thought she was drunk!

When we allow the deepest and darkest hurting places cry out to our great God, it moves His heart. Hannah had a son. After she released her angst to God in prayer she felt immediate peace. Before God answered! What great faith in  God’s promise to hear us.  She named her son Samuel, and when he was two or three years old, Hannah took him back to the temple to give him to the Lord’s service …as she promised she would.

How could Samuel grow in anything but “stature and in favor with the Lord,” with a mom so strong in faith like Hannah.

Not every prayed-for answer mirrors Hannah’s exact experience. Maybe Hannah believed that having a child was her missing piece, but after her prayerful experience with God in the temple, realized that peace was what had been missing all along.

When we trust God with His good plan for our lives, we experience Peace. Why do we look around in comparison, yearning for what we don’t already have?

Maybe, we’re just missing Peace.

Maybe, we’re missing Jesus. Freedom and peace await an agenda surrendered to the foot of the cross. 

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for Peace. Thank You for Jesus’ death on the cross, so that we may live in pursuit of Your calling on our lives. Forgive us for wanting our plans more than wanting to know what Your plans are for us. Bless and heal our hearts to trust You, and be more like Jesus’. 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. 

The Chin Hair (#jammed daily devo, day 194)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 194: Who does it bother?

“You will not have to fight this battle.” 2 Chronicles 20:17July 13

When she asked me if I had a pair of tweezers, the last thing I expected my Grandmother to tell me was that I was the one who needed them …for a chin hair that she so graciously pointed out to me. Of course I hadn’t noticed it. At the time, I was up to my elbows in diapers, lucky to catch a glance at the mirror when I brushed my teeth.

There will always be some matter of criticism that we have to endure, whether from family and friends or complete strangers. But not every piece of unwarranted advice has to be hastily applied to our lives. When we feel overly picked a part, it’s time to remind ourselves who God says we are.

Loved. Called. Worthy.

Regardless of a stray chin hair.

In today’s verse, God is encouraging the people not to worry …they will not have to fight the military battle that ensued …the Lord would deliver them.

 “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chronicles 20:17 

Often, when under attack, our first instinct is to panic. The red flush of embarrassment burns in our cheeks and our stomachs lurch as the snickering ensues. When that happens, as it will in this life, we must remember whose we are, and what He says.

“Go out and face them…”

When we are tempted to turn on our heals and run, Jesus waits to walk hand and hand with us. We are never alone when we walk through life with Christ. He died so that would be the case.

“the Lord will be with you.”

It was true for the army in 2 Chronicles, and it’s true for us today. Jesus was, is, and ever shall be, the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

When we are up against offense, He is there to fight for us. God sees when our hearts have been hurt, and defends His beloved.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for Your loyal love. Thank You for defending us and accompanying us through life. We confess the times we don’t come to you, and instead feed our anger and pride. Remind us to lift our pain up to You in defense. 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. 

The Slippers (#jammed daily devo, day 193)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 193: Set apart.

 Now if you will hear My voice, obey what I say, and keep My covenant, then you—out of all the July 12nations of the world—will be My treasured people. After all, the earth belongs to Me. You will be My kingdom of priests, a nation holy and set apart.” Exodus 19:5-6 (VOICE)

Slippers. They, in themselves, are both the comfort and the confines of motherhood. We leave them on as we hop in the car to drop our kids off at school, accidentally show up at Bible study in them, cruise the aisles of Target as if nothing is out of the ordinary, and cumulatively decide to leave them on for girls night in.

Amidst the exhausting days when our kids are sick or wont’s sleep …that drag into weeks and sometimes months …we’re much too tired to care if it’s acceptable. Maybe that’s part of what sets us moms a part. Our confidence to leave the house in our slippers.

In today’s Scripture God called His people to be set a part. They would need confidence, because it would be hard. And time and time again, they would ditch their comfy slippers and choose to be like everyone else, instead.

 you—out of all the nations of the world—will be My treasured people

Do we want to be treasured? We’re called to be. Set a part to be. Jesus died so that we could stake our claim as God’s chosen people. Through His Son, He made a way for our sin-soaked humanity to return to His presence. It’s hard. When we confidently place our lives in His hands, we walk into the Light that’s always been ours to bask in.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for calling Your people to be set a part. Thank You for Jesus’ sacrifice, which grants grace to all who believe. Forgive our lack of faith, and give us courage to give our lives to confidently to 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.