The Journal (#jammed daily devo, day 177)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 177: Accepting responsibility.

“Now stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith. He endured the cross and ignored the shame of that death because He focused on the joy that was set before Him; and now He is seated beside God on the throne, a place of honor.” Hebrews 12:June 26

“Mom,” she whimpered, “everyone else’s journals are covered in stickers already.”

“Well, I write in it every time you give it to me,” I reassured her, “I love writing to you.”

“Why don’t you take it out of my bag and write in it more?” she demanded.

Typical. She forgets to put it on my desk, so logically it’s all my fault that it’s not been written in enough.

“ignored the shame of death.” When we are tempted to look around and blame, today’s verse is a helpful piece of our Savior’s character to savor. He chose to ignore the shame of His death on the cross. When we have to admit we are wrong or put our egos to death, that’s not the first emotion that we reach to embrace. We want to pitch blame! On someone …anyone!

“He focused on the joy that was set before Him.”

He knew that His obedient death on the cross meant a seat beside His Father’s throne in heaven. When we put our egos to death, shame does not have to rise up. Let the hope of Grace fill the gap between accepting responsibility for sin and accepting forgiveness from Him.

Even though I know I can pull it out of her bag whenever I want …and sometimes do …I really want my daughter to accept responsibility for her responsibilities while the risk and consequence is as low as a journal without as many stickers on it as her classmates.

She stubbornly argued for an hour about why it was my fault before moving on to why it was her dad’s fault, too.

 

Over and over as she dug her feet in and resisted acknowledging her lack of responsibility. The next morning, the journal was on my desk. And I wrote about half a dozen entries worth. Jesus not only forgives us, He blesses us with abundant love. 

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Father, Praise You for Jesus. Thank You for the opportunity to reflect upon His character as an example of how to handle ourselves. Forgive us for neglecting to acknowledge You sovereign hand in our situations. Strengthen us to follow Christ’s example. 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 Humility,

Megs

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The Little Gymnast (#jammed daily devo, day 176)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 176: Resilience.

But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,June 25
    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.” Micah 5:2

Every time she’s up on those bars my heart skips a beat. Brave little thing. Granted, there are coaches spotting her and basically holding on to her …but still …brave to try that. If my wiggly daughter ever slows down enough to concentrate, she may actually be skilled enough to accomplish something with that bravery out the mats. We’ll see.

It always amazes me -the big potential inside this little person.

This verse in Micah is describing a leader that will come out of a small place. The place is Bethlehem, and the leader is Jesus. Big potential inside a little place.

Ephrathah-The region in which Bethlehem was located.

ruler-Ultimately Christ, who will rule for God the Father.

origins . . . from of old -His beginnings were much earlier than his human birth.

from ancient times- Within history, and even from eternity. (NIV Notes)

When something seems too small to be possible, God is at work. That’s just the kind of work He loves the most. Just the kind of people He loves to use the most. The seemingly small. The unlikely.

We struggle with qualification when we fail to remember how great our God is.

Jesus wasn’t just born in Bethlehem on a whim, and His existence didn’t begin with His birth on earth. Nor do the plans God has for our lives begin when we are born …or we buy- in. Jesus died for us on the cross before we were even born. Began praying for us before we knew Him. Knows us now because He knew us then.

Our dreams lie in our willingness to believe …in Jesus.

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Father, Praise You for Jesus’ humble birth in Bethlehem. Thank You for revealing so much of Your sweet character through those circumstances, and fulfilled prophesies. Forgive us for not trusting You and Your plan for our lives, and help us to believe and have faith. 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 Believing,

Megs

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The Day without “Good-bye” Kisses (#jammed daily devo, day 175)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 175: Don’t turn away.

“Men, if you had listened to my warning, we would still be safe in Crete and would have avoided this damage and loss.” Acts 27:21

June 24

All the way to school, I lectured her. And when it was time for her to get out of the car, she got out and walked away. No hugs. No blown kisses and excessive lingering and stalling while I nervously looked behind me to make sure we weren’t holding up the line. Not that day. That day she was a mission to escape.

In today’s verse, Paul reminded the men on a shipwrecked boat that if they would have listened to him all of the “damage and loss” would have been avoided.

Despite the damage and loss, they all lived on.

Despite my daughter’s dismissal, the day rolled on.

When we let our soapbox stand taller than our faith, damage and loss occurs. It’s never worth the lost time invested in trying to prove our authority.

Can you imagine Paul, as they all float on pieces of the boat to shore? Like a mother who has given her child ample warning and they choose not to head it anyway …

And the men …trying not to let their pride be swallowed up by the sea …literally.

Jesus is not an “I told you so” Savior. He’s an “I knew you would” Redeemer. Grace doesn’t dig it’s feet in and wonder why. Grace knew why before we wondered, what if?

Though we wander and toil through life, He doesn’t begrudge us. He doesn’t turn His back or give up on us. The consequence of sin will still sting, but His love will endure forever.

What if we, as parents, cut the lecture time in half. What if we, instead, pray more and talk less? Praying into disciplinary measures helps us acknowledge the true Author of life …ours and our children’s. It removes sole authority from our imperfect solutions and allows us to spotlight unconditional love …perhaps patience beyond even our own understanding …when we seek to love as He loves.

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Father, Praise You for enduring and endearing Love. Thank You for Grace. Forgive us for running around over and over, and bless us to right our ships again and again as we chart a course to follow Christ. 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 Tongue-biting,

Megs

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

The Feeds (#jammed daily devo, day 174)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 174: Scroll to find the light.

“Disabled Man: Kind Sir, I wait, like all of these people, for the waters to stir; but I cannot walk. If I am to be healed in the waters, someone must carry me into the pool. Without a helping hand, someone else beats me to the water’s edge each time it is stirred.” John 5:7 (VOICE)June 23

The man in today’s verse is discouraged. He’s let what’s happening around him, and what other people are doing, affect his faith that Jesus can heal him. He’s talking to Jesus. Hello ..Savior of the world …God’s only Son …spotless Lamb … but the man’s mind has become so clouded by what’s streaming past his line of sight that he can’t fathom the miracle that is about to happen to him.

Social media numbs us like this. Even when we realize it’s a collective highlight real, we still look and look and look until comparison seeps in to our skin and starts to make us itch for something we don’t have …to live somewhere God hasn’t placed us …to have a career we weren’t called to …to look like we weren’t made to …to believe what’s not true …and behave like we don’t believe in anything.

When we live by social media standards, it begins to chip away at our self-worth. When we live by God’s standards, we light up the dark. After much frustration with social media and a temporary removal from it …I decided to stay in the fight. Because that’s what it is. That’s where the people are. That’s where hurt people are, disguised as happy highlight reals, and crying out to acquaintances for help.

Where ever God’s people gather together to seek Him and know Him …He is there. Even amoungst social media. The God that created people and communication in the first place is surely present amoung so many of His children. Children that Jesus died to save. People He knit from the inside out. People that are purposed to serve and follow and glow in the dark.

Don’t back down from the fight. When it get’s ugly, get in the Word. Stay in prayerful conversation. But don’t leave it pitch black out there.

 …“someone must carry me into the pool…”

 “without a helping hand, somebody else beats me to the pool ever time…”

We can’t help the blind and the poor if we hide from them. Not everyone that needs us is on social media …but a lot are.

Be there because He’s there.

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Father, Praise You for social media. Thank You for the many languages and ways in which we communicate with each other …and You. Forgive us for running away when it gets hard and annoying. Forgive our judgement on others. We are called to be there, and be light. Send your Spirit to strengthen us to do just that, all the days of 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 Scrolling,

Megs

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The Triple Apology (#jammed daily devo, day 173)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 173: Keep confessing.

“Keep up your courage.” Acts 27:22

It takes three apologies to extract sincerity from my kids.June 22

The first apology is accusatory, as they try to squirm their way out of whatever they’ve gotten themselves into. The second is compliant, knowing that if they don’t utter those two very important words, a yard full of dog poop awaits them. Finally, after they have drifted around to the dock  ownership  …they are able to focus on the effects of what they’ve done, shake the automatic defense mode into remembering their manners, and sincerely apologize for the feelings they’ve hurt.

Children are not the only ones that have a problem taking ownership for their mistakes. It seems to be a natural inclination of humanity. Entitlement comes automatically, and pride is always prepared to start swinging …but humility, courage, confession, and repentance? Not so automatic.

In today’s verse, we find Paul encouraging this ragged boat of prisoners and administrators to rally with courage. He’s encouraging them, despite the fact that they still fail to take ownership in their part of the problem.

 I was correct in my warning, so I urge you to believe me now…”

Those words come flying out of my motherly mouth multiple times a day. We undoubtably know when we’re right and when we’ve been wronged …

“…none of you will die. We will lose the ship, but we will not lose one life. “

Every life was spared despite their disobedience.

Our lives will be spared, despite our disobedience …because of the Cross.

“So keep up your courage, men!” -Acts 27:22 (VOICE)

Grace has nothing to do with what we can do, and everything to do with what Jesus did. Death on a cross, to spare our lives. Why? Because God is love.

Whether we look upon stormy situations as North wind crashing upon someone else’s shore, or our beach being drowned in a torrent of wind and waves, Jesus calms the storm and encourages us to …

Keep up your courage …and apologize.

Keep up your courage …and change.

Keep up your courage …and remain humble.

Keep up your courage …and forgive.

Keep up your courage …and keep following Him.

Bravery isn’t always the picture of an armed soldier claiming victory over his enemies, but a shipwrecked soul with formidable faith in the One who holds them together int he storm.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for courage. Thank You for making us brave in the face of humiliation and torment. Forgive our hesitation to take ownership over the calamity we cause, and forgive those who have offended us. Please bless our lives with humility and bravery, as we follow 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 Courage Keeping,

Megs

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