The Great Thirty-eight. (#recall12 series, June.)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where we are memorizing a little bit of God’s Word each month! This month’s verse is :

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10b

#recall12 June image 1

“Thirty-eight is going to be great.”

God has been whispering this blessing over my life as I peer into the next year of it. The last decade of my life has been riddled with challenge and laced in blessing. Each encroaching birthday is little scarier than the last.

With each year, more are diagnosed, suffer, and pass away. The people that it’s happening to are getting closer and closer in direct contact with my life. Friends, family …cancer.

“Cancer sucks,” my 8-year-old daughter declares …and I sigh.#recall12 June tweet 1

Cancer is scary. Life is terrifying.

Parting is unfathomable.

With each passing year, I have more to lose …and that particular fear would like to plant it’s paralyzing seed right smack in the center of my heart. Fear of loss can only be overcome by perfect Love.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Lying in the first part of this month’s verse is the fan to fear’s flame. “The thief…”

thief-One that steals especially stealthily or secretly. -Merriam-Webster

The NIV Study Bible Notes declare, “His interest is in himself.” Indeed. Selfishness is akin to theft …and fear.

#recall12 June Tweet 2selfishness- Concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself. Merriam-Webster

Excessive and exclusive leave no room for the devil’s care for us. He’s messing to make us miserable enough to forgo the blessings in front of us. Worry and anxiety play an important role in what he’s trying to accomplish. His hope is that our hold on the world will overshadow the joy of Jesus’ heavenly embrace.

His breath filled all things

    with a living, breathing light—
 A light that thrives in the depths of darkness,
    blazes through murky bottoms.
It cannot and will not be quenched. John 1:4-5

Jesus is Life and Light. No new worry we discover to fret over is new news to Jesus, who sat with God from the very beginning of time. He knew us before birth, and I imagine that the Words He ordained to be written in the Bible for us to read were spoken with all of us in mind.

Through the darkness then, and murky bottoms now, He is Light and Life. Unstoppable. Unbeatable. Alive.

#recall12 June image 2

“The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance.” John 10:10 (VOICE)

There is a joyful and abundant life to be lived here on earth, knowing that He wins. We win. Death may part us from our friends and family. Cancer will steal time and break hearts. There’s no need to reach for wretched news to wreck our day. But just as it surrounds us, so does He. In the sunrise, He reminds us He is here. In the smile of a child, He reminds us Life is good. Through the unexpected note from a friend or a hug from a stranger, He shows us that He cares.

Are we looking for life, or waiting for death?

“The Greek word for “life” is found 36 times in John, while no other NT book uses it more than 17 times.” NIV Notes.

Life … “zoe”in Greek, means both of physical (present) and of spiritual (particularly future) existence. The Lord intimately shares His gift of life with people, creating each in His image which gives all the capacity to know His eternal life. (Strong’s Concordance.)

Someone said to me recently that sometimes doubt can mean we are actually on the right track. Knowing the full scope of what the devil is up to, that makes perfect sense. He can’t make us do anything …but he can cause us to wobble in and out of doubt and anxiety. Fear is an attack on every good thing the Father has in store for us. All of the joy that Jesus died to lend us. Life was not promised to be easy …or fair …or painless …or always happy. There are times in this life that we will barely be able to lift our heads to the sky and ask Him , “why?”

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1 (NIV)

Let’s continue to lift our heads and hold onto hope. It’s not a fairytale wish, but it is the stuff of fairy tales. Our Redeemer King has already rescued us. Live what He saved to the fullest.

#recall12 series June image 3

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10b

Father, Praise You for Life. Thank You for Jesus’ gift to us. Grace surrounds us, yet we fail on so many occasions to face it. Forgive us for looking past You for comfort, and help us to fiercely follow Your Son’s footsteps each day that we are blessed with on this earth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen. 

Happy Birthdays!

Megs

Click here, or on the image below, for FREE VERSE MEMORY CARDS!

recall12_pdf_june_image

#recall 12 June Verse Memory Cards PDF

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Mondays…Mommy Moments Modest MondayOpen Mic MondaySoul SurvivalHomemaking MondaysGood Morning MondaysMake Your Home SingInspire Me Monday Motivation Monday Motivational MondayOver the Moon, Thank Goodness it’s Monday Inspire Me Monday

Tuesdays…#RaRaLinkUpTestimony Tuesday , Tuesday Talk God Sized DreamsTell Me a True Story, Together on Tuesdays, Create Link Inspire Party, Let’s be Friends Blog Hop, Totally Terrific Tuesday,  Turn in Up Tuesday,   Twinkly Tuesday,

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Thursdays…Thought Provoking ThursdayLive Free ThursdaySincerely, PaulaHeart Encouragement Think Tank Thursday, 

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The Mulch Holes (#jammed daily devo, day 151)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 151: Underestimated.

Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders;
    don’t be defiant or mutinous.
Without warning your life can turn upside down,
    and who knows how or when it might happen?” Proverbs 24:21-22 (MSG)

Bark to go out. Bark to come in. Bark. Bark. Growl. Bark. Menacing Growl …image-151

“Cherry,” I snapped ...”that is enough.”

All day long she is on alert for anything that might mess with her people …or her mulch holes.

Bark-bark-bark-incessant bark…

“Cherry!” I yelled, “Come here, girl!”

She came flying inside and ran right to her water bowl, and then trudged back over to plop on my feet. Click-clack, typing away ….

“What did you get into?” The smell of dirt …and mulch … My husband is threatening to buy shock-rocks to keep this dog out of his landscaping.

“You did it again, didn’t you?”

Huffy dog sigh….

Today’s verse reminds us to know our roles …quite literally. “Don’t be defiant or mutinous…” “respect your leaders.”

In a country coming out of a nasty election season, those words ring very true. Stay out of the mulch, before someone puts shock rocks in there.

We are very blessed to live in a country where we get a say and a vote. It’s a lot more than a  lot more people have access to in this world. It’s not the end all be all of the world, either …He gets the final say. He can be trusted.

When we take up crusades against politicians …giving a voice to the weak and fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves, we must do so peacefully …compassionately …and under His guidance. Otherwise, we’re just digging holes in the mulch.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Democracy. Thank You for freedom. Forgive us for contributing to conflict, and help us know how to reflect Your love in the middle of politics. 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 Voicing,

Megs

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The Dead Tree (#jammed daily devo, day 150)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 150: Not dead yet …

Do not worry when evildoers go unpunished or be jealous when the wicked seem to prosper.” Proverbs 24:19 (VOICE)

Tree after tree came down on the empty lot. I ran past those big, beautiful trees everydayimage-150 for almost a decade, never knowing one day that building our new house would mean an end to their home. The waters they looked out upon would now become our view, and the shade they provided would be missed by all. The beautiful leaves in the fall and snow covered branches in winter …the fresh green leaves of spring and summer. I love trees. I hated to see them go.

One lone maple stood when we moved in …but as time when on we realized it bud less leaves each year, and now none. We don’t have the heart to cut it down yet …or the money ..or anyone we know brave enough to weave in and out of the power lines it’s right next to. We’ve talked about calling a tree doctor …I know it sounds silly, but we love trees. They scare the crud out of me when the wind blows, and it’s only a matter of time until we have a run in with a century tree, but I still love them.

When we visited Michigan one year, we experienced a century storm, who’s wind sheer snapped large parts of the forest in half. I’ve never seen anything like it …a landscape changed in an instant …but not dead yet. There was life all around the destruction when we visited the following summer. Evidence of future generations that will once again be shaded by those trees.

Today’s verse reminds us that even when we think evil has had the last word …there’s still life left yet. God is not dead …not dim … not irrelevant. He’s very much alive, and active, and everywhere. Jesus came to earth to hug us in person and assure us …go0d wins in the end. God wins. It’s OK. Just keep moving …keep trying …keep following …and stay close.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Your protective hand! Thank You for showing us signs of life. Forgive us for walking right past the movements of Your hand, and bless us to hear Your voice as You whisper through the leaves of the trees. 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 Tree-Trimming,

Megs

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The Launch (#jammed daily devo, day 148)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 148: Always in the water.

“For a good man may fall seven times and get back up again…” Proverbs 24:16

Living by the lake is refreshing, and getting out on the water in a boat is rejuvenating. image-148There’s something about traveling on top of the water, a feat that we cannot pull off alone, that is exhilarating and freeing. It’s been many years now since we’ve owned a boat of our own, but the feeling of watching it launch lingers.

In a climate where the lake is frozen in the winter, watching it thaw into it’s bluest color before the shallow water is kicked up and dredged is like magic. The anticipation of that first chilly boat ride sits in the sore muscles from waxing and painting and getting it ready …for a summer full of freedom …until something breaks.

But, oh! That first day it’s launched back into the water, and our living space is suddenly doubled as an escape from routine life returns.

Today’s verse speaks of resilience. No matter how many times we are yanked from the water with dinged props, leaks, hull holes and electrical problems …He launches us back into the water with a splash of new hope. The beginning part of this wisdom saying even speaks of God protecting the place where we dwell:

Do not lie in wait like the wicked against the place where the righteous live;
do not assault his home.
Although a righteous person may fall seven times, he gets up again,
but the wicked will be brought down by calamity.” Proverbs 24:15-16

How great is our God to protect us. Though evil presses in on our world, He will always reign champion. And so will we. His way is love. That’s why Jesus is so important. Jesus is the Way God provided for us to re-launch over and over again. He is the Reason we are forgiven for our repetitive sin. The Love that welcomes us back to the water, again and again. No shame …just love. He is here.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Jesus! Thank You for launching us into the water to give us new life. Forgive for not accepting the Way to You. Help us to believe in Jesus more and more every day, chasing after a heart like His. 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 Launch Day,

Megs

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The Guilty Ears (#jammed daily devo, day 147)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 147: Ashamed.

“…wisdom is sweet to your soul. If you find it, you will have a bright future…”Proverbs 24:13-14

My dog’s saving grace is her puppy face. Those eyes look sad and sorry. Her ears are droopy image-147and pouty. She is a pathetic apology lying on top of my feet, looking up at me for forgiveness. It works. I love that dog. Any sign of apology earns my forgiveness …and probably a sweet little puppy cuddle and warm feet for the rest of the day.

If my dog knows when she’s in trouble that automatically, and knows how to get out of it that skillfully …imagine what my daughters do to my heart. The disciplinary struggle is real.

“wisdom is like honey for you…” the NIV version translates. “It nourishes and brings healing”- NIV Notes

When we look out for others in kindness and compassion, and act on the thoughts He inspires in our hearts …it is healing. Apology and humility are healing. When we act in wisdom by following Him, we experience the peace of Christ.

There is a funny sentiment amidst the study on this verse that is part of the thirty sayings:

“possibly copied here in error as it makes an unusual (three-lined) saying, and does not add to the idea of future.” -Zondervan Bible Commentary

Some of these sayings have been hard for me to digest, and have drug out difficult words that I didn’t feel like writing and fears and didn’t expect to face. But isn’t this verse just a reflection of God’s character. Maybe mistakenly included …but I bet not. Because He is not a God of mistakes …He is pretty funny, though. And He would stop to talk about honey and healing in the middle of a rough patch of text on wisdom.

He is the honey that nourishes and heals us. His Word, in perfect timing, binds up our bruised egos and chips off hard parts of our hearts. It hurts a little sometimes, this life and the pursuit of holiness …but it is healing …nourishing …and life lived with hope.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for honey and healing. Thank You for nourishing our soul and keeping us humble and dependent upon You. Forgive us for holding onto hard parts of our hearts, and help us to grow continually into a heart 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 Growing,

Megs

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