A Prayer for Struggling Relationships

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Relationships remain imperfect because humanity is incapable of selfless love. Due to the fall in the garden of Eden, we are continually cursed with sin, keeping us from accomplishing correct communication with each other. Only one pair of feet have ever trod the earth in perfect obedience to God. Jesus came out of compassion for us. It’s through Him, that we can find victory in life, and our relationships. Not through perfection of our behavior, but through the perfect forgiveness and hope that His love grants us.

The very definition of ‘struggle’ is “to content with an adversary or opposing force.” We often pit the people on the other side of our relationships against ourselves. In addition to the disagreement at hand, we internally mull over all of the ways that we want them to treat us, and expect to be treated. We are set to a defensive default, but created to love.

“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13

Jesus taught that this was the most important command. The NIV Notes on this verse say that “Jesus’ teaching united his followers around love.” Unity is the opposite of struggling opposition. There’s nothing we can do to force our relationships to work. But we can focus on Love.

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7 Proven Steps for Overcoming Resentment & Letting Go of Bitterness

“Apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NIV)

Hurt tempts us to comply with a variety of unreasonable emotions. We don’t aim to become bitter people in our relationships, but life happens. Scripture warns in Ephesians 4:26“In your anger, do not sin.” Bitterness is characterized by intense cynicism, antagonism or hostility. (dictionary.com) “Most of our bitterness and anger towards others is rooted in an inability to be profoundly amazed at Christ’s love for us in our sin.” (John Piper)  It interferes with forgiveness too and makes it hard to accept certain realities.

Resentment is the byproduct of bitterness and unchecked anger within relationships, most often marriage. Colossians 3:8 warns, “But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” Resentment can transform from a behavioral reaction to a personality trait. However, when Christ stitches our wounds together, the bleeding stops and peace is restored.

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The Full Cloud (#jammed daily devo, day 310)

November #jammed: Gracious.

Day 310: Thankful for memories …

 So let’s get this clear: it’s for My own sake that I save you.
I am He who wipes the slate clean and erases your wrongdoing.
I will not call to mind your sins anymore.” Isaiah 43:25 (VOICE)

I’m continually eluded by the iCloud. Each new device comes with a clean slate. 310Thousands of pictures eventually accumulate, prompting the message to buy more space on the cloud to save all of my pictures. I don’t want them all saved. For every ten I take, nine are deleted. It seems a big waste of technological space and energy to save things automatically that I don’t want to remember.

Today’s verse is an awesome reminder that God is not hanging over our heads what we wish to delete. You know, those people we were in a past life that made terrible decisions and horrible mistakes …said incredibly rude things that flush our cheeks just recalling them in our memories? The missteps of overindulgence and bad relationships. Failures and faults …and things that we still cannot seem to shake.

He’s not focused on them. He’s focused on us. And God says to all the ugliness that we drag through this life …“that’s not who you are.”

Just as He was eager to restore Israel, His chosen people, in the Old Testament, so He delights to restore us. To welcome us home, as Jesus’ tells in the story of the Prodigal Son. To forgive us and welcome us back into His presence. That’s what the cross was for. That’s why Jesus is so important. It’s through Him that we are able to be in the presence of God. To pray to Him, be enlightened and guided by His Word, and restored to who we are meant to be. His will for our lives relieves us from feeling like there’s something we’re missing …

We begin the journey to our true selves when we start to follow Christ. It costs nothing, but takes great faith. When we confess our sins God forgives us …when we believe that’s what His Son died for. That’s who we are. His.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for Jesus’ death on the cross, which brings so many Old Testament scriptures to life. You love us for who You made us to be, in spite of our sins and mistakes. Bless us to remember that and live guilt-free in the pursuit of Your Son’s steps 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 Cloud-ing,

Megs

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

 

The “You Know Who.” (#jammed daily devo, day 139)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 139: Ongoing and unending.

“You know who.” Proverbs 23:30a

image-139

WHY did I want to study these Wise Statements? Alcohol has affected my entire life from just about every possible angle, and this passage is specifically about a man with a drinking problem. I promise you, no one is more uncomfortable digging up this verbiage than I.

Though I think it can be applied to a broad range of other things that are just as uncomfortable to talk about,  God doesn’t pull specific examples like this …put them in an ancient text …and make them applicable in this era in vain. Read through this passage with eyes and hearts open beyond alcoholism . Looking inward, what traits do you recognize?

 Who is wallowing in anguish? Who is full of sorrow?
    Who has conflicts? Who has complaints?

Who has bruises and can’t remember where they came from?
    Who has bloodshot eyes?

 You know who: those who stay up late finishing off the wine,
    those who can’t stop savoring spiced wines.

Look away from the enticing beauty of wine, the deep red hue;
    ignore how it shimmers in the cup
    and glides down your throat.

 Eventually, when you least expect it, it strikes like a snake;
    it stings like viper venom.

Your vision will blur, and you’ll imagine strange things;
    you will say crazy, hurtful things and regret it later.

 You will reel and stagger as if caught on a wave of seasickness,
    as a sailor who holds on to a mast for dear life.

You will say, “They slapped me, but it didn’t hurt.
    They beat me, and I didn’t feel a thing!

Whenever I wake up from this stupor,
    I’ll have another drink!”

Proverbs 23:29-35

The biggest mistake we make as people, and especially as Christians, is discounting the possibility that things could, are, and will affect us. It isn’t to the left or to the right that we find peace or solution. It’s not in fixing other people or even ourselves. It’s letting go and letting God. It’s gripping Jesus’ hand tight enough to keep us from falling. When I look back and see how many times and how close I came to total destruction, I know there’s no way I made it out alive on my own. He pulled me out. Grace.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for pulling us out of our pitfalls. Thank You for grace, forgiveness, mercy, and compassion. Forgive us for forgetting that Your lessons are always for our hearts, and bless us to strengthen our faith more each day. 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 Pit-crawling out,

Megs

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

The Pink Sky (#jammed daily devo day 26)

January #jammed : Grace in Life’s Face

Day 26 Light Causes a Burst of Color

“Then Joseph looked up and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son. Joseph: Is this your youngest brother whom you told me about last time? God’s grace be upon you, my son!” Genesis 43:29 (VOICE)jammed-26

Pink sky fascinates me. When I see the start of a pink-skied sunrise, I rush through the
rest of my daybreak routine just to be as close to it as I can be before it’s at maximum pink capacity. I long to stand there and receive it.

Joseph’s brothers left him for dead, sold him to slavery, and then met him as royalty. Imagine their surprise. At the sight of his brother, Benjamin, Joseph wept. That’s probably not the reaction the rest of his family expected.

I believe Joseph’s first glance at his brother was an explosion of colorfully lit grace.

“Joseph’s sensitive heart was a miracle of God’s grace.” -Warren Wiersbe BE Bible Study Series.

How many times do we roll over and miss the sunrise?

“There is a way that seems right to man, but it leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12

jammed-tweet-blueOpportunities to lend grace to others surround us everyday. Forgiveness is even harder than it looks, but we can push past entitlement and onto a grace filled life by embracing the minutes Jesus sacrificed all of His for. Spending time with our Father each day sparks an explosion of color.

Father, You are powerful to save us from our own calamity. Praise You, for You are fair. Thank you for loving us. We confess that we hold onto grudges all too often, and ask that you soften our hearts to forgive. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 What do you need to let go of in forgiveness today? Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy

Megs

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