The Disconnect (#jammed daily devo, day 289)

October #jammed: Free Grace.

Day 289: Unplug.

“Grasp both sides of things and keep the two in balance; for anyone who fears God won’t give in to the extremes.” Ecclesiastes 7:18 VOICE 

day 289

Ultimatums result in separation. We seem to be built with a warning system that
sounds all alarms when we’re challenged to choose between one extreme an another. Especially, when it comes to people. It’s a good alarm to let sound, because deep down we know we’re all created equal. We all fight for equality in some regard. It makes sense that when it’s threateningly stripped from one soul that ours would start to ache a little.

The compassionate love of our Father causes us to care for others. 

Today’s verse advises us to “grasp both sides of things…” There is indeed two sides to every story. A convicting of sin, and a compassion to forgive. It’s important to follow God’s leading to keep conviction and compassion in balance.

It’s not fair in our eyes. “Some people” just don’t get it. “Some people” have murdered others. “Some people” don’t deserve justice. “Some people” are not as good as others. We feel more comfortable with a system like that. One that allows us to “do” something about our circumstances in life. But there’s no “doing” to be done that will ever out-do what Jesus did on the cross.

He came to save everyone. We’re all born under the same cursed mess of sin Eve started in the garden with that apple, and we all have the same opportunity to be snatched from it’s punishment of death by Jesus’ gift of grace.

for anyone who fears God won’t give in to the extremes.”

We live in a world pushed to extremes, and it pushes us. It leaves no room for miracles or compassion. It’s choice after choice. But when we choose to walk with Jesus, we leave room for His love to move in our lives.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:augFather, Praise You for leveling the playing field. Thank You for guiding our innate system of guilt and judgement into Your loving arms through the cross. We confess, we are extremely tempted to rate and scale others’ lives, and pray that You protect us from the discouragement that comparison leads to. 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 Unpicking,

Megs

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

 

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The Hiding Place (#recall12 series, October)

Welcome to the #recall12 series, where we are memorizing a little bit of God’s great Word each #recall12 October Image 1month! This month’s verse is: 

“The Eternal watches everything.” 2 Chronicles 16:9

Squeak …SQUeak …SQUEAK!

Her lack of patience gives away her hiding spot every time. She just can’t stand the suspense of waiting to be found. My little girl prefers the ‘seek’ in hide-and-go-seek.

This month’s verse wraps us in protection. We don’t have to live in the suspense of our secrets being revealed, because God’s already aware of whatever we may attempt to hide. On the flip side, He sees us when we are in hiding, too. Whether to comfort us through darkness, or to meet us in the dark to defend us …He is watching.

The Eternal watches everything that happens on earth so that He may strongly support those who follow Him. 2Chronicles 16:9 (VOICE)

“The Eternal,” as translated by The Voice, further expands upon how inclusive His care is over us. From the time He created us to the time we hug Him in heaven …eternally, God is for us. The book of 2 Chronicles records the stories of the kings that attempted to return Judah from their fall from God. Some of the stories of Kings’ David and Solomon are recorded in 1&2 Chronicles. By the time we get to today’s verse, it’s Solomon’s great-grandson, Asa, that is sitting the throne.

#recall 12 October tweet 1“He led a wildfire revival, with the whole nation uniting behind him in a huge celebration in Jerusalem. Yet Asa became cocky in his later years …He did much good but fell short of the kind of courage that endures a national crisis.” (NIV Student Bible Notes)

The NIV translation of this verse uses the word ‘heart.’ …to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. Though Asa had a wonderful heart for God, he still ended up struggling through some thick sin towards the end of his life.

The other half of today’s verse is starkly different:

By hiring mercenaries, you have acted foolishly and proven that you are not following Him. From now on, peace will elude you and you will surely fight wars. 2Chronicles 16:9b

Before this harsh warning of the consequence of Asa’s sin, Hanani (the seer delivering the above message) reminds Asa of all the previous victories God gave Him at the hand of his obedience to Him. Asa was a great king and leader for most of his life, but his human imperfection leads him to fall out of God’s grace in end.

‘You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.” 2Chronicles 16:9b

Our humanity will fail us.

No matter how much we intend to do well, and how diligently we seek after God …we are destined to imperfection. And our God is too holy to be in the presence of sin.

In His compassion, God scratched the record needle as it lay stuck on the song of man’s failure …and put a new song in our hearts. Grace. Jesus. Forgiveness.

#recall12 October image 2

When Jesus came to earth, He took on humanity. He knows what it’s like to be hungry, hurt, and sad to the point of bloody tears. As we read of His life, we see 2Chronicles 16:9 in the way Jesus calls on His Father in times of distress. We witness it as God turns His back on Jesus to save us all as He died on that cross. See, 2Chronicles 16:9 is a story of glory for us. We can get back up. Our lives aren’t ever wasted on account of what we have done or will do. It is never too late. We are never too broken. God will always forgive us.

salvation- the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc-dictionary.com

The way we act on this earth will never trump Christ’s act to save us. Our misbehavior doesn’t #recall12 October tweet 2ever trump what happened on that cross. Our King. The King of Kings. The one who is and was and ever shall be. He will not fail us as human leaders do and as we fail ourselves. Instead, He blankets the fall of our humanity with the forgiveness of grace …promising us that He will watch over us …assuring us that He sees all.

 For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9

There’s no reason to hide or feel hidden.

We’ve got this …because He’s got us.

Happy Un-hiding,

Megs

#recall12 October Verse Cards Screen ShotClick here or on the image for this month’s FREE verse memory cards

#recall12 October Verse Cards PDF

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The Little Quarrels (#jammed daily devo, day 192)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 192: One foot in.

“Give us a king to lead us.” 1 Samuel 8:6July 11

God’s people never needed a king …they had God. They often failed to see how set a part they were always supposed to be. Samuel is fielding this request, and he tries his best to persuade the people otherwise. But, they would not be deterred. They really wanted a king like everyone else. They really wanted to be like everyone else.

A similar shortage of self-worth is played out on playgrounds every day. Childhood can be very much about who we fit in with unless we are on a mission to let it be otherwise. As parents, we can’t protect them from every setback and harsh word spoken, but helping them navigate through misunderstanding with kindness is key to keeping them set a part.

Just like Israel misconstrued, we shouldn’t assume that life within “that” group is so much easier. We don’t understand why they don’t ask us to play and try to change so that they will. It’s OK to admit. It’s human nature. In fact, that’s pride rearing it’s ugly head in warning.

When guiding kids through friendship, I believe with all of my heart that kindness and forgiveness come first …even if it leaves us feeling momentarily defenseless.

God is bigger. He tells us that He will defend us …fight our battles and be there for us. He hears our cries, and tells us to love above all else. Teaching children how loved they are for who they are, and how to hand friendship over to God in prayer, allows them the opportunity to trust their King, instead of looking for affirmation elsewhere.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for parenthood. Thank You for leading and guiding us as parents, and as friends, ourselves. Forgive us for rising up in anger when we are wronged, and remind us to bring every situation to You first. 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 Independant (#jammed daily devo, day 185)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 185: Free by default.

So he was despised and forsaken by men,
    this man of suffering, grief’s patient friend.” Isaiah 53:3 (VOICE)July 4

Independence can become an obsession if we believe we’re entitled to it. As the world gets bigger and bigger, and our reach to communicate across it get’s smaller and smaller, the freedom to reach out is easier than ever to grasp.

independent- not subject to control by others. Merriam-Webster

For those lucky enough to live in parts of the world where they are not controlled by others, there sure are a lot of us trying to control others. This human reflex for control confuses what it means to be free.

God, who created everything and everyone, is in control, but He’s not a controlling God. If He was, we’d all be robots, and there’d be no debate over His existence.

Today’s verse was written by the prophet Isaiah. He’s describing Jesus.

There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,
    nothing to attract us to him.
 He was despised and rejected—
    a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
We turned our backs on him and looked the other way.
    He was despised, and we did not care.” Isaiah 53:2b-3

There are over thirty-five New Testament references reflected back to Isaiah, Chapter 53.  Jesus truly is the Word. The more I study it, the more I see Him in every verse. And if I don’t see Him, I start to search …knowing He’s there.

The Way, The Truth, and the Life. Our Independence. Our Freedom.

Jesus (thinking of John the Baptist): Elijah does come first to restore all things. They have it right. But there is something else written in the Scriptures about the Son of Man: He will have to suffer and be rejected. Mark 9:12

We are often under the assumption that because God is not controlling, that God is not in control. Our country of residence does not make us any more soul-free than those that are living under oppressive rule. Jesus bought our freedom on the cross. Grace aims to free everyone …leaving no one behind.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for Freedom. Thank You for assuring us that no matter where in the world we reside, You are bigger that borders and stronger than governments. Forgive us for getting it backwards, and strengthen us to operate respectfully in this world and with respect to our democracies, but not to place them on higher ground than Your 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 Freedom-chasing,

Megs

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

The Smile Lines (#jammed daily devo, day 184)

July #jammed: Grace serves.

Day 184: Lines of change.

“…while we lived in this temporary body.” 2 Corinthians 5:10 (VOICE )July 3

“Mom, I like your smile lines,” she said, gazing into my face as if their mere existence made me magical.

“Me, too,” I assure her, secretly hoping that by the time I’m ready to meet Jesus, they are deeper and more defined still.

Today’s verse reminds us that we are living in a temporary body, but it sure isn’t what we often choose to focus on. Instead, we spend a lot of time trying to ‘fix’ what God calls ‘good.’ Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to take precautionary measures to stay healthy and fit enough to follow our callings …but I think we’d all agree that the level up up-keep we are holding ourselves accountable for is a little too much for a ‘temporary body.’

I wonder if was as much of a problem Biblically as it is now. Most things were! But if we look at today’s verse, the is stark reality within it warns us to be wary beyond what we can see and control in this life.

In time we will all stand in judgment before the throne of the Anointed, the Liberating King, to receive what is just for our conduct (whether it be good or bad) while we lived in this temporary body. 2 Corinthians 5:10 

So many things lie outside the confines of our control, but instead of appreciating our place in Peace, we strive to grab and control it all. When we give our lives over to Christ and start sacrificing our need to be what we see, we can start to embrace our smile lines. We can start to smile …more. Smile lines are signs of Life.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for smile lines. Thank You for taking the worry of the world off of our shoulders and placing it onto Your Son’s. Forgive us for misguided striving to keep up with worldly images and social media feeds, and bless us to live for You all of our days. 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 Smiling,

Megs

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