The Queues (#jammed daily devo, day 156)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 156: Grace waits.

“How long will you wait?” Joshua 18:3June 5

A theme park lifer, I don’t like to wait in lines …because most of the time, I don’t have to. Living in close proximity, and armed with a season pass, earns me that privilege. But, every once in a while, there is a ride that is so good …the wait is unavoidable. No matter how much privilege I march through those gates with, I still have to wait like everyone else.

Today’s verse is plucked out of Joshua, as the Israelites are finally coming into the land God promised them.

“So Joshua said to the Israelites: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has given you?” Joshua 18:3

They’ve already waited a long time. Generations worth. At this point, land was distributed  specifically by God. Some tribes had to wait longer than others to realize the full scope of their inheritance. Joshua was a good leader, even in the waiting.  Do we lead in complaint, or  patience?

There’s a variety of reasons why it’s good to navigate common queues:

  1. Humility. We’re not put on earth one better than the other, but some are born to more privilege. There will always be poor, and always those who will have to wait longer than others. That was true of the Israelite tribes awaiting their land, and it’s true for the plans purposed specifically for our lives.
  2. Patience. In our “I have to have it now” society, it’s hysterical to watch someone argue about having to wait in line for the entire duration of what it would have taken to wait in line. Joshua dealt with similar squabbles over tribes that insisted on doing things there way, even though God …the God the led them there in the first place …specifically told them what to do. Their impatience and disobedience didn’t pay off, nor will ours.
  3. The Payoff. The ride that always has a line will hardly ever disappoint. There’s a reason there’s a line to get in …and that’s because it’s awesome. It’s worth the wait. There are few things in life that are, but we often feel so entitled to everything that we have difficulty determining what’s worth waiting for. The Israelites fled from Egypt and wandered for 40 years! Despite their constant lack of faith, God gave them the land that He promised. For those that waited patiently in faith and obeyed despite their dysfunction, I image the payoff was unimaginable. A place to call home.

How long will we wait to drop our agendas for His? Through His Word, we discover who we always meant to be.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for long lines, and what they reveal about where we are at spiritually. Thank You for Your perfect timing, and allowing us to follow Your Son’s steps to You. Forgive us for flipping out when things don’t happen in our time, and bless us with patience and endurance to go where You call us to go. 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 Waiting,

Megs

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

 

The Green Stuff (#jammed daily devo, day

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 149: Unidentifiable.

“Do not celebrate when your enemies fall…” Proverbs 24:17 (VOICE)

“Moooommmm,” my daughter asked hesitantly, with a hint of suspicion on top …“what’s image-149the green stuff in this?”

Dinner time is a struggle, and I want to take them with me to Africa someday so that they will never ask that question again.

“It’s fine.” I stated flatly. “You’ve had it before …you like it …just eat it.”

If only it were that simple.

“What’s the green stuff?” My husband asked as he warmed up a plate later that evening.

Sign the whole family up. We’re all going to Africa.

Today’s verse deals with our reaction to our enemy’s getting what they deserve. It’s a shred of our sinful human nature to secretly rejoice when someone who has royally lost our trust falls on their disloyal butt. It’s ugly, but it’s true …and we know it. That’s why we hide in the bathroom before we have a joyful little celebration to ourselves. Or let our “tisk, tisk, tisk, “ ‘reap what you’ sow finger fly.

No one knew betrayal like Jesus did. Yet, He washed his feet.

 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.” John 13:26 (NIV)

Jesus knew that was coming. Yet He acted in grace and kindness. He kept His head on straight and remained cool as a cucumber. We should aim to be like that …but we can’t. And He knows that, too. He died because He knew we would never be able to attain that kind of humility. He died on the cross, bearing everything He knew we would do, and couldn’t do if we tried.

Do not rejoice when your enemy falls,
and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice,
lest the Lord see it, and be displeased,
and turn his wrath away from him.” Proverbs 24:17-18 (NET)

We can’t be Jesus, but we can try to be like Him. Just because we’ll never be the perfect spotless Lamb doesn’t mean we should quit trying to reach for His hand. When we pray for our enemies, we’re grabbing onto the arm that can reach down and raise us up. Like John the Baptist said, it’s time for me to become less, and Him to become more. He is everything. Grab onto Him.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You, Jesus, for pulling us up over and over again. For dying for us, knowing what we would do and couldn’t ever do. Thank You, Jesus, for showing us how to act in the face of betrayal and hurt. Forgive us for acting out instead of running to You. Bless our enemies. May they know You feel Your love. 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 Gut-Checking,

Megs

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

The Crowded Mirror (#jammed daily devo, day 144)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 144: Remembering.

Whoever schemes to carry out evil
    will be labeled a troublemaker.” Proverbs 24:8 (VOICE)

Growing up, I was always getting in trouble for sticking things on my antique mirror, and image-144cluttering it up with pictures and memories. So, when I passed it down to my daughter, I got her started by lining up a bunch of her favorite memories all around the border. Mine looks no different. In fact, two of the three panes are completely blocked by cute chubby cheeked baby smiles and firsts. Happiness abounds on that mirror that I sanded down, repainted, and I’m sure in some people’s minds, completely destroyed. But to me, it’s become treasure.

Today’s verse has some harsh warnings for ‘trouble makers.’ In an attempt to make things our own, we must be so careful not to push past the path we are attempting to follow. Life outside the confines of Jesus’ love is littered with trouble and schemes. If we don’t stay close to His counsel, we are libel to fall deeply into …and possibly even the perpetrate, such scheming.

conspiracies-Malicious plots or plans to harm or to kill, which may be directed against other people, or even against God. Conspiracies are sometimes motivated by political aspirations, but may be simply an outlet for wrongdoing.- Dictionary of Bible Themes

The reason prayer is so important is because conspiracies sound serious and obvious …but they don’t always look that way from the outside. We sometimes only see glimpses of just how deeply evil roots can go. Prayer and petition in honest humility will keep us on the path of walking wisely with God.

label- a word or phrase indicating that what follows belongs in a particular category or classification. Dictionary.com

When we’re tempted to label another heart, it’s a stark warning for our own. Seeing trouble and labeling are two different things. My mirror may seem like an atrocious disrespect of property to some, but if they could see it through my eyes perhaps they’d see what I see. Or, perhaps they’ll come a day when I do realize the error of my ways, and decide to take better care of the belongings I’m blessed with. Do you see how situational each life’s trouble can be?

This verse clearly warns us to stay clear of obvious trouble, and I agree! But what about the subtle doses of trouble that sneak in the back door? When we stay close to Jesus in prayer and in the Word, I believe we will be able to tell the difference.

Remember, just because we see trouble in someone else does not give us the right to label them. That’s between Jesus and them. Christians are to rebuke other Christians, but be so careful to consult Christ before confronting another with their faults.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise Your just hand. Thank You for taking judgement out of our hand through Your Word and through Prayer. We confess that we rush to judge others a lot. Help us to battle off the human temptation to label and call out, replacing it with the tendency to love and have mercy. 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 Holding-back,

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 School Lunch (#jammed daily devo, day 127)

May #jammed: Growing Grace.

Day 127: Visit often.

“Take a moment to think about who you are with and what you are doing.” Proverbs 23:1 (VOICE)

Her face lit up and her legs broke out of line. Down the hallway she flew and into my arms. image-127On the days that my over-tasked tendencies give way to down time, I sometimes surprise my daughters by joining them for lunch at school. Squeezed into a small table full of little people, those are fleeting moments I will cherish forever. Especially, when they are embarrassed of me in their teenage years.

Today’s verse reminds us to be careful of the company we keep and be aware of our weaknesses and tendencies. The world doesn’t stop watching us when the lighting is bad. It’s important to step into situations where the love we receive from Him can reach others, but not so far as to fall back into easy temptations and old patterns.

My prayer is for my daughters to see me as I am as they grow up …an imperfect mess, who was rescued by Jesus. I want them to feel like they’ve always been sitting next to the same person squeezed into that elementary lunch table. Transparent and real. But, how do we know what to tell our kids and when?

To further understand today’s Scripture, let’s look at the whole verse section that it’s pulled out of:

When sitting down to eat with a ruler,
    take a moment to think about who you are with and what you are doing.
 If you are the type who eats too much too fast,
    do whatever is necessary to curb your enthusiasm for food.
 Also, do not eye the ruler’s delicacies,
    for the food may not be what it seems.” Proverbs 23:1-3 (VOICE)

 It’s situational. We will know our children well, and be able to weave the experience of our own pitfalls into their guidance through discipline …and possibly pealing back our own layers in conversation as time marches on. It will be important to prayerfully consider which parts of our hearts to reveal. He will use all of our struggles to help others if we are in tune to His voice. But, if we are oversharing in order to exalt our achievements or wield control, we will stumble and fall.

 Considering when to expose our kids to what they don’t know about their parents is a delicate process, to be revealed over time in God’s time. The best way to start is through prayerful conversation, and time in the Word each day. Take time …and give Him time.

jammed-click-to-tweetFather, Praise You for guiding us through each day so personally. Thank You for creating us each with a unique collection of experiences and characteristics. Forgive us for trying to impress others with our accomplishments and knowledge, and bless us with open minds and compassionate, honest heart. 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 Lunch dates,

Megs

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