The Glass Cleaner (#jammed daily devo, day 231)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 231: Streak-free.

The Lord rules over the floodwaters.August 19
 The Lord reigns as king forever.
 The Lord gives his people strength.
 The Lord blesses them with peace.” Psalm 29:10-11

Ready to bask in the glory of the big, giant, streak-free mirror …I opened the blinds to let every available source of light shine on it’s magnificence.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

The streams of sunlight had revealed a ton of streaks on the mirror I had so proudly wiped clean. Why does it seem so easy for everyone else to accomplish a streak-free surface? It’s impossible for me!

Today’s verse assures us that whether it’s streak-free glass that is impossible for us, or other tasks in life …He “gives us strength …and blesses us with peace.”

Our God is so great. Like the verse today states, He rules over floodwaters and reigns as King forever. Some of us may be called to have streak-free glass, but others can take comfort in knowing that just because we can’t seem to figure that out doesn’t mean we have failed at life. It doesn’t mean we’re lacking anything …

The Lord’s absolute and everlasting rule is committed to his people’s complete salvation and unmixed blessedness—the crowning comfort in a world where threatening tides seem to make everything uncertain.- NIV Study Bible Notes 

Christ wiped the surface of our hearts clean when He died on the cross. There’s no stream of light that will expose anything He hasn’t already died to forgive us for. Things that others struggle to scrape off might not stick to us …and visa versa. Where we lack strength, He stands beside us and holds an end up. Holds our lives up. We can rest in knowing that comparing our lives to others is futile and in vain. He’s holding up their ends, too. Not one of us is perfect, or even capable of carrying each days’s weight. Not one. Purposefully…so we would haven grounds to brag about it.

He is all we need. That’s why He reached all the way down to earth, and made a Way for us to lean on Him. Jesus …the Way …the Truth …the Life.

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Father, Praise You for Your power to rule over floodwaters. Thank You for ruling over our lives. We confess that we take our freedom to choose outside of Your will for our lives all too often, and end up stranded and drowning because of it. Bless our lives with the Peace only found in following 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

 

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The Stamps (#jammed daily devo, day 229)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 229: Encourage one at a time.

Blessing and honor to the Most High God,August 17
who has clearly delivered your enemies into your hands!” Genesis 14:20 (VOICE)

In grade school, my friends and I passed notes. We made up coded nick-names for each other and folded them in crazy ways. Shoe boxes full took up a shelf in my closet, and as we grew up we rolled in laughter at the things we wrote. Too busy to fold paper in high school, we resorted to passing an entire notebook.

Even though social media allows us to stay in touch with people we would otherwise loose track of, I love to send snail mail to let people know I care, I’m praying, or share a laugh over a memory. Whether down the street or across the country, the nudge to send a note is my favorite.

Today’s verse is about giving God the credit for the good things in our lives. Abram had a lot to thank and praise God for. And, so do we. Snail mail is my way to encourage others by passing on the hope, love, and kindness that Jesus has given me.

The second half of today’s verse is as follows:

Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Genesis 14:20b

It’s not only important to give of our selves and our time as we are called to minister to others, but also to give financially. It’s a subject not many like to talk about, unless we know a little more about how our Savior works. Lift it up to Him, and ask Him to show you what to do and how to get there. Hearts are changed instantly, but faith grows over time. 

We are to go outside the walls of our homes and churches and tell of what He has done. When we know Jesus, it’s a no-brainer.

What do You need from me, God? I’m ready to give, and ready to go.

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Father, Praise You for providing for us in a way that we cannot process. Thank You for giving us guidelines on how to give …to help protect us from our own pride and accomplishment. Forgive us for being stingy with what needs to be given to Your mission, and help us to understand what praising …honoring …thanking …and giving …in Your Name …on account of our lives …looks like. 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 Going,

Megs

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The Jesus Emoticon (#jammed daily devo, day 228)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 228: The funny One.

 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. ” Galatians 6:7August 16

In the age where digital communication trumps verbal, we use emojis to show people how we feel. There are universal emojis that we all relate to. They break language barriers! Who would have thought? A smile is a smile …and a smiling piece of poop seems to be funny no matter where in the world we call home.

Knowing God’s hand is in everything, I googled “Jesus emoticon” one day …and sure enough, someone else had thought of it, too. There He was, with hearts in His eyes and a great big, welcoming smile.

When I first read today’s verse, I thought maybe God was busting me out for my Jesus emoji use. I’m sure people do use that emoji to mock Him, but I use it because it’s truly how I feel. And the youth that I lead think it’s hilarious because they relate to life through emojis …and this one is spot on how we all feel when we meet together. Like Jesus is there. With hearts in His eyes and a big smile on His face.

A Friend.

Be certain that God knows who intends to mock Him. He sees through everyone’s show, and every intention. But He also knows the hearts of those who intend endearing praise. 

Yet they do but deceive themselves if they think to impose upon God, who is perfectly acquainted with their hearts as well as actions. Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Authenticity is not perfection.He already knows who we really are, and when we relax into the reality that we need to hand over our issues to Him, we become more authentic people.

Hypocrisy in religion is the greatest folly as well as wickedness, since the God we have to do with can easily see through all our disguises. Matthew Henry’s Commentary

Jesus came to earth to be authentic, and allow us to live in the same way, too. He’s perfect. We’re not. No one is suprised by that. And it’s OK. When we aim to be authentic while we walk with Christ, God honors our efforts.

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Father, Praise You for perfect love. The love that we feel when we know Christ. When we know You. Thank You for being present among us when we gather together to seek You. Forgive us for neglecting to be real with the world about Whose we are, and strengthen us, through the power of Your Holy Spirit, to be know as humble servants saved by 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 Emojis!

Megs

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The Bird Snow (#jammed daily devo, day 227)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 227: Not always apparent.

Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish,August 15
 and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead.” Proverbs 3:6 (VOICE)

Trying not to spark a fluttering mass of possible poop bombs, I unavoidably observe the birds each morning as I walk the pier.

When the wind blows too strongly for them to float peacefully in they air, they retire their haphazard flight paths to huddle on the sand together. Knowing they are not strong enough to control themselves in the wind, they all wait patiently, facing the same direction.

Today’s verse reminds us that we are, indeed, limited, in everything we do. Nothing we accomplish is by our own strength, otherwise pride would take over and we would be under the impression that we are entitled to everything we have, and have accomplished.

“Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish,”

everything- all that exists, all that relates to the subject, all that is important -dictionary.com

God sets limitations on us because He knows us. He is responsible for our talents and our blessings, so that “no one can boast.” There is no personal achievement that we have put passed His all-knowing hand. He knows us better than anyone else. When we walk with Christ, He shows us exactly what He means. We begin to see ourselves as He sees us.

It’s hard to swallow our pride and go against the grain of the prideful world we live in, that pats us on the back and praises our genius. God promises to bless a humble walk in the footsteps of His will. 

“He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead.”

We’re guaranteed no easy paths in life …no easy life. In fact, we’re promised it will be difficult. But the smooth and strait road lies in the Peace of His presence as we travel life.

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Father, Praise You for the way You knit us from the start. Thank You for blessing the road we travel when we seek You first. Forgive us for accepting credit that belongs to You, and help us to grow in humility as we serve You and walk behind 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 Travels,

Megs

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The Never-Ending Game (#jammed daily devo, day 226)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 226: It’s OK to keep continuing…

“He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his ownAugust 14 authority.” Acts 1:7

We have a never ending game of Monopoly going on at our house. By the time we have the time to pull the game back out and finish debating who’s turn it is, where the houses go, and the amount of money sitting in free parking …it’s about time to bag it all up again and pack it away until we have time to play again.

I have no idea if we’ll ever finish that game.

Today’s verse speaks not of a game, but of life …and it’s end as we know it. These bodies are temporary and Revelation tells us what to expect …but God is holding the details in His trusted hand.

“It is not for you to know.”

Sometimes life is put on pause for our own good.  Parents are wise to keep some things from their child’s mind and eye until they are mature enough to handle it. Take cell phones and tablets, for instance. Children do not need access to the Internet all of the time. It’s as addictive as substance abuse, scientifically proven by discovering the same chemical is released when we get a new message as when we take a hit, a glance, or a drink.

God is good, all of the time. That’s who He is. A good Father. Who knows that we already have more than we can handle on this earth without a constant lean into Him. Through Jesus, we are forgiven and restored, but not entitled to know all that He knows. We were made to trust Him with the lives He has given us to live …until He calls us home.

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Father, Praise You for all of creation, and especially humanity. Thank You for protecting us from what You know we can’t handle knowing. We confess our frustration and obsession with pinning down specifics to times and events that You have not revealed, and ask that You increase our trust in You and faith in You. 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 Trusting,

Megs

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