Prepare, Peace, Promise, Relationship – these are the stand out words from our first few days of Advent together.
And for today, God strings the words together while weaving in a new one; LAUGHTER.
Not expecting that were you? LAUGH. One of God’s hope for you is that you would laugh again.
In a world with so much hurt it is easy to wonder if God sees or even cares.
In today’s reading, Abraham and Sarah lived their lives in faith but Hope was fading. All Sarah wanted was a baby. As the story goes, the woman was around 90 years old when God told Abraham (her even older husband) she would have a baby. Her reaction? She laughed a snarky laugh.
Sarah LAUGHED at God.
People, can we appreciate that the author of life itself would allow the detail that one of his main characters in the beginning of humanity laughed at Him!?! Sarah and God had enough of a relationship that God called her out.
“Then the Lord said to Abraham, ‘Why did Sarah laugh and say,Will I really have a child now that I am old? Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time..” – Genesis 18:13-14
By this time, She was AFRAID and then chose tooooooo… say sorry? Nope, Sarah LIED! Look up Genesis 18:15. It cracks me up.
And God kept his promise.
Do you know what Sarah named her baby boy? Isaac. Isaac means “he will laugh, he will rejoice.”
God’s timing, His appointed time, may not line up with ours. And that stings.
I have prayed for a lot of things in my life. Recently, I prayed for something big. I still don’t have the words to do the story justice. But in the meantime, here’s a picture of laughter.
Is anything to big for God? Nope. Keep praying. Keep talking to God, asking and trusting that His time must be the right time.
“The Jesus Storybook Bible” pulls you in close, gets you comfy and seems to hum the song God wants to sing just for you.
Doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have kids or not; this book, the way it retells stories like today’s “A New Beginning: Noah & The Ark” feels fresh.
This is what I mean.
Old school Noah – Noah built the ark, filled the ark with animals two by two and everyone was saved. The end.
I’m exaggerating but trying to make the point. Ready? Here comes the storybook version.
Noah’s friends laughed at him, isolated him; showing us that being faithful to God does not mean a carefree life. That’s important to know. We tend to write God off when things get hard like He’s forgotten us. But life can just be hard. Period.
Here’s the difference: This version of the story illustrates how Noah lives his life WITH God – asking Him, complaining to Him, thanking Him, doubting Him, but sticking by Him – a true relationship.
The storybook tale also presents God as a God of promise and faithfulness and partnership and love.
Noah stands by his God and God stands by his word.
If you go to the authors website, you can sign up for a reading plan through “The Storybook Bible” all the way to Christmas. Here’s the link: https://www.sallylloyd-jones.com
I’ll leave you with this excerpt. Say it out loud for yourself, for your kids, your grandkids; it is true for us all:
“No matter what, in spite of everything, God would love his children – with a Never Stopping, Never Giving up, Unbreaking, Always and Forever Love.”
The Jesus Storybook Bible p36
If we’re taking one step at a time, I just got a little extra pep in my step from this one. Day 4! We did it!
Today we’re looking at the “Jesus Calling” Devotional. This little book has you set up day by day. So good, right?
First step is look up the day you need.
Before you start reading, imagine Jesus is the one speaking to you. That’s how the author has written it. Then look up the verses listed at the bottom of the page, open your bible and read God’s words for you.
So for example, one reading today is from Isaiah 9:6. You can always google it.
Or, if you have an actual bible, find the name Isaiah, then flip to chapter 9 and skim down to verse 6.
Let me just show you.
After I read, I like to write the verse down in all caps, sit with it a few moments, then write a thought or idea from it. You can underline in your bible. It is okie dokie.
So this verse from John, I notice Jesus offers his friends PEACE in the midst of their fear. And while they were “overjoyed,” Jesus’ message is still PEACE. Did you notice that?