18 Days Until - Countdown to Jubilee
FOR TODAY Bryan Stevenson writes in his book, Just Mercy, “Each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.” We have all experienced at one time or another the use of the word "just" in a way to belittle or dismiss someone or something - she’s just a kid; he’s just an drug addict; they are just ignorant; those people are just losers. When we use the word "just" in this way, we actually deny a central truth of our faith: that God can and will restore creation, mend hearts, redeem lives, and transform limitations. Author Brennan Manning writes eloquently about his discovery of this sort of transformation in his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up and Burnt Out. Echoing Stevenson’s quote, Manning shares: “…Grace calls out, ‘You are not just a disillusioned old man who may die soon, a middle-aged woman stuck in a job and desperately wanting to get out, a young person feeling the fire in the belly begin to grow cold. You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken or potbellied. Death, panic, depression, and disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that.’ You are accepted. Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted.”
FOR FURTHER REFLECTION When in your life have you felt held back or limited in way by the notion that you were "just not good enough, strong enough, or faithful enough?" How might God be working in your life to call you out of those limitations toward leadership and mission in the Kingdom? Take a moment to name the raw or painful “justs” in your life and ask God to bring healing and transformation to those places.
Focusing on the word "just" may strike many as an odd theme in our journey to revival; but, this week and subsequent ones will move us more directly towards the theme of our revival: Just Mercy, Just Jesus. We have heard the prophets of old and of our current time speak of a longing for a "just" society. In that sense, we long for what is right and good and lawful. At other times, we use the word "just" to reduce something to the basics, to what is essential, or to be dismissive. As we move through this week, a key aspect of being prepared and moved by a revival is getting in touch of the essentials in our relationship with God and with others. Find all previous daily devotionals here