When Life Feels Not-So-Fresh (My Redeemer Lives 1:1)

Welcome to My Redeemer Lives!

I love the first day of a study because everything feels fresh.

My intentions are fresh, my pen seems filled with fresh ink, even my Bible gives off fresh-page vibes, just waiting to deliver insight to my brain cells.

It’s important to breath in fresh for just a moment, because, most of the time, life feels not-so-fresh.

Routines, monthly payments, staring in the fridge figuring out what to eat, classes, errands…

what feels not-so-fresh in your life?

Then there is the darker side of not-so-fresh.

There once was a man named Job who knew about not-so-fresh, and that’s putting it lightly. He sat in not-so-fresh. He knew emotional struggle, loss, and a life turned upside down, but it wasn’t all drama-drama. Instead, I think one of the hardest parts of Job’s story is that he had to sit in all the muck for a while.

Job 2:12-13

12 And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven. 13 And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

And this is just the first week.

Job has wounds- holes in his heart where his loved ones’ laughter used to be, unrelenting sun where his roof used to give him shade, and now personal, physical decay in his flesh- infection, boils, rot. (Um, gross.)

Job laments and his friends seems super supportive for about a millisecond. Then they pick up the salt shaker, guised as “helpful suggestions” and add salt to his wounds.

Not only does Job have to endure all this pain, but now he has to endure crappy advice. Gag.

Job’s friend’s advice and explanations take up half the book of Job. Their “thoughtfulness” says nothing more to Job than,

“Oh, look at you and all your problems.Clearly we are better than you. Clearly we are more loved than you. Clearly we are doing something right and you are doing something wrong.”

Not-So-Fresh Friendship is what that is, right there.

But for all this bad advice, all it does for Job is turn him back in on his own misery. Job had real, physical pain. The disease he experienced, the destruction of all he held dear was physical destruction.

What physical struggles make them aware of their weaknesses?

What physical struggles do you have in your life?

 

In his weakness, God’s answer to Job is a physical promise recalled by Job, himself, in our theme passage for this study:

Job 19:25-26

For I know that my Redeemer lives,
    and at the last he will stand upon the earth.
And after my skin has been thus destroyed,
    yet in my flesh I shall see God…

Problems in life are often physical, or very physically impact us.

Resurrection is physical too.

Job tells us that he will see God in the flesh, not as a spirit or vague idea. This same flesh that decays will see a greater promise.

Read the NIV translation of the next verse, Job 19:27-

I myself will see him
    with my own eyes—I, and not another.
    How my heart yearns within me!

Skin destroyed, eyes that fade…

What part of your body makes you keenly aware that your body is passing away, decomposing faster than we’d like?

Here’s mine- hard, grey hairs that stick up like electrical wire; weird throat wrinkles that feel thick and sloppy at the same time; slowly losing my singing range to vocal cords meant only to last so many years.

The promise of resurrection reminds us that rebuilding is coming. Fresh is coming. While struggle and not-so-fresh, even death, is part of our story, it’s not the end of the story, nor is it even the climax of our plot.

Physical pain and physical problem remind us of a greater promise. We sit in the physical reality of this decaying world and its violence and disasters, political upheaval, and uncertain footing.

Some days look fresh and some days look not-so-fresh. Sometimes we stand in the promise, sometimes we sit on that ash heap with Job, but either way:

I know that my Redeemer lives is the fresh song in our lungs.

Because He sings a fresh song over us each day until we physically see eternity –

Resurrection

Restoration

Fresh and new.

You can download this Scripture card and one for every day of the week at PureJoyCreative.com. (LINK)

Don’t forget this week’s Bible margin to help you reflect as you study.  (LINK)

 

Join the discussion by sharing your thoughts and insights in the comments here and on social media.

 

Catch the week one video here:

Destruction to Resurrection

Downloadable Video Viewer Guide – Destruction to Resurrection

 

Jesus Ate: A My Redeemer Lives Resurrection Reminder

One year, shortly after Easter, I heard a passage from Luke in church. Three days later, it dawned on me that Jesus was eating.

That seems very un-unique as an insight; Jesus ate with people all the time, and as long as we exist with books or the internet as part of our lives, we likely have Da Vinci’s depiction of the Last Supper etched in our minds.

Jesus ate. Son of God, Son of Man, ate for 33 years on this earth…

plus 40 days.

What dawned on me after that Luke reading was that the Resurrected Jesus was eating.

Jesus walked around after the Resurrection. He had conversations in the garden by the tomb and along the road to Emmaus. He called the disciples out from their boats once again and invited them to dinner. He taught. He prayed. He held Thomas’s hand to His side.

He wasn’t less God or less Man these forty days than He was on Christmas morn. This was mind-blowing to me and this insight settled in my heart like this –

If Jesus ate after his Resurrection, and loved on his disciples, and preached the good news, then even though I can’t see Him in front of my face, this same Resurrection God lives and works in my life every day.

He eats with me.

He teaches me.

He prays with me.

He holds my hands and wipes my tears.

The Resurrection is so powerful. It means God’s presence and life in our days.

I want God’s presence and life! He is Living Water for my thirsty soul.

Let’s discover our Resurrection God together where He is always, always found – in His Word.

In My Redeemer Lives, we’ll talk about resurrections throughout Scripture, but we’ll also talk about what God’s doing now, what God is resurrecting now, in our lives. We’ll talk about words, and what they mean, where they point us, and what promises His Word gives.

Words like…

Glory

Heartbreak

Waiting

Light

Rest

What words do you think of when you think of the word resurrection? Share with us in the comments!

My Redeemer Lives starts next Monday, February 19 through April 9th, right here. Join in our study community by subscribing to the blog via email. The study posts will be delivered right to your inbox five days a week. Comment on the post with your own thoughts and insights. There will also be Bible verse graphics and visual faith tools. Share on social media with the hashtags #myredeemerlives and #ilovemyshepherd.

You can also get reminders and follow along on the I Love My Shepherd Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Jesus ate. Jesus eats with us each day.

And because my Redeemer lives, there will be a day when we share a Feast with Him that we can’t even begin to imagine.

Ready for some resurrection reminders?

I Love My Shepherd is partnering with PureJoyCreative to offer you weekly Bible margins, Scripture cards, and other visual reminders of the life our Redeemer brings to our days. Some will be free downloads, and others will be available for purchase in the PureJoyCreative Etsy store.

Here is the first freebie to get you started – a My Redeemer Lives Scripture engagement page to take notes on, write prayer requests, or color as you study in the coming weeks! Click on the image for this free download.

You can also find this beautiful reminder on a t-shirt, tote bag, or necklace in the PureCreativeJoy Etsy Store.

Look for a free downloadable margin every week. We have a couple more surprises up our sleeves as well. Subscribe to I Love My Shepherd by email if you haven’t already so that you don’t miss a post!

My Redeemer Lives Extras

We’re getting closer to our Spring online study, My Redeemer Lives: A Study of Resurrection!

All the details of the study, the schedule, and the outline can be found here-

My Redeemer Lives details!

 

Today, I want to introduce you to the extras!

All the extras for this study were designed by Jamie at PureJoyCreative. The extras include lots of freebies and some options of things to purchase. All the extras are intended to help keep a reminder of the Life the Resurrection of Jesus brings to our everyday lives and moments.

Here’s Extra #1 –

The My Redeemer Lives Scripture Engagement Tool

 

Simple, elegant, with lots of room for Scripture notes, prayer requests, video session tidbits, and more. Use this engagement tool throughout the study to collect your thoughts and insights and connect with Our Redeemer. Also, tis the season! You could use this page for sermon notes or Sunday school classes during Lent and Easter.

Extra #2 –

My Redeemer Lives Bible Margins

 

Look for a link to one of these each week of the study. Jamie is a talented margin creator, and we are extremely blessed that she is sharing her skills and studying alongside us at I Love My Shepherd!

I can’t wait to reveal the rest of these to you as we go along. These will be free downloads!

Extra #3 –

My Redeemer Lives Scripture Cards

Colorful, printable, and perfect to stash in places as reminders of God gift of grace in our day. You can use them to memorize key passages of our study or share with friends, family, even your barista or waitress. Keep a look out for these treasures.

Extra #4 –

Wearable redemption reminders!

You’ll be able to purchase some very cool resurrection reminders from Jamie’s Etsy shop.

Like…

Or…

You can check out all her products here-

PureJoyCreative on Etsy

Favorite the shop and you’ll be in the know as the My Redeemer Live products are added.

We’ll reveal downloads and wearables here and on instagram. You can subscribe to the blog by email for updates and to study with us, and mosey over to Insta and follow @ilovemyshepherdministries and @purejoycreative to get the first peeks.