Kim Jaggers

Kim Jaggers
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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

When You Don't Have Answers

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. Phil 4:11


I don’t have answers to life’s questions.   God knows I have many, many questions.  I long for Him.  I want to understand Him.  I want to follow Him.   But, if I am honest, I also want life to be stable, predictable and easy.   When hard days come, I want to immediately see what God is doing and explain it to myself and to others.  If you’ve read my story (, you know my life has been anything but predictable or stable. Yet, way down deep I have still clung to a secret hope that somehow I could make it be.  I like order.  I like predictability.   I like to feel like I am in control of what the day will hold.  Yet life for me, and many of us lately, has been anything but predictable and anything but easy. 


A few years ago, I went for a walk around our little farm with my niece Riley.   We noticed the change in the season as the cool air hit our faces.  Leaves and dried blackberries were falling to the ground.  Fallen persimmons were rotting into the earth.  The ground was turning brown and crunchy with all the decaying matter.  I explained to Riley how God would make something beautiful out of all the ugly, dead stuff the coming spring.  I told her we couldn’t see what God was doing but that deep down under all the decay, He was at work. 


That walk and those words came back to my mind today.   It seems every news story, every conversation with friends and family is full of hard, heartbreaking things that are far from beautiful and seem so utterly out of control.  I remembered telling Riley, “God is still at work even when things look ugly.”  My mind raced to my own ugly times – like losing my husband to suicide—and other times when I honestly felt like giving up.  In the midst of the heartache, I couldn’t see what God was doing.   Still, He whispered a persistent, hold-on-hope and asked me to believe He was indeed “doing”.   My eyes could no more see His hand than I could see a flower being birthed under the rotting leaves that fall day with Riley.  Sometimes it is seems forever to wait on spring in the dark days of winter and even harder to wait on God when we desperately want answers, when our hearts are breaking, and when nothing seems to be in control.   It is exhaustingly difficult, but it is not impossible for those who are determined to keep following and trusting God.   He has given us (yes given us) a gift of faith (all that we need) to be sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb 11:1).   He has always been in the business of bringing beauty from ashes, and His Word is full of the incredibly hopeless finding real, stand-on, keep-going hope.  Indeed, His greatest miracles came from the most desperate of situations; and I expect they still do.


Yet, it is in the very midst of the trial, in our weakest-of-weak that our Faithful Father asks us to surrender our will to His and believe He can still do great things for us, in us, and through us.   Yes, when we finally lay down our conditions and expectations for how things should turn out and say, “God, I trust you more than I trust me, I believe you are at work even when I can’t see you,”  it is then—that we find incredible, amazing, hope-filled, hold-onto-peace that makes no earthly, logical sense.  


Oswald Chambers said, “There is only one thing you can consecrate to God and that is the right to yourself (Rom12:1).”  Yes, the enemy may have intended what you are walking through for evil, but God alone can bring good.  Keep your eyes on Him.  This hard road you are walking may be the only way someone else sees the only Savior of Souls.   That awful situation that you or someone you love is enduring may yield a depth of love for our Lord that could come no other way.   It is in reckless abandon to God (not predictability or stability in this life or even the easy) that He tells us we will find rest for our souls (Matt 11:29-30).   And that is no small thing.  So keep reading His Word, keep praying, keep seeking encouragement from other believers and keep hoping in God who  is at work in your life.  


Prayer:  Oh Lord, help me to lay down those things which keep me from experiencing your peace.   Take my right to myself, my day, my calendar, my expectations, my need to control, my desire for stability and predictability, even this heartbreaking thing, and help me to live in reckless abandon to You.   May I give glory to You no matter what this day brings.  May I only desire to stay under the shelter of Your wings, for you are my rock, my protector and my comforter (Ps 61:3-4).  Amen.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Is it okay to ask God to tell you what He already told you?

“Oh God, I’ve been here before.  You showed me truth to answer this question before.  You’ve shown me strength to overcome this before.  Yet, here I am again asking you the same question all over again.   God, are you really this long-suffering?   Can I ask you once again to tell me what I already know?”

Have you been there?   Have you walked with God through a fire finding Him to be true and faithful at some point in your life only to later on become incredibly frustrated with yourself as you question Him about something you so solidly believed before?  Have there been times in your life where you ran back to God asking Him to tell you once more what He had told you before?  Is that okay?

In Matthew 3, John the Baptist baptizes Jesus and hears the voice of God proclaiming, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  In Matthew 11, we find this same John sitting in prison asking his disciples to go to this same Jesus and ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”     What John had heard that day as he baptized Jesus had to ring in his ears as his mouth uttered the question, “Are you really who I think you are or should I look for another?”   John’s circumstances had dramatically changed from the revered baptizer and the one who prepared the way for the Lord as he now sat in a dirty prison awaiting certain death.  John the Baptist was questioning what he knew before.  Time out, did you hear that?  John the Baptist was questioning what he knew before.   Although John had heard and believed truth, his human nature and circumstances caused him to ask Jesus what seems like a ridiculous question after literally hearing the voice of God.  It was John’s very hands that had baptized the Son of Man.    

Yet, God put this and many other examples of His children having crises of faith in His Bible.   He graciously allows us to see David, Peter, and many more struggle in both belief and action after previously walking in amazing nearness to God.  God did not have to include those faith failures in His Word; yet in His goodness He has encouraged me with them over and over.   He has allowed me to see David going from wailing to dancing in the pages of Psalms, and with that He has encouraged my heart to run right back to Him with every doubt and question I have ever had.   Nowhere in Scripture does God condemn His children as they run to Him with their questions.  Our gracious God tells us we can indeed ask Him to once again remind us of what we knew before.   He knows we need Him to tell us over and over again that He loves us, that He won’t ever leave us because He knows life and the circumstances we face will cause our human hearts to despair and to question what He has told us before.  

Yes, I believe our loving, patient Father wants a real, authentic relationship with us; and just like I need my husband to tell me what I already know: to tell me He loves me, to tell me he will be here for me, God allows us to go right back to Him and ask Him to tell us over and over those same things.  He knows we desperately need to hear from Him again and again.  I am so thankful God really is that good, that loving and that long-suffering.   I’m glad He really is Who He says He is.   So go ahead, ask Him again to remind you of what He told you before.   He will and you can walk on in that truth when life (and it will) gets hard, when you question and when you doubt.  Not only does God not change with our circumstances or emotions – He can handle them as we bring them to Him.  Don’t ever stop bringing them to Him.   Don’t ever stop bringing them to Him. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Don't Judge Me Man!


I hear the phrase “Don’t judge” so often in our world and often out of the mouths of Christians.   I am concerned that the enemy has confused this phrase and used it to silence many from speaking truth and has kept many from hearing truth, because the enemy knows truth will set us free. 


I am so thankful for people in my life that saw sin in my life and loved me enough to point it out.  In fact, I will go as far to say that the people who have said, “I love you but you are wrong” are the people who love me most and want the best for me.   They want nothing to stand in the way of my relationship with God.  


I guess they could have been worried that I would tell them to, “Stop judging me”,  but I am so thankful that they knew the difference between judging to condemn (which a Christian is not to do) and a discerning judgment of fruit (which a Christian is to do).   The father of all lies is skilled in taking the very words of God out of context.   We have to recognize how often he does this today and has done so since the beginning of time as he questioned Eve in the garden, “Did God really say?”  This is why it is so important for Christians to know God’s Word and to read it in context.   Yes, God does say in Matthew 7 “Judge not that you be not judged”.   Yet, He goes on to say in the very same chapter that we can “know them by their fruits” and that “every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (v. 15-17).   In this same chapter, God tells us we can judge a tree by its fruit.  John McArthur (The Truth War) says “Scripture does clearly and consistently teach the primacy of right belief as the foundation of right behavior.  In other words, righteous living is properly seen as a fruit of authentic faith and never the other way around”.   McArthur emphatically pleads with Christians to know and speak truth and ignore the enemy who says you are “judging” when you do so.  


God tells us to encourage one another to be followers of Christ and to mimic His behavior in every facet of our lives.   God’s Word tells us how to live, and that we can know right and wrong in our lives and in the lives of others.  McArthur says, “The idea that the Christian message should be kept pliable and ambiguous seems especially attractive to young people who are in tune with the culture and in love with the spirit of the age and can’t stand to have biblical truth applied with precision as a corrective to worldly lifestyles, unholy minds, and ungodly behavior.   And the poison of this perspective is being increasingly injected into the evangelical church body.”   Now more than ever we are to know truth and encourage others to know it as well (Titus 2).   


But what if they call you a hypocrite?  What if they point out sins they have seen you commit in the past?   Get ready for it, but don’t let this fear stop you!   When they call you a hypocrite, agree with them that you have indeed messed up.   “Yes, I’ve sinned, but I always knew God was in my life because I felt guilty over my sin.  But the times I have chosen to follow Jesus and not sin are the times I have felt such freedom.  I just want that for you too.  I want God’s best for you because I love you.”


We have to help others know what God says about how we are to live, “Even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to their debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting’ (Roman 1:28).   McArthur says to, “Abandon a biblical definition of truth, and unrighteousness is the inescapable result.  We see it happening before our eyes in every corner of society.   In fact, the widespread acceptance of homosexuality, rebellion, and all forms of iniquity that we see in our society today is the verbatim fulfillment of what Romans 1 says always happens when a society denies and suppresses the essential connection between God and truth.”


This is hard stuff.   This is “cling to Jesus with all you have stuff” but the consequences are huge.  People we love are in bondage to misery-making sin.  People we love do not know our Lord.   The consequences are huge.  Pray.  Stay connected to God and trust Him to give you the words.  Love them.   Speak truth to them.  Keep loving them when they call you a hypocrite.   Keep speaking truth even in this hard world….because this world needs Jesus and eternity without Him is Hell. 



Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Questions to Ask Yourself When Trouble Comes

Questions to ask yourself when trouble comes…


  1. Is God still on the throne? (yes)

And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb” Rev 7:10

  1. Does God hear my prayers? (yes)

You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted;
 you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, Psalm 10:17

  1. Is God still capable of miracles? (yes)

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matt 19:26

  1. Does God have the ability to use this hard thing for my good and His glory?(yes)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28

  1. As I seek God through His Word and prayer will He strengthen me through this storm? (yes)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Rom 15:13

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:6-7

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isa 41:10

  1. Can the faith of others grow as they see me cling to Jesus through this? (yes)

Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings

 I Pet 5:9

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” Luke 22:31-32

  1. Will I be free from this problem, difficulty, trial or tragedy in Heaven? (yes)

Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.  ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death  or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Rev 21:4-5

     8.  Will it help me to keep my eyes on Jesus and take one day at a time? (yes)

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6:33-34




Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Day after The Cross

The Day after the Cross


Devastated, despairing…confused.  Even though Jesus had told His disciples what He had come to do, the Cross certainly didn’t look or feel like victory.


Those who had seen Him feed the five thousand, calm the storm, raise the dead, and fulfill countless prophecies could not bring themselves to imagine anything good coming from the Cross.


They reasoned, “It was over.  Finished.”  Doubt flooded their minds.  Was He really who He said He was?


How like us today.


We’ve read His promises.   We’ve seen Him act in our lives.   We’ve heard His voice whisper things just for us.  But, then, He does something unexpected.   Something we don’t like.   Our circumstances don’t turn out the way we had hoped.   We can’t see Him at work or imagine that He is. 


What then?


Do we shirk away- devastated, despairing and confused?


Or do we hold on?   Remembering, like that day after the Cross, even when things look horribly wrong—Jesus is always at work keeping His promises.   Always.


Hell has been defeated.   Victory is already won.   Jesus said He is coming again to make all things new.  And He is.  


He said His plans for you are exceedingly abundantly more than you can ask or imagine (Eph 3:20)… (let alone see or figure out).  


Just because you don’t understand what He is doing doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t defeating Hell for you.  


Hold on.  Hold on to Him.   Believe Him.  Follow Him. 


Hope is found in His promises, in His blood, in His righteousness. Especially when you don’t’ understand.


Hold on.   Sunday is coming. 


Blessed are those who believe in Him even when they can’t see Him.  (John 20:29)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Ilogical Easter

It doesn’t make logical sense.  Eternal life for those destined to die – freely offered to all who will receive through the blood of God’s sinless Son. Surely, there must be more required.  So many of us hear about it but can’t receive it.  A few feel above it all, saying they do not need the forgiveness of some higher authority only to one day answer to the “Higher Authority.”   Others spend years trying to find peace and hope in other things only to ultimately come up empty after each new acquisition. 


However, most of us know the perpetual emptiness found in things on this earth and are also keenly aware of our own sin-- knowing we need forgiveness.   But still, for many, the thought of such a simple solution:  a magnificent trade--Jesus’ blood for my sins (past, present and future) seems, well, wrong.  Not enough.  Shouldn’t there be more required?   Can it possibly be that easy?  We may not say it aloud, but we resolve in our minds and hang on to the belief that we have to keep on striving.  So many of us decide we must add to it.  We reason, “Jesus’ blood PLUS my good works, my moral behavior, my ‘try harder’… that then, could equal forgiveness.”   


Yet, is this belief not the most selfish and conceited affront to the love offered by our Savior?   Aren’t we putting ourselves on a pedestal higher than the Savior and selfishly saying by our focus on our works, “We deserve it and we can earn it…what Jesus did isn’t enough”?  Jonathan Edwards, in The Nature of True Beauty, explained it this way:


“If you don’t believe the gospel of grace (is enough), if you believe you are saved by your works, then you have never done anything for the love of others or for the sheer beauty of it; you’ve done it for yourself.  You haven’t helped the proverbial little old lady across the street just for her sake –or for God’s sake.  You’ve done it because then you can look at yourself in the mirror and know that you’re the kind of person who helps little old ladies across the street and you expect to go to heaven someday because of it.  It’s all selfish; it will become drudgery, yet you’ll believe yourself superior to others”


There is only one way to come to the Cross and receive it in truth.  We have to come to the Cross helpless -helpless, at the end of ourselves, asking God to help us fathom this great gift.   Jesus is our substitutionary sacrifice and has done for us what we cannot do for ourselves, what we cannot find for ourselves, what we cannot earn for ourselves.   He has paid for our sins once and for all.  It is finished means: it really is finished.   Tim Keller puts it this way, “He (Jesus) has proved to our insecure, skittish little hearts that we are worth everything to him--we have everything we need in him.”  This changes everything.  Oh friend, can you fathom this illogical, wonderful truth?   Can you believe it and receive it?   God will help you….even help you believe it just as he helped the father who said “I believe help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). 


And once we believe, we helplessly accept - we find soul rest, no longer working, no longer trying harder for our salvation.  Our lives and our perspectives are forever changed.  Keller goes on to say, “Now you do not need to help people, but you want to help them to resemble the One who did so much for you to bring Him delight.  Whether you think they are worthy of your service doesn’t come into it. Only the gospel gives you the benefit of unselfish living that doesn’t rob you of the benefits of unselfishness even as you act on it.”   In other words, I want to live in such a way that others will see Jesus in me and will want to give Him glory… not because I think I can earn His forgiveness because of what I do.  Truly, it is not about what we’ve done but what has been done for us.   Grace is more amazing than we can ever fathom.   


Jesus paid it all.   All to Him I owe.   We have so much to celebrate because of The Cross….Happy Easter!   Amazing illogical Easter!


This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:22-24


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I'm not enough for my kids

I’m not enough for my kids



Almost twenty-one years ago a squirmy, wet, beautiful, little creature was laid upon my belly, crying, filling his lungs with earth air.  My heart exploded with emotion because everything in me knew I had never loved another human being as much as I instantly loved this tiny angel.   My love for this person has only grown deeper by the day as it has for his brother and sister as well.  Yet, my love, nor any human love, will ever be the greatest love my children could ever know.  


As the days have gone by, I have tried to anticipate every possible danger or discouragement coming their way; as well as seek out every opportunity for their good.  From strapping fighting toddlers in cars seats, to baking cookies for kindergarten birthday parties, to going over thousands of spelling lists, to washing dirty football uniforms over and over, to sitting on hard bleachers for hours, to driving to hundreds of piano lessons, to filling out college applications – I have tried to be there for my kids.  Yet, I know I will not always be able to be there for them, and one day they will walk this earth without me.


I have held their faces in my hands time and time again and told each of my children how proud I am of them.  I have complimented and celebrated them for the things I have seen them do well.   Yet, my words of encouragement and affirmation will never be enough to be their lasting security and confidence. 


I have relentlessly corrected and disciplined them over and over again.   Often repeating the same things to eye rolls and groans, I have hoped my words of caution would spare them from pain.   Yet, I know I cannot always be there to whisper truth to them in moments of decision.  


I have told them of a God who loves them even more than I do.   I have pointed them to His Word and encouraged them that it is there they will find strength, direction, comfort and hope.   Yet, they see my faith fail; and my human words fall incredibly short of the words the Holy Spirit has for each of them when they seek Him on their own, or the words He will whisper to them in their deepest dark.


I know, as they grow, my ability to shelter my kids from mistakes and pain is dwindling.   As they grow up and their time apart from me increases--so do the temptations around every corner.   For not only do my kids have a Mom who cannot protect them from everything, they also have an enemy--a real enemy.  His plans are to rob, kill, and destroy.    When they were small he seemed to take little notice of them; but now that they are older, I more clearly see that he is waging a very real war against them.   Yet, I cannot predict his next move or completely protect them no more than I can see the wars waging in the heavenlies over my kids.


Since they were born, my every thought has included, if not been consumed by my three children.  When I say, I would die for my kids, I mean it.  I don’t’ think I would even hesitate.  Yet, if I died for them, it wouldn’t be enough to save them for eternity.    


I am not enough for my kids. 


Yet, there is One who loves my children more than I do, and against Him the enemy has no power.  He is always with them no matter where life takes them.  He can always speak to them, and His Words are perfect and true.    He is lasting hope, peace, and strength.   He is real security in an insecure, evil world.  His plans for them are exceedingly better than they (or their momma) could ask or imagine.    While I have failed my children, God has not and never will.  


And even if my love for them and my actions towards my kids had been perfect – it would not be enough.  It would never be enough.   For just like me, although my babies were born gasping for earth air, they were also born with souls longing to be satisfied by the Living, Most High God.  


And for this reason… my greatest of prayers for the people I love so much that I hurt when they hurt and rejoice when they rejoice is that they will know (really know) the One who loves them more than me, Who left a throne in Heaven to die for them, Who has made a way for them in eternity,  Who will guide their steps, Who will be their rock-- their calm in the storm, their hope for tomorrow, their real joy  no matter what life may bring….and Who will be there for them long after I’m home with Him. 


And Who I (just like my kids) need every moment of every day until then…


All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.  2 Tim 3:16-17