Kim Jaggers

Kim Jaggers
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Monday, June 14, 2010

Ignoring God

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
James 1:15

I knew I shouldn’t have waited so long. The weeds in my garden were almost as tall as the vegetable plants. I tried to gingerly pull them out but the weed roots were often entangled around the good plant. As the weeds came up so did the soil holding the vegetables in place. The poor little veggies fell over to the side and I worked to prop them back up. What should have been an easy job, now took hours of tedious, sweaty work.

God has taught me so much as I work in my garden. He has shown me about the harvest but this day He taught me about sin and what happens when we let it grow. Just like weeds, sin takes over when we allow it to remain in our lives. When we ignore sin it will overtake the fruit in our lives; and when we leave it to grow deep roots, it will choke the life right out of us. The easiest way to get rid of sin is to remove it when we first notice it. If we remove it quickly it doesn’t hurt us (and let’s face it --those around us) as deeply.

Many times I have heard the whisper of my Savior warning me to get rid of something, to walk away, to shut my mouth, to turn that off, to take the thought captive and on and on. Jesus is our helper and He is constantly looking out for us. He isn’t silent but sometimes we choose to ignore Him. The Bible says His “sheep know His voice” (John 10:4) but sometimes His sheep take off running in the wrong direction –right toward the wolves. Jesus tells us to flee from sin and He is quick to call us back when we are heading toward sin which will always hurt us. I know it is true and so do you. He is always right. The sooner we listen to Him, the sooner we remove the sin, the easier it will be to do so…and the much better off we will be! You got any weeds that need pulling?

Prayer: Oh Father, please show me the weeds – the sin I may be allowing to creep into my life. I know you want what is best for me and that you are my help to remove sin that hurts me and others around me. Help me to guard my life and follow you. I know you love me and you want what is best for me. Help me to hear your voice every day, in every area and follow you. I love you Lord. Amen.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Eighty-year-old slides to third

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Phil 1:20-21

Dressed in crisp white pants, a button down and polished dress shoes-- he was looking good. Forgetting his spiffy attire, the competitive side of my Dad took over as he joined the family wiffle ball game. Though arthritis has taken over, he easily smacked a good hit and ran with the graceful stride of a former college athlete. The throw was quick as Dad passed second and headed to third base. He had to beat that throw. I couldn’t believe my eyes as my eighty-year-old father slid into third! He slid! Kids and grandchildren surrounded him as he lay there a moment. He got up with a limp and a smile and no one dared suggest he was anything but safe.

I lay in bed that night pondering what my Dad had done. It is funny that some things are so a part of who we are that we don’t think twice before we act on those traits. For Dad, years of practice, focus, and love-of-the-game still dictate his behavior—despite his age. It just comes natural.

I want to have that kind of behavior-dictating passion about Jesus. I want it to come natural. I want passion that is so a part of who I am that I act like a Christian without even thinking. I want to have the kind of passion that throws caution to the wind and just lives to give glory to the Savior. I want to love the unlovely without thinking they are unlovely. I want to serve others without a thought of self. I want to boldly stand for the cause of Christ without considering the costs. I don’t want to hesitate. I don’t want to consider my safety, my happiness or my bank account. I want Jesus to be so a part of me that every word, every deed, every thought is of Him and for Him. I want Jesus to live so strongly in me that He dictates my behavior in such a natural way that others see Him and not me.

Prayer: Father, May your will be done in everything I do. May my words and my deeds point others to you. I owe you everything and I love you. May my love for you only grow stronger and may that love flow into the lives of others so that they may know you and give you glory. Amen.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Even When He says "No"

Though he slay me, yet I will hope in him.
Job 13:15

God has done so much for me but He often feels the closest and freedom the greatest when others might look at the situation and think He has forgotten me. In many hard times God has brought me to total surrender and asked me to be willing for the answer to be “no”. When I have been able to spit out the words: “even if my biggest fear happens, I will still follow you” when I finally lay down my need for God to explain Himself, when I give up trying to fix things, control things and stop expecting things to go the way I want… a strange, wonderful peace comes and worry, frustration, and fear subside. In the hardest of moments, I can only find hope when I throw up my hands to the Father and submit to Him. No one can define or predict God and life often calls us to follow Him in some very difficult times. Peace comes when in those moments we are able to say, “I don’t know what you are doing. I can’t explain you or predict you. I don’t want you to do this… but even if you do… I have no choice but to love and follow you. You are bigger than all I know. Your way is better than mine. You are God and I am not.”

For years I have heard Christians say, “You have to die to yourself” but God has had to rip those control reigns from my hand more than once. Really, who am I to question His way? Who are you? God is the Holy of Holies. He is powerful and mighty. He died for me and if that were all – if He never did one more, good thing for me – I would still owe Him everything. So would you. That is easy to say but hard to mean. And you can’t just mean it once. You have to mean it every day. You have to daily die to your way and live for Him…. But daily falling on your face before the Living God and following Him is the best, hardest thing you will ever do. Because try as we may, we cannot out-give, out-love the Most High. He may take you a way you didn’t want to go but He will strengthen you, love you, help you and always uphold you with His righteous right hand (Is 41:10).

Prayer: Father, help me to live this day for you. Help me to not worry about tomorrow. Help me to follow you with all I have even when I would have chosen another way. You are Lord – help me to live like I mean that and reap all the benefits that come from belonging to the King of the Universe. Thank you for loving me. Amen.