Kim Jaggers

Kim Jaggers
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

God and Casseroles

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Heb 10:24-25

We learned from my brother-in-law last night that my sweet father-in-law has prostate cancer. We immediately tried to call my in-laws but could not reach them for hours. We finally got them late last night to find out they had been at church rehearsing with the choir…but we know they weren’t just singing. They had been being loved on by church family. For forty years this group of believers has loved each other through hard times like job losses, deaths, broken marriages and cancer diagnosis. They have celebrated weddings and new babies with casseroles and church showers. They pray for each other and for each other’s families and when we visit they love us like family too. So in this hard time… this church did what churches do well, they encourage and love one another with the love of Jesus. Once again God used the church to be His hands and His feet…His arms to hold and His voice to encourage us. I am so glad God has His people to be there in the day to day with my in-laws. I have no doubt that they will feel the love of Jesus daily through these people. I know, too, they have done the same for many others over the years.

Being part of a body of believers is vital to our ability to walk strong in the Lord. He created the church and He uses it to bless, comfort, and teach His children and He loves us through other people there. So often, I talk to sad, lonely, discouraged people who are trying to make it on their own. These lone rangers are easy targets for the enemy who is like a prowling lion looking for those who stray outside the fold. But not only are these lone rangers missing the encouragement of the church… the church is missing them. God gifts all His children with spiritual gifts to be used for the body of believers. (Yes, He gifted you!)

Life is hard and if you study Bible prophecy, it seems that it may only get harder. We need each other. God tells us to keep meeting together, to keep encouraging each other and all the more as we see the Day (of his return) approaching. Are you a part of a church? Do you have a group of believers to turn to when hard times come? Do you have a history with them so they know how to love on you? Do they know your favorite casserole? Are you sharing yourself and your spiritual gift with others? Don’t be a lone ranger…life is hard and God never intended for us to walk it alone.

Prayer: Father, thank you for your church. Thank you for loving us through the body of believers. Help me to be an active part and use the spiritual gifts you have given me. Help my children to experience the blessing of a church family and help me to help them see the perfect love of Christ among a group of imperfect people. As the years go by, I know I won’t always be there for them… but I know you can and will love them through others in your body. I love you Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Hard Stuff

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Gal 5:1

“Have you ever heard the Master say a hard word? If you have not, I question whether you have heard Him say anything,” the great preacher-teacher Oswald Chambers once said. I have to agree. As much as we would like to pick and choose parts of the Bible which give us hope and makes us feel good, we have to consider there are some hard parts which we can’t ignore in the Word of God.

How often do we want the peace of God which transcends all understanding but then we refuse to follow the Prince of Peace in those things which are not easy or which we don’t like or understand. Jesus asks His followers to do some hard things. He tells us to “love our enemy and turn the other cheek”. He tells us to forgive those who have hurt us. He tells us not to repay evil for evil. Instead, He asks us to take up our cross and follow Him and give our possessions and our time to those less fortunate or even to those who won’t appreciate us. Jesus tells us to obey Him despite our feelings. Following Jesus is not a “feel good, tell you what-you-want-to hear” religion. On the contrary, Jesus tells us following Him may make us feel like the oddball – He even tells us we are aliens and strangers here. But “here” is not our home. Some who have been called to pay the costliest of price - to die for the cause of Christ – must have held dearly to that truth until they drew their final breath. But few of us will be called to give our lives, yet we are all called to obedience in some hard things.

I wonder what hard thing the Savior asking from you? Have you drawn a line and said “anything but that”? I don’t know what your “that” is but I wonder if your “that” is what is holding you back from really knowing the Prince of Peace? If you are trusting Jesus as Lord for your salvation He must also be Lord (boss) of your life and your choices. ..even the hard ones. Are you ready to go to a new place with God? Are you ready to get past some hurts and hang-ups that have been plaguing you for too long? Are you ready to shake free from the yoke of slavery that comes from disobedience? Do you want real freedom? If so, follow Him in the hard and watch Him do a mighty work in and through you. You will reap a mountain of blessing and He is worth it…

Prayer: Lord, am I holding back from following you? Oh, search my heart and show me the hard things which you have asked and I have refused. Please forgive me for disobeying you. Give me the strength to lay down “my way” for your better way. Take my life Lord… all of it. I want the freedom that comes from following You in all things… even the hard ones. Strengthen these shaky knees and help me walk in your way. Amen.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Get up off the ground!

David got up from the ground
2 Samuel 12:20

Have you ever just blown it? Have you ever made a stupid mistake or flat-out sinned and are now dealing with the consequences? Now, consequences by nature are most often not fun or else we would call them “blessings”. Yet, even in our consequences God is merciful and abounding in grace. When we repent, when we run to Him, when ask for forgiveness and give Him our failure… He can and often does bring blessing in the midst of the consequences. Just look at David and Bathsheba. David sinned big time. You can read about his failure and consequences in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. You will see David’s repentance but you will also read where “David got up from the ground (12:20).” David did what David was good at… he ran back to God. In the midst of his “consequences” he also found God’s blessing. Our merciful Father blessed David and Bathsheba with a wise son--Solomon, and generations later… through this imperfect man God brought His perfect Son.

I wonder what God could bring from your failure (even your sin) if you would give it to Him. Run to His arms in repentance and ask Him to bring beauty from ashes. We are good at messing up things but someone wise once said “God can take our “messes” and bring “messages” but only when we give it all to Him and follow Him with everything we’ve got. Are you ready to lay your burdens down? Are you ready to trust God to use even your failures for His glory? There is nothing He cannot use when you lay it at His feet…and at His feet is where you find peace and rest.

Father, help me to see the sin in my life that the enemy wants to use to keep me down.. Help me to get up off the ground and walk towards you. Please take my failure, my sin…take it all and bring glory to Your Name. I know you and you alone can take what Satan intends for evil and use it for good. Please forgive me for cooperating with the evil one and help me to instead walk in your truth, your light and in obedience to You. For you are good and what you do is good. Amen.