Kim Jaggers

Kim Jaggers
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Monday, January 24, 2011

What's love got to do with it?

No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God
I John 3:9

I’m getting a little concerned about what I am hearing about “God’s love”. One of my children recently retorted during a time of correction that “God is ALL about love” and not this “rule stuff”. The other day I heard a country DJ tell her audience that “God loves you so much. He doesn’t care what you have done.” True, words cannot describe the depth of God’s love. However, we should be careful not to allow the enemy to twist our thinking on this. The enemy would have us believe God is solely interested in our feelings of love towards Him and that He doesn’t care what we do. This grace/love- heavy message fits well in pulpits seeking to be politically correct. However, the Bible emphatically tells us God is very concerned about what we do. Yes, He tells us over and over He loves us and we know His blood alone covers our sins, but Jesus minced no words when He said “If you love me, obey me” John 14:23. Of course, the enemy seems to work both spectrums of the “obey thing” to try to confuse us. Either we feel like we have to work so hard to earn our way to God or we jump on the “all-love-no-pain train” and believe we can continually practice sin without guilt or repercussions because God is ALL about loving us.

So how should you live? If you have the golden ticket to Heaven, aren’t all your sins (future ones too) forgiven? However, if you can live in sin (not just step in it occasionally), if you can practice sin without the Holy Spirit wearing you out…don’t you wonder if you really love Jesus? Do you have a real, two-way love relationship with Him or do you have a fire-insurance religion that has never changed your life? 1 John 3:9 says “ No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them; they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” Yes, yes, we all sin, but there is a difference in sinning and living a life where you deliberately choose to sin. Friend, you can’t walk with the Lord if one foot is stuck in this world. It is time to kick free of all that is holding you back! Jesus is standing with arms wide open. Oh yes, He loves you soooo much but He doesn’t want your devotion to a religion or a cause. He says the number one thing He wants you to do is to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30) and He makes no beans about it… if you love Him obey Him. And by the way, those “rules” – those things He will ask you to do or not do, are His way of guiding you to His wonderful best because He loves you.

Prayer: Oh Father, help me to live in your grace and walk in your truth. Oh, Holy Spirit be loud. Let me hear your voice and show me any sin which is keeping me from all you have for me. Forgive me and strengthen me to turn from that. Help me to love what you love and obey you because I love you. I know you are for me – you died for me. I know your blood and your blood alone covers my sins. I also know you want all of me – my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength. Take it all Jesus. Amen.

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A very long bad mood

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Psalm 42:5

I have been in a bad mood for what seems like a very long time. Oh, I have some circumstantial and hormonal reasons contributing to my less-than-chipper attitude. Some of you might pat my back and tell me I deserve to feel and act this way, and years ago, I might have excused myself too. However, I have been with Jesus. I have tasted His peace despite crazy circumstances and I can no longer excuse this rebellion in my heart and frankly that is what this big, fat, bad mood is! Rebellion! Can I really love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27) and be in a bad mood? God desires my obedience more than sacrifice (or service or ministry) 1 Sam 15:22. He wants me to hear and obey His voice in the moments of the day He has given me to live. He tells me this struggle (and girl isn’t it a struggle when life knocks you down or hormones are raging?)- this struggle isn’t against flesh and blood (Eph 6:12) . God tells me I am wrestling with the enemy who wants to take me down and my only (ONLY) source of strength, my only chance of avoiding the guilt of my next mess up is to be continually strengthened in the Lord (Eph 6:10).

Frankly, I am sick of myself and thoroughly convinced that I have zero ability to walk in joy, peace and hope without a continual denial of myself, my way, my rights, my desires and a complete submission in all things to God….and it is not just enough to say it. I have to live it out in the moment when the choice comes. When I am offended, when I am tired, when I am heart-broken, when life stinks; I have to choose, in that moment, to kneel to the authority and wisdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. I have to submit and rely on His Holy Spirit strength to do it. I am tired of battling the same battles and asking for forgiveness for the same sin. I want to live the blessed life and go from strength to strength with my heart stayed on the Living God (Psalm 84:5-7)… I am tired of being tossed to and fro by circumstances and emotions. I want to grow up (Eph 4:15) and press on to take hold of that prize which is Christ Jesus (Phil 3:14)… don’t you? Our Savior died and for those who know Him- the old has passed and the new has come… I want to walk in that freedom--- not my old sin-filled, sick-of-myself nature… don’t you? Only in the moment-to-moment choice to follow Him and not my flesh can I be angry and not sin, be free from bitterness, forgive others and be kind (Eph 4:25-32) and experience joy and peace in the midst of this crazy life.

Prayer: Oh Savior, forgive me for losing my joy. How can the bride be dismayed when the Bridegroom is coming? How can I act as if I am unclean when your precious blood has already made me clean? Oh Father, I am weak but You are strength. May I abide continually in You and when the moments of choice come by way… may I submit to the your will where all joy, peace and hope reside despite all the evil one will throw at me. I love you Lord. May I live like it. Amen.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Am I still a slave to chocolate cake?

People are slaves to whatever has mastered them
2 Peter 2:19

“God is not against you having things; He is against things having you.” (Vodie Bachaum). As I think about that statement and all the New Year’s resolutions I have heard…I am amazed at the connection. How many of us have resolved to lose weight? (does food have us?) How many of us have vowed to save money? Do we purchase things and overspend in seeking satisfaction that never seems to last? Do things have us? Why do we do what we do and why can’t we not do what we don’t want to do? The Bible says “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 2 Pet 2:19. If Jesus- the Freedom Giver - is your Master other things lose their ability to master you.

If Jesus has set you free you are free indeed (John 8:36). Do you realize the power in this? Do you live this way? In those moments of temptation to live as your old self - as a slave (to food, money, your past, your temper, guilt etc) do you stop and ask yourself “Am I doing this to the glory of Christ or in a relentless pursuit to bring about my own happiness?” As hard as we try will we will never on our own control things and “fix life” and find that elusive, lasting joy we seek. The Bible says “whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” (Matt 10:39). When I lose the “For ME” mentality and live my life “FOR Jesus”, joy is no longer elusive. When I do all things to His glory, things no longer have a hold on me – not food, not money, not relationships, not perfectionism, not (you fill in the blank). When in the moment of day-to-day living I stop and ask myself “Does this bring glory to the King?” I no longer live as a slave to all those other things which will in themselves never bring freedom.

So this New Year… may we all remember in Christ we are a NEW creation. The old has passed and no longer has control over us (2 Cor 5:17). If Jesus is our Master other things do not have the power to master us. In the moment of temptation, He will be our strength to walk away from those things which continue to hurt us and never satisfy….if we seek to bring Him glory. May nothing master us except the One who loves us perfectly and who bought us with a great price…the One who truly satisfies.

Father, show me the things which I have allowed to master me. May you alone be my Master and may I stop in those moments of temptation and ask myself “does this bring You glory?” May I walk in the freedom from those things which never satisfy whether it be eating that piece of chocolate cake, losing my temper, living in the past, etc and instead live my life to bring You glory. I know that You will help me and you will be my strength and I know this is where true joy can be found. I love you Lord. May I live this day for you. Amen.