Kim Jaggers

Kim Jaggers
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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Mean Girls

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.
I Pet 3:9

Girls can be mean. I knew it as a teenager. I feel it even more now as a Mom. This past weekend, Abi was invited to a slumber party. She had to decline because we had family plans. Before I go on with the story, I have to tell you, none of my kids are perfect (mind you, this is the same kid who in a previous devotion broke her toe kicking her brother). Yet this weekend she “walked the talk”. Late Friday night she received a text from her “friends” at the slumber party telling her, “You have a large zit and you are ugly.” Without consulting me, Abi simply texted back, “I think you are beautiful. But I don’t get my security from what others think. I get that from God.” After the fact, she calmly read me the texts without a hint of anger towards those girls.

I am pretty sure I would not have reacted the same when I was twelve years old. But Abi could because she remembered peace and security come from God. She knows she is called to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer (James 1:22)…and not just when it is easy to do so. On the other hand, my first flesh-filled, moma-bear thought was to give those girls a good “talking to” and spend any amount of money on pimple cream to protect her. However as Francis Chan (Forgotten God) says “I think we could all agree living according to our sinful flesh is not what is intended for children of God. Yet even so, we often choose to face life’s issues and circumstances in exactly the same way as someone without the Spirit of God”. Chan goes on to say when we do this “ whether consciously or not, we essentially say to God, ‘I know you raised Christ from the dead; but the fact is my problems are just too much for you and I need to deal with them by myself.’”

On this day, Abi chose not to live by her flesh and relied on something much better than pimple cream for her protection. In the midst of her hurt, Abi had a choice. She chose to trust God by not repaying evil for evil, and she was blessed for it (1 Pet 3:9). She remembered her value to Him far exceeds the opinion of any other person on this earth. As she went to school on Monday, she was bombarded with apologies from all those girls; and she found out that a kind word really does turn away wrath (Prov 15:1). Her obedient faith, tested by trials really is more precious than gold (1 Pet 1:6-9). Once again, I find my faith, my walk with the Lord challenged by the children God has blessed me to raise. Trust and obey… really is the only way.

Prayer- Father, Your Word is truth. A mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace (Rom 8:6) and obeying You is always the best choice in any circumstance. Oh, Lord as I go through the day and encounter others; help me to react in the Spirit and not in my flesh. Thank you for loving me with an unending perfect love… and loving my children even more than I do. May I do all I can to point them to your faithful, wise, instruction. Amen.

Friday, August 19, 2011

I gotta "let not" on this one shot

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me.
John 14:1

Do you remember what you did day before yesterday? I’m not sure I do. Somehow two weeks have flown by since I last sat down to write one of these devotionals. School started and the days have been full of busy. We have done lots of stuff, but I am not sure that I could tell you what has consumed so much time. I am sure you know what I am talking about at your house too. Life sometimes seems like a blur. My to-do lists are a mile long, my attempts at multi-tasking wear me out, the laundry piles up, the meetings run back-to-back, that date night with my husband just didn’t happen, and I look up, and another week has passed. My kids are growing up, my parents are getting older…life is flying by at a crazy pace.

Yet God says, “Be still and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10). I want some “still”, don’t you? God is calm in the midst of crazy. He is the best, right priority. He is worth slowing down and soaking in. As I read John 14:1 this morning (Let not your heart be troubled); the phrase “let not” jumped out at me. In order to “Be still and know” God, I have to do some “Let not-ing” For instance, I have to… Let not anything take priority over time alone with God. Let not Facebook, email, or my I-phone consume too much of my day. Let not multi-tasking keep me from soaking up precious moments with my kids. Let not a busy day keep me from making that precious phone call to a family member or friend. Let not my to-do list keep me from changing plans when the Holy Spirit tugs at my heart to do so. Let not the noise of this world keep me from praying and praising without ceasing. Let not a busy ministry keep me from ministering to those in my own family.

This life is our one shot. Unlike our kid’s video games, we don’t get do-overs. I don’t want my life to be a blur of doing lots of things but not really doing anything that matters. How about you? God tells us without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). In fact, we can do a lot of nothing. It is very easy to let our days pass doing a lot of nothing. If we aren’t careful, those days will add up to a life of nothing. Take a moment and ask yourself, “What did I do yesterday? Where did I spend my time this past week? What difference did I make in the life of someone else? Did I do a lot of nothing without God, or did I spend time seeking Him, praising Him, and pointing others to Him?” Oh friend, it is so easy to be so busy, so distracted and do a lot of nothing. I want more – don’t you? God wants more for us too, and, unlike our more, His more is always good. Let’s be deliberate. Let’s be intentional. When we look back on all the days and weeks that add up to be our life – let’s not let our heart be troubled that we spent our time on stuff that just doesn’t matter. But with God, with His help, we can “let not ” our lives and our hearts be troubled with things that don’t really matter.

Prayer: Oh Father, I want to abide in You. I want to spend my short time on this earth producing much fruit that matters. You want this for me too. Help me to get the things I need to get done accomplished while still having a heart that is stayed on You. Help me to abide in You, to pray to You throughout the day, to hear Your voice directing my steps and even changing my plans. My life is yours Lord. May I live it so that when I take my last breath I do so without regret. Thank you Lord for loving me. Thank you for reminding me to be still, to let not, and enjoy these days spent with You and the blessings you have surrounded me with. Amen.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Big Brothers and Sin

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Ex 14:14

If you grew up with older brothers, you know what it is like. My boys adore their sister and don’t want anyone messing with her—except them! They love to tease her, and one day she had all she could take. Furious, she kicked Will (her very big brother) with all her might. As we sat at the orthopedist office Abi, with a fractured growth plate in her toe remarked, “I guess some lessons are harder to learn than others.” For the next four weeks, she will be in a walking boot up to her knee, and the one she intended to harm, Will, doesn’t even have a bruise.

Have you ever had all you could take? Have you imagined ways you could “get back at someone”? Have you ever just “let someone have it”? Did it solve your problems or make things worse? Did you experience peace or regret? Why is it so hard for us fleshlings to turn the other cheek (Matt 5:39), to love our enemy (Matt 5:43), to allow God to fight our battles (Ex 14:14), to forgive those who have offended us, (Col 3:13), and to remember vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord (Rom 12:19)? Why do we insist on trying to kick against what we know God has called us to do rather than just walk with Him? Do we realize how our attempts at magnifying ourselves are so opposite to being crucified with Christ? Have you ever considered how much joy you give Satan when you give in to the flesh and disobey God? I read a quote recently by Russell Moore: "Satan is as ambitious for your goals as you are, maybe more so. He'll give you the power you want, the glory you crave, as long as you fall down and obtain it his way. The powers don't care if we are respected or influential or moral or conservative, as long as we'd rather be magnified than crucified."

You may have made a decision to “follow Christ”… but it isn’t just a one-time decision. It is a daily decision to die to self and to choose to be crucified with Christ rather than magnify yourself and insist on your rights. The Bible says “He who loses his life shall find it” (Matt 16:25). True peace (and less pain) comes when I become less and Jesus becomes more (John 3:30) in every action, decision, and frustration I face.

Dear Almighty One- I submit to You, and to your authority over every area of my life. Please show me where I fail to obey You. Please forgive me, and please strengthen me to live a crucified life. Help to die to self so I might really live. I trust You for eternity. Help me to trust You enough to obey You in this day. Amen.