Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Truth and Equality

Something on Facebook caught my eye tonight. An acquaintance of mine posted the following: When Christians stop being judgmental...there will be true Equality. Until then...let the hypocrisy roar! -Signed by a Christ Follower.

Well that's interesting. As a Christ follower myself, I believe the Bible. I believe that everything that the Bible says is Truth, God-breathed. That being said, there are some activities that God says are sin: murder (Exodus 20:13), drunkenness (Isaiah 5:11), homosexuality (Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27), divorce (Mark 10:2-12), hate (1 John 3:15), theft (Exodus 20:15), and a whole lot more. I believe I've said this before...SIN IS SIN...no ifs, ands or buts about it. No matter how much people scream and cry about how their particular sin should be tolerated. It's still sin.

An important thing to recognize here, we ALL SIN (Romans 3:23). My lies and arrogance are just as sinful as the next person's hate and sexual promiscuity. We are instructed to love one another (Romans 13:9), not to hate those whose sins are different than ours. Personally, I hate sin, not people. (May I just throw in for good measure that I am friends with a murderer, many homosexuals, alcoholics, divorced people, etc... and I LOVE them just as much as I LOVE any other friend of mine.) Those who are not saved are lost in their sin, it is our job to encourage them, love them, and bring them to the One who can help them out of the mire. Only then can they break free from the sins that bind them.

On the other hand, Christians who openly stew in their sin, or support those who blatantly show their sins to the world, are basically slapping God across the face and saying, "I know better than you do." To encourage and love those who are lost in their sin is one thing, but Christians should know better than to participate unrepentantly in these sinful activities. If a Christian gives in to their sinful desires and does not repent, we are to treat them as an unbeliever (1 Corinthians 5:11).

 Again I say: sin is sin. We are all weak and fleshly, and to give in to temptation and repent with a remorseful heart is one thing. To openly participate in or support someone else's sinful habits is another.

Always (in love),

Jaci

Monday, March 18, 2013

Don't You Worry 'Bout A Thing


Quit worrying about everything. There are so many things in this life that can cause us concern. We stress about so many things, each and every day. Where are we going to find our next rent payment? Who are we supposed to date? How are we going to get everything done at work? What are we supposed to be doing with our lives? The weight of decisions in our life pile up; can be crushing if we allow it. But God tells us not to worry about what tomorrow will bring (Matthew 6:34). Leave the big stuff to Him. While it is necessary for us to make choices in this life, and ultimately put a little elbow grease into what happens next; if we look to God for His Will and follow the path He makes for us, He will open the doors necessary to move forward. He loves us too much to crush us with the weight of our worries (1 Peter 5:7). If we cast those cares on Him, He will guide us through and give us peace (Phillippians 4:6-7).

We need to realize that there is absolutely nothing we can do to make things work exactly how we want. If we freak out every time something goes wrong, or every time we don’t know what to do next, we will exhaust ourselves in panic. The world is beyond our ability to control. Luckily, it is within God’s. If we simply trust Him and seek His Will in all situations, He will provide EVERYTHING we need. Why waste our strength on things that are out of our hands? Instead, let’s put our energy into seeking God.

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.- Corrie Ten Boom

Always,
Jaci

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Animal In All Of Us

It really seems like God has been testing me so much lately, and teaching me through it all. I must admit, I am quick to judge other people. I shouldn't, it is absolutely not my place to do so (pretty sure I went over this in another blog). But, though I am trying very hard to overcome this problem (with God's help), it still happens. God showed me how wrong I've been in judging a certain group in particular. That group? Criminals. It's funny, how quickly we "upstanding" citizens jump to conclusions about those who have been arrested. I, myself, tend to look at their mug shots and think, "Well, yeah, just look at them. It's no surprise that they're in jail." Or, "What a horrible person, I hope they get punished severely." Holy reality check. To find out that the hilarious, goofy, crazy, sweet-natured boy that I used to babysit was arrested, and for a triple murder...I was in shock. My only thought was, "How?" And then. The judgement. This time it wasn't from me. Everyone else and their mother, commenting on newspaper articles, posting on Facebook, etc. All of the opinions, "They deserve a public hanging"; "Those kids have no souls" ; "Their friends and families are the scum of the earth." It went on and on. Holy man. I never realized how our words hurt more than just the person we are judging. It can hurt those that care about them. Being judgmental certainly even hurts our own hearts. Hoofta.

The thing I've realized, which I chose to ignore before...is that we are ALL criminals in God's eyes. We've ALL sinned (Romans 3:23). To hate someone is to murder them (1 John 3:15). People in prison need Jesus just as much as people outside, if not more. Every human being on this planet has a soul, a soul that will spend an eternity in one of two places. An inmate's hope for a future on earth is pretty bleak (especially if they're serving a life sentence). For some of them, hope for an eternal life with Jesus is the only thing that will keep them going through the years of imprisonment.

I know God has a purpose for all the pain. I'm not certain what that purpose is, but maybe part of it is to minister to those who are going through something difficult. God's been making me more aware of those around me, of the sufferings of the world. He's softening my heart, and I will be a friend to someone who most people will despise. I will do my best to show Jesus' love to him. And maybe it won't change Tanner's life, but hopefully sometime, somewhere down the road it will make a difference to someone. I know, with all of my heart, that God will use these trials for His Glory.

Always,
Jaci

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Be Different

Fun fact. I'm not perfect. I make mistakes every single day. I say mean things, judge others, give in to temptation. Thank goodness Jesus didn't call the perfect people, he called forgiven people. We have to be forgiven because of how ridiculously imperfect we ALL are (Romans 3:23). But listen up! We can't use our inherent imperfection as an excuse to live a lazy, sinful life. We are to strive for perfection, to live up to God's glory (Philippians 4:8). We are to be an uprising of honor in a disgraced world.

God wants the best from us, he wants us to shine our light into a sinful world. To be different. Worthy to be called His children (Matthew 5:16). That means, if you find yourself in a questionable situation? GET OUT!!!!! Just do it. Don't question it, don't dawdle. Get off your butt, and get yourself the heck out of there! The world will question your motives, they will ridicule you. They will talk behind your back, and say hurtful things to your face. They will make you miserable, make you question everything you believe. But if you are in the right, if you are following God's handpicked will for your life--their opinion has no value (2 Corinthians 4:8 &17).

Maybe you're like me, you stay in a less than desirable situation because you think God might be using you to reach those in that same place. That's just not the case. He can use us more when we are where he wants us to be, His light reflects on us brighter when we are closer to Him.

We are to love those of the world, but we are not to live under their standards.

Always,
Jaci