Hello there, I'm Jodi Sell-Grove and in the last two weeks it has continued to come up for me to start capturing thoughts, whisperings, ponderings that have been on my mind. The capturing, at first, I thought was to be in my journal.....ummmm, no. As I waited on the Lord to know exactly where I was to be 'writing,' it has become increasingly more clear that I am to be capturing here. Annnnnd, here we are.
I'm not one for a whole lot of chit chat, although I am learning that chit chat is important and at times necessary. I'm really one for literally digging in and getting to the meat or the underlying piece. So, for my first post, I'm literally going to go there right away.
God has moved me into a very interesting season and as of late where I'm discovering there is much more I am to learn about Matthew 5:3...blessed are those who are poor in spirit, for there's is the kingdom of heaven. Poor in sprit = humility....yep there is MUCH more for me to learn from my Rabbi as to what it means for me to walk beside Him in complete humility.
God tells us in His Word that friendship with the world is enmity with God or hate of God (James 4:4, Romans 8:7-8). Without going much further into what sin is, I'll summarize that anything that I place before God is sin. Anything that is not God, is sin. Through the centuries and specifically in the American culture, 'Christians' have taken the word sin and created their own levels of sin and categories of sin. In other words, certain ungodly "actions" are "more" of a sin than others. Yes, there is a reason I have placed quotes around the word actions and more. I will explain....first, an example, what I have done in my own life is say or even think the following..."I have never been addicted to a substance or physically harmed another individual, so I am good." Yet, within a few moments, I may speak or think ungodly words due to frustration or anger. God has really been revealing Himself to me in a way that I am beginning to recognize how prideful I have been to think that just because I have not 'done' those things, it doesn't make me better than one who has. The scripture that He has brought to me as of late is Romans 3:23 where it states, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Guess what, that means.every.single.human on this earth EVEN those of us who call ourselves Christians, believers, etc. This scripture alone tells me that I am NO better than ANYONE on this earth.
Now, let's visit this concept that sin is an action...in Mark 7:20-23, Jesus says the following And he said, "What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of a man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person." Do you see? Do you understand what Jesus is saying here? Here...let me help, Jesus is saying these actions are a result of what is INSIDE a person. He is stating that what defiles a person is within a person's heart. God also tells us in Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful above all things. 1 John 1:8-10 states that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
I don't know about you, but I'm seeing quite clearly that if at any time I think that I am better than or that my sin is better than anyone else's or that I don't sin I am making God a liar. Whoa....what? I've made God a liar? Oh Abba, I repent and ask for you to do a work within me that I may receive the forgiveness you have given through Jesus' work on the cross.
One last thing before I close. I'm beginning to recognize that I am more apt to not be swayed or shaken by what I see in the world, but when it comes to individuals who call themselves a Christian or a believer I have been shaken so many times by what I see. What my Abba is has been revealing to me is that when I see actions or hear statements from individuals who call themselves Christians I am, first, seeing/hearing these things because God is directing me to see something within myself. Secondly, I am to discern what I am seeing through God's Word AND then I am to intercede or pray. So the application is this formula: God's Word + reflect/examination + prayer = The Response of Love (or Jesus' character) will be both inward and outward
We need to recognize that it is our tendency to pay more attention to our actions and others' actions when God cares more about the heart than anything else. In Proverbs 23:26 God tells us that He wants us to give Him our heart and let our eyes delight in His ways and Matthew 5:8 states that blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. So, what I am learning and being convicted to live out is that as an individual who states that she is a follower of Jesus Christ, I am to follow Jesus and the expectation is that I am to live knowing I am poor, needy, and truly ugly. All the while, growing in understanding of WHO my Abba is and because of His Son, Jesus Christ, I get to stand in Jesus' righteousness. I also must recognize that I am no better than anyone else on this earth, whether they are from a past generation or a younger generation. I hope this has provided you with some things to ponder. I know I have been and I can't wait to share more with you.
Blessings in the Truth & Grace of Jesus Christ.
Jodi Sell-Grove is a follower of Jesus Christ, wife, mother of two young adults, an empty-nester, a student, podcaster, founder of of a non-profit, and a woman who loves sharing Jesus through her relationships.