Happy 1st Birthday “Coffee Breaks With Jesus”!

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Wow this year flew by!! A year ago I posted our first post “Grace: The Defining Point”*.  We have journeyed through so many scriptures this year, and made so many new friends.  I can not wait to see where 2016 takes us!  I have lots of new things planned for 2016 and if you have something you would like to see on this blog comment below or send me an email (coffeebreakswithjesus@yahoo.com). Thank-you for your continued support! Love you all!

 

With Love and Gratitude,

*https://coffeebreakswithjesus.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/grace-the-defining-point/

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Peace And Goodwill


 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Luke 2:14

It’s almost Christmas, I love Christmas!  I love decorating, listening to Christmas music, buying Christmas presents, hosting parties…I could go on forever.  So today I wanted to give you guys a Christmas post.  One that I find really interesting, and the more I study it the more interesting it is to me.  It involves the verse at the top of the page, Luke 2:14.  Yes, you hear it a lot around Christmas and you may see it on some Christmas cards but what does it mean?

Peace on earth?  I don’t think there has been a time (post Garden of Eden) where there was peace on earth.  We are surrounded by wars, the threat of war, arguments, hatred, and anything but peace.  So why did the angels the angels talking about?  The angel also spoke of goodwill toward man. While the most popular version of this verse comes from the King James Version, I decided to see what some other verses said.  The New International Version says, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Whose favor? This takes me to my mind-blowing revelation.

I believe that “his” is referring to God, God’s favor.  I don’t know how familiar you are with the Old Testament but God was not someone you wanted to be angry at you.  God hates sin, and did a great job of letting everyone know.  I mean He flooded the earth, saving only a handful of people because there was just so much sin.  This confuses people because God seemed so mean and heartless in the Old Testament, but suddenly now He is loving and gracious.  God has never changed nor will he ever change so what happened?

“For God in all his fullness
    was pleased to live in Christ,
and through him God reconciled
    everything to himself.
He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth
    by means of Christ’s blood on the cross.”

Colossians 1:19-21

The answer is Jesus, Jesus was our saving grace.  Jesus was peace on earth, because He brought peace between us and God.  This peace is so far beyond what we could imagine.  Sin came with a price and someone had to pay for it.  Jesus is His innocence paid the price for all of our sins putting us in good standing with God.  This is why we call Jesus the “Prince of Peace”.  Jesus even says later in Matthew 10:32 that he did not come to bring peace on earth like they had all hoped. Jesus brought peace but not in the way that their physical minds imagined it.  He brought a spiritual peace.  A peace between sinful man and a righteous God.

“Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword.”

Matthew 10:32

Without Jesus we could not have the relationship with God that we have today.  We were too sinful to even be in God’s presence. Sin separated us from God, but Jesus bridged the gap.  The day that Jesus was born even the angels declared that God would have favor on man and peace was on earth in the physical form of a tiny baby laying in a manger.  So even though He died years later for our sin, His birth alone was a declaration of our new found relationship with God.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

John 14:27

So this Christmas don’t just celebrate the baby lying in a manger, remember to celebrate that now we can have a relationship with God. Jesus is our peace and goodwill, and from now on we can experience God in all of His goodness without the separation of sin.  In fact God’s goodness is so great that it brings us to repentance, because of peace we see God not as angry but as gracious.  Because of this we now have a job to share that peace and goodwill with others this holiday season and throughout the year!

 

As Always Lots of Love 💕,

Photoshopping Jesus

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Today we are bombarded by social media, there is just no getting around it. Everywhere we go we are looking for our next Instagram post.  We view sunsets through an iPhone camera, we hang out with people for the sole reason of posting a Snapchat to prove it happened, and we spend more time posting pictures of our Bible than actually reading it.  I feel like God has laid something on heart, and I have decided to share it with you.   This topic is about “social media evangelism”.  I personally feel convicted to take a look at my motives when posting or re-posting on social media. Why you ask? Here are my reasons.

First,  if the only thing that speaks to you that I am a Christian is my online presence then there is a problem.  If my bible verses, Christian posts, and pictures of my bible is all you know about my walk with Christ then something is wrong.  If you are around me and I say nothing about Christ and what He is doing in my life then He may not be as important to me as He appears to be on Facebook.  If my Facebook wall is filled with Christ, but I struggle to treat my friends and family (or my enemies) with love and respect then I am living a lie.  If my real life self is not the same as my online presence then I am telling a lie, simple as that.  I know it’s harsh but it’s true, living a double life is a lie. People get furious about celebrities for Photoshopping their bodies, but we don’t give a second thought to photoshopping Jesus into our lives on a daily basis.  Christ isn’t looking for an Instagram filter or a cute caption He is looking for your heart.  If our relationship with Christ has become more of a public platform than a personal relationship it’s time to reevaluate.

Secondly,  would we stand up for our faith as strongly in person as we do on the internet?  If confronted or called out for our faith, would we shrug it off or defend it?  Would the words of faith so boldly posted on our Facebook escape from our lips if persecution or humiliation are involved?  I believe we live in a time where being a Christian is kind of “cool”, with more and more people like Justin Bieber sharing their faith from such a mighty platform. With this fad comes the question what happens when it’s not cool anymore?  What happens when photoshopping Christ in to our lives is looked down upon or even persecuted?  When the fad is gone will the faith remain…will we remain? Talking about this fires me up, because I don’t want to be a fan.  I want to know that if the day comes and someone were to say “Do you believe in Jesus?” that without a doubt in my mind I could day “Yes” even if my life were on the line.  Fans will come and go, they will move on to the next big thing, but the children of God will stand firm.

I think the most important thing to do is ask yourself “Why”.  Why are we posting these types of things?  Is it to be cool or artsy or to portray that we have it all figured out?  Are we seeking to glorify God or are we trying to glorify ourselves?  Are we using the Word of God to condemn or “call out” others struggling with issues or treating us unfairly?  Ask yourselves these questions.

I am sharing this because God has convicted me for it, I am being vulnerable with you with the hopes of helping at least one other person who is struggling.  Perhaps like me you didn’t even realize that you are doing it, maybe you were just caught up in the fad.  I want my relationship with Christ to come from my heart and not from the internet and I know you do too!  Yes, sharing great blog posts and Bible verses on the internet may be do a great deal of good, but if our motives are wrong God can’t bless it.  It’s not that He won’t, but He physically can’t. God in His perfection can not stand behind our selfish motives.  Selfishness has no place in the Christian heart.  We can not influence others and still expect to preserve our popularity and reputation.  We have to know that without a shadow of of doubt God is the most important thing in our life.  If your social media accounts were erased today, would anyone know that you were a Christian?  That is the question at hand, the question that I was faced with last night when God gave me this word.

In the end we have nothing to prove, God sees our every move and He knows our every thought.  We do not have to prove to the world that we are good Christians because His love will radiate from our faces and flow from our hearts.  I say it a lot and I will say it again, this world is not our home, heaven is.  Social media is nothing but a tool, for good or for bad. Check your heart and choose wisely before you post.

 

As Always Lots of Love 💕,

*For more on this topic check out my blog post from May 2015 “Jesus and Social Media” https://coffeebreakswithjesus.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/jesus-and-social-media/