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Hey everyone! 


I'm currently in the process of getting adjusted to my new temporary home in Arezzo, Italy!


Thus, I will not be posting for the next 2 weeks. Right now I'm on somebody else's computer and internet to let you know :)


God bless you all! I look forward to new posts beginning in 2 weeks!


In Christ!


Jared
 
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When I think of Judas Iscariot, I get angry. He is the one that betrayed Jesus Christ and handed the Son of God over to be horrifically beaten and crucified.

And what was his sign when he was betraying Jesus? A kiss.

A kiss! He betrayed Jesus Christ with a kiss.

While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him. Jesus replied, “Friend, do what you came for.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.    Matthew 26:47-50

The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me...  Isaiah 29:13

That verse literally describes what Judas did. He came near to Jesus Christ with his mouth (*kiss*) but his heart was FAR from Him (going the opposite way)!

When I think of Judas I have anger. But lately I’ve realized we do the exact same thing he did.

I love you Jesus (*kiss*), BUT I’m going to get drunk tonight anyway.
I love you Jesus (*kiss*), BUT I don’t trust you in this area of my life.
I love you Jesus (*kiss*), BUT ___________________________.
I love you Jesus (*kiss*), BUT my actions are betraying you.

The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me...    Isaiah 29:13 NIV

Too often I find myself in a place where I honor Jesus with my lips, but dishonor Him with my life. You may find yourself in this place, too.

If you read the rest of Isaiah 29 (before Jesus was on earth), you’ll see that God says that He is once again going to astound, amaze, His people. He’s going to rescue them from their wayward ways once again. Why?

Because He loves us. You.

He simply wants you to love Him back and will go to great lengths to show you how much He loves you.

Now is a great time to step away from the computer, find a quiet place (inside, outside, wherever you can), and in repentance talk with God. Ask Him to help you not be lukewarm for Him, but on FIRE for Him. Ask for forgiveness and a new mindset that actively seeks pleasing and praising Him, not ourselves. Re-envision what Christ did for you - beatings and crucifixion, receiving the wrath for our sins - and declare and recommit your heart and life to Jesus Christ! :)

Oh how he loves us :) Love!

 
2 years ago, I was in the hotel we were staying at in Rome, walking around while eating an apple. While walking I could sense God’s amazing presence, so I asked Him to speak to me.

     All of a sudden this thought popped in my head, "What if this apple you are holding in your hand is forbidden? What if God said 'Don't eat it!'" What would my response be?

And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat; and she gave also unto her husband with her, and he did eat.   Genesis 3:6 ASV

     I've said before what I'm sure a lot of people have - "If I were Adam, I would not have eaten that forbidden apple!" But what if the apple you are holding in your hand right now is forbidden?

     We talk bad about Adam eating the forbidden apple in the garden, yet we do the same thing. Figuratively speaking, let’s relate our temptations to the forbidden apple. God says not to lust, yet so many of us "hold in our hands" (and by this I mean we hold these things in our minds/within us) pornography.
God says not to put any other god (ruling force over us) before Him, yet I find myself constantly putting my wants and schedules ahead of Him. I often put my friends, desires, and sins before God.Maybe your “apple”, temptation, is your boyfriend or girlfriend. Getting drunk. Doing drugs. Cheating on a test. Envying your friends.
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     What apples have you been holding in your hands, knowing that they are forbidden by God, yet still willing to eat? How are you going to throw those apples away? Start by recognizing they are not honoring to the God who saved us. When I grab the apple, I insult the God I love.

Steps to throwing away apples
:

     1) Take it to God

          - Ask for forgiveness and healing. We need to ask God that He helps us overcome the temptations in our lives.

     2) Take apple inventory

           - Recognize the areas of temptation in your life. The areas where you tend to step into sin.

     3) Create space

           - Create space between yourself and your inventory of temptations. If it’s pornography, download this program and set up accountability with trustworthy family and friends. If it’s getting drunk, don’t go to parties. Whatever your temptation is, create space between yourself and it. What we must understand is that if we truly want to honor God, we must create space between us and the things that pull us away from Him.

Because God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that if we believe in Him we shall not perish, but have eternal life. He gave His Son so we could be close to Him! Let’s rid ourselves of “apples” that pull us back away from Him. If you would like to find out more about how you can begin a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, please leave a comment below or contact me through the “Contact Us” tab above!

Prayer requests?