Archive for Faith & Inspiration

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 2/17/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossJer. 7:24 “But my people would not listen to me. They kept on doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backwards instead of forward.”

We need to think about what the Lord is saying to His people here. Although in this context the nation of Israel is being addressed, I believe it applies to us as well.

It is our nature to want to do what we want to do and not what God wants us to do. Ingrained within us is the tendency to be drawn away from God. We naturally want to resist the voice of God that guides us to Him. Whether you are a believer or not, it is true. Our sinful nature left alone will cause us to slip backwards away from God.

Our only hope of resisting our urges is to work hard on our relationship with Christ. We must resist the mindset that once we are saved we can coast our way to heaven. We live by grace, but grace without works is no grace at all. It takes effort to stay connected to God. It is not possible to live in Christ and not be changed. He changes our natural desires to resist and pull away from Him. He changes the very direction of our lives. He changes our desires so that we will listen to Him and not shut Him out. The more we work on developing our ties with the Lord, the quicker our growth will be.

I don’t believe there is any neutral ground upon which we can stand as Christians. We are either growing closer to Christ or we are drifting away from Him. If we are drawing closer to the Lord we are consistently reading and meditating on His Word. We are seeking ways in which we can become who God says we are and need to be. We are seeking ways to apply to life what God tells us to do. We as well are spending time in fellowship with the Lord, talking to Him and worshiping Him.

Listen to the Lord. Let Him draw you closer. Learn from Him. Lean on Him. Let Him have His way with you.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

Page Divider

Ask the Author Podcast conducts candid and insightful interviews with Christian Independent Authors. Ever wanted to know what your favorite authors favorite food is? Want to know what your favorite author does in his/her spare time? You’ll find the answer here each week https://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

FREE eBook Interactive Romans Road American Standard Version This is the ideal and easy way to share the gospel using your Kindle http://bit.ly/2xvdXNY #free

 

The Point is … Close the Gate 2/13/2020

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by James Collins

And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you. Isaiah 46:4 

“Help me! Help me!” he screamed. 

My friend, Bob Jackson, and I had just walked into a local assisted care home. Bob stepped around the corner and went into another room. I was left alone with the man. He screamed again, “Help me!  

He was sitting in front of a television. I glanced over and saw Michael Landon on the screen. I thought, “Maybe he doesn’t like Bonanza and wants someone to help him change the channel.” So, I walked over to where he was sitting and kneeled in front of him.  

“I will help you.” I said.  

“Close the gate.” he yelled. 

“What gate?”  

“That one. Close the gate before those calves get out.” 

I pretended to close an imaginary gate. 

“Okay. It’s closed.”  

“Thank you.” He held out his hand. I took it. He had a firm handshake. 

“My name is James. I’m a preacher.” 

“I’m Otis (not his real name). This is my ranch.” 

For the next few minutes Otis told me all about his place. He had Angus cattle grazing out in the back pasture. He grew milo, corn, and wheat on the rest of his acreage. His wife, Anita (also not her real name) was waiting for him with their baby at the farmhouse. 

“How long have you and Anita lived on this ranch?” I asked. There was a sparkle in his eye as he thought about Anita. He smiled and said, “I grew up here. I’ve lived here my whole life. Anita joined me a couple of years ago when we got married.” 

“Otis,” I said, “I have to go. Before I leave, would it be okay if I prayed for you?” He said, “Sure, preacher. But make it quick. I have to get back after those calves.” 

He bowed his head and closed his eyes as I prayed. For just a moment, the confusion seemed to leave him. For just a second or two, he seemed to be with me there in the assisted care home. When I finished praying, we both said, “Amen,” and I could tell that in his mind, he was back on his ranch.  

I stood up and walked away, but somehow Otis went with me. Oh, he didn’t physically come with me, but I have not been able to stop thinking about him. I plan to visit his ranch again next week. 

Some people might question how a loving God would allow a man like Otis to spend his final days all alone in a state of mental confusion. However, I don’t believe Otis was alone. I felt the presence of Jesus in that room. Otis is far from alone in his old age. 

The point is: If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, He promises to carry you when you are old and gray. You may not always be able to feel His arms beneath you, but the Lord has promised that He will never leave you. Your friends may leave. Your family may leave. Even your mind may leave. But Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you.  

I can’t tell you how many years you will live on this earth or what you might face as you grow old. But I can tell you one thing for certain: Christ will carry you even when you can’t carry yourself. 

Soon, the sun will set on Otis’ ranch. When that final sunset comes, I believe he will hear Jesus say, “Enter into your rest, my good and faithful servant. Anita is waiting for you. Don’t worry about the calves. I will close the gate…”

The Point Is...

James Collins

James Collins

James Collins is pastor, writer, and columnist. Find out more about his ministry at www.thepointis.net. 

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 2/10/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossJer. 5:23-25 “But my people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned against me and have chosen to practice idolatry. They do not say from the heart, ‘Let us live in awe of the LORD our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of plentiful harvests.’ Your wickedness has deprived you of these wonderful blessings. Your sin has robbed you of all these good things.”

Idolatry is the turning of our affections away from God and towards someone or something else. It is what we deem to be most important in our lives. It is robbing God of the love and devotion He deserves. It is denying God the gratitude of our hearts for who He is and what He has done.

Idolatry is sin and prevents God from blessing our lives. Where idolatry resides there can be no peace or joy from God. Any benefits that may come from an idolatrous heart are very fragile and fleeting. They fail to satisfy the longing of the soul. Don’t let sin take away from you the blessings the Lord wants to give to you.

If you want to make it to heaven, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, not just part of it. You shall put Him before anything else in your life. You shall acknowledge His role in your life as your Father. You shall not attribute to anyone or anything else the glory do Him. You shall live in awe of Him, for He is God, who provides for your every need.

Don’t be stubborn and rebellious. Don’t turn your heart away from Him. Let the Lord be your God. Let Him fill your life with His life. Acknowledge Him and give Him the glory and honor He deserves in all things and you will be truly blessed.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

Page Divider

Ask the Author Podcast conducts candid and insightful interviews with Christian Independent Authors. Ever wanted to know what your favorite authors favorite food is? Want to know what your favorite author does in his/her spare time? You’ll find the answer here each week https://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

FREE eBook Interactive Romans Road American Standard Version This is the ideal and easy way to share the gospel using your Kindle http://bit.ly/2xvdXNY #free

 

The Point is … She’s That “Nothing” When People Ask Me What I’m Thinking About  2/6/2020

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by James Collins

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.Ephesians 5:25

My wife, Amanda, and I have a major anniversary coming up this year. She has been good for me. Yet, somehow, I am afraid that people have not realized that I have been, and am, good for her. 

For example, whenever she is not with me, why do people ask, “How’s poor Amanda?” 

Last week, a woman in church said, “Amanda must be a saint.” I said, “According to most textbooks on theology, a saint is someone who often endures hardships, persecutions, sufferings, and torments.” “I know…” she replied. 

It must be that I have failed to toot my own horn in this matter. Somehow, my humble spirit being what it is, I have failed to let people know the blessing I am to her. 

Take our anniversary last year. I did it up right. I went to the cemetery and found her some flowers in the trash. Show me another man who recycles and thinks of his flower-loving wife at the same time.  

I took her to Walmart where she looked at the anniversary cards in the display. When she found one that she liked, I read it to her before carefully putting it back. I didn’t want to bend it and have to pay for it. 

Then I drove her through the drive-through at McDonalds. I let her read the menu and smell the hamburgers.  

I listened as she said that she would like to look at some new dresses. I took her to the mall in Joplin. We went to Sears, J.C. Penny, and Macy’s. For over two hours, I let her walk through the dress area and look to her heart’s content. 

She kept saying something about needing a new dress, but I’m not sure she does. She has a perfectly good one that she never wears. As a matter of fact, it is a rather expensive long white dress. It is also the most beautiful dress that I have ever seen on her. But, as beautiful as it is, I have only seen her wear it once for a public event, our wedding. She was then, and still is now, the most stunningly gorgeous woman that I have ever laid eyes on. Next to my salvation in Jesus Christ, marrying Amanda is the best thing that ever happened to me. 

Love delights to give. I would have continued giving more to Amanda on our anniversary last year, but she ran out of money. But seriously, love delights to give. Tell me how much you give, and I will tell you how much you love.  

God loved you and me so much that He gave His only Son. The Bible says that husbands are to love their wives in that same way (Ephesians 5:35). A husband should be willing to give his very life for his bride.  

The point is: Loving and giving are inseparable. Whether you are dating or have been married half a year or half a century, love deeply and give freely.  

For over two decades, I have been blessed to live with a woman who makes life worth living. And, I join those who wonder how she can put up with me, but I am glad that she does. Life would not be worth living without her.  

So, all kidding aside, I would die for her. 

More importantly, I will live for her.

The Point Is...

James Collins

James Collins

James Collins is pastor, writer, and columnist. Find out more about his ministry at www.thepointis.net. 

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 2/3/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossJer. 5:20-22a “Make this announcement to Israel and to Judah: Listen, you foolish and senseless people—who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear. Do you have no respect for me? Why do you not tremble in my presence?

Most have eyes to see and ears to hear, but they do not see God or hear Him when He speaks. Most are so caught up into sin that God has no access to their souls. Most have no regard at all for God, let alone respect or fear Him. Most live as if God doesn’t exist at all, while at the same time professing to believe He does.

You do not respect God when you take sin lightly. God has consistently and clearly declared war against sin ever since it entered into the heart of man. God declares that sin is an abomination to Him. He hates it and will never tolerate it in His presence. Yet, most live like it doesn’t matter to God at all when we sin. Most live like what God has spoken is not true and that there are no consequences for sin.

You do not respect God when you mix sin with godly living. It never has worked and it never will. Jesus saves us from our sin so that we will go and sin no more. We are not forgiven so that we can live less than godly lives. He changes our heart nature so that sin becomes for us an enemy to our souls, not a friendly companion.

You do not respect God when you take your salvation for granted and the spiritual disciplines that keep the soul right with God. God commands our heart loyalty. He must be our first love. He Most have very little fear for God. We have so conditioned our souls to believe in His love that we no longer fear His justice. We have conditioned ourselves to believe that God would not allow us to go to Hell under any circumstance. Most like to believe that God will deem us fit for heaven as long as we try to do good, or as long as our good outweighs our bad. Most do not look at their souls seriously and consider godliness as a prerequisite for heaven.

It is foolishness and makes no sense at all to not respect who God is and fear what He will do. Every person will stand before God and give an account for his life. It will not matter then how good of a person one may be in his own eyes. All that will matter is one’s relationship with Christ. All who do not have Christ as their righteousness will go to Hell. God’s love for them will not keep them out of Hell.

Listen now. Open your eyes and see that Jesus is the way, truth and life. He is your only hope for eternal life with God. He is the only one who can keep you out of Hell. Jesus must be the passion of our hearts. We must value our relationship with Him more than anything else in life and live like we do.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

Page Divider

Ask the Author Podcast conducts candid and insightful interviews with Christian Independent Authors. Ever wanted to know what your favorite authors favorite food is? Want to know what your favorite author does in his/her spare time? You’ll find the answer here each week https://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

FREE eBook Interactive Romans Road American Standard Version This is the ideal and easy way to share the gospel using your Kindle http://bit.ly/2xvdXNY #free

 

The Point is … The Warning 1/30/2020

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by James Collins

“What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. Romans 7:7

“Get out of the car,” the police officer said. As I was getting out of the car, Amanda yelled, “Officer, I told him to slow down!” The policeman smiled and said, “Where are you going in such a hurry?” My Bible was in my hand. I reached back and laid it up on the dashboard. I wanted the police officer to know that I am a man of God. I said, “You know, I am a preacher. I’m on my way to minister to a family and preach a funeral down here at Crossroads Church.” The police officer said, “I know. I was at church when you preached last time. I know who you are.” I began to think this wasn’t going to go my way.

My wife, Amanda, and I were on our way to a funeral in Southeast Oklahoma. The funeral was at a church where I had preached before. We were almost there, when I saw a blue flashing light behind me.

The police officer pulled me over on the main road going to the church. The entire time I was standing on the side of the road, people from the church were driving by, honking and waving at me. It is difficult to be spiritual on the side of the road when the police have pulled you over.

The policeman said, “I clocked you doing 47 in a 40 mile per hour zone.” When he said that, I got so mad. I was furious. Seven stinking miles an hour! Are you kidding me! He pulled me over for seven stinking miles an hour!!!

The police officer smiled and said, “Preacher, I’m going to give you what you gave me in church the last time you preached. I’m going to give you a warning.”

After he gave me the warning, I got back in the car to drive away. I was still furious. When I pulled the car out in the road, I finally saw the speed limit sign – 40 miles per hour. Guilty as charged.

The police officer was right – I had broken the law. I was guilty, but the policeman showed me grace. We are all guilty. You may not drive too fast, but you are a guilty sinner. Some people think, “I’ve never killed anyone.” But the Bible says if you have broken one of the Ten Commandments, you have broken them all. You are guilty. You can’t separate the Law from Grace when it comes to salvation. It is by the Law that we know we are sinners.

Have you ever stolen something? An answer from somebody’s test? A nickel from your dad’s dresser? A piece of gum from your sister’s pack? Ten million dollars from your company? Sometime in your life, you have stolen something.

How many lies have you told in your life?

How many times have you used God’s name in vain? God has given life to you, and you have used His name as a cuss-word. That’s called blasphemy.

How many times have you committed adultery? Jesus said that whoever looks at a woman with lust has committed adultery in his heart. Have you ever looked with lust? Even if you have not committed the physical act of adultery, you have looked with lust.

The point is: We are all guilty. To bridge the gap between a Holy God and guilty sinners, Jesus Christ came into the world. He died on the cross to pay the price for our sins. Faith in Jesus is the way to forgiveness and a new relationship with God. All you must do is admit you are a sinner, turn from your sin, trust that Jesus died and rose from the grave for you, and invite Christ to come into your life.

Like the policeman gave me that day, God gives us the Law as a warning. You know that you are guilty. Trust in Christ and receive Him as Lord and Savior. Do it today…

This could be your final warning.

The Point Is...

James Collins

James Collins

James Collins is pastor, writer, and columnist. Find out more about his ministry at www.thepointis.net. 

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 1/27/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossIs. 9:6-7 For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

A great deal has been said and written about these titles for Jesus over the years. Little can be added to it, but I do want us to linger for a moment and reflect again on them. It is good for us to not only think about our Lord, but then to visualize ways in which we know these things are true in our lives.

He is our Wonderful Counselor. He is all-knowing and full of compassion. He does not leave us in the dark on how we ought to be living. He is not insensitive to us and lovingly instructs and guides us in the ways we should go. The Lord is the way and will never advise us to go a different way other than the way that leads us to heaven and a deeper walk with God. Imagine the problems we would have if He were to hide the way from us and demand that we in our own wisdom find it. Instead He makes himself known to us and instructs us how to know Him in His goodness, righteousness and holiness.

He is our Mighty God. He is able. There is no need of life we will ever have that He is not able to handle. There is no sin that He is not able to forgive. There is no battle He is not able to win. There is no crisis of life that He is not able to see us through. There is no limitation in His power, love, wisdom, grace, mercy, and ability to make us into a holy people, a people after his own heart.

He is our Everlasting Father. There is no end to His fatherly love and care for us. There is no end to His desire to do good for us. There is no end to His protective care over us. There is no end to His working in our lives to make us fit for heaven.

He is our Prince of Peace. He is the crowning glory of peace. He alone is able to give us peace that satisfies our souls. He alone is able to give us the calm confidence we need to weather the storms of life. There is no real peace apart from Him.

There is so much more that could be said about our Lord. I have not even scratched the surface of just how wonderful He is. Linger for a moment at His feet and think about these things. Feast on the Mighty God we serve. He is such a Wonderful Counselor as He leads us through our life journey. He watches over us at all times and forever shall be our Father in heaven. He is our Prince of Peace. There can be no real peace unless we are living in fellowship with Him daily in our lives.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

Page Divider

Ask the Author Podcast conducts candid and insightful interviews with Christian Independent Authors. Ever wanted to know what your favorite authors favorite food is? Want to know what your favorite author does in his/her spare time? You’ll find the answer here each week https://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

FREE eBook Interactive Romans Road American Standard Version This is the ideal and easy way to share the gospel using your Kindle http://bit.ly/2xvdXNY #free

 

The Point is … The Saddest Words In The Bible 1/23/2020

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by James Collins

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. Jeremiah 8:20

One of my heroes was the great preacher Dwight L. Moody. One time, Moody was preaching a great revival crusade. As the service was about to start, he looked over and saw a man standing by himself. The still small voice of the Holy Spirit nudged Moody to go talk to the man about his soul. He walked over and said, “Sir, I just want to ask you if you’re saved?” The man said, “No. I know that I need to get saved. But no, I’m not saved. I’m not ready right now. I will get saved another day.” Moody said, “Sir, you need to understand that we have today. The Bible says today is the day of salvation.” Still, the man refused. He said, “No. I’m not ready. But someday I will. Someday I will get saved.” 

Several months later, Moody received word that the man had gotten deathly sick. So, he traveled across Chicago and went to his home. Moody asked, “Are you ready to get saved?” The man said, “I’m going to do it, but not now.” He said, “If I get saved now, people will say I got saved because I was sick.” Moody said, “Don’t think like that. Today is the day to get saved.” The man said, “Once I get better, I plan to buy a fruit orchard over in Michigan. When I get there, and I am not sick anymore, I will get saved.” Moody tried to reason with him. He did all he could. But the man refused to give his life to Christ. 

The man did get better. He bought the orchard, and he moved to Michigan. However, his illness returned. Dwight L. Moody heard about the man’s condition, and he got in the boat and traveled across Lake Michigan. He went out to the man’s farm, walked into the farmhouse, and went into the back bedroom where the man lay dying.  

When Moody walked in, the man said, “You’re too late. I didn’t ask you to come.” Moody said, “Sir, it’s never too late. The thief on the cross got saved in the eleventh hour. It’s never too late.” The dying man said, “But I’m not the thief on the cross. The thief on the cross got saved the first chance he had.” He said, “I’ve had many chances. Each time I was close, but I said, ‘No.’ No. No. No. No.” The dying man said, “I’ve said no one too many times. I’m telling you, for me, the clock is striking twelve. You’re too late.” 

Moody got down next to the dying man and he began to pray for him. As he was praying, he heard the man mumbling something. Moody thought, “What’s he saying?” He put his ear down close to the man’s mouth. The man was saying over, and over, and over, to himself as he died, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved. The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved…” 

Those were the man’s last words. Dwight L. Moody later wrote, “We took his Christ-less body and we wrapped it in a Christ-less burial shroud. We put his Christ-less body in a Christ-less casket. We carried him out and buried him in a Christ-less grave. The man went into a Christ-less eternity, all because he said, ‘Tomorrow.’” 

The point is: Today is the day of salvation. The saddest words in all the Bible are found in Jeremiah 8:20. They are two simple words, “not saved,” but they are the saddest words in all the Bible. They speak of a tragically missed opportunity.   

    What if today was your last day on earth? One day, your last day will come. Perhaps you have been putting off accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior until a more convenient day. But that day may not come. Your salvation is only a prayer away. Don’t put it off. For you, the harvest has not passed. The summer has not ended. You can get saved today. 

The Point Is...

James Collins

James Collins

James Collins is pastor, writer, and columnist. Find out more about his ministry at www.thepointis.net. 

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 1/20/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossLuke 2:8-15 That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, and angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terribly frightened, but the angel reassured them, “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem the city of David! And this is how you will recognize him: You will find a baby lying in a manger, wrapped snugly in strips of cloth!” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to all whom God favors.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Come on, let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

There are a lot of things we can observe from this miraculous night of our Savior’s birth. The night started out like any other night; the shepherds were watching over their sheep, protecting them from any potential predators and from wandering away. They were not expecting anything unusual in the night; they were simply occupying. The Lord often shows up in our lives when we are just doing what we normally do, living out our lives humbly before Him.

When the angel from heaven appeared in the night sky, the shepherds were terrified. Who can blame them? Many times when the Lord speaks, we become frightened. We don’t know what is coming next.

The message that the angel brought to the shepherds was good news, great news, generous news and grand news. Jesus, the promised Messiah, had come! It was news of great joy for everyone. It was the best news that man had ever heard. It was news for all the ages; Christ the Savior was born! They were told where to find Him and how they would find Him.

It that was not enough to forever change the shepherds’ lives, the angel was joined by the angelic choir singing the praises of our Immanuel, Jesus our Lord. The shepherds were left speechless. Who could blame them? They hurriedly left and went into town to find the Christ child. When they found Him, they went and told everybody they could what had happened and who they found. I wonder, how often we get so excited by what the Lord says to us that we just are compelled to go and tell others about it?

I am intrigued by this part of the Christmas story. Were the shepherds the only ones who say the angel, the angelic host, or heard their message? Scripture says that the glory of God filled the sky. I would think that everyone for miles around would have seen the sight, but we are not told that they did. And if they did, why aren’t we told that a great crowd of people filled the streets of Bethlehem in search of the Christ child? You would think that this was an event that would have forever changed all who were in town that night.

Yet, we are told that later on Herod and the religious leaders in the land did not know Jesus had been born. When the magi showed up two years later, they were caught off guard and had to inquire about it.

Let us be very careful that we don’t miss the wondrous signs the Lord gives us. Just like signs preceded His first coming, there are many signs given that are preceding His second coming. God is giving us plenty of signs to prepare us for His coming. Are you paying attention? Are you ready? Jesus will come again like a thief in the night; no one knows when, but I believe it will be very soon. Don’t be like those in Jesus’ day who missed the signs announcing His birth. Live each day in readiness and you won’t be left behind.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

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Ask the Author Podcast conducts candid and insightful interviews with Christian Independent Authors. Ever wanted to know what your favorite authors favorite food is? Want to know what your favorite author does in his/her spare time? You’ll find the answer here each week https://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

FREE eBook Interactive Romans Road American Standard Version This is the ideal and easy way to share the gospel using your Kindle http://bit.ly/2xvdXNY #free

 

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 1/6/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossMatt. 2:1,2 Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We have seen his star as it arose, and we have come to worship him.”

Consider with me today the wise men of Christmas. We can learn much about our own lives as we gaze into their role in the Christmas story.

Wise men look for Jesus. Jesus can be found. He will be found by all who sincerely seek Him. Look in the Scriptures and you will find Him. Look in creation, which is His handiwork, and you will find Him. Look at the cross of Calvary and you will find Him. Jesus did not come to a select few that they may be saved. He came that all people will behold Him and find Him. He came that all who are willing to be saved will be saved.

Wise men obey God rather than man. We live amongst a people who do not know God and have no desire to know Him. We are faced with many choices daily; do we obey God or man? The world does not like it when we boldly live for Christ. We are bound to run up against opposition. Wise men take a stand for God. They live godly lives regardless how it is received in the work or marketplace.

Wise men worship Jesus. When we live in the presence of Jesus it humbles us. Wow! God allows us to enter into His presence! What a privilege! In Christ unholy people are made holy and fit to come before Him in worship. When we live in the presence of Jesus we are moved to praise Him. How can we do anything less? Praise is always fitting in worship services. When we are in the presence of God we are awestruck. Wow!! God!!

The world worships the presents of Christmas. We worship the presence of Jesus. Let us live as wise men and bow before our Lord and King today.

Before and After the Honeymoon

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chapter on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

Page Divider

Ask the Author Podcast conducts candid and insightful interviews with Christian Independent Authors. Ever wanted to know what your favorite authors favorite food is? Want to know what your favorite author does in his/her spare time? You’ll find the answer here each week https://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

FREE eBook Interactive Romans Road American Standard Version This is the ideal and easy way to share the gospel using your Kindle http://bit.ly/2xvdXNY #free