Archive for Gems from Pastor Jim

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 6/27/2022

Send to Kindle

by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 7:21 “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as “Lord,” but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven.”

There is a difference between good people and godly people, between religious people and godly people. It’s fairly easy to be who we really are not. We can act the part but be far from it. What separates the godly from the ungodly is the relationship they have with Christ. Godly people are those who have given Christ their hearts and strive to live holy lives. They are a people who are changed from the inside out and not just on the outside.

People who consider themselves to be religious and good often call Jesus Lord, but they will not make it to heaven. We can do a lot of things in Jesus’ name and live to think about it in hell. When Jesus is Lord, we obey God. There is a constant effort to do what pleases God. A godly person knows what God expects them to do and strive to do it. Faith is real when actions back up one’s words.

We need to take a careful look in the mirror and consider whether or not we are living in obedience to God’s commands. We cannot pick and choose which ones we want to do. Partial obedience is really not obedience at all. A godly soul does not have divided loyalties. He gives the Lord all of his heart, mind and soul.

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.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Image

========================================
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.
========================================

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 6/20/2022

Send to Kindle

by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 32:3-5 When I refused to confess my sin, I was weak and miserable, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.

Unconfessed sin haunts us. We cannot get away from what we have done. The Spirit of Christ dogs us and won’t let us forget. Whether or not there are repercussions for our sin on earth, there are in heaven. Unconfessed sins make the soul weak and miserable. Victory eludes us. Peace eludes us.

Unconfessed sin saps the spiritual strength right out of us. We may try to ignore it, but guilt and shame won’t let us. We know God is not okay with us. We know that we are responsible for what we have done and have no one to blame for God’s aloofness in our lives.

Unconfessed sin is like cancer in the soul. If we don’t confess our sin, it begins to grow in our souls. Sin breeds sin and before you know it, the soul is infested with it. Our love for the Lord grows cold. He becomes less and less a factor in our lives. We shove Him out of the way and begin to get swallowed up in the darkness of sin. If we continue to ignore God’s warnings and convicting voice, we will lose all contact with Him.

The good news is that if we confess our sins there is forgiveness. God will never turn away a repentant heart. He will restore the soul to Him and there will be peace and joy once again. God takes away the sin of a repentant heart and removes them from His presence as far as the east is from the west.

God will not make you confess your sins and repent, but He holds you accountable for them. If you choose to carry them around with you, you will never have peace with God.

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.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Image

========================================
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.
========================================

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 6/13/2022

Send to Kindle

by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 7:21 “Not all people who sound religious are really godly. They may refer to me as “Lord,” but they still won’t enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The decisive issue is whether they obey my Father in heaven.”

There is a difference between good people and godly people, between religious people and godly people. It’s fairly easy to be who we really are not. We can act the part but be far from it. What separates the godly from the ungodly is the relationship they have with Christ. Godly people are those who have given Christ their hearts and strive to live holy lives. They are a people who are changed from the inside out and not just on the outside.

People who consider themselves to be religious and good often call Jesus Lord, but they will not make it to heaven. We can do a lot of things in Jesus’ name and live to think about it in hell. When Jesus is Lord, we obey God. There is a constant effort to do what pleases God. A godly person knows what God expects them to do and strive to do it. Faith is real when actions back up one’s words.

We need to take a careful look in the mirror and consider whether or not we are living in obedience to God’s commands. We cannot pick and choose which ones we want to do. Partial obedience is really not obedience at all. A godly soul does not have divided loyalties. He gives the Lord all of his heart, mind and soul.

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.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Image

========================================
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.
========================================

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 6/6/2022

Send to Kindle

by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 24:42 “So be prepared, because you don’t know what day your Lord is coming.”

Are you ready for the Lord to come back? If He were to come today, do you know that you would be among those who would go to heaven with Him? Is there any doubt whatsoever in your mind about your readiness? If there is, you need to get things settled with God right now. You know whether or not there is unconfessed sin in your heart or mind. You know whether or not you have given the Lord the best of your heart or the leftovers. You know whether or not you have obeyed His Word to the best of your ability or not. You know whether or not Jesus is your first love and what you have done to show your love for Him. You know what you are doing to stay prepared for His coming. Are you ready?

Part of being ready is serving. The Lord commands us to live to serve. We are to invest our lives into others to help whomever we can to be ready, too. Are you doing that?

Are you growing in Christ by spending daily time in His Word and fellowship? Would you welcome His coming with great joy if it were to be today? It could be today. No one has a guarantee of another day on earth. Jesus may come for you today. If you are ready, the mere thought that it could be today should excite you. It should be what you are living and hoping for. If you hope He doesn’t come today because you know that you might not go with Him to heaven, then today is the day you must get things right with Him. Tomorrow might not ever come for you. Do it now while you can.

Don’t let the Lord’s coming catch you off guard. Stay alert and stay ready at all times

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.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Image

========================================
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.
========================================

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 5/30/2022

Send to Kindle

by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 22:37-40 Jesus replied, “You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important. ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the other commandments of the Lord are based on these two commandments.”

Have you ever loved the Lord with all of you? Can you honestly say that He is so powerfully wonderful to you that you desire nothing else in life but to love and be loved by Him? Let’s face it. We rarely love the Lord in that way. We may have momentary flashes of such intense love for Him, but it soon fades away amid the many happenings of our lives. We try to love Him as we should, but we find ourselves acting in an unloving way. So, are we excused? Should we resign ourselves to being failures at love? I don’t believe so. I believe we should continue to strive to love Him; we should continue to do those things that would feed the flame of love: daily devotions, faithful worship, faithful involvement in the life of the church, and faithfully serving the Lord in all we do.

We struggle with loving the Lord as we should and fail to love others (and ourselves) as we should. We fail mainly on an earthly plane because we first fail on the heavenly plane. We can’t love others as we should unless we first love God and then ourselves as we should. Love requires respect. Until we respect the object(s) of our love, we will never really love. There are many infatuations that we think are love, but they aren’t the real deal.

Love is best defined by God because He is love. Check out what He says love is in I Corinthians 13:4-8. Love is not an emotion we feel at the moment, it is a life we live every moment. It is connection with God that never comes unplugged. It is letting the Lord be the source of all we are. It is striving to be more and more like Him as we journey through life.

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.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Image

========================================
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.
========================================

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 5/23/2022

Send to Kindle

by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 22:14 “For many were called, but few were chosen.”

This is the story of the great wedding feast. Jesus used this story to teach us what it will be like when He comes back to establish His kingdom. This was a wedding feast and all the guests who were initially invited were too preoccupied with their own agendas to bother coming when it was time for the wedding to take place. The host of the wedding was furious with those who spurned him and turned to those who did come, those who considered the invitation something special and dropped everything else to hurriedly come.

The point Jesus made is that we should never squander our opportunity to be ready for His coming. We will never know when He will show up and if we are not ready for Him, it will be too late. We should consider it an honor to be invited to be a part of His wedding party. It should be the number one priority of our lives. We must be ready so that at any given moment we can join Him.

Don’t assume anything about the Lord’s coming. He may come for His church, or He may come for you, at any moment. Live each moment as if it were going to be your last one on earth. If Jesus were to come for you today, would you wish that you had more time to get ready? Would you be spurned by Him because you passed up His invitation to be ready while you had it? If Jesus would call you home today, what would He find you doing with your life?

Many are invited into His kingdom, but few are chosen because most people do not value the treasure of a life lived in Christ.

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.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Image

========================================
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.
========================================

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 5/16/2022

Send to Kindle

by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 21:21-22 Then Jesus told them, “I assure you, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,’ and it will happen. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

The more faith we have, the greater our authority to move the mountains in our lives will be. There is nothing that can hinder us if we have the faith to move forward. Faith can be either our greatest friend or our worst foe.

Faith is our friend when it is a real presence in our lives, when it is actively working to draw us closer to God. It helps us to grow up and become more effective lights of grace in the world. It helps us to be able to handle whatever life throws at us with a calm confidence and unshakeable peace. It provides for us a purpose for living and dying.

Faith is our enemy when we don’t exercise it and give it opportunity to take root and grow in our lives. When we don’t nurture it, we live in misery. To believe in God without living in God saddles us with a life without peace, joy, and no real hope. We try to justify ourselves with our knowledge of God, but we can’t. We base our relationship with God on what we think we know, instead of with whom we know. We try to live without God influencing our lives and yet thinking it’s okay since we believe in God. One of the biggest problems that plagues a Christian today is the thinking that we are saved and alright with God since we mouthed some words at some point in our lives. Faith that is a saving faith is a faith that changes the way we think and live.

Faith can be your friend or your foe. It’s up to you. Make a commitment to nurture your faith so that it can grow in you and you will be able to command the mountains of your life to go away and they will.

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.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Image

========================================
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.
========================================

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 5/9/2022

Send to Kindle

by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 20:26-28 “But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to first must become your slave. For even I, the Son of Man, came here not to be served but to serve others, and to give my life as a ransom for many.”

How many servant-leaders do you know? Servant-leaders are people who are not afraid to get their hands dirty doing the things that need to be done with cheerfulness of heart. We live in a culture where it seems far too many of our spiritual leaders are content to sit in their pastoral roles and let others do all the manual labors and the serving of others. We pay our pastors and staff a lot of money and tell them not to worry about the busyness of church life. But, is this something we should be doing?

Having been a pastor for over 40 years of my life, I know how important it is for pastors to have time to study and meditate on the Word. I know the demands on his time to prepare and minister to those in need. However, I believe we do the people of the church a disservice when we deny pastors the opportunity to get dirty hands; we deny the people of the church and community the opportunity to see them serve. Leaders who don’t know how to serve can’t adequately teach his people how to serve.

If you are a leader in the church, lead by example. It is easy to delegate responsibility and retreat into our ivory towers. It is easy to hide behind the veil of meditative study. It is much harder to balance the time in the study with time in the trenches.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to walk in on your pastor sometime and catch him on his knees—cleaning the toilet? I, for one, want to follow such a leader.

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.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Image

========================================
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.
========================================

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 5/2/2022

Send to Kindle

by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 19:25-26 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked. Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”

Jesus had just dealt with a very rich man who had come to Him wanting to know how to be saved. He was a good and devout man. He thought he had all his bases covered, but he wanted Jesus’ affirmation. Jesus told him the only thing he lacked was to sell his possessions and then to follow Him. The price was just too steep. He left Jesus dejected. His riches just meant too much to him. The disciples were caught off guard. Jesus made a statement that they did not understand. He told them how hard, impossible, it was for rich people to be saved. Mystified, they then asked the Lord who in the world could then be saved. Jesus’ response put things in their proper perspective; only God can save a soul. There is nothing man can do to save himself.

Jesus did not come to help us help ourselves to be saved. He came to be our Savior. Without Christ in their heart, no one will make it to heaven. All the money, fame, friendships, or good works will not save the soul. Anyone who thinks he can make it to heaven without repentance is believing a lie straight from hell.

It is not impossible for God to save anyone. Whoever humbles himself before God, confesses their sins, asks for forgiveness, and accepts Jesus as their Savior and Lord will be saved. God does not exclude anyone from the reach of His saving grace. He longs for all to be saved and will not turn anyone away who sincerely seeks Him.

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.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Image

 

========================================
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.
========================================

Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 4/25/2022

Send to Kindle

by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 18:21-22 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No!” Jesus replied, “seventy times seven!”

We think we do so well at practicing our faith. We listen to what our Lord says and strive to obey Him. We know that we don’t always get it right, but we do alright. We do better than many people we know. We must be a sweet aroma to God, right? Not necessarily. Jesus told Peter that what he thought was enough was not nearly good enough in God’s eyes. The problem wasn’t in Peter’s efforts, it was in his heart. What Jesus wanted Peter to understand is that the motives of the heart are the key to pleasing God.

Peter thought he was really being noble by suggesting that maybe they should forgive someone seven times, for the law only required one time. The law was more about justice and not forgiveness. Therefore, when Jesus suggested seven times as much as Peter did, He was pointing to a much deeper and better way to live. Jesus’ way is a way of grace instead of meting out justice. God will take care of the justice part; we are to act graciously towards one another.

If we are trying to keep score and noting how well we are doing, we are missing the point. If the heart is right we will always do what is right before God with no regard for how many times we have done it, even if it is thousands of times. There is no such thing as resting on our laurels or stopping our obedience to God. His life is our way of life. It is who we are and to not live like Christ wants us to live is out character for us and should be unnatural. If we want to please God we will always strive to do what is right before God. Period.

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.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Monday Inspirational Image

========================================
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.
========================================