Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes for 11/26/2014

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Jim Hughes

Is. 56:1-2 “Be just and fair to all,” says the LORD. “Do what is right and good, for I am coming soon to rescue you. Blessed are those who are careful to do this. Blessed are those who honor my Sabbath days of rest by refusing to work. And blessed are those who keep themselves from doing wrong.”

Want to honor the Lord in your living? The Lord gives us three things to do here that will honor Him. We are to be just and fair. This reminds us that how we treat others does matter. Being just means that we don’t treat people in ways they don’t deserve to be treated. We honor the Lord’s admonition to be loving and gracious. When it becomes necessary to punish someone for the wrongs they have done, we don’t cower away from it. It is only fair that people be punished for the wrongs they do, but when we do it, we do it out of love and not vengeance. The goal should always be to motivate others to repent and change their ways, to restore them to good standing before God and man.

It also honors the Lord when we honor the Lord’s Day. Now I know that there is a tremendous amount of disagreement in the church over what this means in practical terms and I don’t want to upset anyone or stir up a debate. What I do want to do is to challenge you to think about what the Lord’s Day is designed to do for us. Scripture says that when God had finished His labors of creation, He rested on the seventh day. I don’t believe it was because He was tired, but it was because He had completed His work, it was good, and there was nothing else for Him to do to make it better. He wants us to take the time to reflect on the works He has done, to appreciate them and to understand that what He did and continues to do is for our good and His glory.

He admonishes us to rest from our labors one day a week because He knows that we are not Him; we need the rest. We get weary from our labors physically, mentally and emotionally and it affects our souls. God knows that when man is always working, he is not paying attention to his soul like he needs to. Whatever you do on the Lord’s Day, take the time to refresh your soul, to be holy before God. You need the Lord more than anything your labors on earth may accomplish for you.

It also honors the Lord when we keep ourselves from doing wrong. What we do does matter to God. Sin affects our relationship with God. It keeps God at arm’s length in our souls. We can never be right with God as long as we allow ourselves to sin against God. It is never okay with God when we wander into sin. When God’s children sin, it insults God. It brings shame not only upon us, but it dishonors His holy name. Sin in our hearts keeps God’s blessings at bay in our lives. We must heed the admonition of God to be holy, even as He is holy.

C Through Marriage
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