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Verse of the Day and Devotional 11/17/2022

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Verse of the Day

November 17th, 2022

Scripture

And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body… – Ephesians 1:22-23 NIV

Devotion

According to our verses for today, there are two things that God the Father has done for the benefit of the church. He has appointed Jesus Christ to be the head over everything and He has placed all things under His feet.

What does it mean that Jesus Christ has been appointed to be the head over everything? In virtue of His victory on the cross, Jesus sat down at the right hand of “the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 1:3) and from their rules over all things in the created order. He rules over everything in the spiritual realm of the created order, including the angelic hosts. He rules over everything in the material realm of the created order as well, including the physical universe, the plant realm, the animal realm, and the human realm. Most notably in this context, within the human realm Jesus has been placed as the head of the church, which is His body.

What does it mean that all things have been placed under the feet of Jesus Christ? In virtue of His victory on the cross, God placed all the enemies of Christ and His church under Christ’s feet. In ancient times, conquerors would place their feet on the necks of those they conquered as a symbol of the conquest. That’s why Joshua had his chief men place their feet on the necks of the kings they conquered (Joshua 10:24). The Apostle Paul is alluding to that practice here as well as to Psalm 110:1: “The LORD says to my lord: ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.'” Although Paul knew there were battles still to be fought, (1 Corinthians 15:25-27), he also knew that Christ’s victory gave him essential control over Satan, demons, and the people they influence.

Thus, everything in the created order is under the control of Jesus Christ and, in particular, His enemies in the created order have been ignominiously placed under His feet.

God did all this for the benefit of the church. How does this benefit the church? Since Jesus is in control, nothing within the created order, especially the enemies, will be able to thwart the mission of the church.

That’s why your part in Christ’s prophecy, that we will be His witnesses to the ends of the earth, is being fulfilled day by day (Acts 1:8).

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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.
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Weekly Devotional: Gems from Pastor Jim 11/14/2022

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by Jim Hughes 

CrossPs. 34:11-14 Come, my children, and listen to me, and I will teach you to fear the LORD. Do any of you want to live a life that is long and good? Then watch your tongue! Keep your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others.

If you want to live a life that is long and good, then you have to watch your tongue. This does not mean you are guaranteed a long and good life, but it does mean that you will enhance your chances of living a messed up life that may be cut short if you don’t watch your tongue. It has been said that honesty is the best policy, and it is true.

Lying to others makes you untrustworthy. If others cannot depend on you to be truthful, you will fail to have anyone in life who can depend on you in time of need. You will be lonely and without help in your own times of need.

A much better way to live is to turn away from evil and do good. When you live rightly with God, you can be trusted to tell the truth. God is truth and those who live in Christ will be a people of truth. A person that wants to please God will seek to be truthful in all things, even when it may not be convenient or when it may be costly for him to do so.

We need to work hard at living in peace with others. Truthfulness is absolutely essential for peaceful living. It doesn’t come naturally or easily, but with a lot of effort it can be done. Our commitment to godliness enables us to not be at odds with others because of our untrustworthiness. Peace sometimes eludes us because of the heart issues of others, but as far as it is possible with you, live rightly with God so you can live rightly with others.

Notice that this is doable. We are told to take charge of our tongues, hearts, and living. If it were not possible, God would not tell us to do it.

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

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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.
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Verse of the Day and Devotional 11/10/2022

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Verse of the Day

November 10th, 2022

Scripture

“I have some very good news for you—news that will make everyone happy. Today your Savior was born… He is the Messiah, the Lord.” – Luke 2:10-11 ERV

Devotion

These days we often hear about how to share the Good News, also known as evangelism. In Matthew 28։16-20 we have the Great Commission that tells us we should go to people and share the Good News, or the Gospel.

But what is the Gospel?

First, the Gospel is the Good News about the birth of our Savior.

Hundreds of years ago, the prophets in the Old Testament spoke about the coming Messiah, the Son of God. The Angel of God told Mary, then Joseph about the birth of Jesus. Our Savior was born by the Holy Spirit, and He would be named Jesus. He would save His people from their sins.

The Word of God clearly says that our sins were like a wall between us and God. The Apostle Paul says, “All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness” (Romans 3:23). Sin caused three types of death: eternal, physical, and spiritual.

But God, who is a loving Father, had a solution. He sent His only Son to save the people who believe in Jesus Christ from eternal death. As it is written in John 3:16, “Yes, God loved the world so much that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him would not be lost but have eternal life.” This verse is the central verse of the Good News. Salvation is the result of God’s love, grace, and mercy.

Second, the Gospel is the restoration of our relationship with God.

Our relationship with God is restored through Christ. Because of Jesus Christ, the wall which was between human and God, was destroyed. Now, we can come to Him through Jesus if we accept Him as our Savior and God.

What a wonderful opportunity to come to God through Jesus, and how wonderful is the news of Christ’s birth!

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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.
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Weekly Devotional: Gems from Pastor Jim 11/7/2022

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by Jim Hughes 

CrossPs. 34:9-10 Let the LORD’s people show him reverence, for those who honor him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the LORD will never lack any good thing.

We are to show the Lord reverence. This means that we are to not dishonor Him by the things we say and do. It means that we take seriously what He teaches us and obey His commandments. It means that we don’t take our salvation lightly. It means that we purposely seek out His best for us, which is holy living.

If our conduct and conversations do not show reverence for the Lord, we cannot expect the Lord to help us. So often, people treat the Lord as one who is at their beckon and call. He is expected to deliver without regard for how we live. So many get the idea that we don’t have any role to play in our relationship with the Lord.

Many professing believers do not strive to become holy because they fail to see it as a necessity. The belief is that once one is saved, then they can go on with their lives, forgetting about growing in faith. There is a satisfaction with a profession of faith and little interest in pursuing holy living. Such thinking does not honor the Lord. We cannot be true to the Lord and honor Him without a commitment to holiness in our lives. We are made holy by how we live. We cannot separate holiness from living in Christ.

Those who trust in the Lord will have all they need in life. We trust Him for our salvation and holiness. We immerse ourselves in Him and when we do, we will lack no good thing. We may lack some things, but never that which is good for us. Always remember, what is good for us are those things which help us to be prepared for heaven.

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

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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.
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Verse of the Day and Devotional 11/3/2022

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Verse of the Day

November 3rd, 2022

Scripture

Then Mary said, “I praise the Lord with all my heart. I am very happy because God is my Savior.” – Luke 1:46-47 ERV

Devotion

Can you imagine? A young woman just heard from an angel that she will be pregnant without the intimacy of a man but through the Spirit. Oh, and there is more: the baby will be holy and is called the Son of God. How does that not shake up your world?

First, this is a major event in history as the grand redemption plan of God, Creator of everything, unfolds. His Son became a human. In Philippians 2 we read that the Son gave up everything, even His place with God. He accepted the role of a servant, appearing in human form.

Second, we have the story of Mary becoming part of God’s redemptive plan. She responded in humility and was willing to lay aside her own life and interest. Her ability is the work of the Holy Spirit, she humbly acknowledges that the Lord’s words are reliable and true. In the next verse, she refers to herself as “his lowly servant” (v. 48).

God is my Savior. This is the foundation of a life in humble service. All kinds of things can shake up our world, we have seen so much of that lately. But like Mary, we can respond in humility. I am very happy because God is my Savior. In Christ, you and I are saved. Through the Spirit, we are able servants, laying down our own will and interest in any situation.

Think humbly, the way Christ Jesus thought! (Philippians 2:5)

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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.
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Weekly Devotional: Gems from Pastor Jim 10/31/2022

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by Jim Hughes 

CrossPs. 34:8 Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in him!

Open your mouth and fill it with the things of God. Chew on the riches of His grace. Feast on the love He has for you. Let Him fill you up with His righteousness and holiness. Let the Lord be your nourishment. Taste and you will see that the Lord is good.

The Lord is good completely. There is nothing about the Lord that is bad. He is incapable of doing anything to you and for you that is not good. He will always do good through you if you will let him. Don’t deprive yourself of a good life. Feast on the Lord. Learn His ways and do them. Trust in Him alone for your living. If you do these things, you too will know the joys of living.

The joy of the Lord is unspeakable and full of glory. It is not something that we can easily describe. It is a deep and abiding confidence in Him. It is the assurance of soul that you are in God’s favor. It is the sense that everything is as God says it is. We are children of God and someday we will be with Him for all eternity. The joy of the Lord is being deeply rooted in Christ. It is found only in those who put the Lord first in all of their living.

Are you trusting the Lord in all things in your life? Do you have that total dependence on Him for all things? Do you have an unshakeable and immoveable confidence in the Lord? Oh, the joys of those who trust in 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.
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Verse of the Day and Devotional 10/27/2022

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Verse of the Day

October 27th, 2022

Scripture

Then Mary said, “I praise the Lord with all my heart. I am very happy because God is my Savior.” – Luke 1:46-47 ERV

Devotion

Can you imagine? A young woman just heard from an angel that she will be pregnant without the intimacy of a man but through the Spirit. Oh, and there is more: the baby will be holy and is called the Son of God. How does that not shake up your world?

First, this is a major event in history as the grand redemption plan of God, Creator of everything, unfolds. His Son became a human. In Philippians 2 we read that the Son gave up everything, even His place with God. He accepted the role of a servant, appearing in human form.

Second, we have the story of Mary becoming part of God’s redemptive plan. She responded in humility and was willing to lay aside her own life and interest. Her ability is the work of the Holy Spirit, she humbly acknowledges that the Lord’s words are reliable and true. In the next verse, she refers to herself as “his lowly servant” (v. 48).

God is my Savior. This is the foundation of a life in humble service. All kinds of things can shake up our world, we have seen so much of that lately. But like Mary, we can respond in humility. I am very happy because God is my Savior. In Christ, you and I are saved. Through the Spirit, we are able servants, laying down our own will and interest in any situation.

Think humbly, the way Christ Jesus thought! (Philippians 2:5)

Inspirational Image of the Day

Thursday 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.
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Weekly Devotional: Gems from Pastor Jim 10/24/2022

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by Jim Hughes 

CrossPs. 34:5-6 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow will darken their faces. I cried out to the LORD in my suffering, and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears.

Let’s face it; we don’t always look to the Lord for help when we need it. We tend to try other things first. When they fail us, then we turn to the Lord. We can spare ourselves a lot of frustrations, stresses, and problems by turning first to the Lord in our times of need.

Don’t you just love to be around people who radiate with joy? Some people are so miserable within that they can’t stand to be around those who aren’t, but most people find being around joyful people picks them up, inspires and encourages them. People with real joy just shine. It shows in their faces and there is just something about the way they handle themselves that attracts us.

True joy comes from living in Christ in the present. Life is a celebration because Christ is in it. It is knowing that the Lord is always with us and will never let us down. It is knowing that when we cry out to the Lord He hears us. It is being set free from all our fears. It is being able to rest peacefully in the Lord’s presence knowing that all things are under His control and that they are well.

We can have great joy in our souls, no matter how much we may have to suffer. We can rejoice knowing that we are not forsaken or forgotten. The Lord is with us and He will help us. When we call upon Him, it’s not a waste of our time. He hears our cries and sets us free from all our fears. Praise God from whom all blessings flow

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.
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Verse of the Day and Devotional 10/20/2022

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Verse of the Day

October 20th, 2022

Scripture

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. – Isaiah 41:10 NLT

Devotion

There are times when the task before us seems overwhelming. There are times when the fear that we won’t be able to make it gets a grip on us and won’t let us go. We look within for something, anything, that will propel us forward through the brick wall that we have come up against, but we find nothing there that can help. The ideas have dried up. The energy has evaporated. And the whole enterprise is in danger of coming to a screeching halt.

“Don’t be afraid,” Isaiah reassures us. We are not alone. The Lord is there and has been there all along. We forgot about that for a while, but now we are reminded of it. We need not be discouraged. We may not be able to find a way forward, but the Lord is with us and He is God. Nothing is too hard for Him. He can find the way where there is no way. He can give us the idea that will make all the difference in the world.

God can also strengthen us. The fear and the anxiety have sapped us of our strength, but the Lord can renew our strength. Just by Him being there with us we are encouraged and the encouragement lifts up our spirits and revives our physical resources. What we thought was going to take forever now takes off and the end is already in sight. With the help of the Lord, we can make it after all.

And God can take us all the way to the end of the matter. He will rejoice with us at the finish line and hoist us up above His head with His victorious right hand, like an athlete who hoists up the hero of the game and carries him off the field. He will rejoice in our victory, but we will only be able to remember what He has done for us.

You have forgotten for a while that the Lord is with you. Now you have been reminded. Take heart today, for the way forward is about to be revealed to you.

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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.
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Weekly Devotional: Gems from Pastor Jim 10/17/2022

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by Jim Hughes 

CrossPs. 34:4 I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me, freeing me from all my fears.

Evidently the Psalmist, David, was going through a time of fear. He wasn’t any different than we are. He was fearful for his life. He was in the presence of a king whom he did not trust. He was sure that his life was on the line. It is good to know that we are not alone. Faith does not eliminate our fears. We do get afraid of those who would cause us harm. We do get afraid when we are faced with the reality of potential death. We do fear the unknown. We do fear illnesses and their affect on us. We do fear growing old and the uncertainities that brings with it. We do fear for our future and whether or not we will be equipped to handle it. Fear is natural and there are a lot of them. How we handle our fears is what is important. We can let our fears cripple us and keep us from living, or we can follow David’s example and give them all to the Lord.

When we take our fears to the Lord and let Him handle them, amazing things begin to happen within us. The Lord wants us to give Him our fears. He wants us to be honest enough to admit to Him that we have them. He wants us to trust Him with them. He wants to free us from them. He wants us to know the peace of heart that comes from living without fear. He wants us to be able to keep on living no matter of what may frighten us. When we take our fears to the Lord and let Him handle them, amazing things begin to happen within us.

Just like David, if you take your fears to the Lord and give them to Him, He will free you from them. You do not need to be a prisoner to your fears. You do not need to stop living because of them. The Lord will set you free from all your fears if you will but pray and give them over to Him. Wait on the Lord and He will give you the strength of heart to carry on. Rest in the Lord, and everything will be alright. You will be able to boldly face your fears with confidence and conquer them when you trust in the Lord.

It is good to fear some things. It helps us to stay away from potential harm and danger. We should pay attention to our fears and be cautious, but we should not let them cripple us and keep us from living. Let the Lord have them and He will help you.

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.
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