Tag Archive for faith and Inspiration

Inspirational Monday: Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 128:1 How happy are those who fear the LORD–all who follow his ways!

There is much resistance today about fearing the Lord. The thinking is that because we live in grace, God is no longer to be feared. The emphasis is on God’s love and not His holy nature. When we talk about Him being holy, we treat it lightly, as if it no longer needs to concern us. We have mellowed God to the point where He is no longer perceived to be fearsome. We hide in grace and don’t talk much about God being holy and the judge of all sin. Hell is seldom talked or preached about. Preaching a soul to the altar no longer characterizes our preaching. Condemnation for sin is not promoted much.

I wonder what we have lost as a result of our “new” approach to the Gospel. Is the church as strong as it once was, a guiding voice in the local culture? Has the fire gone out of our evangelism? Are we as concerned for lost souls as we once were? Does anyone really listen to us anymore? Are we paying a price for removing the altar out of our churches? Why is there an alarming shortage of pastors in the evangelical church? Why is it that there are so many in the pulpits today preaching a different message than the Gospel?

I believe there is a correlation between the condition of the church today and our sacrificing our fear of God. Fearing God instills within a respect for God in His holiness. It keeps us aware of the need to for Him. It motivates us to not take for granted God’s grace. It keeps us from removing God from off His throne. It keeps us from adapting God to our liking. It moves us to live holy lives before Him.

Those who fear the Lord are happy because they are diligent about staying right with God. Their relationship with God is the most important part of their lives. They purposely and diligently seek Him. Because God is the priority of life, they know the peace of God that comes from knowing all is well with their soul. There is no greater joy in life than to follow the Lord in all His ways.

C Through Marriage

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 chaper 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.

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.

Ten Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year

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New Years Resolutions

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the Prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

The beginning of the new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

1. What one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more to help you “Consider your ways.” Suggestion: think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.

11. What’s the most important decision you need to make this year?

12. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what’s one way you could simplify in that area?

13. What’s the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?

14. What habit would you most like to establish this year?

15. Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?

16. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?

17. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?

18. What’s one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?

19. What’s one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?

20 What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

21. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

22. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?

23. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?

24. What’s the most important trip you want to take this year?

25. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?

26. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?

27. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of the commute this year?

28, What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, ans what will you do about it?

29. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say?

30. What’s the most important new item you want to buy this year?

31. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

The value of many of these questions is not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year is more likely to help you remember to encourage that person that if you hadn’t considered the question.

If you’ve found these questions helpful, you might want to put them someplace — in a day planner, calendar, bulletin board, etc. — where you can review them more frequently than once a year.

So let’s evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage” (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let’s also remember our dependence on our King who said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:3).

Used by permission: copyright Don Whitney

Critical Issues Commentary

 

Inspirational Monday: Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 121:5-8 The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shield. The sun will not hurt you by day; nor the moon at night. The LORD keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

What I want us to think about today is that it is the LORD who watches over us and does what He does for us. Stop and consider who He is. He is Lord. What do we mean when we call Him, Lord? He is absolute ruler and controller of life. There is no power or authority equal to Him. He is the beginning and end of all things. He has the right to determine life and how it is lived. He alone is able to control and alter that which He has created. He alone is worthy to be called Lord.

Now, go back and reread the verses for today. It is the LORD who watches over you. Isn’t that great news?!! He doesn’t miss a thing in His gaze. He knows at all times where you are at. The LORD stands as your protective shield. Satan cannot get to you!! You are absolutely safe when you are under His care. No one, nothing, can harm you when the Lord is protecting you.

The LORD keeps you from all evil and preserves your life. He keeps you from ALL evil. Isn’t that a marvelous truth? The Lord will not let evil overtake you as long as you stay under His care. No matter what kind of sin it may be, the Lord can, and wants to, protect you from it. His intent is to keep you free from sin and to preserve your life for eternity.

Now, this wonderful truth requires our cooperation. We must let the Lord watch over us and protect us. We must not strike out on our own. We must abide in Him always. We must work with Him to keep us holy.

The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, which reminds me that I am never alone. He is always keeping His eyes on us. He is always aware of our needs and is ever ready to meet them. He is with me each step I take. He is my Lord, my Emmanuel!

C Through Marriage

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 chaper 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.

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.

Inspirational Monday: Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 119:140 Your promises have been thoroughly tested; that is why I love them so much.

One thing that we have in common with all humanity is that everyone goes through times of life that are not easy. Everyone needs help beyond themselves from time to time. For the believer, we find our greatest source of help from God’s Word.

A multitude of saints who have gone before us have had to put God’s Word to the test as they struggled through life. There has never been a time in history in which God’s people have not needed wise counsel and renewed hope from God. For most who have preceded us, life has been very harsh. People have been harassed and killed for centuries because of their faith. There is not one promise of God that has not been put to the test over the years. And, every promise of God has been proven to be trustworthy.

Everyone who stands on the promises of God knows that they shall not fall. God always does what He says He will do. He never fails to see His children through whatever they may face in life. Over and over again, God’s children proclaim His faithfulness. When difficulties arise, we don’t always recognize the workings of God in our crisis. But as we make it through and look back, we can clearly see the hand of God on our lives. We see that God’s promises are trustworthy all the time.

Don’t you just love God’s promises? There are promises of God to see us through every situation of life. They remind us of a God who cares. They speak of God’s ability. They speak of God’s desire to be involved in every part of our lives. They speak to our needs today and the life that is still to come. They are rich in wisdom and they guide us through life. Hold them close. Let them govern your heart. Let them captivate you and thrill your soul. Let them hold you steady in the storms of life.
C Through Marriage

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 chaper 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.

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.

Inspirational Monday: Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 119:133 Guide my steps by your word, so I will not be overcome by any evil.

Our only protection from evil is to let the Lord take His Word and direct our paths. We are not capable of “winging it” on our own and staying pure before God. If you are not asking the Lord to take His Word and lead you through your journey of life, you are depriving your soul of its very essence for life. You cannot sustain a relationship with God without His Word. You will do nothing but starve yourself to death and give Satan fertile ground upon which to thrive. You will succumb to evil if you neglect God’s Word in your life. Guaranteed.

You cannot be led by the Word unless you know the Word. You cannot know the Word without reading and meditating on it. If you don’t put in the time, you will do the crime; it’s as simple as that. No one has the strength of soul to resist temptation apart from the Word of God. Without the Word to guide us, we will be easily led astray. The Word shows us the pathway to holiness. We learn what not to do and what to do. God does not lead us into confusion. He clearly marks out the path for us to follow. It is imperative for the health of our souls that we equip ourselves with a working knowledge of God’s Word.

We choose daily whether we will be overcomers of evil or victims to it. We choose daily whether or not we will arm ourselves with the Word or not. No one has any excuse. We have time for what we want. There is no activity on earth that is more important for the life of the soul than God’s Word. If there is the will to spend time in the Word, there will be a way. Adjustments may have to be made in daily routines, but there is a way. Does your relationship with God mean enough to you for you to do it?
C Through Marriage

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 chaper 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.

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.

Mid-Week Inspiration: Jesus Is All the World to Me!

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by Russell Sherrard

Jesus is All the World to Me!

Jesus Love the Whole World

 

 

Monday Inspiration: Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 119:105-106 Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again; I will obey your wonderful laws.

I wonder, how brightly does God’s Word shine on the path of your life? Is it barely noticeable, or can everyone tell that you are influenced and driven by it? Does God’s Word keep you from sinning, or are you prone to wander away from its truths? Do you rely on it to keep you pure in heart, or does it even matter to you?

God gives us His Word to show us the way to Him. It reveals our sinfulness and His holiness. It instructs us on how to get to God. It forces us to look inward and deal with the sin it exposes. It shows us what we must be doing in order to be found acceptable to God. It magnifies God. The Word strips us of our excuses and leads us into holy living.

Do you know God’s Word better than any other source of knowledge you may have? Think about it for a moment. In order to do certain jobs or to use certain skills, we had better know what we are doing. We spend a lot of time, energy, effort, and often money learning how to do what we do in life for a living. Some of us become quite knowledgeable and skilled on how to do our tasks. Why do we pursue those things and so often neglect to put an equal or greater amount of time into learning Biblical truth and how to apply it to life? After all, what is more important, our knowledge of the ways of the world or the ways of God?

The ability of God’s Word to light our path and influence our lives is dependent on the time and effort we put into knowing it and living it. You can pretty much tell who does and who does not spend quality time in the Word by how they handle life and the wisdom they have. Obedience is not possible without a consistent quality time in the Word. And, I do not believe that there can be quality time without quantity time. It takes time to discover the truths of God that are there in His Word.

Do you dare make a promise to God today that you will get to know the Word and live it?
C Through Marriage

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 chaper 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.

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.

Inspirational Monday: Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Pastor Jim

CrossPs. 119:71 The suffering you sent was good for me, for it taught me to pay attention to your principles.

Okay, admit it. You don’t especially like suffering, do you? When was the last time you welcomed suffering into your life with open arms? It simply is not something we want to go through in life. There is ingrained in us a desire for things to go well with us and to live out our lives suffering free. Many people make a good living trying to make our sufferings go away or minimizing the pain they cause. Promises are made to help us that are all too often broken because they cannot be kept. Suffering is a natural part of life on earth.

Have you given much thought as to why God stresses so much in His Word that suffering is good for us? God ties suffering to character building. It is when we endure suffering that we discover our helplessness. We learn that we need help beyond ourselves in order to endure, or perhaps, overcome our sufferings. It is when we suffer that we best learn to lean on Jesus. Anyone can have strong faith when things are going well. But the real test of our faith’s strength is found in how we respond to our sufferings. We may not go out and look for ways to suffer in life, but neither should we consider it to be something to avoid at all cost.

God does not promise us a suffering-free life, but He does promise us that He will be with us through our sufferings. He is always there to help us, to supply whatever we need to help us through it. Lean on the Lord for your strength and listen to what He wants to teach you the next time suffering invades your life.

And yes, seek out the help that others can give you to help you with your sufferings. God gives man wisdom, knowledge and skills to help us in times of need. But as you seek the help available to you, first commit it to the Lord and ask Him to oversee and take charge of the process. He promises to be with you and to use your sufferings for your good.
C Through Marriage

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 chaper 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.

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.

Inspirational Monday: Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 119:59-60 I pondered the direction of my life; and I turned to follow your statutes. I will hurry, without lingering, to obey your commands.

When was the last time you pondered the direction of your life? Have you ever done it? Take a moment right now and give it some thought. Are you going in the direction you want to go? What do you really want to do with the rest of your life? Are you heading in the right direction? What about your spiritual life? Are you heading in the direction you want to go? Are you doing what you need to do in order to get there? You will never reach your goals when heading in the wrong direction.

The key to making progress is to take the first step in the direction you want to go. You can pick up steam as you begin your walk. The more you walk, the more able you are to walk faster. Now is the time to do something to help yourself achieve your goals. Hurry, don’t delay! Don’t mess around. Begin your journey today. Nothing will change in your life until you take the steps necessary to change. If you continue to be as you are, your will to change will fade. You will live life in a rut and it will rob you of the joy of living.

The best way to know that you are heading in the right direction is to first obey the Lord. When you are living submissively to the Lord, He will direct your path. He will enable you and bless your living. No matter what you may set your heart on doing, it must be underneath the influence of God’s Word.

Do what the Lord has given you to do today. Don’t listen to the voices that say you can’t do it. The world is full of people who aren’t doing it because they believe those who say they can’t. Don’t be one of them! You can do all things through Christ who is our ever-present strength and helper. Begin your journey of faith today. You will be glad you did.
C Through Marriage

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 chaper 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.

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.

Inspirational Monday: Gems From Pastor Jim

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by Jim Hughes

CrossPs. 119:53-55 I am furious with the wicked, those who reject your laws. Your principles have been the music of my life throughout the years of my pilgrimage. I reflect at night on who you, are, O LORD, and I obey your law because of this.

Let me ask you something. Are you angry with the wicked, those who reject God’s laws and make no pretense about it? Does it bother you at all that most of the people around you have no regard for the Lord or His ways? Do you get upset by the way evil people treat one another and the Christian community? Does it bother you in the ways that evil people entertain us? We have become so engaged in our own little worlds that we have lost most of our sense that we are a part of a larger community. We may not be a part of the world, but we are in the world and should be concerned by what is going on around us. We should participate in doing what we can to bring Christ into the world. You cannot live in Christ and isolate yourself from the evil around you. We are the salt and light in the world and if we aren’t, we are not really in Christ.

God’s Word should be sweet music in our hearts as we journey through this life. It should overshadow and determine our steps. It should bring joy to our souls as we reflect on it. It should cause our hearts to sing because God shows us a better way to live, a way that leads us into the heart of God.

As we immerse ourselves in God’s Word, we discover God. We are drawn to Him. We marvel at the thought of who God is. He captivates us as we encounter Him throughout the Scriptures. We are humbled before Him as we feast on His greatness in power and character. We are overwhelmed by the knowledge that God can care about us individually and collectively. We are amazed at how God makes each of us individually and enters into each of our lives in relationship with us. God wows us in every way and keeps us coming back for more of Him.

The more we know of God, the more motivated we are to obey Him. The natural response of the soul who is enthralled by who God is is to love and worship Him. Because we love Him, we seek to please Him in all we do by living submissively and obediently to Him.
C Through Marriage

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 chaper 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.

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.