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Verse of the Day and Devotion 1/20/2022

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Verse of the Day

January 20 2022

Scripture

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. – Romans 8:13-14 ESV

Devotion

If you are a Christian, then you have been baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:5). As a result, the Holy Spirit now dwells within you (2 Timothy 1:14) and, according to our verses for today, you can expect Him to lead you and guide you through life.

There are two fundamentally opposed ways that we can live and be led. We can live and be led according to the flesh, or we can live and be led according to the Spirit.

“Flesh” is the Apostle Paul’s metaphor for the sinful spiritual state of human beings apart from Christ. If we live according to the flesh, then we will set our minds on the things of the flesh (Romans 8:5). We will be led by the wants and desires of our sinful spiritual state and we will live in hostility to God and to His laws (Romans 8:7). Following this way leads to death.

On the other hand, if we live according to the Spirit, we will set our minds on the things of the Spirit (Romans 8:5). We will be led by the Spirit into a relationship of peace with God and obedience to His laws. Following this way leads to life.

Although as Christians we have the Holy Spirit within us, although the Holy Spirit is there to guide us, we do not always follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. We sometimes follow the lead of the flesh. Instead of taking the time to find out what the Holy Spirit is saying, we hastily and impulsively move forward in accordance with the misguided wants and desires of the old sinful spiritual state. We suffer as a consequence.

When the decision must be made, when the crossroad looms ahead, or when the crisis strikes, resist the haste and impulsivity of the flesh and take the time to pray for the guidance that the Spirit has for us. Get quiet before God, look deep within, and get ready for what the Spirit will reveal to you.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Thursday Image

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Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now Available on EDIFI.APP Download from GooglePlay and AppleStore and start listening.
========================================
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 1/17/2022

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by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 15:8-9 “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.”

I wonder how many people fall into this category. I often have wondered how many people who go to church and are involved in it really are honoring the Lord in their lives. It’s easy to talk the talk of salvation. It’s easy to give the Lord praise and thanks. It’s easy to tell of what the Lord has done and even what He means to us. But, what we say is not always what is really in our hearts. We can go through the motions and be very deceptive to both others and ourselves.

How can we really know that we are right with God? I believe this is probably the most crucial question we can ask of ourselves. God clearly tells us that if we really do love Him we will obey Him. So therefore, we must determine whether or not we are really obeying Him. The only way we can know is for us to know what He commands us to be and do. We must evaluate ourselves in light to God’s Word. There is no room for debate on this. What God says we must do.

We often make up our own rules for Christian living. We determine what we can live with and what we can’t. We adjust what God says to fit our comfort levels. We try to legislate faith instead of living by it. We tend to impose our standards on God’s standards and if there is a conflict, our ways generally win out.

All of God’s commands are doable when we live fully surrendered lives to Christ. He gives us the power and will to do them. He changes us so that we humbly strive to conform to His ways and not our own. We learn to live in Christ’s righteousness and trust Him to work out His holiness in us. Honoring God in our lives is simply letting Jesus be our Lord and living to please 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

========================================
Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now Available on EDIFI.APP Download from GooglePlay and AppleStore and start listening.
========================================
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 1/13/2022

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Verse of the Day

January 13 2022

Scripture

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. – 1 John 3:18 NIV

Devotion

In our verse of the day, John echoes Jesus’ teaching that whoever hates another person is liable to judgment (Matthew 5:21,22). I believe that Christianity is a religion of the heart; outward compliance alone is not enough. Bitterness against someone who has wronged you is an evil cancer within you and could eventually destroy you.

Heidi and Jeff came home from an overseas work assignment in a hot climate. For several months, they settled near family in the state of Michigan—just in time for winter. This would be the first time many of their ten children had seen the natural beauty of snow.

But winter weather in Michigan requires a lot of warm outerwear, including coats, mittens, and boots. For a large family, it would be quite an expensive undertaking just to outfit them for the bitterly cold months ahead. But God provided. First, a neighbor brought over footwear, then snow pants, then hats and gloves. Then, a friend urged others at her church to collect a variety of warm clothes in all twelve sizes for each member of the family. By the time the snow arrived, the family had exactly what they needed.

As our verse of the day reminds us, real love is an action, not a feeling. It produces selfless, sacrificial giving. The greatest act of love is giving oneself for others. How can we lay down our lives? By serving others with no thought of receiving anything in return. Sometimes it is easier to say we’ll die for others than to truly live for them. Living for others requires we put others’ desires first. Jesus taught this same principle of love in John 15:13.

One way we serve God is by serving those in need. First John 3:16-18 encourages us to help others from the abundance of our own possessions. Serving helps us to be more like Jesus as we begin to love and see people as He does. These verses give an example of how to lay down our lives for others by helping those in need.

God often uses His children to fulfill needs and to answer prayers. And as we serve others, our own hearts are encouraged as we encourage those we serve. As a result, our own faith will grow as God equips us for service in new ways. How clearly do our actions say we really love others? Are we as generous as we should be with -our money, possessions, and time?

Inspirational Image of the Day

Thursday Image

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Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now Available on EDIFI.APP Download from GooglePlay and AppleStore and start listening.
========================================
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 1/10/2022

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by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 14:24-27 Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had arisen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came to them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. But Jesus spoke to them at once. “It’s all right,” he said. “I am here! Don’t be afraid.”

In verse 23 we find Jesus praying. Have you ever wondered what He was praying about? Was He praying for the crowd He had just sent home after feeding them physically and spiritually? Was He praying for himself because by now He surely must have been exhausted? Or, was He praying for the disciples? Perhaps He asked our Father to send them a storm to help them believe and trust in Him. Perhaps He prayed for them because He knew they would be in trouble and needed His help. Perhaps they would need the strength to endure until He got there.

I believe Jesus does pray for us ahead of our difficulties in life. He knows what we need even before we need it. He knows what lies ahead of us and works to prepare us for it. He never lets us face life’s struggles defenseless or lacking the resources to deal with them.

We find the disciples in trouble. Perhaps you have been there as well. It is no fun to be in a situation that you can’t control and threatens your very existence. I am sure by now the disciples were at the end of their ropes. They simply did not know what to do. They were helpless and by now hopeless. And then, Jesus came. I can understand how they became scared. His appearance was totally unexpected and very unusual. After all, wouldn’t you be scared to be at the end of your rope and then all of a sudden see Jesus appear walking on water to come and help you? And, don’t overlook the fact that it was 3:00 in the morning.

Jesus did not leave His disciples helpless or hopeless. He came to their rescue. He waited until they were ready for His help, and then He showed up. He came to them in their hour of need and spoke words of comfort and peace. He reached out to them to help them out of their trouble. There is no time in which He is not available to help those who call on Him.

Don’t wait until you exhaust all of your strength and resources before you let the Lord help you. When you find yourself heading for trouble, call on Him right away. Save yourself a lot of grief and pain. Let the Lord lead you out of your trouble and give you the comfort and peace you need. He will do it if you let 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

========================================
Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now Available on EDIFI.APP Download from GooglePlay and AppleStore and start listening.
========================================
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.
========================================

Verse of the Day and Devotional 1/6/2022

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Verse of the Day

January 6 2022

Scripture

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. – Galatians 5:1 NIV

Devotion

Our verse of the day is an admonition addressing a group of people in the Galatian church. They were trying to convince the church that in order to be saved they must do more than just have faith in Jesus Christ. They must also obey certain commandments of the Mosaic Law. This kind of thinking, let’s call it “faith-plus thinking,” has been common in Christian circles through the ages. In order to guarantee salvation, some have felt the need to add a list of moral stipulations to faith in Jesus Christ. They think that a person can’t be saved if they violate whatever stipulations they have added to faith.

The Apostle Paul will have none of this kind of thinking. His whole point in writing to the believers in Galatia- was to show them that it is by faith alone that we are saved (Galatians 2:15-16). We do not earn salvation by obedience to law. We are given salvation through faith in Christ. To believe that it is necessary to obey a set of laws in order to be saved is to submit oneself to a yoke of slavery to those laws.

Christ set us free from the yoke of the Mosaic Law and any other law that people may try to set up as a condition of salvation. In Christ we are free. It is for freedom that we have been set free, not for slavery. Therefore, since we are free in Christ, we must live as if we are free in Christ. We must stand firm in the freedom we have been given through Christ and not fall into the trap of faith-plus thinking. We must not let ourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery to a set of laws.

None of this means that we have a license to sin. Later in Galatians, Paul tells them they should not “use your freedom to indulge the flesh” (Galatians 5:13). This means that we are saved by faith, not by works of the law.

Since it is for freedom that we have been set free and not for slavery, let us stand fast in that freedom and throw off any yoke of slavery we may have taken upon ourselves.

Inspirational Image of the Day

 

Thursday Image

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Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now Available on EDIFI.APP Download from GooglePlay and AppleStore and start listening.
========================================
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 1/3/2022

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by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 14:29b-30a So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. Instantly Jesus reached out his hand and grabbed him.

When you are looking around you, you are not looking ahead of you. It sounds simple enough, but it’s hard for us to do. We are prone to notice most all that is crashing in around us. We see the magnitude of our storms. We become overwhelmed by all that is going wrong and that is all we can think about. Instead, we should be keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.

When we keep our focus on Jesus, the storms lose their strength. They may not go away, but their impact on us is minimized. As long as we are focused on the Lord, we understand the bigger picture of life. We understand that our storms will pass away, that there is always something better in store for us if we persevere through them.

Peter did not give a thought to the possibility that what he was doing was impossible. All he thought about was Jesus and His invitation to come. He did not consider the fact that he might not make it to Jesus. All that matter was getting out of his comfort zone and going. We need to be just as willing to go to Jesus when He calls us.

Peter had the faith, but he made a very bad mistake. He took his eyes off of Jesus and focused on the storm and the impossibility of what he was trying to do. Peter was shaken by what he was trying to do and believed the lie that he could not do it. He began to sink and fail the test of his faith. Yet, to his credit, Peter understood where his help came from. He called out to Jesus and was not turned away.

When we call out to Jesus He hears us and answers our call. He is able to help us, no matter how big the storm is we are in. All we need to do is take a hold of His hand, hold on tight, and let Him take us out of our storm.

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

========================================
Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now Available on EDIFI.APP Download from GooglePlay and AppleStore and start listening.
========================================
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.
========================================

Verse of the Day and Devotional 12/30/2021

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Verse of the Day

December 30, 2021

Scripture

When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, ‘Let me not look on the death of the child.’ And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. – Genesis 21:15-16 ESV

Devotion

Take a moment to read the first 21 verses of Genesis 21. Sometimes we get the impression that people who trust Christ, read their Bibles, pray, and attend church live calm and peaceful lives amid the turmoil around them. But the biblical data really does not support that conclusion. Like Sarah, Abraham, Hagar, and Ishmael, we find our lives in a constant test of stressful choices. Many of these force us back to total dependence on God. And such is the life of faith.

With Isaac’s birth came laughter that had not permeated through the tents of Abraham for years. Laughter is a theme carried throughout this eventful baby shower. In fact, Isaac’s name means ‘laughter’ in Hebrew. This indeed was a time of rejoicing for everyone. But quickly, rejoicing turned to mocking (v. 9). Ishmael may have been mocking as a result of an older sibling, adolescent mentality, but it is also possible that he was old enough to realize that all his hopes of inheritance were dashed because of Isaac’s birth. That, along with so much other baggage in the tense relationship between Sarah, Abraham, and Hagar, made Sarah’s demand for Abraham to “Cast out this slave woman with her son…” such a stinging rebuke and an unspeakable grievance on Abraham’s part. Under God’s direction, Abraham sent Hagar and their son Ismael away, and she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba (v 14).

And so, we come to the two verses in our verse for today. Hagar and Ishmael’s physical resources are used up with no foreseen possibility of replenishment. Their emotions are depleted. Their thoughts and actions portray attitudes of complete defeat. There are no words from either of them, only wails and weeping from both. What we are left with is the reality that, during periods of pleasantness, rejection and trouble rear their ugly heads, and we are left wondering how we got there!

The rest of the story tells us God provided bountiful resources that met Hagar and Ishmael where they were. There is God’s presence. He hears their cries for help (Ishmael’s name means ‘God hears’ in Hebrew). He even calls Hagar by her name! There is God’s peace. He knows how each of them are feeling and calls for them to “fear not.” There is God’s provision. He calls for Hagar to “look up” and see the well provided for refreshment. All of this means He will sustain His promise toward them.

This story is not shared as a nicety of how God worked in the past, but as a marker for how we can respond when up against the troubles of this life. Through our faith we affirm the presence of God, we rest in the peace He gives through His Word, and we ask and seek His provision for the resources needed to carry us through. The pathway of such faith is not easy, but in faith we believe it is bountifully available.

By Bill Niblette, Ph.D., Bible League International Staff, Pennsylvania, U.S.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Thursday Image

========================================
Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now Available on EDIFI.APP Download from GooglePlay and AppleStore and start listening.
========================================
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 12/27/2021

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by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 14:25-29a About three o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him, they screamed in terror, thinking he was a ghost. But Jesus spoke to them at once, “It’s all right,” he said, “I am here! Don’t be afraid.” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you by walking on water. “All right, come.” Jesus said.

Has life ever frightened you, really frightened you? Usually we get scared the most when the unexpected happens and we think we are in danger. Circumstances can really overwhelm us. We get ourselves into situations that we can’t handle and we imagine the worst. We don’t see any way that it can be good and we get scared of what might happen. It causes us to pull back or run away from our circumstances.

Yet, there is Jesus. For those of us who know Him, there is nothing to fear. His very presence reassures the soul and calms our fears. When we fix our thoughts and hearts on Him, there is a peace that takes over and enables us to put things in their proper perspective. Instead of seeing the bad that might be, we see the good that is.

When we fixate on the Lord, we begin to see ourselves as able to do what we thought was impossible. We no longer fear what is going on around us, we step out boldly where we have never stepped before. No matter how stormy things may be, with our eyes fixated on Jesus we can handle them. It’s when we take our eyes off the Lord and look at the storms and what we are trying to do that we begin to sink and drown.

Jesus bids you to step out into the stormy waters and take His hand. Trust Him and you will overcome. You can do it because the Lord says you can.

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

========================================
Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now Available on EDIFI.APP Download from GooglePlay and AppleStore and start listening.
========================================
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.
========================================

Verse of the Day and Devotion 12/23/2021

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Verse of the Day

December 23, 2021

Scripture

God is my strength and power, And He makes my way perfect. – 2 Samuel 22:33 NKJV

Devotion

Our verse for today is part of a song of praise and thanksgiving that David wrote early in his reign over Israel. The song is almost identical to Psalm 18. God delivered David from his many enemies, including King Saul, and the surrounding pagan nations. He trusted God that the promise of his anointing by the prophet Samuel would come to fulfillment and the moment had finally arrived. His heart, as a result, was full of gratitude to God.

God had been David’s strength and power. During the time between his anointing by Samuel and its complete fulfillment at the time of our verse of the day, David had gone through many trials, troubles, and tribulations. During it all, God had been his strength and power. God gave him what he needed to prevail over everything that had come against him. God had also been his strong fortress. God protected David from every attack of his enemies. Rather than writing a song in praise of all his accomplishments, David knew that all the praise, glory, and honor belonged to God.

And God had made his way perfect. One translation of our verse of the day says, “and keeps my way secure” (NIV). During the period of his ascent to the throne, God had made David’s way sure and true. There were many obstacles in the way that could have side-tracked him or stopped his progression, but God cleared the path and made the way plain to him. God also made his way secure. God had made sure that the pathway David took to the top was one that would not fail or lead him astray.

Every one of us is on a journey like David. We are moving from the promise of God’s call on our lives to the point of its fulfillment. There are many obstacles and difficulties along the way. If we trust in God, then we can count on Him being our strength and power; a strong fortress to protect us from every form of opposition.

And we can count on God to make our way perfect.

Inspirational Image of the Day

Thursday Image

========================================
Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now Available on EDIFI.APP Download from GooglePlay and AppleStore and start listening.
========================================
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 12/20/2021

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by Jim Hughes

CrossMatt. 13:11-12 Then he explained to them, “You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.”

Not every child of God gets it. In fact, most don’t seem to get it at all. Most seem to be content with very little understanding to the deeper things of faith. Most do not dig very deep into God’s Word on their own. Their Bible knowledge is confined to what they may learn from Sunday School or a Sunday sermon. If they are really ambitious, they may even learn some things from a group Bible study. But, few believers are students of God’s Word on their own so they miss out on much of the deeper truths of the Word.

In order to learn the things God wants us to know, we must be open to what He wants to teach us. We must want to learn before we will learn. The more open we are to learning, the more we will learn and understand. Spiritual growth and maturity only happens when understanding takes place. The more we grasp of God’s Word, the more God gives us. There is no shortcut to spiritual growth. We must desire to learn and put in the time and effort to learn.

Jesus made a very sobering statement in this passage today. He said that if we are not listening, what we do have will be taken away from us. We may hear what God is saying, but if we aren’t paying attention to it, we will lose what understanding we have. Is He saying that we will lose the faith we have if we don’t listen to Him? Maybe. Remember, He is speaking to His disciples here.

The key point is that we must not get the idea that learning is an option for the believer; it is an absolute necessity. If we are not learning, we are dying. We will never survive spiritually if we are not listening to what God is saying and seeking to understand and live it. We cannot remain faithful on our own; we must avail ourselves of all the resources God provides for us that we can.

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

========================================
Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals Podcast – Listen live at 6am Pacific and 6pm Pacific. Visit http://anchor.fm/russell-sherrard any other time to listen to all of our episodes. Now Available on EDIFI.APP Download from GooglePlay and AppleStore and start listening.
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