Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 2/17/2020

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by Jim Hughes

crossJer. 7:24 “But my people would not listen to me. They kept on doing whatever they wanted, following the stubborn desires of their evil hearts. They went backwards instead of forward.”

We need to think about what the Lord is saying to His people here. Although in this context the nation of Israel is being addressed, I believe it applies to us as well.

It is our nature to want to do what we want to do and not what God wants us to do. Ingrained within us is the tendency to be drawn away from God. We naturally want to resist the voice of God that guides us to Him. Whether you are a believer or not, it is true. Our sinful nature left alone will cause us to slip backwards away from God.

Our only hope of resisting our urges is to work hard on our relationship with Christ. We must resist the mindset that once we are saved we can coast our way to heaven. We live by grace, but grace without works is no grace at all. It takes effort to stay connected to God. It is not possible to live in Christ and not be changed. He changes our natural desires to resist and pull away from Him. He changes the very direction of our lives. He changes our desires so that we will listen to Him and not shut Him out. The more we work on developing our ties with the Lord, the quicker our growth will be.

I don’t believe there is any neutral ground upon which we can stand as Christians. We are either growing closer to Christ or we are drifting away from Him. If we are drawing closer to the Lord we are consistently reading and meditating on His Word. We are seeking ways in which we can become who God says we are and need to be. We are seeking ways to apply to life what God tells us to do. We as well are spending time in fellowship with the Lord, talking to Him and worshiping Him.

Listen to the Lord. Let Him draw you closer. Learn from Him. Lean on Him. Let Him have His way with you.

Before and After the Honeymoon

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.

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