Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 4/8/2019

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by Jim Hughes

crossIs. 29:13 And so the LORD says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far away. And their worship of me amounts to nothing more than human laws learned by rote.”

This verse speaks of a matter that is close to my heart. So many people say that they are children of God, but their lives say otherwise. They may grace our churches on a regular basis and even be leaders in the church. They may be occasional church goers or they may never go to church. They may call themselves Christian without any real understanding of what that really means from a Biblical perspective. They may even deny basic Biblical teachings and the Bible itself as the written Word of God.

Many who gather for worship on a regular basis go through the motions of worship without ever really worshipping the Lord. They may say the right things without their hearts being in it. They may make a lot of noise and get emotionally wound up without being passionate about the Lord deep in their souls. They may be good at preaching and teaching the Word without the Word ever really getting a hold of their hearts and changing them.

The Lord declares that such people are not His children. There is a difference between proclaiming truth and living truth. Many grow up in the church and never leave the church who have never had a life-changing experience with the Lord. They assimilate the truth of the Gospel without dealing with their sinful souls before God. They may be very good people who are respected highly in the church, but they are lost.

We must carefully examine our souls and make sure that we have not fallen into the faith instead of embracing it. We are not children of God unless we are convicted of our sins, confess them, and repent. There are no backdoors into heaven. Jesus is the only way. He died to take away our sins, not to cover them up. We try often to cover them up with our goodness, but it never will work. Salvation is not ours just because we claim it to be so. What we say does not get us into heaven. Only Jesus can make our hearts righteous and holy before God.

Do you know for certain that you are the child of God that you claim to be? Have you opened up your heart to Jesus and let Him in to purify it and change you forever? If you have, it will be obvious in the way you live and in the peace that governs your soul.

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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