Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 11/25/2019

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by Jim Hughes

crossJer. 4:3-4 This is what the LORD says to the people of Judah and Jerusalem, “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns. Cleanse your minds and hearts before the LORD, or my anger will burn like an unquenchable fire because of your sins.”

The first thing we must consider today is, “Have we allowed our hearts to be hardened?” Before we answer this question, let’s pause for a moment and consider what that may mean to us. Our souls must be soft and pliable before God if we are to going to be right with Him. We must be like soft clay in a potter’s hands. We must be able to be molded and shaped in any way the Lord wants us to be. We must be willing to let Him get rid of all imperfections in our lives. We must be willing to be made into what the Lord wants us to be and not what we want to be. We must be willing to be used to serve His purposes and not our own. We must be willing to let Him determine what goes into our souls and not us. It takes concentrated effort on our part to stay soft and pliable because sin hardens the heart.
It contaminates the soul and prevents us from reaching our potential in the Lord’s hands.

We can prevent a lot of our sin problems by watching the company we keep. When we linger in the presence of sinners, sin often rubs off on us. We see and hear things that infiltrate the mind and conditions it to be accepting of sin. Like seed planted amongst thorns, our growth is often stymied and stunted. We lose our effectiveness as a witness and child of God.

We must take sin seriously and cleanse our hearts and minds of it. We may not like it, but if we want to live holy lives, we must do it. We must confess our sins and change our ways. We must be willing to change what entertains us. We must be willing to change what we think about. We must be willing to change everything that hardens our hearts towards God.

The alternative is not very good. God’s anger is poured out on those who refuse to repent and be softened before Him. God does not spare the soul from Hell who will not strive to live free from sin. He is gracious and forgiving towards those who sincerely try, but to those who don’t, He has no mercy.

Are you letting sin into your soul to harden it? Get rid of it while you can before it sets in place permanently and makes you the object of God’s wrath.

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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