Weekly Devotional: Gems from Pastor Jim 1/29/2024

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by Jim Hughes

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Ps. 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love.

What a wonderful verse to meditate upon today! The Lord is merciful. Mercy is God withholding from us that which we deserve. We don’t deserve anything good from God’s hands. We deserve nothing but His wrath and condemnation. But, He doesn’t treat us that way. He chooses instead to treat us as His children and to pour out His goodness into our lives.

The Lord is gracious. Grace is God giving us what we don’t deserve. We are sinners by nature and don’t deserve anything good. God gives us a chance for eternal life with Him; that is grace. God gives us His Word to guide and instruct us in the ways of righteousness; that is grace. God gives us the body of Christ to encourage and help us in our journey of faith; that is grace. God frees us from the bondage of the law and allows us to live in Christ; that is grace.

The Lord is slow to anger. It takes a lot to stir up the wrath of God. One of the reasons why we are still here is that God is patient and has not reached the boiling point yet. The Lord’s love tempers his anger. Oh, we can make God angry, but it does take a lot of rebellious spirit on our part. He is not willing that any of us should lose out on eternal life with Him, so He patiently tries to woo us to Him.

We don’t want to stir up the anger of God; when it is poured out there will be a purification of life never seen before. It will not be a pretty time on Earth. At that time, God will not show mercy or grace to those who defy Him. When He pours out His wrath upon the earth, no one will be able to hide or escape from it. Until that day comes, God is pouring out His love upon the Earth.

The Lord is full of unfailing love. His love is so deep that no one can truly fathom it. His love is so plentiful that it encompasses all people of all time. There is no one who has ever lived, is now living, or who will be living in the future that is beyond the reach of God’s love. God’s love never fails. Everything God does is bathed in love, for God is love. He lovingly works in our lives to make us holy. Everything He does or allows to happen in us, is because of His love for us. He desires an intimate relationship with all people and does all that He can do to make it happen. All that we have to do is open up our hearts to Him so that His love can fill us.

The Lord is gracious and merciful. He will never fail to love you. But His love for you will not prevent Him from running out of patience with you if you insist on spurning His love.

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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