Ten Questions to Ask at the Start of a New Year

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by Don Whitney

Once, when the people of God had become careless in their relationship with Him, the Lord rebuked them through the Prophet Haggai. “Consider your ways!” (Haggai 1:5) he declared, urging them to reflect on some of the things happening to them, and to evaluate their slipshod spirituality in light of what God had told them.

Even those most faithful to God occasionally need to pause and think about the direction of their lives. It’s so easy to bump along from one busy week to another without ever stopping to ponder where we’re going and where we should be going.

The beginning of the new year is an ideal time to stop, look up, and get our bearings. To that end, here are some questions to ask prayerfully in the presence of God.

1. What one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?

2. What’s the most humanly impossible thing you will ask God to do this year?

3. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your family life this year?

4. In which spiritual discipline do you most want to make progress this year, and what will you do about it?

5. What is the single biggest time-waster in your life, and what will you do about it this year?

6. What is the most helpful new way you could strengthen your church?

7. For whose salvation will you pray most fervently this year?

8. What’s the most important way you will, by God’s grace, try to make this year different from last year?

9. What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?

10. What single thing that you plan to do this year will matter most in ten years? In eternity?

In addition to these ten questions, here are twenty-one more to help you “Consider your ways.” Suggestion: think on the entire list at one sitting, or answer one question each day for a month.

11. What’s the most important decision you need to make this year?

12. What area of your life most needs simplifying, and what’s one way you could simplify in that area?

13. What’s the most important need you feel burdened to meet this year?

14. What habit would you most like to establish this year?

15. Who is the person you most want to encourage this year?

16. What is your most important financial goal this year, and what is the most important step you can take toward achieving it?

17. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of your work life this year?

18. What’s one new way you could be a blessing to your pastor (or to another who ministers to you) this year?

19. What’s one thing you could do this year to enrich the spiritual legacy you will leave to your children and grandchildren?

20 What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?

21. What one thing do you most regret about last year, and what will you do about it this year?

22. What single blessing from God do you want to seek most earnestly this year?

23. In what area of your life do you most need growth, and what will you do about it this year?

24. What’s the most important trip you want to take this year?

25. What skill do you most want to learn or improve this year?

26. To what need or ministry will you try to give an unprecedented amount this year?

27. What’s the single most important thing you could do to improve the quality of the commute this year?

28, What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year, ans what will you do about it?

29. If those who know you best gave you one piece of advice, what would they say?

30. What’s the most important new item you want to buy this year?

31. In what area of your life do you most need change, and what will you do about it this year?

The value of many of these questions is not in their profundity, but in the simple fact that they bring an issue or commitment into focus. For example, just by articulating which person you most want to encourage this year is more likely to help you remember to encourage that person that if you hadn’t considered the question.

If you’ve found these questions helpful, you might want to put them someplace — in a day planner, calendar, bulletin board, etc. — where you can review them more frequently than once a year.

So let’s evaluate our lives, make plans and goals, and live this new year with biblical diligence, remembering that, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage” (Proverbs 21:5). But in all things let’s also remember our dependence on our King who said, “Apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:3).

Used by permission: copyright Don Whitney

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: The Girl Who Sees Angels

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

The Girl Who Sees Angels

(Sophie Ramos Book 1)

by Jeffrey McClain Jones

The Girl Who Sees Angels

SOPHIE RAMOS has always had visions—perceptions of beings others don’t see. Even her mother doubted her as a child. Psychiatrists doubted her too. Psychics tried to recruit her to enrich and empower themselves. Now she’s thirty-two, living on her own, and sharing her secret only with her mother and a few friends.
A threatening specter begins to visit her at night, and more than her sleep is at stake. She follows a friend’s recommendation to visit Detta Washington, a church lady who believes that Sophie does see angels and demons. Even if Sophie is skeptical about the labels Detta uses for what she sees, she comes to respect Detta and finds ways to use her gift to help others.
When she helps free Detta from an incurable disease and releases two of her friends from creepy creatures shadowing them, Sophie starts to embrace her identity. But she still needs help with the ghoul that hovers above her bed at night. And that’s not the last enemy who threatens her in the dark.
Anthony, Detta’s handsome son, helps Sophie understand his mother’s religious language, and he becomes convinced that Sophie is for real. After years of doubt and frequent commitments to mental hospitals, Sophie’s mother comes to trust her daughter’s visions as well.
Recovering from a life of being condemned as a crazy person, Sophie finds new confidence. She is gifted. She is the girl who sees angels.

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CrossReads Short Takes: The Letters & To Ever Keep My Heart

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CrossReads Short Takes

The Letters

by C. Kevin Thompson

The Letters

Rachel Hamar–a Manhattan bank teller–lives nothing close to a Manhattan lifestyle. Residing in Washington Heights, NY, the only thing keeping her in The Big Apple is her mother–a long-time patient in a local psychiatric hospital. It’s December 2014, and the twentieth anniversary of her high school sweetheart’s tragic death. She’s not sure how much more heartache she can endure, especially after being told earlier in the day she no longer has a job at the bank. A casualty of downsizing.
In the midst of spiraling depression, Rachel receives a mysterious letter in the mail. When she opens it, she becomes cautious and skeptical of its contents and discards it as a mistake, concluding it’s simply addressed incorrectly or a postal worker’s faux pas in the midst of a busy Christmas season. But another letter arrives the next day. And another the day after that. Before long, she is in possession of several letters. Each one more puzzling than the last.
Thinking that someone may be playing a cruel game, she contacts the police, and this propels Rachel and the two detectives into one of the most bizarre cases they’ve ever encountered. Is it a friend’s cruel joke? Is it some stalker’s perverse idea of manipulation? Or is it something more?

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To Forever Keep My Heart

(Scottish Romance and Adventure)

by Peggy McGee

To Forever Keep My Heart

Following the death of their mother, Laird MacKinney, stepfather of twins Scott and Scotlyn Macroy hastily remarries with intent of maintaining his position. While sending Scott off on a rickety ship where he becomes lost at sea and negotiating a marriage of Scotlyn to the older roguish neighboring Laird Logan in exchange of land, he secures the keep under his control. On Scotlyn’s forced journey to her wedding, the carriage is raided spooking the horses and resulting in her ejection over a hill. A tinker finds her, taking her to a healer to treat her many injuries including amnesia. Inadvertently, she comes across her brother who whisks her to a Scottish town in America for safety while he plans a strategy to reclaim his family’s keep. Here, both of them come to know their long lost heritage through the tales of others. Making friends and even romantic interests, their goal remains to return to Scotland to obtain their birthright heritage. Join the many adventures of Scott and Scotlyn on their journey between continents, despite life-threatening obstacles, to unseal secrets and find their ultimate love.

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What Can We Learn From Bugs Bunny? 12/29/2020

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by Suzanne D. Williams

I woke up one morning with a scene from a classic Bugs Bunny cartoon replaying in my head (again)This happened to me several months ago and what a profound lesson I learned! This time, Bugs had taken the fated “left turn at Albuquerque,” and read that with your best New York accent, and popped up in the middle of a bull fighting arena.

The bull, a town celebrity named Ferdinand, is chasing the frightened matador out of the arena when he spots Bugs and skids up behind him. Feeling the heat on his tail, Bugs gets annoyed rather than frightened and turns and says, “Stop steaming up my tail! What are you tryin’ to do? Wrinkle it?”

Insert me laughing hysterically because only Bugs Bunny would handle conflict quite like that. Or is it possible we could learn something important from it and from Bugs’ tactics, in general?

You can handle the situation. Bugs is never phased by where that left turn takes him. Instead, he adapts to it. He becomes the matador or an astronaut or a cowboy in the Wild West. Rather than fall apart at being somewhere he hadn’t planned, facing opposition he didn’t think he’d ever go up against, he sets about to free himself and have a little fun in the process.

The enemy can always be defeated. This is key thinking. Whether the opposition is from Mars and sporting a green helmet or the most “rootin’ tootin’” lawman in the West, Bugs knows somewhere there’s little stragedy,” in Bugs talk, that will give him the victory. He only has to find it. He is sometimes taken by surprise at the outset that he must fight at all, but he never goes forward with the intention to lose. He knows he’s smart enough to win.

He uses their own tactics on themOften, the winning solution is what the enemy considers his own strength. Ferdinand the Bull is proud of his record of wins and perhaps a little too arrogant. Bugs feeds into that and soon has the bull dancing around the ring, his eyes glazed over.

Then there’s the surprise. Bugs always has something up his sleeve. What looks like a red matador’s cape hides an anvil which knocks the bull out cold. Or later, an easy footrace ends with the classic, last-minute dodge. Just before impact, Bugs climbs on top of the wall, and the bull takes the brunt of the crash. Stars fly everywhere.

Consider alsothe outcome Bugs wanted to achieve required making the effort to achieve it and exercising a little patience along the way. He planned for the bull to gore his horns through the wooden planks, but for that to happen, he had to become the bait which led him there.

Be persistent. One thing Bugs never does is give up. He is determined to win and won’t settle for any other ending. Yeah, sometimes, he has small defeats along the way, but he always gets back up again. There’s no giving up. He will be the ultimate winner.

He celebrates his small victories. Arms raised, muscles flexed (or not really), he prances forward, showing off for the admiring crowd. Meanwhile, the bull or whomever he’s fighting is refocusing for their final, biggest effort. It’s as if he knows that, though, and has already planned out his move because, roll credits, Bugs Bunny has come out on top at the end, and he did it through determination, a lot of sarcasm, and a great deal of humor.

Which brings me to my final point. It’s good to laugh. At yourself, at your enemy, at your situation, or just laugh to be laughing. Rejoice! Because bringing this all back into reality, we know, for sure, 100% that God’s got things well in hand for you and meIf we dedicate ourselves to prayer and become humble, knowing it is not our glory that we seek, then God will show up and show up strong. He will tell us what direction to turn next and how to adapt and overcome to the situation with a smile on our face and victory in our heart.

Isn’t that how the Good Book ends? We win! Why not act like it? 

Christmas Blessing

Amazon https://amzn.to/2IEIGRK  

Books2Read https://books2read.com/u/mBoOry  

About the Author:

Suzanne D. WilliamsBest-selling author, Suzanne D. Williams, is a native Floridian, wife, mother, and photographer. She is the author of both nonfiction and fiction books. She writes devotionals and instructional articles for various blogs. She also does graphic design for self-publishing authors. She is co-founder of THE EDGE.

To learn more about what she’s doing and check out her extensive catalog of stories, visit www.feelgoodromance.com or www.suzannedwilliams.com or link with her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/suzannedwilliamsauthor or on Twitter at @SDWAuthor.

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CrossReads Weekly Devotionals: Quilt Scraps 12/28/2020

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by Ruth O’Neil

Quilting is one of my favorite Sunday activates. It’s relaxing to me. I grew up watching my mother sew. In fact, many times she sat me down at her other sewing machine and gave me a project of my own on which to work.

While sewing one day recently, I thought about all the quilts I had made for people over the years. Some I liked, some I didn’t, some I hated to give away when they were all done! I was making a quilt for someone one day, while the neighbor girls were at our house playing with my daughters. One sat and watched while I cut out the pieces I needed. She asked, with a rather disgusted look on her face, “Are you going to use that material?” I had to admit it was rather ugly, but I just told her to trust me.

So often when I am making scrap quilts, there are downright ugly fabrics I use. Somehow in the end, though, the finished product turns out being one of the nicest quilts Ive ever made.

Isn’t that the way it is with our lives? Sometimes there are so many bad things that happen to us and we wonder why. I am sure many of us ask questions like: Why did my parents die so young? Why was there abuse in my household as a child?  Why can’t my marriage work? Why did I ever try drugs or smoking or alcohol? There are many more questions we can ask, but the answer is one and the same: to make us who we are.

The quilts of our lives are all different. No two are the same. That makes for a diverse world where there are people that only we can help. There are plenty of people I don’t feel like I can help much because of my lack of experience where they are. However, I have my own “scraps” from life that make me the perfect person to reach out to others.

If it weren’t for the ugly scraps of life, our “quilts” would not seem completed; it would look as if something were missing. Even those who appear to have perfect lives have ugliness they try to hide, but it does not change the past or who they have become.

I like those ugly fabrics in my quilts; they pull everything togetherNext time you want to complain about all the bad things that have happened throughout your lifetime, just remember it is your scraps that could make someone else’s life beautiful.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT). 

About the Author:

Ruth OneilRuth O’Neil has been writing for over 20 years. She has published hundreds of articles in numerous publications. She loves to touch the emotions when she writes. “If I can make one person laugh or cry, I’ll consider myself successful.” Her first novel “Come Eat at My Table” has just come out in ebook form and can be purchased on her website. She homeschools her three children (well, one now, as two have graduated). She and her husband have been married for 20-plus years. In her spare time she enjoys quilting, crafting, and reading. You can visit her on her blog at ruths-real-life (dot)blogspot.com or her website at ruthoneil (dot)weebly.com

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Live the Love of Christmas Every Day 12/25/2020

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by Robin McKinley

How would you use the words “love” and “Christmas” together in a sentence? The most common way is, I love Christmas. Another way refers to how the birth of our Savior changed the world. Because of the compassion of God, He designed for us to live the love of Christmas everyday 

When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus in John 3, He revealed God’s plan which was put into action the very first Christmas. 

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 

History reveals many important moments throughout the centuries. The greatest of these events was when God became a man, we call it Christmas. 

The Christmas Story 

According to Luke 2, to register for the census, Joseph needed to go to Bethlehem. He took with him Mary, to whom he was engaged, who was now expecting a child. And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. Luke 2:5-6

Since there was no room for them in the inn, they ended up in a stable. Mary gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, Luke 2:7 

As shepherds were watching their sheep they were visited by an angel. He told them about the birth of Jesus. Then he was joined by a heavenly host who filled the sky with sounds of worship. The shepherds were excited about this news and went to see that which the angels told them. 

This glorious event was the beginning of John 3:16 where it says this is how God Loved the world . . . This was a new era of joy, peace, and love which still lives on today.

Live the Love of Christmas Every Day 

God didn’t just say the words, “I love you,” no! He backed them up in John 3:16. He said For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son.

Do you have special memories of Christmases in your life? Maybe you have some good ones and some not so good. We all have a story to tell. Let’s look at the story that Joseph and Mary had to tell about that first Christmas night. 

Jesus’ birth came with no fanfare, no fancy hospitals, not even a room in the inn. His birth was predicted years before by the prophets. It was foretold that He was coming in the flesh to make His dwelling among us. But for Joseph and Mary, that night seemed like they were all alone in the world. 

The city of Bethlehem was filled with an abundance of people. But in a stable that night, it was quiet, dark, and lonely, and it appeared that nobody really cared. This was anything but the ideal setting. I’m sure neither one of them pictured this in their minds. 

The shepherds showed up later that night and told Mary and Joseph about their angelic visit. I’m sure the angel’s announcement filled the hearts of this young couple with joy.  

It was through those shepherds that God revealed His love to Mary and Joseph once again. When we feel that we are all alone in this world, and it appears that nobody really cares, God cares.  

He’ll also reveal His love to us in unexpected ways. He desires to be a part of our lives and to interact with us daily.

Robin McKinleyRobin, with his wife Cindy, became children’s evangelists early in their ministry. They ministered to children full time for 8 years. During that time they developed a number of children’s stories which were told with visuals and puppets.  

 Robin recently turned two of those stories into children’s books. One is called “The Contest,” a book about the Fruit of the Spirit and the other is called “Twas the Night of Christmas”.  He has also authored 5 volumes of devotional books called, 3 Minutes Alone with God. Each entry is a product of his personal biblical Journaling.

These and his other writings are available on his website called Christian Perspectives at www.ramckinley.com . When you visit this site, you can sign-up for newly written devotions as they come out which will be emailed to you.

Presently Robin is the pastor of Calvary Christian Center in Pottstown, PA. He is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. He and his wife make their home in Birdsboro, Pa. He also serves as the president of the local ministerium. He and Cindy have two married sons and four grandchildren.

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CrossReads Book Spotlight: The Secret of Willow Inn

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CrossReads Book Spotlight

CrossReads Book Spotlight

The Secret of Willow Inn

(Willow Falls Series Book 1)

by Pat Nichols

The Secret of Willow Inn

Acclaimed Willow Falls series inaugural novel delivers inspirational, emotional story of a small town’s struggle to survive.

2020 Selah Award Winner

Three Strangers…

Emily Hayes, an aspiring novelist, desperate to transform her dying hometown into a tourist destination. Rachel Streetman, raised in Atlanta, relegates her acting dream to secret performances for imaginary audiences to live the life her father chose. Sadie Liles grapples to find a new normal after serving a thirty-year prison sentence for killing the town hero.

Drawn together…

By tragedy, a long-held secret, and one man’s mission to plant a vineyard.

To experience…

The power of forgiveness, sacrifice, and redemption as Emily, Rachel, Sadie, and Willow Falls’ quirky, opinionated residents are forced to face the past and accept the truth.

A shocking, heart-warming conclusion…

That leaves readers yearning to stay connected with characters who have become friends in a town that captures their imagination.

Praise for The Secret of Willow Inn

The Secret of Willow Inn … captivated me from the first page and held me rapt far into the night until I finished it. I couldn’t put it down! A story of longing, heart wrenching sorrow, forgiveness, and restoration, all set in a small town you will love. — Ane Mulligan, bestselling author of Chapel Springs series and In High Cotton

Pat Nichols’ debut will appeal to fans who love cozy mysteries wrapped in small-town quirkiness and accented by big-city lights. A sweet, funny read for anyone who has ever dared to dream a crazy dream. — Lindsay Brackett, author of Still Waters, 2018 Selah book of the year.

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CrossReads Short Takes: In Due Season & Becoming a Christian and Living a Blessed Life 12/23/2020

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CrossReads Short Takes

In Due Season

A Story of Colonial Williamsburg

by Sandi Rebert

In Due Season

Born in a London workhouse, John has suffered years of physical and verbal abuse. Finally managing to escape, he stows away on a ship bound for the colonies, only to be discovered while out at sea. After another failed attempt at freedom, he is sold as an indentured servant to the bootmaker in Williamsburg, Virginia. His new-found faith in Christ is tested daily by his master’s arrogant son. Then Elizabeth walks into his life… (A Christian Historical Romance Novel)

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Becoming a Christian and Living a Blessed Life

by James Thomas Lee Jr

Becoming a Christian and Living a Blessed Life

This text has been written as a way for this author to cope with the stay-at-home orders that have been put into place for the currently ongoing coronavirus pandemic. But that does not take away from the topics that have been discussed. It has actually given this author the opportunity to write one more book about the two things that are most important in this existence. The first is becoming a Christian or getting saved. The second is living the life that the Lord wants the saved individual to live. It is believed that sharing the gospel with others and encouraging them to get saved, too, is the most important thing that any saint of God can do. Therefore, the first six chapters of this text talk about how the Old Testament saints had probably gotten saved. Jesus had not yet been incarnated. He had not yet died on the cross to pay the sin debt for the people of this world. So it is very fascinating to try to understand what they had understood and then to see how they had used that information.

The second part of this text tackles the second most important thing in this life. It deals with how an individual, once saved by Christ and indwelled by the Holy Spirit, can live a blessed life. Everyone wants to be happy. Everyone wants to enjoy good things. Everyone wants to feel important. So the second part of this text will attempt to show how all of those things can be done. It will discuss specific things that a person can do to live a blessed life. Those things will be called behaviors. Then it will discuss certain ways that a person should feel to live a blessed life. Those ways will be called attitudes. It will bundle all of those behaviors and attitudes together in a wrapper of praise and worship and then end by identifying some of the benefits that one can enjoy by being saved and by living a blessed life.

Every book that I have ever written, including this one, has always been written with the goals of honoring the Lord and of sharing Bible truth with others. It is hoped that the discussions that follow will be a blessing to the reader and maybe even an eye-opening occasion. It seems that many and maybe even most of the people of this world are so consumed by the events of this world that they have been blinded to those things that are most important. Having a lot of money is not the most important thing in life. Having a great education is not the most important thing in life. Having a lot of power and prestige are not the most important things in life. Having a wealthy lifestyle is not the most important thing in this life. Even being healthy is not the most important thing in this life. But many people seem to be drawn to those very things as if they will somehow make a difference in eternity. They will not. The only thing that will make a genuine positive difference in eternity is a genuine positive relationship with Jesus. He is the Christ. He is the one who can save a person and give that person a life that it worth living. None of this world’s trinkets even come close to doing anything like that. So the hope is that the readers of this text will be encouraged to come to Jesus to be saved or to live for Him if they are already saved or to keep on keeping on if they are already in the battle. To God be the glory for what He has done and continues to do.

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The Point is … Periodically 12/22/2020

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by James Collins

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23   

understand people today don’t believe in spanking kids, but I was raised in a different time. Spanking was a daily occurrence for me.  

Corporal punishment was still in the public-school system when I was growing up. I used to get spankings at school. At my school, they used the board of education. They used a wooden paddle.  

When I was in the eighth grade, we were studying the periodic table of elements in science. I struggled memorizing the periodic table. I was as lost as a goose in a snowstorm.  

Who came up with those abbreviations anyway? Some of them made sense. For example, hydrogen is H. Oxygen is O. But some of them don’t make any sense. Take potassium for example. Potassium is K. There isn’t even a K in the word potassium. Sodium is NA. I thought NA meant “not applicable.” Silver is AG. Isn’t AG the abbreviation for agriculture?  

In the eighth grade, I could not remember the periodic table for the life of me. There was a big test over the periodic table coming up. So, I decided to cheat. I took an ink pen that was made of clear plastic. I copied out the entire periodic table on a very small piece of paper. Then I rolled up the piece of paper and put it inside the pen. All I had to do was look at the pen for the test answers. 

My plan would have worked if not for my cousin, Bubba. Bubba’s real name was Jimmy Joe Jeff Johnny Paul Ray Elmer Junior. But that was a mouthful. We called him Bubba. Bubba was in Mr. Alford’s Science Class with me. He was sitting in the desk behind me on the day of the test.  

When the test started, things were going great. I was filling in all the blanks on the test thanks to the periodic pen. Suddenly, Bubba whispered, “What’s the abbreviation for Mercury?” I tried to ignore him because I didn’t want to get caught.  

He was persistent. He asked again louder, “What’s the abbreviation for Mercury?” I still didn’t answer.  

Finally, Bubba stood up and said, “Mr. Alford, my pen quit writing. Can I borrow James’ pen?”  

Mr. Alford walked over, took the pen, and marched me out into the hall. Mr. Alford had my pen in one hand and the paddle in the other. It was a bad day after that. 

I cheated, got caught, and had to pay the price.  

The point is: There are consequences when we sin. When we disobey God, there are consequences. God is just and because He is just, He must punish sin.  

The Bible says the wages of sin is death. For the lost, it means death in hell. For the Christian, it can mean physical death pre-maturely. Sometimes God will kill a Christian if that person loses his testimony and lives like a non-Christian. Sin brings physical death.  

Sin can also bring death to your marriage, to joy in your life, and to your relationships. Sin destroys. Sin kills.  

However, God has given us a gift. God gave us His Son, Jesus Christ. Eternal life is waiting for those who call on Him in repentance for salvation. Get off the path that leads to death. Get on the highway to Heaven. Turn to Christ today. 

The Point Is...

James Collins

James Collins

James Collins is pastor, columnist, and author. You can write to him by email at james@thepointis.net.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Gems From Pastor Jim 12/21/2020

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by Jim Hughes

CrossAmos 8:5 You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over and the religious festivals to end so you can get back to cheating the helpless. You measure out your grain in false measures and weigh it on dishonest scales.”

How consistent are you in your faith walk? Far too many who go to church on Sundays don’t show it on Mondays. There is the mindset in the church that going to church is good enough to get us into heaven, that it doesn’t matter too much what we do during the week as long as we go to church on Sunday.

I would much rather see someone who seldom goes to church on Sunday and live righteously than those who go to church on Sunday but live like the devil the rest of the week. Church is important as a means of strengthening and growing our faith, but it will not get us into heaven. Only the heart that is made righteous in Christ will enter into heaven. There is no sin in heaven and when we live in sin, we disqualify ourselves from it.

Words alone don’t cut it. A true child of God will live like a child of God all the days of his life. He will live obediently and faithfully before man and God. He will strive to live a holy life, shunning sin as much as possible. A child of God does not make excuses when he does sin. He admits it when he sins and repents of it. He strives to honor God in both words and deeds.

Regardless of when and where you worship the Lord, if your life doesn’t back up your worship, you worship is in vain. Living in Christ consumes the soul and affects every area of one’s life all the time. Always seek to do what is right in God’s eyes and you won’t have any problem making it to heaven when you die.

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 chaper 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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