CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Gems from Pastor Jim 8/21/2023

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by Jim Hughes 

CrossPs. 84:10 A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.

What kind of desire do you have when you gather with God’s children in worship? Is church just another thing on the agenda for you to do? Do you approach it as more of a duty or a desire of your heart? I suspect that for most of us, we don’t get too excited about going to church. We go because that is what we know we need to do or because it is expected of us. We go because we don’t want to get out of the discipline of going, knowing that then we would soon slip away from God. We go because we don’t want to be a bad example for others and give them an excuse for not going. We go to church for a wide variety of reasons, but when was the last time you went because your soul longed to go, knowing that you would be in the presence of God when you went?

When was the last time you knew the Lord would be in his house when you went? The Psalmist was caught up with being in the Tabernacle courts because he knew that God was in His house. God chose to dwell amongst His people in the Tabernacle. He had instructed the people on how to construct the Tabernacle and everything associated with it and how to approach Him in worship. God presented himself as holy to His people and provided very strict means on how to approach Him. Only those who were purified could enter into the Tabernacle itself and serve as priests on behalf of the people before God.

I wonder if we were to take greater pains to present God as holy to each other if we too, would have a greater desire to be in the house of the Lord. Let’s face it; we do not for the most part consider worship a sacred event. We seldom pause to reflect on what it really means to draw near to God. Perhaps if we were to consider God to be holy, we would have a greater desire to be still and quiet our hearts before Him. Perhaps it would affect the way we live and how we look upon sin.

We need to ask ourselves the question, “Am I comfortable being in the presence of the wicked?” If you are not bothered by the sin around you and uncomfortable in its presence, you need to draw near to God and let His holiness bathe your soul. A holy heart has a real problem with sin. Draw near to God and the longing of your heart will be to be in the house of God and not in the house of the wicked.

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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