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FROM YOUR PASTOR’S HEART November 13, 2023

Currently, I am publicly displaying what I choose to call “a stupidity souvenir.” In the center of my right thumbnail is a black spot. It must be highly noticeable, because several people have asked about it recently. This is what happens when a man’s thumb gets too close to a rat trap, which has been set to catch an invading rodent in his home. Yep, I instantly regretted that foolish mistake. And now, I have to live with the consequences.

The Bible tells us that this is true of all of the decisions that we make in life. We need to understand that our actions can have a long-lasting impact on ourselves and others. The deeds we perform, whether good or bad, may affect the rest of our lives, as well as the lives of those around us. Even though my “rat trap encounter” may not leave any permanent scars, it has led to some rather embarrassing conversations. However, some of our poor choices and willful acts of disobedience to the Word of God can have harmful, or even eternal, consequences.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 6:7-8, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” In the next verse, he urges believers to not grow weary in doing good. Paul goes on to encourage Christians to “do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (v. 10). Followers of Christ are expected to strive to “follow” the example that He set for us in His earthly ministry. Jesus was loving, good, kind and generous in His dealings with all people.

While I know that this was not the last time that I will put my hands where they do not belong, I hope to learn from my mistake. We all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We make mistakes and bad decisions every day. Yet, our loving Father has provided a way for us to escape the trap of our own short-comings, by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay our sin debt with His death on the Cross. I am thankful that my salvation is not dependent upon my own actions, but upon my faith commitment to the redeeming work of Jesus. The mark on my thumb is a reminder of how much I need His saving grace and His hand of protection!

Serving in love, Bro. Jim


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