“The Confident Hope”

18 I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.   — Ephesians 1:18

Eph. 1:15-20 NLT

We have access to all wisdom and revelation.  Having access to something does not mean that you already have it.  Access means we have the right to enter into a particular building or room. In the computing world, it can mean that we have the right to obtain and examine a file. I think this definition fits the passage here.  So, having that right, we need to enter into studying and examining God’s Word.  As we do that, God gives us more wisdom and revelation. As we receive that, the eyes of our hearts are enlightened.  In other words, we have a deeper understanding of the blessed hope that God has called us to receive.  We have access to that same resurrection power that was exhibited when God raised Jesus from the dead.  It is freely given to us, because God loved His Son and made Him the head of the church.  We, as Christians are all a part of the body of Christ.  So this wisdom, revelation, and power flows from the head to the body.  Jesus gives it to each of us in proportion to the call He has placed on us. It is a free gift, it is not something you can work to earn. We must walk humbly before our God.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 07-01-2019

“Through It All”

25  “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,  and he will stand upon the earth at last.– Job 19:25 NLT

Job 19:21-27 NLT

Most of us are familiar with  the story of Job and all of the trials and troubles that he endured.  God allowed satan to test Job, taking everything from him, except his wife.   At first, God only allowed satan to take his possessions and his children, but satan was not allowed to touch Job,  After satan’s whining, God allowed him to injure Job’s physical body.  Job complained about the injustice of it all and made some unwise comments about God.  But, through it all, He refused to deny God, even though his wife entreated him to do so.  God uses this time in Job’s life to give Job and us a glimpse into the future.  Job not only understood that he needed a Redeemer but that God would send one.  That Redeemer would not only stand upon the earth in the end times, but Job would be there with him just as you and I will be.  After our bodies have decayed in the grave, we will be resurrected and we will see Him with our own eyes.   God gave Job this glimpse into the future to sustain him through his time of testing.  Those of us living on this side of the cross, after the Resurrection of Jesus, have so much more reason to be encouraged than Job did.  Job could only see the Redeemer in the future, we have the advantage of knowing that the Redeemer has come and is coming again.  We, like Job, must not focus on the things that we can see now, but on those things that are coming that we cannot see now.  Our God is able to bring us through it all.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 01-24-2019

Hope Springs Eternal

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3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In God’s great mercy he has caused us to be born again into a living hope, because Jesus Christ rose from the dead. — 1 Peter 1:3 NCV

The hope that we have of our final salvation is a living hope.  It was searched for and studied by the prophets of old.  The Holy Spirit revealed things to them and as much as they desired to grasp this hope, they were told that the truths they were revealing were not for them at that time but for a later time.  That time came when Jesus was resurrected from the dead, ascended into heaven and sent us the great Comforter, the Holy Spirit.  When we receive the Spirit and He abides within us, He brings with Him a living hope.  It may start as just a tiny flame of hope, but as our understanding matures, it grows with each passing day. We are saved, we are being saved and one day we will have our final salvation.
 
 
The prophets desired it, the angels desire to look into it and understand it, but, by the grace of God, we have it.  We need to feed that hope daily by studying God’s Word, praying and praising Him. As we practice these things, we will find that our hope grows and that we experience a peace and joy that we cannot explain.  A joy full of glory because each day we are nearer to the ultimate goal of our faith — which is the salvation of our souls.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 12-18-18

Victory in Jesus

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27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades or allow your Holy One to experience decay. ​- Acts 2:27 ISV​
 


Our story never changes.  It is the old, old story that is new every morning.  It is our anthem, our song, our strength and our hope.  Jesus voluntarily gave up His glory in heaven temporarily.  He was born into the world, He was fully man and fully God.  He went about doing good and God performed miracles, wonders and signs through Him.  Not everyone believed the story then and not everyone believes the story now.  But God, knowing what would happen, already had a plan in place.  Jesus came to this earth to redeem a fallen people from their sins and nothing, no one, nor any force of any kind would prevent that from happening. Over and over, the religious leaders conspired to kill Jesus before His time and in a manner that would not be sufficient for redemption.  God would not allow it.  Jesus was the perfect man, God had the perfect plan and now we are redeemed.  Just as God had a plan for Jesus, He has a plan for each of us to participate in the redemption story.  We are not perfect, God already knows that, so when we fail, He understands.  But His plan for each of us takes our weaknesses and failures into account.  He is never surprised by our failures and He never gives up on us.  We are chosen, we are called and we will succeed in the plan Jesus has for each of us.  So, when satan, the father of lies, comes to shame us with all of our failures, we just need to tell him to take it up with Jesus, stand up. let God clean us up and press on.  The battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s and He won the war years ago at the cross.  We may suffer losses and temporary setbacks, but we cannot be defeated.  

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 11-26–2018

Swallowed Up By Life

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For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.— 2 Cor. 5:3-5 NLT

When God first made man in His image, He looked at what He had made and said “it is very good” (Gen 1:31). Decay and death were not known at this time.  Then sin came into the world and things were no longer “very good”.  Our bodies, along with all creation, started to deteriorate and eventually die.  Jesus came into the world as a man to redeem the fallen creation and restore it to the order that had been in the garden.  Jesus brought hope to a dying world.  He came that we might be made “new creations”.  Newness requires that we get rid of the old.  We are saved when we accept Jesus and our Spirits are renewed but we remain in a fleshly body in a sinful world.  The Spirit is being renewed day by day but the flesh is decaying day by day.

 
16 So we have no reason to despair. Despite the fact that our outer humanity is falling apart and decaying, our inner humanity is breathing in new life every day. — 2 Cor.4:16 The Voice
 

Our hope, the thing that makes Christianity different from anything else, is that we will one day leave these rotting, fleshly bodies and live in those heavenly bodies that God has created for each of us. Bodies that do not suffer pain and will not decay or die.  God has prepared and continues to prepare us for this transition. We have a guarantee of this that lives inside of us so that we are never alone or without hope.  Until the process is complete and Jesus comes again, we live hopefully and joyfully “looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith”.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 10-03-2018

“Encourage and Build Each Other Up”

even-smaller-bug-light111 So then, encourage one another and build each other up, as you are doing.  ​- 1 Thess. 5:11 ISV

1 Thess. 5:4-11 ISV

We are saved by grace through faith, nothing else is required for salvation. That faith produces love and hope. Love because Jesus loved us enough to die for each one of us and His love shines through us to draw others to Himself.  It produces hope in a world where there is no other hope. The death and resurrection of Jesus assures us that we will not have to go through the wrath that is coming. We are saved from an eternity of punishment and  saved to an eternity of living together with Jesus. When we repented, we received Jesus as our Savior.  He not only wants to be our Savior but, He wants to be Lord of our lives as well.  This is necessary so that we allow Him to change us into His image. While salvation is instant, being changed is a life long process called sanctification. We are “set apart” to become holy. A part of this process is words and works that are worthy of the calling to be holy.  So, as Paul says here, we should encourage and build each other up.  We should also be doing the same things that Jesus did while He was here.  This shows others that we believe in Jesus Christ and are committed to following His example.
 
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 
— John 14:12-14 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone
else.” – Anonymous
Post 07-17-2018

Our Eternal Hope

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39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect. — Hebrews 11:39, 40 NIV

The eleventh chapter of Hebrews is often referred to as “The Hall of Faith”. Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit the writer of Hebrews gives us a long list of people from the Bible who were faithful. They were jeered, flogged and persecuted in many ways, but they remained faithful, many of them even unto death. As we read through the chapter (which we need to do quite often) we are probably thinking that these people received some great earthly rewards for their obedience in the face of all this adversity.  But, we find that verse 39 makes a surprising statement; “none of them received what had been promised”.  So, had God lied to them?  No, of course not. What they understood and what we need to understand is that our rewards are in heaven, not here on earth. They fully believed God and carried inside themselves an eternal hope.  The same eternal hope that you and I have inside of us. Earthly blessings are nice but they are nothing compared to what is in store for those faithful ones from the past, for us and for those who will come after us.  The blessings we receive here will pass away and so will our natural bodies.  But the “promise”  will be fulfilled with an eternal reward and an eternity in heaven. We need to stay focused on Jesus and remain faithful and obedient to God and His Word. We must remain confident of what we believe and persevere just as our Savior and our ancestors did.

 

35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.  36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.— Hebrews 10:35, 36

 

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 05-18-2018