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

Keep Focused On Our Eternal Home

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13 All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. 
​- Hebrews 11:13 NLT
We, like the prophets and leaders of the past, should consider ourselves foreigners and aliens here on earth.  We need to hold onto the things of earth very lightly and be ready to let them go at the slightest urge of the Holy Spirit. God puts people in our path and gives us resources for a reason and a season.  The why, what, when and where are His prerogative.  Our love for Him requires us to allow Him to use us for whatever purpose and plan He has for us. It is our “reasonable sacrifice” to mortify our flesh and focus on Jesus.  We walk in faith and live in the hope that we are headed for a country and a city not made with human hands.  We have confidence in our hope because it is based on the same faith that Jesus had that He would be resurrected.  Because of His resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are assured that our hope is not just wishful thinking but a fact guaranteed by our Lord and Savior.13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. —Ephesians 1;13-14 NIV

When soldiers are fighting a battle in a foreign land, the hope that keeps them going is the thoughts of returning home. They talk often of the day they will be leaving their post and you can believe there are smiles on their faces during those conversations.  We should live our lives with that same anticipation of the fulfillment of every promise of God realizing that the joy we have when we receive earthly blessings are only small samples of the joy we will have when we get home.

 

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

Post 05-16-2018

One Story – One Hope

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Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled. – Romans 15:4 NLT
 
 
All of the Scriptures, both Old and New are a continuing story of hope. In the Old Testament, the Jews were constantly reminded of the hope they had that God was with them and would deliver them in His timing. The prophets also told of a time when the Messiah would come to deliver not only the Jews but also the Gentiles. The New Testament continues that story of hope with the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. We still look forward to the time when Jesus will come again to receive all of His children to be with Him in heaven. That is the hope we have that gives us encouragement to endure the time we spend as aliens here on earth.  While we are here, we are instructed to follow the example that Jesus set in His time here as a stranger and an alien. We are to accept one another as He accepted us, love each other as He loves us, edify and encourage each other.  We do this to bring glory, honor and praise to God, our Father. This is not possible in the flesh unless we mortify the flesh and submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit, even unto death, if necessary.
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? — Luke 9:23-25 NIV

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

Post 04-27-2018