Category Archives: hope

God Knows How the Chaos Will End

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S – Exodus 3:18-22

O – God was calling Moses to go and rescue his people who were in slavery in Egypt. In these verses, God tells Moses everything that will happen from Pharaoh not listening to him to the people giving them their gold and silver. God already knows everything that’s going to happen. He knows EVERYTHING.

A – God already knows everything that will happen in my life. In the United States. In the world. In our son’s life. He knows the end from the beginning. Does this mean we are robots and have no choice, that God just does what He wants?

No, it means God knows what will happen because He’s Sovereign and He’s all-knowing. He knows what choices we will make.

That’s how well He knows us. I’m free to choose but God knows me so well, He knows what I’ll choose. That’s amazing! He knew in advance every sin I would commit. Every act of selfishness, every moment of pride, every bit of apathy, every weakness and jealousy yet He still chose me! He still loved me! Jesus still died for me. My brain cannot grasp that. He also knows everything that’s going to happen in this country. He’s not surprised by all the chaos and hate. He knew this would happen and He’s already there to pick us up. We can give Him our complete and total trust and accept His perfect peace. As He said to Moses, “But I know…”, He also says to us, “But I know…”

Our part is to keep on trusting and fix our eyes on Jesus.

P – Father, I know you have us in your hands. I believe you already know all that will  happen and you’re already there to carry us through. You already have a plan. You already have the answers to prayer in motion before we pray! You’re so great, our minds just cannot grasp the truth! Please increase my faith. Help me to walk in peace and truth. I trust you LORD. My heart rests in You.

He’s Already There

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Who Am I?

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Often I forget life is not about me.

I’m not the source of strength or truth in my life. I can’t produce one good thing in my own strength. My breath is a gift of grace from God. I can’t hold on to it or guarantee I will take another one.

As I take a deep breath…that act is grace.

Do I have hope? That is a gift.

Do I have a moment of peace? Also a gift.

Every second I spend with a loved one and look into their precious face is a gift. ALL good things come from our Creator Father. The ability to enjoy His gifts comes from Him. Life and death are gifts from Him. Life because it allows us to know Him. Death because it allows us to be with Him forever. I need reminders of who I am.

I’m a receiver of His good gifts.

I am…

A branch not the vine.

A creation not the Creator.

A pencil not the source of truth

A reflection not the light.

A servant not the master.

A voice not the message.

One part not the body.

Gifted not the gift.

A messenger not the message.

A channel not the source.

Forgiven not sinless.

In process not perfect.

En route not at my destination.

A singer not the song.

A child.

A follower.

A believer.

A vessel.

Forgiven, loved, trusting.

He is…

The Creator.

The Light.

The Hope.

The Master.

The Message.

The Author.

The Giver of every good gift.

He alone is worthy of praise, honor and glory.

All that I am, I owe to Him.

That this Great God would choose to love me and use me is overwhelming GRACE!

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (ESV)

“But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (ESV)

For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it? 1 Corinthians 4:7 (ESV)

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17 (ESV)

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Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

 

 

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There is Hope

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My dad went to be with Jesus in 2000. One of the last times I saw him alive was on a visit I made to the VA home where he lived in another state. I was only able to visit him there two or three times a year. He had been in the home about four years and he hated it. As a former reformatory guard, he referred to it as “lockdown”. But my mom was no longer able to work and take care of him by herself. I wanted so much to encourage him somehow and on this visit I felt the urge to share these verses:

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” John 14:1-3 (ESV)

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Looking at my mom, he choked, “Did you hear what she said”? He was blessed and encouraged. He would not be stuck in that bed forever. Jesus was preparing a better place for him.

This world is a place of suffering. We may have moments, even days when we are personally free of suffering. But truthfully, with how the world has shrunk so that we know what is happening around the world instantaneously, suffering confronts us hourly if not by the minute. Suffering in this world is a reality and has been since the day Adam and Eve sinned.

Our encouragement, our hope is in knowing it won’t be this way forever. Even if we live into our hundreds, life on this earth is short. Those who believe in Jesus will then live with Him for eternity free of suffering. Someday, He will return to earth and those still alive on earth will see the end of evil and pain.

The tragedy is for those who never know or do not believe that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross and set us free and then enter into eternity without Him.

The longer I live, the faster the days go by. Life on this earth is fleeting. Even if I manage to have a life of ease and comfort it won’t last long.

“For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14b (ESV)

I feel it.

The longing we each have in our hearts for a perfect place free of pain and sorrow will be fulfilled in heaven.

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” Romans 10:9-10 (ESV)

Believe in Jesus. Believe He died for your sins and rose again.

“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” Romans 10:13 (ESV)

Believe in Him and know you will spend eternity in perfect joy.

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Originally published at Takin It To the Streets

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Trusting His Sovereign Power

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S – “For not from the east or from the west and not from the wilderness comes lifting up, but it is God who executes judgment, putting down one and lifting another.”Psalm 75:6-7

O – This verse teaches the sovereignty of God. He is the one who lifts up one leader and puts down another. He is sovereign over all things.

A – I know God is sovereign, I can’t say I understand it. With the current hysteria over elections here in the U.S., it is comforting to remember that ultimately He decides. Does that mean nothing bad will happen or that we will not suffer in any way? No. God will do what fulfills His ultimate purpose for this universe. He looks at all of history not just this moment. He looks at eternity. We want comfort for the moment. He wants what is good for eternal purposes. We can’t always see His purpose, we have to trust Him because we know who He is. He is holy, just, pure and good. He is trustworthy, He is love and He loves us with an everlasting love. (I don’t think this means our vote doesn’t count. God works through us to accomplish His purposes.)

P – Father, I may not understand what is going on and I may not like it but I trust you. I trust you and I pray that your will be done on this earth. May your will be done in the upcoming election in the United States. I love you Lord.

What are your thoughts on these verses? Please comment below.

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Is there any hope?

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Life is hard.

Marriages broken.

Marriages full of pain.

Children in rebellion.

Children hurting themselves.

Senseless murders.

Fear in the streets.

Jobs lost.

Finances in ruin.

Loved ones lost to death.

Parents aging.

We are aging.

Chronic illness.

Chronic pain.

Terminal disease.

Dreams die.

Addictions abound.

Perversity reigns.

War threatens.

Is there no end?

Where is the safety?

Where is the “happily ever after”?

Will it ever come?

Not on this earth.

Here we groan in labor.

Here we are under the curse of sin.

Only in heaven will we know the happy ever after we long for.

God will make all things right.

In heaven, there will be no more pain for all eternity.

Jesus came to show us the way to that paradise.

We must believe in Him.

There is no other way.

We cannot make our own way to heaven.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 (NIV)

Jesus offers…

Grace for today.

Eternal security.

Treasure in heaven.

Forgiveness for sin.

Hope for tomorrow.

Comfort in sorrow.

Peace in pain.

Strength in weakness.

Perfect love.

Thanksgiving for worry.

Faith for fear.

Mansions above.

Victory below.

His presence always.

How?   

We believe in Him. 

Jesus is our hope.

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Excerpt from Amazing Hope: A 40-day Devotional by Susan Aken

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A Better Independence Day

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Hundreds of millions of dollars spent this month on fireworks alone to celebrate independence!

Why do we make such a big deal out of the fourth of July? To celebrate freedom!

Freedom from tyranny.

Freedom to make choices.

Freedom from oppression.

Freedom means, “Liberation from slavery or restraint from the power of another.” Americans wanted to be liberated from the power of another country.

There’s a greater freedom to celebrate!

Every person is born with a nature that chooses sin or wrongdoing. And that sin ends in death or eternal separation from God. To show us that truth, God gave us laws impossible for us to keep. The law revealed that we are slaves to sin, and therefore became a burden. Those with faith in God began to strive to keep the law but failed because to be free from sin one must keep all the law without exception.

Then Jesus came. God in the flesh came to earth and kept every single law. He lived perfection. He came to set us free from sin and death and the law. Not that we are free to do wrong things but we are free from the burden of the impossible task of being perfect. Jesus did the impossible for us.

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 (ESV)

Jesus came to give us freedom. He fulfilled the law. He gave us His righteousness. Anyone who believes in Him is righteous before God.

The day we become a believer in Jesus Christ is the day we are set free.

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Free from the bondage of sin

Free from the payment for sin

Free from the burden of the law

True freedom.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13 (ESV)

Do you have that freedom? Please comment if you have a question.

 

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Am I Living With Purpose?

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I winced as my tongue touched the roof of my mouth. The red, painful sores that had recently flared up made it difficult to eat.

The pain had become too much. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I tried essential oils, vitamins, drugs, salt water,  rest and other treatments to find some relief from the pain.

As I look back over my life, I’ve been sick many times and spent a lot of time and money getting healthy and keeping this body going. But the truth is the same for everybody. Our earthly bodies are temporary. No matter what we do, we all will die one day.

As I was trying to figure out what could have caused these awful sores and how to get them to go away, a seed that had been sown into my heart long ago sprouted.

Instead of dedicating so much of my focus to this temporary body and working to keep it alive as long as possible, I asked myself,  “Am I really living? Will I live the abundant life Jesus came to give me or will I just exist in the time I have here on earth?” I can’t change the fact that I will die or even control the day it will happen.

“A persons days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” (Job 14:5, NIV)

Instead of constantly looking for the latest cure for some physical ailment, I need to focus more on:

  • How will I live?
  • How will I make the most impact with the time I have?
  • What legacy will I leave behind?

Those are the eternally important questions.

Of course, I want to be physically healthy so I can enjoy the time I have. But being obsessed with prolonging life is pointless. Better to focus on living each moment to the fullest.

“Show me, Lord, my lifes end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm 39:4, NIV)

“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”(Psalm 90:12, NIV)

When I am sick, I focus on how I can fix the immediate problem. But am I that determined when there is a spiritual weakness? Do I seek the Lord until victory comes? Do I take a selfish attitude as seriously as I do a sore throat? Am I as concerned about pride as I am about an infection?

This body is wasting away. Nothing can turn that around. But my inner being is being renewed day by day. My inner being will live forever. Am I seeking purity and holiness? That’s an eternal investment. Am I quick to find help when my soul is sick?

I have a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with cancer. She struggles with the thought of how long she has left. She wonders, “Do I have two years, five years or 10 years?”

The truth is we are all terminal.

A diagnosis like hers makes it real. But none of us knows what will be our last day or hour.

So I make this my prayer: Father, I want to focus my thoughts on living life to the fullest with the time I have. I don’t know how many more days I have. But I don’t want to waste them. Help me to focus on living this moment fully alive and to trust you with how many moments there will be. I love you Lord!

We all struggle with the shortness and working so hard to l keep this body alive, we should focus on how to keep our souls healthy by seeking God first and loving Him and others to the fullest.

“Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:27, NIV)

Have you taken some time to evaluate your spiritual life lately? If not, set aside time today to honestly determine how much time you’ve committed to prayer, reading and meditating on God’s word and serving others in the past few days, weeks or months.. If you haven’t been doing any or all of these things, it’s likely your spiritual health is suffering.

Just like diet and exercise, spiritual fitness takes discipline and commitment, and there is no better time to start strengthening your spiritual body than right now. Let’s get started!

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I originally published this at Takin’ it to the streets  as “How’s Your Spiritual Health?”

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