Hope for Today will inspire you to live a life connected to Christ by empowering you to fall in love with Jesus through personal spiritual growth. Teaching you the power of your identity and authority in Christ. Encouraging you in your inheritance as an ambassador for the kingdom of God!
“Hey!,” was the text I sent to my best friend recently. She responded, “Hey, how are you? Do you have a few minutes to chat?” And this started an actual verbal conversation about life and catching up with each other.
Since my best friend and I are, well, best friends, we use a casual form of greeting one another. But, how would you feel if you knew that the way others greet you or you them carried more than simply the words of the greeting?
Paul was in the habit of greeting others with, “The grace of the Lord be with you, or the grace and peace of God be with you.” Whenever I read Paul’s greeting there is a certain amount of joy found in his words. I often wonder did all ancient Israelites greet one another this way? Was it a cultural thing at the time? Or, was this something Paul and a few others practiced?
Paul spoke the truth of God’s word and actually delivered the gift of a blessing through his greeting. The Greek word for grace is Charis and it is God’s favor and kindness brought to us through Jesus. It is God extending Himself and bestowing a blessing on His creation by the nearness of His presence.
Peace is God’s gift of wholeness when all essential parts are joined together. This reminds me of our wholeness in mind, body and spirit joined together in harmony with Holy Spirit as we continue to seek Him, read Him, learn about and from Him.
Could it be God’s gift of wholeness through His peace contains healing? That these two words that are not oft spoken in greeting in our current culture could be the beginning of healing?
What would our world, our spheres of influence, our communities look like if we chose to greet others in peace and grace? Would colors seem a bit brighter? Would traffic seem a bit lighter? Would our days seem a bit less laden because we speak the truth of God’s favor, kindness, blessing and wholeness to each other.
Today I say to you grace and peace in the name of Jesus. May you experience His wholeness in all that you are and all that you do. May the blessing of the nearness of His presence cause you to want to be even closer to Him.
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I often marvel at the grace and humbleness of royal families that are in the news frequently. They always seem to have a smile on their face and always seem to be kind to the press and paparazzi even as our culture has an odd sense of curiosity about them. They always seem mindful of their behavior upholding the family name.
Johoiakim was king of Judah during a period of time when Nebuchadezzar, king of Babylon took Judah captive. Nebuchadezzar ordered his chief of court to gather Israelite men from the royal family and place them in Nebuchadezzar’s service.
These royal men were builders of their family name. Through them the continuance of the Nation of Israel would be born.
Likewise, every believer in Jesus, the moment they believe, becomes a part of this ancient royal family. We may not wear crowns, and robes, and jewels of old and we may not be followed incessantly by the press and photographers. But we are royalty. We are sons and daughters of the Most High King. We are princes and princesses in the kingdom of God.
We have a royal duty and responsibility to not only build our heavenly family name but to bear our family name with integrity. To be honest, kind, gracious and humble. To practice forgiveness and learn how to hold one another accountable for Christlike behavior. Please don’t misinterpret. Accountability does not mean we are better than each other. Accountability is loving one another in Jesus and learning His characteristics together.
Accountability requires discipleship which is critical to a believer’s life. When we are open to be discipled and to disciple we grow together in our faith. We enter into community with one another and allow ourselves to ask our core circle of friends to hold us accountable.
I am blessed by a group of women who hold me accountable. They have no problem speaking truth, sometimes hard truth into my life. I welcome their voice in my life. They help keep me from tumbling down the rabbit hole of spiritual darkness.
Accountability partners. Don’t leave home without them.
Today’s reading is Daniel 1:3-4. Ask God for His revelation and journal any words, impressions or thoughts. Meditate and pray on these.
Are you sold out for Jesus? What does that even mean and what does that look like?
I have heard the expression ‘sold out for Jesus’ often in my faith journey with Him and I’ve often wondered where the term came from. This verse could quite possibly be the origin.
To be a disciple of Jesus includes persecution and promise and suffering and blessing.
Are you willing to leave your family, your home, your job and your lifestyle for Jesus and the gospel? Am I? If you and I are willing Jesus promises we will not fail to receive a hundredfold in return in this present age. But it shouldn’t be the promise that causes us to be sold out. It should be Jesus and only Jesus.
I dreamed our phone was ringing but each time I answered it continued to ring until I realized it wasn’t a dream. I would soon wish that it were.
The call was about the passing of a loved and cherished family member and completely unexpected.
In the days and weeks that followed I struggled to understand why. And while I didn’t understand why this happened to our family I knew deep within me I needed to extend forgiveness to the one responsible.
As I read this passage this verse is nestled in Holy Spirit reminded me of this life event so many years ago.
Forgiveness can often be a hard act of kindness to offer toward the person(s) who have hurt or betrayed us.
But not forgiving has many spiritual and physical ramifications.
I think about Jesus who died a horrific death because of my sins and yet He still forgives me.
If you are having a hard time forgiving someone please take a first step and ask Holy Spirit to help you. You’re not betraying yourself by letting go and asking for help. It’s quite the opposite. He’ll set you free.
Diamonds are considered one of the most valuable natural gemstones. They are formed by heat and pressure from deep volcanic eruptions. Once ‘birthed’ they are transformed from their rough state by cutting, shaping and polishing.
As we stay tethered to Jesus a similar process begins to take place in us. We are transformed from a rough interior and exterior by the work of Holy Spirit in us.
We are encouraged to teach and admonish one another.
Admonish. Maybe this word is a negative to you. By Biblical definition admonish is to reason with another by warning through instruction in the truth of God’s word. Applying positive pressure to one’s thinking and encouraging the choice for God’s best. His good and perfect will.
We accomplish this by meeting Jesus daily in His word and asking Him to shower us with His wisdom. We encourage one another with psalms, hymns and songs of the Spirit. We sing to God with gratitude in our hearts.
YOU, are so precious to God that your value cannot be fathomed. You are priceless.
Transformation can be hot and pressure filled. It is an ongoing process and the responsibility of Holy Spirit to renew you to be more and more like Jesus. How He thinks, how He speaks, how He acts.
He’s making a diamond out of the rough. Will you let Him?