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!
Until they know you care (President Teddy Roosevelt). I’m on a soapbox this morning! It started with reading an article about the District of Columbia becoming the 51st state. A little history, well, because I love history. The land D.C. sits on was taken from the state of Maryland and the 700,000 residents of the District of Columbia do not vote for a senator but do have a delegate in the House of Representatives who does not have a House floor vote (Yahoo News 360).
There are several reasons for and against the District of Columbia becoming a state. Now, I’m not going to get political here but this comment caught my attention. “Political bribery is what the creation of states has been all about, with some exceptions. Whenever there’s a desire to create a new state, all Congress has to do is vote for it. But like animals on Noah’s ark, states have historically entered the union in pairs, with lawmakers using new states to maintain the balance of partisan power — or at least try to.” — Alan Greenblatt, Vox. Noah’s Ark? Of course that caught my attention! And if CA has its way it would change the histrocity of granting statehood in twos [but that is another political debate].
What really has me on the soapbox is the people reason for not wanting the District to become a state [in my opinion if we hadn’t taken God out of almost every area of life the world would be a much better place but I digress]. I don’t care what color your skin is, I don’t care what color your hair is, I don’t care what lifestyle you live, I don’t even care what political party you participate in.
What I do care is that you know you are loved.
When we choose to love others right where they are we begin to see past race, creed, nationality, addiction, homelessness, sexual orientation or a dozen other stereotypes the enemy uses to keep us fearful of simply loving. As the Church we need to learn to love like Jesus. We need to learn about others, their passions, what drives them, their dislikes, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry and truly listen and genuinely care.
As a believer in Christ you have the mind of Christ. It is your responsibility as a disciple of Jesus and an ambassador of eternity to think like Jesus, act like Jesus, speak like Jesus [in modern vernacular but you get the point] and love like Jesus. To build relationships and share what you are for…JESUS! And what you’re against-the enemy twisting and perverting your ideology and theology that causes you to perhaps operate from fear. To which I heartily rebuke in Jesus Name, Amen!
What does Jesus do? He loves and shares Himself with all people.
Let’s be like Jesus.
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Bread of the world in mercy broken, wine of the soul in mercy shed, by whom the words of life were spoken, and in whose death our sins are dead.
Look on the heart by sorrow broken, look on the tears by sinners shed; and be thy feast to us the token that by thy grace our souls are fed.
Author-Reginald Heber, The Presbyterian Hymnal.
There is no time like the present to ask Jesus into your heart. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done, what you’ve said, how you think or what habits you have. If you confess and repent and call to Jesus, He is faithful to answer and forgive your sins. Holy Spirit swoops in for the save and begins to transform your life. A life that is filled with joy, peace and comfort regardless of situations or experiences. A life He came to give you. A life He died for you.
I wrote quickly and with purpose. In my 15 year old mind there was no way my Big B [my nickname for the youngest of my older brothers] wasn’t coming home for Christmas. He had never missed being home for Christmas. So, I sat down and wrote a very firm but gracious letter to his commanding officer aboard the U.S.S. Harry E. Yarnell.
God had a purpose. He sent His only Son. Jesus had a purpose. He hung on a cross to forgive you and me of all our sin. Holy Spirit has a purpose. To take up residence in the heart of every person who proclaims Jesus as Lord and Savior and continually guide them toward Christ-like behavior.
You and I have a purpose. To live a holy life. This holy life we are called to live isn’t because of anything we have done by ourself. We live a holy life because of Jesus purpose and His grace. We live a holy life with the ever present help of Holy Spirit. We live a holy life by staying tethered to Jesus consistently. By reading and studying His word, through prayer and in praise and worship of Him.
Jesus gives our life purpose and in that purpose we find meaning for the direction of our life. Along with Christ’s purpose we have His grace, which was given to us before the beginning of time. How amazing is it that grace was ours before the beginning of time simply waiting for us to choose and accept?!
Jesus fulfilled His earthly purpose and destroyed death and brought life and immortality illuminated by the truth of the gospel. Because of this we can live here and now unafraid of death and know we will live an indestructible life of immortality with Him in eternity! Good News indeed.
I must have written an extremely persuasive letter or his commanding officer had a heart for a teen girl who desperately missed her brother. My brother was home for Christmas that year.
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“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 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.
Whatever your situation is right now at this moment, God sees you. He promises after a little while He WILL restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. #standandresist with #firmfaith and on the #promises of a Mighty Warrior God who fights for you.
Going to the store always involves a list for me. Lists ensure that I won’t forget all the items I want to buy. Sometimes our walk of faith can become a list checking frenzy. Causing us to check off our time with God like a grocery list when it isn’t about a list but a relationship.
The old and new, law and grace. One give us a set of guidelines speaking to us of our need of a Savior and the other gives us the desire to live for Him because of the power that raised Him from the dead the power of the Holy Spirit.
Law and Grace walking hand in hand alive and relevant today as the day God breathed them into existence. Even the prophets have not been abolished. All remain until the day that Jesus returns to set all things right according to His will and righteousness.
Precious One please do not wait to allow the law to shower you with its knowledge of the Savior. The longer you wait draws closer to being too late. And what you have to lose is eternity.
Waiting. We wait in line at the grocery store, we wait patiently for our appointment time at our doctor’s office, some of us even wait eagerly, with anticipation and excitement, for the thrill of being strapped into a one-person seat, as a black cushioned harness comes down over our shoulders and secures us to our spot, signaling the end of waiting and the beginning of twists and turns and heights and drops, that cause our stomachs to reside momentarily in our throats.
Yet, waiting on God can be one of the hardest places to be. Especially when life mimics a roller coaster and we feel we need His answer right now.
Of all the definitions of waiting in Numbers 9:8, the most significant is to be present. We’ve already travelled the road of yesterday and the road to tomorrow is waiting to be stepped upon. But, the here and now is where we can be fully present, nurturing our relationship with Jesus, while we wait for His perfect timing and answer for what we’ve been waiting.
Stand in a circle?! And pray?! That is exactly what Honi the Circle Maker did. He was an ancient Israelite scholar mentioned by Josephus in the book of “Jewish Antiquities.”
Honi drew a circle and stood in it and told God that he would not move until God provided the rain that had not come that winter. Honi prayed and God brought rain.
Rulers, scholars and religious types all thought Honi had a special relationship with God. Actually, what he had was prayer. He was so closely knit to God he knew the goodness of God’s character.
Honi wasn’t satisfied with just rain. Honi’s heart ached for the people of God. He not only desired the seasonal rain, he wanted God’s rain of favor, blessing and graciousness. Honi didn’t give up, he prayed consistent and persistent, big audacious prayers, that could only be answered by God. Then he waited in expectant anticipation for God’s answer.
Audaciously bold prayers our part of our inheritance in Jesus. You will never know unless you ask and when you ask let it come from a heart that has been steeped in the truth of God’s word and promises.
Boldly go where every man, woman and child ought to go…before the throne of God, drawing circles around your prayers.
I am always overwhelmed by God’s grace, especially when He confirms for me, “Yes, that was Me speaking to your heart.” This morning I was challenged and encouraged to ponder where I look for my help. Where do I place my attention, particularly when I am in need of good, sound advice?
It was suggested that where I look is where I will give my attention to hear and this will affect how I feel and determine what I expect.
This morning in spin class, as our body’s were beginning to fatigue, our instructor was encouraging us to think grateful thoughts. And not just for that moment but throughout the entire day. Her belief is that as we think about what we are grateful for our bodies begin to respond in positive ways and that positiveness splashes onto the lives of others.
As I remind myself to take time, throughout each day, and think about what I am grateful for, I always find myself looking toward the One who is enthroned in heaven. I give Him my attention and this gives me comfort and peace and I expect to hear him answer me!