Sharing My Heart

Archive for the month “January, 2018”

Assurance of Hope

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15

Yesterday, I began to tell you about my call to hope for 2018!  Today, I give you the reason for the hope that I have and why its thrilling.  Real hope comes from faith and faith is a gift from God.  That alone is thrilling!  If you want assurance of hope then ask for and seek out faith in Jesus Christ.

OK, now some of you just about shut down your reading because its about to get personal and “Jesus-y” and you aren’t really into that but stick with me, your life could depend upon it.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”   Hebrews 11:1

Here’s the deal, we all fall short of God’s glory.  We have NO HOPE.  Yep, confusing…first I tell you I have hope and the bible tells me that I have to be ready to give you an answer as to why I have hope and then I say we have NO HOPE.  Its true though. You see, this life you live is not what “its” about.  You could say its not your final destination.  It’s temporary and most of what you think is important, like your bank account or your hairstyle or  the food you eat, is not the main thing.

The main thing is what happens after you die.  Yep, here we go…you will die some day.  I was with my father-in-law this summer when he passed and it was clear that he was no longer on this earth. He had moved on.  He left everything here behind, including his family and went on his merry way.

To where?

Honestly, there are 2 options, Heaven with Jesus and peace and God or hell with yucky stuff and separation from all good and no God.

As I contemplated our dear Jerry leaving to be with Jesus, I did wonder how many of you are confident that when your body stops working, you too will be in the presence of Jesus.  Here’s the thing, you can’t do anything to get there…you are hopelessly without the ability to live a righteous enough life to live eternity with a perfect Holy God.  And either am I, we have no hope without a savior.

Long story short (the long story is found between Genesis and Revelation.  READ IT), God created humans, He knew we’d screw up His perfect plan because for some reason He gave us free will and was determined to show His perfect love for us.  Since you need to be without sin to be in the presence of a perfect God, He realized you needed a savior. You can’t follow the law. Read the 10 commandments and tell me if you pass. No?  Ok, so moving on, you need a savings plan.  Not one with money but one that gives you ASSURED HOPE that when your body stops working you will be in the heaven place not the hell place.

God knew only HE could perfectly satisfy the debt we owed for the sin we sinned because the wages of sin are death(Romans 6:23).  So, God became man, (O’ Holy Night), and lived a perfect life, died a death in your place, to  satisfy a debt He didn’t owe, so that if you put your trust, faith, HOPE in Jesus Christ, you can be saved and welcomed into an eternal relationships with a righteous God because upon trust in that plan, you are covered in the righteousness of Christ and God no longer sees your depravity but the perfect spotless lamb that satisfied your debt.

This is my hope.

There are many things that come from true Hope.  Really great benefits in this world, that I’ll talk about later.  But truthfully, the only HOPE I need is the HOPE that gets me from this world to the next without blemish and into an eternity of peace.  I can’t do that on my own and I’m confident you can’t either (no disrespect to you goodie-two-shoes out there but you can’t do it either).

If you don’t have this hope, please go get it!  God will give to those who ask, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”  Hebrews 10:23

If you have it, I’ll leave you with the true HOPE that our God is faithful.  Hold on to Him!

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful” Hebrews 10:23

THRILL OF HOPE

The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices, 
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn. 
Fall on your knees, 
Oh, hear the angel voices
O night divine, 
O night when Christ was born
O night divine, 
O night, O night divine, O holy night

In 1847 a small town wine maker/poet in France (Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure) was asked to pen a poem for the Christmas service.  He spent some time in Luke and put himself in the middle of the nativity and viola, the poem, “Cantique de Noel”.  Mr. Placide then asked his Jewish friend to write a little tune to go with the poem.  Adolphe Charles Adams, didn’t share the same passion for the story behind the lyrics.  Being a Jew, this story about how God became Flesh wasn’t yet his truth, but he was moved by the lyrics and made the music that was used to sing the poem in church three weeks later on Christmas.  The story goes on about how the song was banned and then how an American, John Sullivan Dwight, brought it to america because these words echoed his views of slavery in the south.

“Truly he taught us to love one another;his law is love and his gospel is peace. Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother; and in his name all oppression shall cease.”

Back in France, there was this war and this guy sang this song and you can read about all that HERE.

Each year I spend some time reflecting on the year past and looking toward the year ahead.  Re-dedicating my life to the Gospel of Christ and stamping the new year with a word or idea that I will dance around as each day passes.  This year the word came quickly in late November when I pulled out my Christmas music and heard the words,

“A THRILL OF HOPE, A WEARY WORLD REJOICES”

YES!  Exactly my heart!  How thrilling HOPE is, how much my weary soul rejoiced in 2017, even amidst the storm and through the death and around the work and in the moments.  I rejoiced not because I particularity enjoyed the difficulties of 2017 but because I ABIDED and because the HOPE I had was thrilling!

So, much to share about HOPE but I’ll leave you with these three questions and this one thought.  What do you HOPE in?  Is it sure? Does it ever disappoint?

I have determined not to put my hope in anything other then that which is sure and does not disappoint.  IF your hope is not that, then you probably have your hope lines crossed and I’d be happy to help you set them straight!  Stay tuned….

Its about to get THRILLING!

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