hope

DON’T LET FEAR DOMINATE YOUR LIFE!

(May 14, 2019) Carol Round encourages us to move on in life unafraid…

On April 29, I found myself huddled in a closet with my dog. Tornado sirens were blaring for the second time that evening. I took deep breaths, and then exhaled prayers for safety, not only for myself, but for everyone who was in the path of the storms relentlessly barrelling across several states that day.

According to the news, at least 18 tornadoes were sighted across Oklahoma this past Monday, leaving behind destruction and flooding with the torrential rains that also fell. Two people were killed and 22 injuries were reported. While there have been deadlier tornadoes and destruction, living in a state known as tornado alley can lead even the most fearless person to shelter when the sirens go off.

When fear governs your life
I’ve overcome most of the fears from my past – the ones holding me hostage, the ones keeping me from stepping outside of my comfort zone and the ones denying me a joy-filled life.

Before a tornado hit my previous house in Claremore in 2016, I never feared stormy weather. Growing up in Louisiana, I survived multiple hurricanes during my 16 years living there. I can’t recall being fearful. We always had plenty of advance warning to prepare or evacuate.

Although I know God watches over me, I can’t stop racing to my hidey-hole when I hear the warning sirens. Even though I prepare in advance with pillows and blankets piled on the floor of my closet, the sound of approaching danger rules my human heart, which threatens to jump out of my chest. (more…)

DARE TO BELIEVE!

(April 23, 2019) Mike Shreve encourages us believe we are more than conquerors because of Jesus’ resurrection.

It matters little if you have had great failures or problems in your life! You are an heir of resurrection life – and that means coming back from the dead.

You may have gone through tough times spiritually, to the point where you almost felt dead mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually. But remember the bold statement Jesus made at the gravesite of Lazarus: ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live’ (John 11:25). 

So, dare to believe! No matter what you have been through, reflect on what we’ve just celebrated over Easter and dare to say, ‘I believe…

  • In the cross;
  • In the blood;
  • The price that was paid;
  • That the stone rolled away by the power of God;
  • That Jesus arose victorious;
  • That he conquered death – and because he did…
  • I can be “more than a conqueror” by claiming the present-tense benefits of the One who arose victoriously for me.’

Grasp these present-day benefits of Jesus’ resurrection
Most believers view the resurrection of the Lord Jesus either through a historical or a prophetical lens!

They tend to look backward to Jesus’ victory over the grave or look forward to the resurrection of believers at the conclusion of this age.

But seldom do believers grasp present tense benefits that have come to us as a result of this spiritual conquest… here are some powerful ones: (more…)

TROUBLING TIMES? KNOW THE POWER OF HOPE IN GOD!

(July 17, 2018) Tim Edwards shares on some scriptures he found challenging…

So what guides us through tough times? How should we focus and navigate the journey?

A couple of weeks ago in my daily Bible reading a particular verse really caught my attention – ‘Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help’ (Ezekiel 29:16).

False hope
The Israelites were having their difficult times – aware that they could not match the power of the advancing Babylonians. But they did something which ultimately they would regret – they chose to put their hope in Egypt to save the day for them.

It was false hope, misplaced hope – a hope in politics and economics, not in their God. And God didn’t want his people trusting in, hoping in, and putting their confidence in anything, anyone other than him. Nor does he want us to do likewise!

So, how am I going to move forward with God in my life in my troubled times? How are you? (more…)

HOPE – AND GDPR!

(June 19, 2018) Norman and Margaret Moss share a great reflection…

Ah, what tangled worldwide webs we weave!

There’s a new acronym around: GDPR… which can, among other explanations, mean General Data Protection Regulation (European Union), Global Defence Posture Realignment (DoD Transformation Plan), Gross Domestic Product per Region, Group of Deputy Permanent Representatives (on the public disclosure of NATO documents), Graduate Degree Progress Report (Southern Methodist University; Texas) – or how about this one… Grateful Dread Public Radio (Baltimore, MD internet public radio station)!

 

But, Christian readers, sons and daughters of Almighty God, disciples of Jesus, GDPR does not stand for Get DePRessed – though I almost thought so when I first heard about it.

The Christian GDPR
Now this acronym stands for a great Bible truth of… God’s Deep Presence Rewards! (more…)

EIGHT PRESENT-TENSE BENEFITS OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST

(March 30, 2018) Mike Shreve reminds readers of eight great truths in respect of Jesus’ resurrection …

Most believers view the resurrection of the Lord Jesus either through a historical or a prophetical lens! They tend to either look backward to Jesus’ victory over the grave or look forward to the resurrection of believers at the conclusion of this age.

But seldom do believers grasp the present tense benefits that have come to us as a result of this spiritual conquest.

Here are eight powerful ones:

1. Deliverance from spiritual death
‘But God . . . because of his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ’ (Ephesians 2:4-5).

When Adam fell, he died spiritually and began dying physically. But when Jesus came out of the grave, believers were delivered from spiritual death right then When we received the resurrected Saviour in our hearts, the resurrection process began.So those who repent and turn to Jesus are first resurrected spiritually on their way to complete physical resurrection at the coming of the Lord. We are given a ‘new spirit’ (Ezekiel 36:26). (more…)

IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD

(December 4, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, straight shooting theologian, pinpoints some clarity to the whats and whys of what is happening in the world today…

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was the title of a 1963 comedy film.

Sadly, while the title can so accurately describe to world today, there is little that is humorous in it.

(more…)

NOT HOME YET – WORK STILL TO BE DONE!

(August 8, 2017) Maureen McQuillan encourages all who feel unappreciated …

There’s a tale that’s been around since my Sunday school days – an unsourced homecoming story that’s been told and retold over the years in various ways. Basically it goes something like this…

A missionary couple, old and wearied, was returning home to the States to retire after toiling many years in what we were told back then to capture our imagination was ‘Darkest Africa.’ Not overly successful in their missionary service they were unknowns compared to such ‘greats’ as Dr David Livingstone.

But they’d been faithful to their calling and had shared God’s love and the gospel of Jesus in many caring ways. They had reached to neighbours – strangers – not only to preach but to help in practical ways. And they would pray for the sick and needy and witness miracles – and over many years had known the joy of seeing several indigenous people accept Christ as Saviour.

This couple had grown old together as they laboured on despite many difficulties, opposition from demonic forces, misunderstandings from locals including other ministries, and even lack of meaningful prayer and financial support from their church back home. (more…)

The Key Stone

(July 23, 2017) Maureen McQuillan encourages any who feel discarded …

An impossible task!

That’s what the project that I had set myself suddenly seemed as I looked down at the pile of rocks – or to be technical – large pieces of cut or sawn stones.

I had been working on the back garden we had some years ago and, being creative, had envisioned an attractive dry stone wall. And I had decided that I could build that wall by myself and save costs.

The various shaped stones arrived, several quite heavy. But I wasn’t desponded, even though I had never built a dry stone wall before and had neither instruction manual nor helper – Robert was away ministering.

Well, here goes, I thought (plus ‘Help, Holy Spirit’ and similar prayers!). In my mind I planned it all out and then began to build so creatively. And all went well until a certain point …

I just couldn’t find the right piece of stone for the next joint. Nothing would fit the breech in the design. I searched and searched to no avail. There just wasn’t a beautiful shapely stone that would fit in. (more…)

UNDERSTANDING ‘THE NEW CREATION’

Jim McClure(January 11, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, esteemed theologian, shares on this great truth…

The apostle Paul mentions the term ‘new creation’ twice.  In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read, ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!’  And in Galatians 6:15, ‘Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation.’

To help us understand the phrase ‘new creation’, let’s consider a couple of things about God:

  • Only God is the Creator
    In the first chapter of Genesis we see that he created all things – the stars, planets, earth and all that is on it including the sea, rivers, all vegetation and every animal, finishing with his creation of humankind.

Nothing has come into existence apart from him. And nothing can exist unless it has been created by God.

  • God is concerned about making things new

(more…)

A LIVING HOPE

George Forbes 2010(January 11, 2017) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us of a fundamental truth…

Our world is full of people who have no hope!

There are multiplied reasons for this tragedy; however my purpose is not to describe the hopelessness, but to share the reality that there is hope.

Christians have a living hope
The hope of Christians worldwide is based on God’s love and amazing mercy; on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and on the plan of salvation for all who believe.

If you need hope, if you’re asking questions about life and the unknown future, I invite you to consider what the apostle Peter wrote.  It is found in chapter three of his first letter to the churches. Here are the words he wrote, translated faithfully and clearly in English…

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has regenerated us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you by the power of God, having been kept through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1Peter 1:3-5). (more…)