Tag: <span>hope</span>

  “So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.  Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands.  And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.”  And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had…

What lacks in a contemporary person who finds themselves outside of Christ? They have no expectation of the daily blessing which Our God has for his children. They have no realistic expectation of Christ’s soon coming return. Hope deferred makes their heart sick. In the story of Ruth chapter 1, Naomi finds herself bereft of husband and two sons. Her comment to her daughters in law goes, ” If I should say I have hope, even if I should have a husband this night and should bear sons, would you therefore wait till they were grown? Would you therefore refrain from marrying? No, my daughters, for it is exceedingly bitter to me for your sake that the hand of the Lord has gone out against me.”  Ruth 1:12-13 A life without hope is a frightful proposition. Job 14:7  teaches us “For there is hope for a tree, if it be…

God’s handiworks fold up, but He never changes. This we know for sure. “And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but you remain; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;  And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.”  Hebrews 1:10-12 Many, Christians and non, see this folding, and some see it today: Christopher Lasch has made this observation about our day, “the natural limits of human power and freedom… has become inescapable.” “Younger Americans today are perhaps the first generation to be certain that they are and will be ‘worse off’ than their parents.” “…optimism in progress is doomed.” I am convinced the prophets of doom have to be taken seriously. Maurice…

Paul and Silas went to jail. The charge? They hindered the monetary gain of men who exploited a soothsaying woman. Soothsaying? Yes, a person supposed to be inspired who foretells the future, but actually casts spells. This one had a spirit, and Paul cast it out. She had followed Paul and Silas proclaiming, “These men are slaves of the Most High God, and they are proclaiming to you a way of salvation.” The Story comes from Acts chapter 16. So, Paul and Silas were seized and dragged before Magistrates, charged with violating customs and proclaiming unlawful practices. “But the whole charge was pure hypocrisy; for as these men would have let the missionaries preach what religion they pleased if they had not dried up the source of their gains, so they conceal the real cause of their rage under color of a zeal for religion, and law, and good order.”…

Psalm 51:17  The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Proverbs 11:2  When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. There are no heroes amongst the redeemed. These are just the redeemed, a passive position, implying that some other did the heroic work. Yes Christ, hero, Christ Savior, Christ Redeemer. Heros — “(in mythology and folklore) a person of superhuman qualities and often semidivine origin, in particular one whose exploits were the subject of ancient Greek myths — A person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities — The chief male character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities, and with whom the reader is expected to sympathize.” Far from heroes, nevertheless, we have been placed in Christ, our hero.  Yes, baptized into…

“The survivors of the destruction of Jerusalem, left in Judah after the banishment of their fellow countrymen to the Euphrates, seemed, for the time, overwhelmed by the calamities that had befallen their nation. The Temple they had thought invulnerable was burnt to the ground; Jerusalem, in which they had gloried as “the joy of the whole earth” was a waste of blackened ruins. The town gates seemed to have sunk into the ground; the roads to Zion, once thronged with pilgrims, lay untraveled; no concourse gathered outside the walls, for gossip or business; even the walls themselves were thrown down, the jackals haunted the holy hill!” “For ages past every event in their national history, whether glorious or sorrowful, had been commemorated in the lyrics handed down from generation to generation. The defeat of Pharaoh, the triumph over Sisera, the death of Saul and Jonathan, the overthrow of the northern…

“Survival of the fittest” is a mantra of the extremely observant.   But, is empirical evidence the same as truth? On two levels, no. First, it contradicts the Bible, “The kingdom of God comes without observation. (ocular evidence)  Luke 17:20 But secondly, even the best observationist can only find seeming truth. Why? Because our observations are only as true as we abide in The Truth. In this inner abiding is where I can be aware of the world at a level outside of myself, or, unfortunately, I actually create my own world, unknowingly. Charles Darwin (biologist and evolution’s greatest contributor), saw a problem: ” if…men were reared under precisely the same conditions as hive-bees, there can hardly be a doubt that their unmarried females would, like the worker bees, think it a sacred duty to kill their brothers, and mothers would strive to kill your fertile daughters, and no one would…

  “And my soul is removed far off from peace, I forgot prosperity  And I said: ‘My strength is perished, and mine expectation from the Lord. Remember mine affliction and mine anguish, the wormwood and the gall. My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is bowed down within me.   This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.” Lamentations 3:17-21 JPS I have given much attention to my capacity to respond to truth. This capacity, can we call it hunger? — is not self perpetuated, or self taught. It requires action on the part of God. So, in the writer’s hopeless state, he reflects on God’s coming initiations, they are sure to restore hope. In Psalm 42 the writer exclaims “hope thou in God,” as he instructs his own soul. Micah the Prophet wrote these words, “Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy; though I am fallen, I shall…

  “In 165, during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, a devastating epidemic swept through the Roman Empire.” “…it was the first appearance of Smallpox in the west, Zinsser (1934). “But, whatever the actual disease, it was lethal. During the fifteen year duration of the epidemic, from a quarter to a third of the empire’s population died from it, including Marcus Aurelius himself.” ” Then in 251 a new and equally devastating epidemic again swept the empire, hitting the rural areas as hard as the cities.” “This time it may have been measles.” “The Rise of Christianity” Rodney Stark “…the role they, (the plagues), likely played in the decline of Rome was ignored by historians until modern times.” ” again and again, the forward march of Roman power and world organization was interrupted by the only force against which political genius and military valor were utterly helpless — epidemic disease.” Zinsser…

  Through many failures, unconditional love grows — Through much weakness this love slowly emerges — In our personal sins the nature of His love finds a manifestation — In our frequent besettings He showers us with love — In our embarrassments, His glory shines –in humiliations His strength empowers — In utter weakness, His enablement finds perfection in us — In disgrace we find His grace. Unconditional Love? We have heard of it. It’s absolute, unqualified, clean, complete, consummate, etc. etc His love is all-out — flat out — straight-out –love. His love is pure — perfect — profound — Love. His love is stark — clean — sheer — love. His Love is total — plumb — complete — love. Ezekiel 16:6-8 speaks of this love: “I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood…”  “Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time…