Hope for Life Blog

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“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21)

by on Jun.21, 2018, under Messages

It’s hard to escape the sense of entitlement that says, “What’s mine is mine… no one should be able to take it.”

What we should say is, “God gives. God takes away. Blessed by the name of the Lord.”

“Then Micah said, “Now I know that the LORD will prosper me, because I have a Levite as priest.”” (Judges 17:13)

by on Jun.19, 2018, under Messages

It’s amazing that a man like Micah could disregard the most important of God’s laws, yet think that he would receive God’s blessing because of a religious act. (Which, by the way, was not done the way God had said)

Too many people treat God like a vending machine: if I do this and push the right buttons, I’ll get God’s blessing.

Better to recognize that God is Lord and try to do everything that He tells us to do.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” (Psalms 40:1–2)

by on Jun.16, 2018, under Messages

“I waited patiently”…

It seems that those words don’t often describe me. I’m not patient. I want God to answer NOW.

Patience and peace often go together. I need to learn to wait patiently for the Lord; that’s how I’ll find His peace.

“For because of the anger of the LORD it came to the point in Jerusalem and Judah that he cast them out from his presence.” (2 Kings 24:20)

by on Jun.14, 2018, under Messages

God is slow to anger and quick to forgive. But He will eventually punish unrepentant sinners. Don’t miss your chance to get right with God. Don’t risk being cast out as God’s people were in ancient times.

“But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.” (Proverbs 4:19)

by on Jun.12, 2018, under Messages

They do not know what makes them stumble

It’s amazing to see how people reject God’s ways, follow their own desires, then react with surprise when things turn out badly.

Do what’s right and you’ll find that the path is much easier.

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!” (Psalms 130:1–2)

by on Jun.09, 2018, under Messages

Do you ever feel like God isn’t listening? It’s hard to pray and not feel like we’ve gotten any response at all.

Keep a few things in mind:

  • God isn’t obligated to act on our timetables.
  • We can’t always see the big picture.
  • Sometimes what we want isn’t what’s best.
  • There are some things we just won’t understand during this lifetime.

In the end, faith often involves trusting in God in spite of what we do or don’t see around us.

“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth…” (Ezra 1:2)

by on Jun.07, 2018, under Messages

It’s almost surprising to see a powerful ruler admit that God is at work in this world. Too often politicians and government officials act like they have earned the power they have. They act like they have absolute power to act in this world.

God is King. Everyone would do well to remember that.

“I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases.” (Song of Songs 8:4)

by on Jun.05, 2018, under Messages

What is a book about love doing in the Bible? Romantic love, physical love. Why would that be in the Bible?

I think it’s a reminder that Satan didn’t invent romance; God did. Human beings didn’t create love between a man and a woman; God did.

The fact that we’re surprised to find a book about romance in the Bible shows why we need such a book in the Bible.

Dead or alive?

by on Jun.03, 2018, under Hope

Constantin Reliu is dead. At least, that’s what the courts in Romania have declared. After spending 20 years in Turkey, he returned to his native country only to find out that his wife had him declared dead. In fact, according to the filing, Reliu has been dead for the last 15 years. The judge refused to overturn this declaration, saying that Reliu had made his appeal too late.

So Constantin Reliu is legally dead. And the court says it’s decision is final and can’t be changed.

When Jesus had the apostle John write a letter to the church in Sardis, He told that church: “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.” (Revelation 3:1) The congregation thought it was alive. Everyone around thought it was alive. But Jesus knew that the church was really dead.

So He instructed them:

“Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.” (Revelation 3:2–3)

How about you? Have you lost the faith you once had? Are you still doing the things you did at first or have you allowed your faith to go to sleep? Are you dead or alive?

Turn back to God’s Word. Learn it. Live by it. Bring your faith back to life.

“If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.” (Revelation 3:3)

Jesus is coming back. We don’t know when. But I know that I want my faith to be alive when He comes.

Wake up. Come back to life. Come back to Jesus.

“And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is yet one man by whom we may inquire of the LORD, Micaiah the son of Imlah, but I hate him, for he never prophesies good concerning me, but evil.”” (1 Kings 22:8)

by on Jun.02, 2018, under Messages

The king didn’t like Micaiah because of what Micaiah said. It was true, but it wasn’t pleasant. So the king didn’t want to hear it.

When we listen to God’s Word, we have to be ready for whatever we might hear, be it pleasant or unpleasant. Sometimes the truth hurts, but it’s still truth.

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