Hope

A Single Purpose and a Sure Hope – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

A Single Purpose and a Sure Hope – Meditation of the Studies in 2 Timothy

“We do not depend on the inspiration of a memory, however great. We enjoy the power of a presence. When a Christian is summoned to a great task…he must go into it in the certainty that he does not go to it alone, but there is with him forever the presence and the power of the risen Lord. When fears threaten, when doubts assail, when inadequacy depresses, remember the presence of the risen Lord.” (William Barclay)

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Transforming Prayer – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Transforming Prayer – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Soren Kierkegaard said, “Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.” I would add that it also changes our experience of who God is. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The same God who did not fail us on the cross will not fail us in the whole of our lives. But this does not mean that he will always answer us when and how we expect him to. Often times he does not—not because he is failing us, but because he is forming us and even healing us.

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Abundant Fruit – Meditation of the Studies in Luke

Abundant Fruit – Meditation of the Studies in Luke

We all know that underlying the parable is the message that the soil which represents our heart must be healthy in order for the Word of God to take root in our lives…but this small detail given by Luke challenges us to consider our own role it making it healthy. It is not sufficient we not have the scorching sun beating down on us—that is that we take away the trials and tribulations we face—nor even that we rid ourselves of the weeds of unnecessary concerns and attachments in this world. We must create space … through worship, study and prayer so that we can not only receive God’s word, but also allow it to take root and be nourished so that it can withstand these external challenges and bear abundant fruit in our lives.

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Have No Anxiety – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Have No Anxiety – Meditation of the Studies in 1 Peter

So where do we find the gift of living without debilitating anxiety? Many say the answer is right here in these few verses from Philippians: it is taking everything to the Lord in prayer. But that is only so if something far more fundamental has happened first: we have come to trust the Lord and his love for us and are confident that when we pray he always hears and always answers. This is the assurance of Peter who says “cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” Anxiety diminishes as faith increases.

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Rejoicing in Suffering – Mediation of the Studies in 1 Peter

Rejoicing in Suffering – Mediation of the Studies in 1 Peter

This confidence is captured in the beautiful last verse of our quoted passage: “Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will do right and entrust their souls to a faithful Creator.” William Barclay tells us that the word we translate “entrust” is a technical term for depositing money with a trusted friend: “In the ancient days there were no banks and few really safe places in which to deposit money. So, before a man went on a journey, he often left his money in the safe keeping of a friend. Such a trust was regarded as one of the most sacred things in life. The friend was absolutely bound by all honour and all religion to return the money intact.” (Barclay, James and Peter, p.261) Then he adds this truth: “If a man entrusts himself to God, God will not fail him. If such a trust is sacred to men, how much more is it sacred to God.”

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Put Out Into the Deep! – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Put Out Into the Deep! – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

This is what he wants for all of his disciples, to draw us into complete reliance on and trust in him. He wants for us to put out into the deep, to leave everything behind and surrender our whole lives to him—our hopes, our dreams, our wounds and weariness, all of it—in order that give all of himself to us. And in order to do that, he very often has to poke and prod at precisely those areas where we are most wounded, most weary. But he does not do so out of callousness; he does so out of love, so that he might pour his unfailing love into those areas of our lives and we might experience his abundant life.

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What’s in a Name? – Studies in Luke 1:57-80

What’s in a Name? – Studies in Luke 1:57-80

There is a reality that goes deeper than every circumstance we face and every situation in which we find ourselves. It is the reality found in Zechariah and Elizabeth’s names, and evoked over and over again in Mary and Zechariah’s songs of praise: that God is good and faithful and he loves us with a steadfast love that doesn’t just function generally, but works intimately and personally in mercy. Wherever you are, whatever situation you find yourself in, hold tight to this truth because it is the greatest reality of all.

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A Sure Hope and Certain Inheritance – Second Meditation in the Studies in 1 Peter

A Sure Hope and Certain Inheritance – Second Meditation in the Studies in 1 Peter

Surely Peter knew what it meant to be without hope. He had experienced the crucifixion and the utter darkness of the day afterward. Yet on Easter hope was born anew and Peter…and he would never be without hope again. Nor should we be. He who conquered death has made us “more than conquerors” through the same power by which he was raised from the dead. The same Christ who rose from the dead now lives and dwells in the heart and life of every believer bringing life today and a hope filled tomorrow.

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God’s D-Day in Jerusalem – First Reading in Preparation for the Nativity of the Lord

God’s D-Day in Jerusalem – First Reading in Preparation for the Nativity of the Lord

It is in this light that we should see the passage for today. This is a paean to those who bring the good news of God’s D-Day, his reinvasion of planet earth, of the beachhead he has established in Bethlehem, and of the spread of that light throughout the world…The invitation is there for each of us who have seen his coming to join their glad and happy announcement, to bring to everyone the grand news of God’s D-Day in Bethlehem, that, as John shouts , “the Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it!” (John 1)

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