Friday, April 12, 2013

Hope Stored Up In Heaven






 


“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you,
 because we have heard of your faith in Jesus Christ and of the love 
you have for all saints-the faith and love that springs from the hope 
that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard
about in the word of truth the gospel that has come to you.”
Colossians 1:3-5 (NIV)

“We always thank God. . .” Paul writes to the Colossian believers that he and his ministry team express their thanks to the Father of us all. He wrote them to combat the false teaching that had infiltrated the church.
 
“. . . the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ . . .”He affirms the relationship of God and His Son, Jesus.
 “. . . when we pray for you . . .” The apostle tells them that the ministry team prays for them. Can you imagine how honored that made the people feel? I decided a long time ago that the nicest thing a person could say to another was, “I’ll pray for you.” Or even, “May I pray for you?” 

“ . . we have heard of your faith in Jesus Christ. . .” People heard of deeds the believers performed because of their faith in Jesus. Do we exhibit our faith to others? Can those around us see our faith as we work, minister, or in our leisure?

“. . . of the love you have for all saints. . .” Word of their love for others traveled to Rome, where Paul was in prison. People were impressed with the Colossian church and the way they were received.

“. . . faith and love that springs from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven. . .” Paul recognizes that the motivation of the Colossian believers is faith and love. He claims the basis of this love and faith is hope that is stored up for them in heaven. Do all our actions grow out of our faith and love for Jesus and our fellow humans? Does our hope in heaven keep us strong and able to meet our trials head on?

 “ . . already heard about in the word of truth the gospel that has come to you.” The Colossian believers applied what they had heard from Paul through the teachings of Epapharas, who had heard Paul’s preaching and was among those converted by him. Do we apply what we learn through Bible studies and sermons we hear to our hearts and carry out the messages we receive?


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both graphics from annebender.blogspot.com

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Set Your Hope On His Grace




“Therefore prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.
 1 Peter 1:13 (NIV)

Peter advises those reading his 
letter to train their minds for sharpness. He admonishes them to also be restrained in their attitudes. Peter told the 1st Century believers to set their expectation of future good on the love of Jesus that they will see when He returns to earth.
As a college coed, I was somewhat nervous when my boyfriend came to visit in my home one summer. I didn't realize my dad noticed it.
A few days after my beau had returned to his home, my mother told me about Dad noticing I became worried when the guy was a bit late in arriving.
As a young adult, I found myself feeling ‘let down’ by events. Some of them were less exciting than I thought. Others did not happen or I couldn't participate in. I finally recognized this feeling as a mild form of depression. To keep myself from falling into this quagmire of defeat, I more or less stopped looking forward to things. I went to activities and I enjoyed them.
I heard a pastor say, “People will let you down; I will let you down. But Jesus will never let you down. I realized that I had been looking at the happenings of my life from a worldly point of view. I began to grow closer to the Lord because of this conversation. 


*Graphic from writespassage.blogspot.com

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hope in Us


“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not been made known.


 But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.’
1 John 3:2-3 (NIV)

“ . . now we are children of God. . .” We become God’s spiritual children when we ask Him into our hearts. We give Him full reign over every part of our lives.
“. . . what we will be has not been made known.” God makes us into the person He wants us to be. The transformation of our attitudes, our minds, and our hearts is in His hands.
“But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him. . .” As we await Jesus’ return to earth, we who follow His teaching become more like Him. He makes us into His image. We grow closer to Him. We adopt His attitude, taking all our needs before Him.
“. . . for we shall see him as he is.” We shall see God. We shall know Him.
“Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself. . .” When we have Jesus in our hearts, we allow ourselves to be purified by our heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. We yield ourselves to Him.
“. . . just as he is pure.” When god calls us home, our transition is complete. Our souls longer mimic the world but reflect God.  


* graphic from: www.corkhope.com

Interview with Simon Peter

redefinedandlivingdivine.files.wordpress.com Quiet Spirit: Hello, today we have as a special guest Simon Peter. He has some interes...