Home / Posts Tagged: Hope
I’m not huge on poetry but I wrote this a couple of years ago after I went through a huge test of my faith. I may have failed the test in some ways but God’s love has a way of running into me wherever I go.
The weight of failure presses on my shoulders
My crimes leave stains on my skin
Heavy laden with regret
Discoloration…nothing pristine anymore
I feel something like a magnet
Drawing my emotions to a realm unseen
A hope mixed with sadness and joy
I remember how much I love You
All You’ve done to love me
Pressure turns into an embrace
My skin dissolves as my spirit becomes material before my eyes
It’s not about me.
I remember You.
This mirror has reminded me…
Today I have had an opportunity to sit back and truly think about what happened at City of Life through our Blink: The Door production. It is one of the largest evangelistic outreaches in the history of our county. Since Blink began I have been getting dozens of messages every day from people who have found hope in Christ and that truly makes me happy.
One mom wrote me and said that her daughter had been taking boxing lessons before she knew the Lord at Blink. She came home after practice the next day and said, “Something doesn’t feel right anymore. I don’t want to hurt anyone now, I’m different”. Now I’m not coming down on boxing or other violent sports, (like football =)) but I think it is such a powerful thing when God turns people’s hearts and their outward life begins to reflect the inward change they have experienced.
One young man said that he was addicted to pills for two years and he hasn’t even had the desire since he accepted Christ on opening night.
Another satisfying element of what …
Living life with a Biblical worldview can sometimes be uncomfortable when conversations with certain people reach a point of contention. Such a moment occurred with me the other day when I was asked, very frankly, by a self proclaimed atheist if I believed in a literal hell. My answer apparently enraged her. She considers the notion of hell to be a contrived means of manipulating weak minded people into following a bunch of made up rules so that organized religion can manipulate people to eventually drain them of all their money, intelligence, and free-will. (or something like that) Though it is not a very original argument, I was enjoying the conversation.
She told me that I can only compel others by fear because of the prospect of hell. This brings up an interesting point. Can we effectively preach the gospel without preaching hell?
A couple of points to ponder.
1. Jesus clearly taught on hell.
Matthew 8:11-12, Mark 9:42-48, Luke 16:19-31
2. Since God is omnipresent, hell is the presence of God in His full judgment and wrath.
3. Hell is just because God is just.
4. Hell is …
After Elijah called down fire against the prophets of Baal in the spiritual Superbowl, he informed King Ahab that there was a “sound of heavy rain”. Ahab had just been through 3 years of being called out by God. Elijah had prayed for the drought and God brought it to humble Ahab and the nation. The Baal’s they worshipped were specifically honored for things like fertility, harvest, and…RAIN. After Elijah proved, by God’s mighty hand, that there is no question whose God is the strongest, there was no need for the drought so Elijah said to Ahab, “Go, eat and drink, for there is the sound of heavy rain”.
Even when you are a great person of faith who has seen the miraculous, there is always a moment where a huge demand is put on your faith. Elijah knew that God had caused the drought and he knew God would end it. Still, Elijah climbed to the top of Mt. Carmel (revisiting the place where God had done amazing things before ) and bent down with his face between …
My responsibilities as a pastor give me the opportunity to talk to every type of person you could imagine on a weekly basis. As I do my best to try and help people navigate through life with a great sense of purpose and hope in knowing Jesus, I have found one issue that distracts people more than almost any other. Farmville. I kid, I kid. The issue that truly confuses people is the issue of identity.
People want to fit in. As a matter of fact, according to psychologists, our desire for acceptance is greater than our need for food, water, or shelter. It is a need that drives us to do nearly anything. We will search for it anywhere imaginable, we will starve ourselves for it, punish our bodies for it, we will work for it, we will finance things we cannot afford to have it, and many times we will compromise our own values to get it.
I am so moved when I look at Jesus’ life because He had such a huge sense of who He was. Remember, He was …
You will not pray for something you have no hope for.
What else is prayer, especially effectual fervent prayer, than putting your faith in God and believing that He will do what only He can do. Anything else that falls beyond the realm of hope, people simply give up on.
How many dreams have been trashed? How many lives have been discarded? How many destinies have been abandoned? How many sicknesses have won a battle in which they should have been defeated? All because someone lost hope.
13 I had almost given up my hope of seeing the blessing of the Lord in the land of the living. (Bible in Basic English Version)
The KJV says, “I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” I grew up in an organization that used to sing way more about heaven than this life. I’ll Fly Away and Beulah Land are great old songs, and I do believe that where your treasure is there your heart is also, but what is life if we have lost …