Archive for the ‘Hope’ category

Is It Futile To Serve God?

August 12, 2010

The Bible reveals that many of the Israelites grew weary of serving God. They found it a burden to worship as God had instructed.  In Malachi 3:13-18 God reminds them of their lack of zeal for Him.  I am afraid that sometimes this sin still lingers in the hearts of some of God’s people.  They grow tired of faithfully attending worship, singing, praying, giving and living as God has told us to do.

Let’s try to remember that God’s way gives joy and satisfaction to those who really love Him and serve Him.  Hebrews 11:6, tells us that God rewards those who earnestly seek Him. God told Abraham that his reward would be “very great” if he would continue to serve (Gen 15:1).  Jesus reminded us that those who suffer will have great reward (Mat 5:12).  Solomon taught us “the one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.”

Let’s not forget the blessings of serving the Lord.  In fact we should spend much of our time extolling the riches God gives to us as His children.  This way others will see the joys of being a Christian.


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The Beautiful Cross

March 31, 2010

This title may seem to be a paradox. How could something so horrible be beautiful? How could something that brought such pain bring so much joy? How could something that killed bring life? How could the curse bring blessing? The cross is beautiful because of the One who died upon it and the reason he did. Without him being rejected by God we could not be accepted. Without his suffering we would have no relief. Without him being struck down we would never have been exalted. The cross of Jesus truly is beautiful to those of us who have put our faith in God’s grace.

Calvary is the focus of the ages. From Adam to the apostles looked for it’s coming and the grace that it would bring. From Golgotha until the Judgment we look back to it for the peace it brings between us and God. God’s predetermined will was the sacrifice upon a cruel cross the Christ appointed before the foundation of the world. The cross is the foundation of all that God did throughout history and continues to do until Christ comes to receive the faithful to heaven.

The beautiful cross of Christ stands as a beacon to all men to come for healing of our sin-sickness. It calls to us to lay down the burden of sorrow and pick up the wings of joy. The life bought for each of by the blood of Jesus is God’s precious gift to everyone willing to follow the lamb where ever he goes.

Joseph D. Chase

What About Tomorrow?

December 14, 2009

I have a problem, I want to know what is going to happen before it happens.  Surprises are never really exciting to me.  Its always easier for me to have things always be the same with nothing new coming along.

We know that this is not ever going to be the case.  Reality is, life is ever in a state of change.  New challenges come with the dawn.  Some challenges are blessings in disguise while others are trials of our character.

James challenges us to be careful about thinking tomorrow is a guarantee.  Don’t ever fall into the trap of believing tomorrow will bring more of the same of what we have today.  Watch for the big challenges and the little opportunities to make this world better for yourself and for others.

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”– yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
(Jas 4:13-14)

Worry about tomorrow benefits us nothing.  Remember our Lord’s words “‘Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble'” (Mat 6:34).  Anxiety and worry lead to doubt and discouragement.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”  (John 16:33)
Tomorrows struggles matter nothing with God’s power on our side.  He works all things together for good for those who love Him (Rom 8:28).

The poets remind us of God’s loving care and our need to look to him for comfort.

Days are filled with sorrow and care, Hearts are lonely and drear
Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near
Cast your care on Jesus today, Leave your worry and fear
Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near
Troubled soul, the Savior can see, Every heartache and tear
Burdens are lifted at Calvary, Jesus is very near

© 1952 Singspiration Music (ASCAP) (admin. by Brentwood-Benson Music Publishing, Inc.) All rights reserved.

Going even farther back in modern history is this song

If the world from you withhold of its silver and its gold,
And you have to get along with meager fare,
Just remember, in His Word, how He feeds the little bird;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there

If your body suffers pain and your health you can’t regain,
And your soul is almost sinking in despair,
Jesus knows the pain you feel, He can save and He can heal;
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your enemies assail and your heart begins to fail,
Don’t forget that God in Heaven answers prayer;
He will make a way for you and will lead you safely through.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

When your youthful days are gone and old age is stealing on,
And your body bends beneath the weight of care;
He will never leave you then, He’ll go with you to the end.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.
If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out.
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

This last song reminds of Peter’s words “Cast your burdens on Him for He Cares for you.”  Please let the sunshine of God’s promise to bring you to Heaven after your tomorrows are spent be enough to lift your heart from any sorrow of today.

John Gives Us Hope

October 23, 2009

I love reading John’s writings. Matters not if it is his gospel account, his epistles or the Revelation, he offers great hope on almost every page. Patmos bayIt’s foolish to think I could pick just one favorite passage. There is one that seems to always bring me great joy and hope.

“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-3).

Sin struggles are going to plague all of until we die. This passage reminds us that Jesus blood has satisfied the anger of God against our sin.

John’s writing gives us hope telling us we can become less prone to sinning. Yes, that is good news I can improve at overcoming temptations. He doesn’t say temptations will be easier or that they will come any less often.

He implies here that reading this letter will give us strength not to sin. The second half is amplification of the strength of the blood of Jesus.

“and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:20).

My great hope is to become more Christlike everyday. To learn love the things Jesus loves and avoid those things Jesus would avoid is my aim.  That is, after all the very purpose God sent Jesus into the world.

” For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:3-5).

John states it even more sweetly several times:

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:1-2).

By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
(1 John 3:16)

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16)

Isn’t it wonderful for John to give us these messages of hope.  There is great strength to face each day in his writing.  As a preacher I always encourage new converts to read 1 John every day for the first six months of their Christian life.  Then read it at least once a month from then on after.  The devil does so much to convince us that we are not saved, that we will never be good, or that we are not of any value to God.  John debunks every one of those lies in his writing.  Take time to get to know the writings of John.  The sooner you do the sooner your hope will abound.

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By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
(1Jn 3:16)