Author Archives: hope

About hope

The Lord has blessed me with life and in living each day I have found the struggles, joys, and triumphs to be each an opportunity to encourage those around me.

The foolish

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘ There  is no God.’ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good.”
Psalms 14:1 NKJV

Denying the existence of God is foolish.

Yet, there’s so much more than a statement here.

When dealing with the heart one can easily see it’s a far more complex idea.

If the fool says in his heart there is no God, he is choosing to limit the Almighty to his own understanding.

But before we pass by this with a self satisfied, “that’s not me”, “I believe in God”, let’s turn the tables a bit.

To be foolish is to doubt God, it’s the opposite of faith.

Thus no one is immune to folly.

All it requires to be foolish is to allow doubt to enter our hearts.

Who else besides Eve has heard the enemy’s cunning: “Has God indeed said…?”

And doubt is always wrapped in veneer of something else, thus we need to be careful.

“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 NKJV

The enemy of our souls has used the message of doubt and fear most effectively throughout history.

1 Peter 5:8 NKJV — Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

On top of this our own sinful nature is constantly warring against the truth of God.

Galatians 5:17 NKJV — For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.

But all have hope through Christ Jesus for good, for salvation, for wisdom.

John 10:10 NKJV — “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Therefore Jesus, Himself, saves us from folly.

When we put or faith in Him we are saved.

“But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.  I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.”
John 17:13‭-‬14 NKJV

Fight the foolishness of doubt with faith in Christ.

It’s not a “once and done” choice, but a diligent daily effort.

“O Lord , how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man does not know, Nor does a fool understand this.”
Psalms 92:5‭-‬6 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your faithfulness. Thank You for saving us from folly through Your Word. Please help each one of us to be on guard for the tricks and snares of the enemy. Please show us where we have allowed doubt to cloud our belief. Lord Jesus teach us, that our hearts might be steadfast and our choices good. Please do not allow us to be double-minded, unstable in all our ways. For Your way is right, Your Word is true, and in You we find all that we need. Thank You. Amen.

Teaching wisdom

Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Psalms 34:11 NKJV

How important it is to fear the Lord.

“The fear of the Lord  is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Proverbs 9:10 NKJV

And it is equally important to share that with others.

For reverence is due the Lord.

Reverence of God Almighty is worth being passed on.

Teaching reverence should come from God’s Word.

When looking for wisdom in bite sized chunks Proverbs is a good place to turn.

The book of Proverbs is full of wisdom and truth, and it’s not packaged with difficult verbage.

Instead it’s startlingly easy to grasp.

It’s often used for memory verses and definitely worthy of repeating.

Penned by Solomon, it’s his instruction for his son.

“The proverbs of Solomon, the son of David, king of Israel: The fear of the Lord  is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;”
Proverbs 1:1‭, ‬7‭-‬8 NKJV

It is a book which can be taken a verse at a time, but also links together into chapters which hold profound truth.

Where did Solomon gain the insight he wrote out for his son?

God, of course.

2 Chronicles 1:11 KJV — And God said to Solomon, Because this was in thine heart, and thou hast not asked riches, wealth, or honour, nor the life of thine enemies, neither yet hast asked long life; but hast asked wisdom and knowledge for thyself, that thou mayest judge my people, over whom I have made thee king:

How did Solomon know what to ask for?

His father had shared God’s wisdom with him.

“When I was my father’s son, Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother. He also taught me, and said to me: ‘Let your heart retain my words; Keep my commands, and live. Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her. She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you.'”
Proverbs 4:3-9 NKJV

King David took the time to share what was valuable.

And thankfully so did King Solomon.

God’s Word is our guide and the life of both King David and King Solomon are examples of what happens when a person fears the Lord.

Both men made mistakes, but King David always repented and sought God’s forgiveness. He humbled himself before the Lord.

King Solomon, with all his wisdom and understanding did not always humble himself, nor did he always follow God.

His consequence for serving idols instead of the One True God was what sin always brings, destruction.

“Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, ‘Because you have done this, and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.'”
I Kings 11:11 NKJV

His son, King Rehoboam, goes down in history as the one who ignored wisdom.

He turned his back on all the instruction his father and grandfather had set down and decided to be greedy instead. (2 Chronicles 10:13-15)

“The fear of the Lord  is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverse mouth I hate.”
Proverbs 8:13 NKJV

He lost a huge portion of the kingdom and there were two nations instead of one.

How sad.

Yet, there’s opportunity even in this, to learn from King Rehoboam’s poor choices and King Solomon’s poor choices.

For those who are teachable, those who choose to apply the fear of the Lord will be blessed.

What a precious gift, to pass on such treasure to others.

What a privilege to learn wisdom from God’s Word.

May our hearts be eager to learn the fear of the Lord.

May our lives be filled with wisdom as we seek God in all things.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for wisdom, truth, and understanding. Lord You tell us that we have the answers to life in Your Word. Please open our hearts and minds to understanding. Please help us to pass on the truths of Your Word. Lord, it is in You that we find all that is good, honorable, noble, and just. Lord Your ways are perfect and we want to walk in them. Please help us to be teachable today. Thank You. Amen.

January 17

Today’s prayer:

Psalm 30:8 KJV — I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for being merciful and compassionate. You understand the innermost parts of ourselves. You look and see the hidden thoughts of our hearts. Your vision is far more perceptive than ours will ever be. Lord Jesus, You know how all things are working. You have every stage of it all in Your hands. Lord, please restore the hurting and the sick. Please touch the needy and comfort the those who mourn. Lord Jesus, the wayward and the proud, let them come to their senses and see the truth. Please, Lord Jesus, change those who think only of themselves and let them see what a waste it is to serve self. Lord Jesus, please break in pieces the yoke of false religion. Please protect the innocent. Please save the lost. Thank You for all Your wonderous works. Thank You for loving us always. Thank You for teaching us how to love others. Lord Jesus, please heal the hearts. Please restore the broken. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Amen.

Leading with love

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
Matthew 5:43 NKJV

Indeed, it has been said throughout history.

And it makes sense to the hurting heart.

Especially, if one’s enemy is out to kill.

But God requires something far more difficult.

But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
Matthew 5:44‭-‬45 NKJV

To love one’s enemy is truly beyond anything our nature would come up with.

Praying for one’s enemy doesn’t consist of selfish prayers.

Instead, we are to pray for others with the love God showed us.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 NKJV

Loving others doesn’t mean you have removed all boundaries.

In fact God’s Word is full of boundaries.

Make no friendship with an angry man, And with a furious man do not go, Lest you learn his ways And set a snare for your soul.
Proverbs 22:24‭-‬25 NKJV

Proverbs 13:20 KJV — He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites. I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked.
Psalms 26:3‭-‬5 NKJV

It is love that sets boundaries in place and realizes that boundaries are healthy and important.

But these boundaries have to be set up in accordance to God’s Word.

Love’s boundaries are written down for us.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there  are prophecies, they will fail; whether there  are tongues, they will cease; whether there  is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
I Corinthians 13:4‭-‬10 NKJV

Jesus warned the disciples what they were going to encounter and gave them direction.

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.
Matthew 10:16 NKJV

(Read the remaining chapter and look at the book of Acts. Jesus was giving them a glimpse into the future.)

Leading with love understands that true love comes from God.

Therefore, to be able to love our enemies we must understand God’s love, to look at life’s circumstances through God’s Word, to apply the boundaries of life to our own.

Leading with love means our perspective is bent through the lense of Scripture.

It also means loving God first and best.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for teaching us how to love. Thank You for loving us first. Lord, it is completely counter to our feelings to love our enemies. At times hurt, pain, suffering is overwhelming and distorts our perspective. Lord, please fill our hearts with Your love and Your Word. Please help us to watch carefully over our hearts that we not allow bitterness to dwell there. Lord Jesus, please open our minds to learning from Your Word the way to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. For only in You can we find these things. Lord, Your ways are perfect and we want to walk in them. Please help us to do so. Thank You. Amen.

January 15

Today’s prayer:

Sing aloud to God our strength; Make a joyful shout to the God of Jacob. Raise a song and strike the timbrel, The pleasant harp with the lute.
Psalms 81:1‭-‬2 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for all Your wonderous ways. Lord Jesus, You are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. To worship You is such a privilege and blessing. How great You are! Lord, may our hearts never weary of praising You. Lord, may our lives be centered upon You and our minds filled with Your Word. Lord, teach us Your Word. Let our hearts be filled with Your wisdom, Your understanding. Lord Jesus, please let our lips praise You, for Your works are wonderful. In all that we do, help us to do these things into You. To bring glory and honor to Your name. Please let us be people of praise. Thank You for Your faithfulness and unending love. Thank You for salvation! Please touch the needy, protect the innocent, return the prodigal, and save the lost. Thank You, for Your ways are perfect and Your plans are best. We love You, Jesus. Amen.

January 14

Today’s prayer:

Be exalted, O Lord , in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.
Psalms 21:13 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your wonderous works. Thank You for Your love, grace, and mercy. Lord, thank You for Your Sovereignty. It is only in You that we find peace and understanding. Lord, it is only in You that we find truth and righteousness. Lord Jesus, please let Your light shine before all men. Let the works of wickedness be repulsive. Lord Jesus, please raise up integrity, truth, and honor. Let Your Word be known and understood. Lord, we look to You and we praise Your holy name. Nothing is as worthy of praise. No one has done the things You have. For You created us and then saved us from our sins. Your mercy is incredible. Thank You, Jesus for all Your love and kindness. Lord, we lift up the hurting, the sick, the innocent, the prodigal, and the lost. Please lead, guide, and provide for each one. Thank You, Jesus. Your ways are amazing! I love You. Amen.

January 13

Today’s prayer:

Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, And put your trust in the Lord . There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?” Lord , lift up the light of Your countenance upon us.
Psalms 4:5‭-‬6 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for Your ways and Your Word. Thank You that Your goodness is not circumstancial. You truly are good all the time. Lord, Your righteousness is amazing. Your faithfulness is incredible. Lord Jesus, You alone are worthy of praise, honor, and glory. It is in You we find peace, security, and salvation. No other name, but Yours will save us, Jesus. Please, Lord, walk with us in truth and fill us with Your Word. Lord, please shine Your light upon our hearts and show us Your truth daily. Lord, please fill our mouths with praise, our hearts with understanding, and our minds with Your Word. Lord Jesus, please protect the innocent, provide for the needy, return the prodigal, touch the sick and hurting, and save those who have yet to know You. Thank You, Jesus. I love You. Amen.

Time

My times are in Your hand;

Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,

And from those who persecute me.

Psalm 31:15

And He changes the times and the seasons;

He removes kings and raises up kings;

He gives wisdom to the wise

And knowledge to those who have understanding.

Dan. 2:21

And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.”

Acts 1:7

The Lord is in charge of the times and seasons.

Our lives, as well as the lives of countless people before us, have existed inside the restraints of time.

But God doesn’t.

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

2 Peter 3:8

God is outside of time, because it was something He created.

And inside this time frame He placed the human race.

Understanding that God both created time as well as every single person, it is logical to conclude that we should pay attention to what He has to say about time.

Col. 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time.

And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed…But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts. Romans 13:11&14

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Eph. 5:15-16

God’s Word is full of wisdom and He clearly states what is true, what is right, and the way to live to the fullest in the time we have.

Not with lives spent focused on pleasure or self-love, not with chasing after wealth or power or status, but a life devoted to Christ Jesus, Our Lord and Savior.

Time spent in relationship with Him is never wasted.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for time. Thank You for giving us Your Word, that we might find life and that more abundantly. Thank You for walking with us through all times and having such love and grace for each one of us. Lord, it is only through You that we can find truth, purpose, or anything worthwhile. Lord, only in You do we find the meaning of life and the use for time. Please help me to spend my time wisely and to be drawing every day from Your wisdom and walking in Your ways. Thank You. Amen.

Diligent

“I go the way of all the earth; be strong, therefore, and prove yourself a man. And keep the charge of the Lord your God: to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His judgments, and His testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn; that the Lord may fulfill His word which He spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons take heed to their way, to walk before Me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul,’ He said, ‘you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’
I Kings 2:2‭-‬4 NKJV

The words of King David to his son Solomon just before David died.

2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV — Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

The words of Paul, written to Timothy.

Both these scriptures are older men speaking truth to the younger.

Calling them to be diligent in their walk with the Lord.

It’s a call to any who follow Christ Jesus.

You have commanded us To keep Your precepts diligently.
Psalms 119:4 NKJV

2 Peter 3:14 NKJV — Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless;

Jesus, Himself called us to be diligent in our walk.

Matthew 16:24 NKJV — Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

Taking up one’s cross and following is a choice to be diligent.

Although, difficult, the rewards are well worth the cost.

For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?  For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.
Matthew 16:25‭-‬27 NKJV

Rewards from God far out weigh any other.

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1‭-‬2 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Please hold us in Your arms and walk us forward into Your truth. Lord, teach our hearts and minds, that we might be diligent in following You. Lord show us if we are with holding any area of our lives as “untouched” by Your righteous hand, instead let us willingly surrender every area to Your Sovereignty. Lord, as we learn to be diligent, please help us to encourage others in Your ways. Please give us opportunities to share Your Word. Thank You for Your love and care. Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your wonderous works. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

January 11

Today’s prayer:

Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the Lord , and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord , And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord , Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord , and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; Do not fret— it only causes harm.
Psalms 37:1‭-‬8 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank You for these words. Thank You for the Bible. Thank You for being righteous. Please help me and my family to put away anything which would come between us and You. Lord, we want to be people who stand before You, bringing glory to Your name. Lord, please continue to purify us, that we might serve You wholeheartedly. Shine Your truth into our hearts and minds. Thank You for loving us. Thank You for watching over us. Please continue to bring those who have yet to know You to salvation. Lord, for those who know You, please Lord, please humble our hearts that we might be people of honor, integrity, and righteousness. Please heal the sick and hurting, please protect the innocent, please provide for the needy, and return the prodigal. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for being the King of kings and Lord of lords. I love You. Amen.