Point Of Hope - Issue #33 - September 2016

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STAFF Founder/ President Rev. Melissa D. Pearce

Copy Editor Barbara Watts

Contributing Writers Carole Shirley

Rev. Melissa Pearce

Chuck Hamby, Pastor

Ron Pearce

Julie Van Gorp

Shelly Hess

Mary Beth Pecora

William L. Glaze, Dr.

WANTMORE? Cant Get Enough? Checkout more articles and happenings at: www.EnduringHopeMinistries.com



Point of Hope is published by Enduring Hope Ministries, a non-profit organization, Murrysville, PA Š USA 2014 Enduring Hope Ministries, all rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited by federal law. Point of Hope has no subscription price and is supported through the contributions of our supporters. All gifts to this ministry are tax-deductible (in countries where this applies) For more information: please www.enduringhopeministries.com





04 MELISSA'S HEART The Church is entering a very specific season with God ? a time of assessment.

10 EVERLASTING LIFE Have you ever thought about how many years you will be given here on earth?


PEARL OF GREAT PRICE There are times in life when it feels like Jesus does not fulfill our needs.

24 DOORS..DOORS...DOORS Are you embracing that new open door and stepping through it?




God longs for you and I to revere Him for who He is.

Magazine Layout & Designs created by: L ogicWebDesigns | contact@logicwebdesigns.com Point of Hope is a publication dedicated to encouraging and equipping people of all ages with the Word of God. Our Goal is to provide readers with life applicable articles that will edify and strengthen their personal walks.

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What a great time to be a Christian! Despite all the chaos and disorder within our society, I see opportunities ? to convey the love of Jesus Christ, to speak of His truth and give account for why we have hope. We have the opportunity to make a difference in someone?s life!


We are living in tumultuous times but must not allow circumstances to dictate our actions, commitments or responsibilities. We have been given a mandate to complete ? to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those around us until He returns. Many are hurting, lost and broken. These hearts need love, truth and hope! And God wants to use you to provide it! 04 September 2016 Point of Hope Magazine

I believe the Church is entering a very specific season with God ? a time of assessment. In this season, God wants us to evaluate our heart. What are we committed to? Are we dedicated to Him? Or are we appeasing our own desires? Are we seeking His approval or that of man? In the end, God desires to establish His righteousness within our heart. His laws and standards become our guidelines for living.

It is easy to be swayed when not fully grounded. Yet, God desires our heart be rooted and grounded in Him, ?? that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height ? to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God?


How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him?? (NKJV ? 1 Kings 18:21)

(NKJV ? Ephesians 3:17-19). There are three key points we derive from these passages. First, God desires the foundation of our heart to be in Him. Are you placing expectations in anything or anyone other than God? Before you answer, assess your heart. Do you seek the approval of your spouse, friends or others to build your self-esteem? Are you easily swayed in lifestyle decisions? If you place expectation in anything or anyone other than God, your foundation is not secure in Him. This is a very dangerous position. The end result could be disastrous. We can learn from those who have gone before us. We see how the people of Israel faltered in their relationship with God because their foundation was not in Him. ?And Elijah came to all the people, and said, ?How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him?? (NKJV ? 1 Kings 18:21). Israel vacillated between placing their expectations in the Living God or in a false god, Baal. They fell captive to idolatry. Idolatry is being bent toward someone and/ or something.


Although we do not have physical shrines erected, we can set up our own idols within our heart. We bow down to the opinions of others over God?s Word. We seek approval from loved ones versus resting in the assurance of God?s acceptance. The more we waver, the more we weaken. We do not operate as God created us to operate nor can we advance His purposes here on earth. Next, God wants us rooted in Him. There is a difference between rooted and grounded. Grounded refers to our foundation; rooted refers to being strong and healthy in Him. We derive our living from our roots. Are we emotionally whole in God? Again, assess your heart. Are there voids (brokenness, loneliness, insecurity, fears, bitterness, anger and/ or resentment) within you are trying to satisfy by your own means? If we try to mend or fill these voids with people, successes and/ or substances, our root system is not firmly planted in the love of God. Unattended voids can lead us down a path to destruction. Israel fell captive to Baal worship and offered their precious sacrifices to a deity that could never fulfill. Do not fall captive to this deception. Be careful whom and what you make sacrifices to and for! In this season of assessment, God is causing a repositioning within our heart. In the past, we tried to sustain; however, moving forward God is the Sustainer. He alone fills every void. Lastly, God wants our Complete Devotion. He desires that we know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge. We waver from being superficial with God to complete abandonment toward Him. Do you seek to appease your own sensual desires? Or are you easily conformed to society?s standards? If you operate from a position other than complete devotion toward God, your heart is not completely abandoned to His. In this season, God is calling you to reevaluate and

posture your heart before Him ? make Him your One True Obsession! This is the assessment. Where are you in the process? What is the condition of your heart? Are you like Israel faltering between two opinions or are you completely surrendered to God? Be real with Him. Allow God to reveal His truth to your heart, so you can fulfill your mission for Him! ?Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go? (NKJV ? Joshua 1:9). You have work to do for God?s Kingdom! Go forth in the mighty power of Jesus! In Him, Rev. Melissa Pearce

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Called To... Everlasting Life A Year of Calling : Devotional Study Series - Part IX Mary Beth Pecora


s there anything you can think of that lasts forever? When something lives (or lasts) forever, we call that everlasting, meaning it doesn?t wear out for a long, long time or lasts forever!

Have you ever thought about the length of your life or how many years you will be given here on earth? Have you ever thought about when God (and this world) began? Here is what I learned concerning ?when?God began: ?Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God? (Psalm 90:2, NIV). God has always existed. Before anything was created, before man and our world began, GOD WAS! The next time someone wants to argue with me about the existence of God, I am using this Truth to shed some light. God is everlasting. He never dies; He will always exist. Have you ever considered that, when God created man, He intended that man would live forever in relationship with Him? Psalm 90 (The Passion Translation) is entitled God, The Eternal. See why it caught my attention: Continued........

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Lord, you have always been our eternal Home. Our hiding place from generation to generation. Long before you gave birth to the earth, And before the mountains were born, You have been from everlasting to everlasting, The One and only True God. When you speak the words: Life return to me! Man turns back to dust. One thousand years pass before your eyes,Like yesterday that quickly faded away, Like a night?s sleep so soon forgotten. One day we will each be swept away into the sleep of death (Psalm 90:1-5, TPT) OUR ETERNAL HOME Yes, we die, but, we live as Jesus did. Our eternal home is Heaven. The Hebrew word for 'eternity' is horizon (from one horizon to another). Yes, Lord! You are our Eternal (everlasting) Home; our Forever Home (as a Christ-follower) is Heaven. Oh, dear friends, get this truth deep within you. When we know this world is temporary, it causes us to withstand any long-suffering. This Truth makes us aware that problems are not actually as big as they seem. They are actually ?? Achieving for us an eternal glory? ? So, we fix our eyes (refocus) on what is Truth (Jesus) and allow the worry about the unknown and unseen to be taken away. Whatever you are struggling with; whatever is weighing you down ? take your eyes off the problem and the hurt; refocus on Jesus. Our problems are small and temporary when compared to eternity. When we fix our eyes on Jesus, we fix our eyes. We fix what we see and transfer that worry to faith ? He is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. ?? fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God? (Hebrews 12:2, NIV). 12 September 2016 Point of Hope Magazine

"JesusChrist, the only entirely RighteousOne, at Calvary, took our sin upon Himself and endured the punishment we deserve. Jesus wasactually the sin offering ? OUR sin offering!"

ARE YOU HIS? When I started to understand what this meant, my passion arose - ?Look away from the natural realm and fasten your gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith?s perfection. His example is this: Because His heart was filled with the joy of KNOWING THAT YOU WOULD BE HIS, He endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God? (Hebrews 12:2, TPT). Are you His? Do you believe in Jesus? Jesus placed YOU before His eyes. The joy of everlasting eternity with YOU empowered Him to endure the agony of the cross. ?That which was from the beginning, which we have looked at and our hands have touched? this we proclaim concerning the Word of life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us? " (1 John 1:1-3, NIV). Do you have faith in Jesus, the Son of God? ?God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life? (1 John 5:11-12, NIV).

This clearly states: If you have the Son of God (Jesus) in your life, you have eternal life! If you don?t have Jesus in your life, you don?t have life. He is the Word of Life and must be in your life? to give you eternal life! Ask, and it shall be given. He is asking you to receive Him, so He can spend eternity with YOU! His LOVE FOR YOU is so great that He does not want to be separated FROM you. Let ?s Pray: Lord Jesus, I want You in my life. I want You to come into every area of my life. You gave us eternal life by dying on the cross; so I ask You to dwell inside me to guide, direct, heal and encourage me! Help me live for You! I ask You to be in my life and give You full permission to dwell inside me so I can live for You! Holy Spirit, change me! Comfort me; teach me! Let all see Jesus living through me, as I place my trust in Him! Thank You for saving me! Thank You for dying for me, so that I have everlasting (eternal) life! In Jesus Name, Amen! In the Eternal Love of the Father, -Mary Beth Pecora

God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life? (1CORINTHIANS15:54-55,57,NIV)

JESU S, ou r 'Pear l of Gr eat Pr i ce!' Written by: Jamie Clawson

ife was bleak. Far from home, with all the wrong people to turn to. Even at home, comfort and peace were elusive under the weight of all the anxiety. Running from job to job. Talking to anyone available; trying to grasp a shred of hope. This was my reality. Hindsight is 20/ 20, though. Now, I can look back and see His hand gently guiding me through it all. Life was a mess until He showed up! My 'Knight in Shining Armor,' if you will. Quite literally, the Prince of Peace; the Giver of Life; our Unending Hope! Newly saved, it's easy to be captivated by Jesus. This love so fresh and new; unlike any earthly thing you can experience. It's understandable, then, why the Kingdom of Heaven is referred to as ?the pearl of great price? in Scripture. ?...the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it? (NIV ? Matthew 13:45-46). Like a modern-day episode of Pickers, Jesus relates to His listeners by explaining how a professional merchant knows when he has found something worth giving up everything for. That's how we feel when we come to the end of ourselves and realize Jesus is the best investment; the best find, the 'Pearl of Great value!'

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THEREARETIMESINLIFE WHENJESUSDOESNOT FULFILLOURLONGINGS, LONELINESSOR, SEEMINGLY,OURNEEDS. Unattended, though, that love so fresh, new and vibrant can become stagnant and old; placed on a shelf somewhere and out of sight. We may remember the thrill of the find, but the object of our affection has lost its luster. New ?shiny pearls? get our attention. The guy (or girl) at work. The new stuff we've gotta have. The promotion that seems to be worth giving up our integrity. The compromise that becomes idolatry. That's why Scripture warns: ?Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it? (NIV ? Proverbs 4:23). Jesus is so amazing! Through all of our faltering and floundering, He never changes (see Hebrews 13:8). If you've gone after some ?pearl? instead of Jesus; it's not too late for you! When we take one step toward Him, He runs a thousand toward us! And right now, whether you're madly in love with Him or feel a million miles away, staring at something shiny and somewhat satisfying but wrong...this advice is for you:

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LET'S BE REAL. There are times in life when Jesus does not fulfill our longings, loneliness or, seemingly, our needs. When you feel this way, it's crucial to be able to tell Him. Go after the kind of relationship with Him that means something. One that starts by being really honest. He's God; He can handle it, and He wants to! IT'S NOT HIS FAULT. Our feelings are not dictated by God. When we come to Him in need of salvation, hope and love ? He delivers. But that does not automatically change how we feel about any given thing. We're meant to learn from Him and apply what He's taught us through Scripture and revelation and via His Presence. When things don't seem right, or He seems far away...He's not the one who moved! (again, see Hebrews 13:8) GUARD YOUR HEART. You have a real enemy (the devil) who really doesn't want you to thrive! Your Victor (God) has supplied everything you need to walk in freedom and truth. It's your decision to exercise your right to walk in that freedom and truth. Get before God ? a lot ? and be right with Him! The closer you are to Him; the less tempting temptation will seem. Read His Word. It heals. It corrects. It instructs. It is the Foundation of Truth for all of life. Don't neglect it! ?WHEN THE GRASS LOOKS GREENER SOMEWHERE ELSE, WATER YOUR OWN LAWN!? Wise words uttered by a friend recently and pretty self-explanatory. Scripture says, ?When tempted, no one should say, 'God is tempting me.' For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt 22 September 2016 Point of Hope Magazine

anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it's full-grown, gives birth to death. Don't be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows? (NIV ? James 1:13-17). He is Light; our 'Bright, Shiny Thing!' His gifts are holy and perfect! Don't settle for less! You'll find them in your own pasture, by the way? ALLOW HIM TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING. Mostly, we aren't satisfied with Jesus, because we don't think He can compete with what the world offers. But, I guarantee, when you experience His Presence, nothing else will do! ?One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple? (NIV ? Psalm 27:4). Do the one, best thing: Seek Him! Dwell in His Presence. Let His beauty always be your 'Pearl of great price.' And know His temple is not far away ? it's right inside you! DON'T TAKE THE BAIT. Any pearl other than Jesus is fool's gold. Perseverance is hard, but the best-looking knock-off will always lack in the end. Pursue the BRIGHTEST, COSTLY PEARL that has ever been and ever will be ? cause HE?S sure pursuing YOU!

~Jamie Clawson

BY: SHELLY HESS was recently being prayed for and a word was spoken over me that involved ?being willing to let go and close the door to the past; then stepping out and through the door the Lord was opening for me.?Part of the word confirmed there is a door I keep peeking into that the Lord wants me to slam shut and never walk through again! Peeking into that door has kept me from being able (or even desiring) to step through this new door ? though it purports to hold all these answers, celebrations and fulfillments. Revelation 3:8 says, ?? Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut? ? (NASB). The question: Will you step through it?


The 2013 Walt Disney movie, Frozen, has quite a theme about doors! In the movie, Elsa lives in hiding behind closed doors because of her thoughts and what others tell her she has to do. She is unable to move forward because of this ?box.?Conversely, Anna feels stuck behind closed doors that, unlike Elsa, she did not create herself, and she wants them to open! By movie?s end, both girls have let go of the past and stepped through their ?open door?leading to a new life ? for both of them! Let me share a few of these ?doors? through some song lyrics from Frozen:

LET IT GO performed by Idina Menzel ? A kingdom of isolation, and it looks like I?m the queen. The wind is howling like this swirling storm inside? Let it go, let it go ? can?t hold it back anymore. Let it go, let it go ? turn away and slam the door! I don't care what they're going to say? [Are you held back by expectations or judgments from others?] It's funny how some distance makes everything seem small.And the fears that once controlled me can't get to me at all!

reasoning that determine your decisions ? telling you that you can?t move on; holding onto the old thing instead of stepping through the new door? Are you, like Elsa, ready to let go of all that and burst through that new door? FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER performed by Kristen Bell and Idina Menzel The window is open, so?s that door. I didn?t know they did that anymore? For years (or months) I?ve ______________ [What have you waited on; where you?ve been; the old place?] Finally, they?re opening up the gates...

It's time to see what I can do, to test the limits and break through.? no rules for me? I?m free!

? It?ll be totally strange [Because it?s new!] ? But wow, am I so ready for this change!...

[The box you put yourself in? all the ?I can?t and I have to?reasons you can?t let go of and move on!]

? Nothing like the life I?ve had so far? [Or even lately!] ? ? Nothing?s in my way!

? I'm never going back; the past is in the past!

Does this song apply to you? Are you, like Anna, stuck behind closed doors you greatly desire to open?

Let it go, let it go, and I'll rise like the break of dawn.Let it go, let it go! That ___________ [girl/ guy, The old way you are letting go!] is gone! Here I stand in the light of day. Let the storm? [Inside, BE STILL!] Does this song apply to you? Are you, like Elsa, finally finished with hiding all your thoughts and

Are you now gaining a new vision and celebrating this long-awaited open door? Are you exploring like a child on Christmas, because you?ve been waiting and crying out to the Lord for this? 27 His Word, Your Hope EnduringHopeMinistries.com

Does it seem a little strange because it?s new, and you are so used to the old? LOVE IS AN OPEN DOOR performed by Kristen Bell and Santino Fontana ? All my life [Or for a period of time.] has been a series of doors in my face, and then suddenly ____________________ [An open door! God works in ?suddenlies!?] ? ? I?ve been searching my whole life to find my own place? ? In/With _____________________ [The new place you are discovering!] I found my place!... ? Say goodbye to the pain of the past. We don?t have to feel it anymore!... ? Life can be so much more!... Does this song apply to you? Again, are you (like Anna) embracing that new door and stepping through it? Have you been dreaming about ?your place? for years (or months), wondering if you would ever get there? Have you bumped into door after door after door ? all CLOSED? Are you finally (gleefully) celebrating that open

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door? Are you readily letting go of past pain because the Lord has given you a vision that life can be so much more? During the ministry time I mentioned at the beginning of this article, I was given Psalm 55:22, ?Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you...? (NASB). I am told that 'cast' is not as small a word as it seems! Instead, 'Cast' in the Greek is epiripto (combining two words: epi, meaning upon, as on top of something and ripto, meaning to hurl, to throw, or to cast ? often used to reflect to violently throw or to fling something with great force). Additionally, according to www.versebyversecommentary.com, casting means "to throw upon or to deposit with". Some things we easily give to the Lord; other things we have to heave/ cast on Him! In other words, it?s harder to let go of some things than others. We may have to cast those harder things onto Him over and over until we fully let go! I do that when I find myself thinking (or wondering) about the past ? about that old door that was to be slammed shut and not peeked into? I will continue to do

so, until I have let go of whatever it is and stepped through that new door. Maybe it would be helpful for you to do the same? !

through.So get back up, take step one; leave the darkness, feel the sun.?Cause your story?s far from over, and your journey?s just begun.

As a word for today, I leave you with the lyrics to TELL YOUR HEART TO BEAT AGAIN performed by Phillips, Craig and Dean and written by Danny Gokey.

CHORUS Tell your heart to beat again; close your eyes and breathe it in.Let the shadows fall away; step into the light of grace.Yesterday?s a closing door; you don?t live there anymore.Say goodbye to where you?ve been, and tell your heart to beat again.

Also, I suggest you go online and listen to the story behind these lyrics. You?re shattered, like you?ve never been before;The life you knew In a thousand pieces on the floor.And words fall short in times like these, when this world drives you to your knees.You think you?re never gonna get back to the you that used to be. CHORUS: Tell your heart to beat again; close your eyes and breathe it in.Let the shadows fall away; step into the light of grace.Yesterday?s a closing door; you don?t live there anymore.Say goodbye to where you?ve been, and tell your heart to beat again. Beginning? just let that word wash over you.It?s alright now, Love?s healing hands have pulled you

Let every heartbreak and every scar be a picture that reminds you Who has carried you this far.?Cause love sees farther than you ever could; in this moment, Heaven?s working everything for your good. CHORUS Tell your heart to beat again; close your eyes and breathe it in.Let the shadows fall away; step into the light of grace.Yesterday?s a closing door; you don?t live there anymore.Say goodbye to where you?ve been, and tell your heart to beat again, beat again. Oh, so tell your heart to beat again! ~Shelly Hess

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Luke 17:22-37

Then he said to his disciples, ?The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 People will tell you, ?There he is!?or ?Here he is!?Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other. 25 But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation. 26 ?Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. 27 People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 ?It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. 29 But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 ?It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed. 31 On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. 32 Remember Lot?s wife! 33 Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. 34 I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. 35 Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.? 37 ?Where, Lord?? they asked. He replied, ?Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.?

Jesus had entered into a conversation with His disciples about the Kingdom of God and His role within the Father?s plan. Jesus wanted to prepare the disciples for the future events that would transpire. He did not want them to be taken off guard but rest knowing this was the will of the Father. Then he said to his disciples, ?But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation? (NIV). Part of the Kingdom plan was for Jesus to take the Cross for all mankind. Jesus knew He needed to prepare the disciples for what was about to transpire to Him in the days ahead. He did not want the disciples to lose heart but to continue to forge ahead fulfilling their missions for God. Jesus wanted the disciples to be prepared for His second coming. His return would be sudden and all would see Him. Jesus used the analogy from Noah?s and Lot?s time. The people were going about doing their everyday 30 September 2016 Point of Hope Magazine

business and did not believe in God. Jesus had warned the disciples not to be ignorant like the people in Noah and Lot?s time. People did not have a reverence towards God. They followed after their own selfish gain and ambitions. But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God (2 Timothy 3:1-4 NIV). God desires for us to be set apart for His kingdom work. He longs for His people to be holy unto Him. However, He longs for you and me to revere Him for who He is. Do you recognize any of these behaviors in our culture today? Is our culture reflecting a reverence towards God?


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