STAFF Founder/ President Rev. Melissa D. Pearce
Copy Editor Barbara Watts
Contributing Writers Carole Shirley
Rev. Melissa Pearce
Julie Van Gorp
Mary Beth Pecora
William L. Glaze, Dr.
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MELISSA'S HEART When fear keeps us from fulfilling the calling God is giving us.
10 A FRIEND IN JESUS Have you ever wondered how honest you can be with God?"
16 FOR WHOM TO VOTE Six biblical principles to consider before casting your vote.
24 FREE FROM ANGER Anger is a real emotion that is destroying the lives of many people.
FOUNDATION ON FAITH
C O N T E N T S
God does not want our hearts to weaken in faith when circumstances become tough.
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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04 May 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
As I was seeking the face of God for you, I felt in my spirit I needed to take a moment to encourage you. Just as we are embarking on a new season naturally, many of you are entering into a whole new season spiritually with God. It is one you have never entertained before. Everything about this season is new and different. I just sense in my heart that God wants you to embrace the very things He is placing before you. Yet, some of you are fearful and resistant to do so. God does not want you to be hesitant to move in the direction He is leading you. He wants you to embrace Him in every way. In fact, He wants to release reassurance to your hearts. ?I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,? says the Lord, ?who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty? (NKJV- Revelation 1:8). God who is the Beginning and the End knows every detail that you are facing. He misses nothing. What He has started with you, He will bring it to completion within your life. Rest in Him to work out all the details. Becoming Fearf ul So many times when God is leading us in a new direction, it can cause a heart to become fearful. However, God does not want us making decisions based out of fear. When we act out of fear, we are not resting in Him. Fear can cause our hearts to assume. Fear can cause our hearts to become resistant. Fear can cause our hearts to become divisive. When we allow fear to rule within our hearts, it becomes the dictator to which we follow. Yet, God has empowered us with His power. ?For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind? (NKJV-2 Timothy 1:7). Fear is a real emotion, but it was one God never intended for us to operate in and from. So how do we overcome fear? God explicitly explains the fear that so tries to taunt and torment us is dismantled through perfect love. ?There is no fear in love, but perfect love cast out fear, because fear involve torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love? (NKJV- 1 John 4:18). Did you notice in the passage 05 His Word, Your Hope EnduringHopeMinistries.com
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" that it noted both fear and love cannot operate together? It states perfect love casts out fear. What is this perfect love? It is God?s unfailing, unstoppable, and unconditional love residing deeply within our hearts. When the fullness of God resides within our hearts, it leave no room for anything else. Perf ect Expect at ions: God desires for us to be made perfect in love. He did not say He expected us to be perfect! God who is love wants us to be made perfect in Him. There is a difference. The Greek word for 'perfect' means: to be mature. If something is mature it has developed, grown and become whole. In essence, God wants your heart to develop and be whole in Him. When our hearts are mature in Him, we are secure in Him and who we are in Him. Securit y I believe this is one of the reasons He wanted to encourage you. The season you are entering upon will require for your hearts to be rooted and grounded in Him. The issue at hand isn?t about the direction God is leading. Rather, it is a reflection deep within the heart. God is using those very things He is having you step into for
06 May 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
His advancement and your development. When we are secure in the Father?s love, we will understand wherever He is leading, it is never to inflict harm upon us. We are convinced the situation presented before us that God is able to do the impossible through us. There is nothing greater than Him and there is nothing He wouldn?t do to enable our feeble hands to succeed. Are you battling fear? Then this is a good indication to you that you need to mature more in the Father?s love. My personal prayer for you stems from Ephesians 3:18-19 ?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.? Embrace this new season with God with much expectation and anticipation. Just as the tree root expend in depth and width, may your roots in God broaden in every direction. Walk in His power and love! In Him, Rev. Melissa Pearce
FRI END I N JESUS
What afriendwehaveinJesus,all our sins andgriefstobear! What aprivilegetocarry everythingtoGodinprayer! Owhat peacewe oftenforfeit,Owhat needlesspainwebear, all becausewedonot carryeverythingtoGod inprayer! Havewetrialsandtemptations?Isthere troubleanywhere?Weshouldnever be discouraged; takeit totheLordinprayer! Can wefindafriendsofaithful whowill all our sorrowsshare?Jesusknowsour every weakness; takeit totheLordinprayer! Areweweakandheavyladen,cumberedwith aloadof care?PreciousSavior,still our refuge--takeit totheLordinprayer! Doyour friendsdespise,forsakeyou?Takeit tothe Lordinprayer! Inhisarmshe'll takeand shieldyou; youwilt findasolacethere. The words that jump off the page to me are, ?O what peace we often forfeit. O what needless pain we bear? ? Why? ?All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.?
Savior, He IS your refuge, and you will find a solace there.
I am also reminded, ?Jesus knows our every weakness.? So? ? ?Take it to the Lord in prayer.? In other words, take your weakness, your sorrows, your griefs, your trials, your temptations, your trouble, your discouragement, your rejection, your disappointment, your anger, your frustrations. ?Can we find a friend so faithful?? No. So, take them to the Lord in prayer, knowing that your
He has forgiven you! He wants you to show you
12 May 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
GOD WANTS HONESTY The Lord wants you to come to Him and be honest. that He will provide for you. He will be your Shelter. He will grant you peace. He will give you joy. There?s nothing too big that He?s not bigger, and He wants that to be a reality in your life! He wants you to be someone who has this testimony! Your testimony of Jesus and how He showed
Himself strong on your behalf is someone else?s life line of hope. When others hear of who Jesus is and what He has done for you, they will want to experience Him like that too. So, testify to the goodness of God when you experience it! I?ve heard it said before that those who have been forgiven much, forgive much. Those who have been loved much, love much. In our coming to the Lord to share honestly, I think we will learn and truly come to know how much we are loved; and therefore, how much we have been forgiven. In turn, we will then love and forgive others in kind.
This truth doesn?t leave much room for ?religion?, does it? There?s a big difference between a relationship with Jesus and a religious list of do?s and don?ts that we all mess up. SLOW TO JUDGE As we don?t want others to be quick to judge us, let us not be quick to judge others. The Bible says, ?All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)? It?s hard to ask for mercy for ourselves, while we call out for judgment for others. It?s not that we deserve His forgiveness, His grace, His love, His help, His restoration. It?s 13 His Word, Your Hope EnduringHopeMinistries.com
not that others deserve it either. If you wait around to deserve God?s goodness towards you, you will wait forever. If you wait around for others to find themselves in a position where you deem them worthy, you will wait forever. The truth is that Jesus offered Himself on the cross for you, for me, and for everyone else, and He said, ?Whosoever will, let him come. (Revelation 22:17)? He gave the invitation to come to Him to everyone, to all who would choose to come. Not to the ?deserving? (whoever they are), but to all! We all have need of a Savior, and all sin requires the blood of Christ for forgiveness. We take communion to remember what Jesus did for us and to symbolize our choosing to come to Him and taking from Him that forgiveness, that grace, that love, that help, that restoration, that provision, that peace that He offers. TAKING WHAT YOU DON'T DESERVE? I think that it can be hard to take these things from Jesus because it can be hard to get away from our cultural mindset of earning things and away from our experiences of conditional human love which can be lost. It?s hard to take what you don?t deserve and what you haven?t earned. God knows that! He also knows that there is no way to ever earn forgiveness because no one can go back and undo what was done. No one can really earn love because we always let each other down. No one earns peace
forgiveness to another, it must be out of a dispensation of grace given out of their own free will, and that?s what Jesus chose to do! Not just that, He paid the debt owed. He then says in response, ?Take and eat (1 Corinthians 11:24).? In other words, receive all the way. The more you get to know God as Father, and Jesus as Friend and Savior, you will know how much you are loved. The more you know you are loved, the easier it will be for you to receive this unearned love, forgiveness, peace, and goodness. You will find yourself partaking more and more, asking the Lord to cause all grace to abound to you (2 Corinthians 9:8). Asking that His favor rest upon you. Asking that His goodness and mercy follow you all the days of your life (Psalm 23:6). Asking that he would overwhelm you with peace! Asking that He would bless you. You know what ? this blesses the Lord! No wonder our earthly fathers love to give to us and no wonder God put within a man the desire and the call to provide. They simply have the heart of their Heavenly Father! This abundant reception is how we are truly able to enjoy our lives! Lord, I pray that each one of us, myself included, would experience the fullness of your goodness. I pray that we would have hearts that are able to take and receive fully from You. In Jesus?Name, Amen! Wow ? that is joy, unspeakable joy? to be loved that much, to be forgiven!
because we all do things, at times, to destroy it. When someone extends
14 May 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
This election year is the most critical one in recent history. The next president will likely appoint 3-5 Supreme Court Justices who will profoundly impact the future direction of our nation and whether we hold to a strict or loose interpretation of the Constitution. In other words, whether we?ll be a nation governed by law or by man. What?s at stake is whether we?ll maintain or forfeit the rights that our founding father?s sacrificed their reputations, homes, careers, and even their very lives to ensure that we as American citizens would have. We must take the privilege and responsibility we have to vote very seriously. No person in their own wisdom can fix the problems of our nation; they are spiritual in nature and they stem from our nation turning our back on God and His commands. Our only hope as a nation is to be found in turning to God! What characteristics should a Christian look for in a leader? The greatest leader that has ever lived is Jesus, so it makes sense that we should look to his life to help us determine the most important leadership qualities. Keep in mind that there is no perfect person or leader? other than Jesus? but we as American citizens have the privilege and the responsibility to vote for the candidate(s) who most closely aligns with God?s leadership standards. Below are some of the character qualities of Jesus, which also constitute a great leader:
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HUMBLE AND SERVANT LEADER: Jesus was a servant leader, as was clearly demonstrated when he washed his disciples?feet at the Last Supper. He didn?t seek power for Himself; He always sought to serve others and to bring glory to His Heavenly Father. We all have been called to emulate His example, as Paul charged us to do in his letter to the Philippians. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Philippians 2:3-7 Which of the candidates exhibits the greatest humility? Which candidate most closely appears to be a ?servant leader?whose primary purpose is to serve others and God rather than to achieve a position of power to further his/ her own agenda and achieve power and recognition for himself/ herself?
SUBMISSIVE TO THE WILL OF GOD: Jesus always sought to know the will of God, His Heavenly Father, and he always obeyed Him? even when that meant his death on a cross. Jesus would go off to pray early in the mornings to meet with His Heavenly Father, and then he would go to the places His Heavenly Father led him to go; interact with the people with whom his Heavenly Father told him to
18 May 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
W hic h c an d id at e ap p e ar s t o be t he m ost t r ust w o r t h y b as e d u p o n w h at h e / s h e s ay s an d d o e s ? interact; and speak the words His Heavenly Father gave him to speak. Jesus knew he could do nothing apart from his Heavenly Father and he made it clear that he was dependent upon Him. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment? what to say and what to speak. John 12:49
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 Which candidate appears to be the most trust worthy based upon what he/ she says and does? Do the candidate?s actions line up with his/ her words or do they prove their words to be false?
Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. John 5:19
Which of the candidates by their words and their lives acknowledge that they look to God and rely upon Him for direction and strength? That they trust in and seek always to obey God?s commands? Which candidate do you think will consider God?s commandments and godly principles in their decision-making?
Jesus?life on earth epitomized faithfulness. He was faithful to His Heavenly Father as well as faithful to the people He came to ?seek and save?. When tempted by Satan in the desert, Jesus didn?t succumb to the temptation to satisfy his own desires or to seek glory for himself; he remained faithful to the will of His Heavenly Father. In the Garden of Eden when Satan again came to tempt him to disobey His Father, Jesus chose to remain faithful even though he knew it meant great humiliation, excruciating pain, and a horrific death. As he sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, Jesus is still faithful to his own as he lives to intercede on their behalf.
TRUTHFUL & FULL OF INTEGRITY: Jesus is the truth! (John 14:6) Jesus always spoke the truth, and all of his actions lined up with the truth that he spoke.
FAITHFUL & STEADFAST:
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Which of the candidates do you believe would remain most faithful to their oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States? Which candidate do you believe will be most resolute in standing up for, and if necessary, defending the rights of the American people as guaranteed by the Constitution--such as freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms? Which candidate do you think will be able to remain strong and prevail when there is the temptation to compromise or make unwise ?deals with the devil?, whether concerning domestic or international policies? And which candidate will remain faithful not only to the American people, but also will stand with Israel, our only democratic ally in the Middle East, and more importantly God?s chosen people, for whom it was prophesied, ?Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you.?? (Number 24: 9)
20 May 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
RIGHTEOUS: Jesus always is just and does what is right, and in ways that are right. In other words, Jesus would never ascribe to the belief that, ?the end justifies the means?because ALL that he does is good and moral. He would never take part in activities that were unrighteous? or immoral? in nature. Which candidate demonstrates that he/ she values righteousness?
COMPASSIONATE AND CARING: The essence of Jesus?nature is love, sacrificial love. He is completely selfless and always seeks to meet others?needs. Which candidate demonstrates the most sincere selfless love, respect, and concern for the welfare of others? Although this is not an exhaustive list, hopefully it?ll provide guidance to you. Most importantly, pray fervently and ask God to give you discernment and His wisdom regarding for whom to vote. And pray that our nation will repent and turn to Jesus? the Way, the Truth, the Life, and our only Hope!
-Julie Van Gorp
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Cal l ed To Be... FREE FROM A NGER A Year of Calling : Devotional Study Series - Part V Mary Beth Pecora
ave you ever noticed when you ask someone why they are angry, it increases the anger? Anger is a real emotion that is destroying the lives of many people. I took a class a few years ago on Biblical Counseling and Anger Management was one of the topics we discussed. I learned that anger destroys not only the people around you, but it can eat at the very soul of the one who harbors anger in their life. Harboring anger is when you hold on to it and won?t release it. Is all anger wrong? The answer to that is no. It is actually a God-given emotion. However, if not managed or controlled it can be destructive and hurtful. The Word of God speaks to us about how to be angry and not sin. In your anger, do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry (Ephesians 5: 26, NIV). God is clearly saying, we will get angry at times? but do not let it carry over into the next day. How many times have we carried over our anger into days, weeks, or even years? God is instructing us to NOT let the sun go down in our anger. He is telling us to NOT carry it into even just the next day. The sun rises and sets (goes down) each and every day! He is encouraging us to release it immediately.
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LIKE A VOLCANO - Anger will always find an expression. It will either be expressed positively or negatively. When anger is expressed negatively it is like watching a volcano erupt. The explosion pours out and flows down into the lives of innocent people. Learn to manage and control your emotions. Seek counsel if you need it and find a trusted person that can help you identify the root cause. Anger that is turned inward, leads to high blood pressure, heart disease and many physical problems. When we suppress anger it produces a critical spirit that clouds the way we see others and ourselves. God wants you to see yourself as He sees you! He has taken upon Himself, on the cross, every emotion that we feel in this life. He knows what or whom has hurt you! He sees all as our omnipresent Father. He knows that people can wound and hurt us, but He asks us to release it, and NOT to carry it. THE TRUTH IS - He carried it to the cross when He suffered and died. He took it upon Himself? all hurt, all the pain and even all the anger. It has been nailed to the cross. Why do we choose to hold on to it, when He took it from us! When Jesus said, ?It is finished" He was declaring, it IS FINISHED! Are you carrying anger? Please, don?t allow that embitterment to become part of who you are! Pray, forgive and love! Surrender the right to retaliate! Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (Romans 12: 21, NIV). When we choose NOT to retaliate, we free ourselves from being angry! Learn to manage your thoughts! 26 May 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
Here are some Proverbs to meditate on: Be wise and not a f ool : "A wise man fears the Lord and shuns evil, but a fool is hot-headed and reckless" (Proverbs 14: 16, NIV). Be sl ow t o anger, you?l l gain more f riends: "A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated" (Proverbs 14: 17, NIV). Having pat ience rel eases underst anding: "A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly" (Proverbs 14: 29, NIV). Don?t st ir up t his pot : "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Proverbs 15: 1, NIV). Wal king in pat ience, rel eases peace: "A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel" (Proverbs 15: 18, NIV). If you?re smart , use l ess words and exhibit even-t empered behavior: "A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered" (Proverbs 17: 27, NIV). Paying consequences f or our behavior, causes us t o repent and t urn away f rom sin: "A hot-tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again" (Proverbs 19: 19, NIV). Don?t be ensnared wit h anger, it wil l ent rap you: "Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared" (Proverbs 22: 24, NIV). Choose t o l et go of anger and al l ow f reedom t o come t o you. The churning and t wist ing you f eel inside wil l be rel eased: "For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife" (Proverbs 30: 33, NIV). 28 May 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
Jesus, help each person reading this, who struggles with anger, feel your loving arms around them. Release them from the hurt, the pain, and wounds. Holy Spirit, our Comforter, pour your healing oil into every area that has caused fear; for fear is anger! Release the fear of being out of control, even in our emotions, and replace with restoration and healing. Unravel the layers, upon layers, upon layers of repressed anger and expose the lies, expose the pain, and set them free! In Jesus?s, Mighty name, I pray, Amen! Enjoy the unraveling. It?s making us naked before Him. Now, Jesus can clothe us with His righteousness, as we come to Him. "Do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for us to wake up from our slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature" (Romans, 13: 11-14, NIV). He wants us to: "Delight greatly in the Lord; our soul rejoice in our God. For He has clothed us with garments of salvation and arrayed us in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels" (Isaiah 61: 10, NIV). Bridegroom and brides (men and women), come to Him! He is awaiting! Jesus is our Bridegroom and the union He wants us to walk in Him, will make us one! Anger will go, as we are clothed in Him! Being Adorned By Him, Mary Beth Pecora
Heal ed t hrough Fait h
Mark 5:35-43 While Jesus spoke, men came from the house of the leader of the place of worship. They said, ?Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher anymore?? 36 Jesus heard this. He said to the leader of the Jewish place of worship, ?Do not be afraid, just believe.? 37 He allowed no one to go with Him but Peter and James and John, the brother of James. 38 They came to the house where the leader of the place of worship lived. Jesus found many people making much noise and crying. 39 He went in and asked them, ?Why is there so much noise and crying? The girl is not dead. She is sleeping.? 40 They
laughed at Jesus. But He sent them all out of the room. Then He took the girl?s father and mother and those who were with Him. They went into the room where the girl was. 41 He took the girl by the hand and said, ?Little girl, I say to you, get up!? 42 At once the girl got up and walked. She was twelve years old. They were very much surprised and wondered about it. 43 He spoke sharp words to them that they should not tell anyone. He told them to give her something to eat. God does not want our hearts to weaken in faith when He does not respond as quickly to our circumstances as we like. We see this very evident in the life of Jairus and his ailing daughter. While Jesus was on His way to heal Jairus?daughter, He encountered the woman who had the issue with blood. The encounter caused a delay and the end result was Jairus?daughter passed away. Yet, Jesus told Jairus to hold on to his faith and not to fear.
on God?s truth. Jesus is not only the Divine Healer but He is the Resurrection. Death cannot withhold Him nor can it overpower Him. Jesus, Who is the Author of Life, has authority over death. There is no problem or situation within your life that He cannot touch and breathe His life into.
?Do not be afraid; only believe? (NKJV).
Our faith in God should not be based upon if, how, or when He responds. Our faith in Him is realizing He is able. However, should He not respond the way we assumed, we rest securely in His Omniscience for us.
We cannot allow fear to interfere with our faith in God when our circumstances have gone from dismal to demise. We need to stand
Is fear interfering with your faith? Do you believe God is able? Remember, with one word from Him, it can come to pass.
30 May 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
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