STAFF Founder/ President Rev. Melissa D. Pearce
Copy Editor Barbara Watts
Contributing Writers Carole Shirley
Rev. Melissa Pearce
Chuck Hamby, Pastor
Julie Van Gorp
Mary Beth Pecora
William L. Glaze, Dr.
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MELISSA'S HEART Life's transitions are hard. Where are we going? What will be the final outcome?
10 YOUR UNDERSTANDING Rather than lean on your own understanding for answers, give God preeminence.
A BROKEN WORLD Difficulties divert our attention away from our purpose in life.
24 Est abl ish Boundaries Does the word 'Boundary' bring negative or positive thoughts?.
C O N T E N T S
We cannot be just hearers of the Word of God but be doers of it also.
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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Over the last couple of weeks, there has been much transition occurring. Life is all about transition. I guess what makes it difficult is one does not always know where they're going or what the final outcome will be. In times of transition, we are encouraged to seek after God for direction and trust Him to lead us to our final destination. As I further reflected upon the topic of transition, I was reminded of Abram (Abraham), who was called by God to leave everything familiar to him: ?? Get out of your country, from your family and from your father?s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse
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him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed? (NKJV ? Genesis 12:1-3). God asked Abram to leave what was familiar to him, so He could bless him with something new. I think, more often than not, we find ourselves stuck in familiar patterns, thought-processes, habits or even lifestyle. Yet, I believe God desires to break us out of these old molds. There is nothing wrong with familiarity or routines. However, when familiarity becomes a position or place that we abide in or operate from, we have fallen captive to a false sense of security. God is the God of breakthrough and advancement! He desires our Source of security to rest completely in Him and through Him.
BY: REV. MELISSA PEARCE
When God called Abram to leave what was familiar, He didn?t do it to punish him or to instill fear into him. God wanted to birth something new within him. God professed to Abram, as he walked in obedience to His direction, He would establish him into a great nation and make his name great. In turn, Abram would be a blessing to those around him. In a season of much turmoil in our country, God has not lost sight of His Church. However, the Church is trying to adhere to old, familiar ways. God is doing a new thing. He is calling us out. He is calling us to lay aside our familiar agendas and plans for His. The advancement of His Kingdom will not come naturally but supernaturally. When God informed Abram He would make him a great
nation, he had no children. It was the supernatural act of God that enabled this man to become all He called and created him to be. What have you been holding onto that God is asking you to let go? What familiar ways have you been conducting your business and/ or ministry that God wants you to step out in obedience to His direction? In this season we are embarking upon, we need to be responsive like Abram: ?So Abram departed as the LORD had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran? (NKJV ? Genesis 12:4). Abram departed. He stepped out in faith and went the direction God was leading him. He didn?t hesitate; he didn?t resist. He stepped out and
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STOP RESISTING GOD; ALLOW HIM TO BREATHE AFRESH AND ANEW WITHIN YOU.
trusted God. He believed God would fulfill all He had spoken over his life. In my spirit, many of you have been holding onto something (or someone) long enough. It is time for you to step out into what God has ordained for your life. You are embarking on a new season with God; one in which He longs to lavish His goodness on (and within) your life. This is your season to rise and shine for God?s glory falls upon you. You are the one He wants to highlight and use to reveal His glory. You are the one that God desires to make Him known to personally. God does not want you to give into fear any longer. He does not want you to resist His ways any longer. He does not want you to waver or doubt any longer. In this new season, you are transitioning from your strength to His. Webster?s Dictionary defines transition as a change from one state or condition to another. In order to fulfill our destiny, we can no longer rest on our own abilities but completely in God. In this new season, God is fulfilling His mandate over your life. Can I encourage you? Embrace what is ever before you! Stop resisting God; allow Him to breathe 06 June 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
afresh and anew within you. Perhaps someone who is reading this message has been asking God to start something fresh within your marriage, but you haven?t laid down what God asked of you. God can?t begin the new without you laying down the old. For others, you have asked God for direction, and He has released it to you. However, you have not acted on what He gave you, because you do not have all the details. I hear God say, ?Trust Me in this new endeavor. I will not fail you. I will not disappoint you. I will guide you and make My paths known to you.? For others, a spirit of inadequacy bound you; today, God is setting you free. The enemy cannot use your age against you; your age is not a disqualifier. God is your Qualifier, and it is time for you to embrace what He has for you! Walk in the fullness of what God has placed within you! You were born to change the world around you! In Him, Rev. Melissa Pearce
or by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities ? all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything? (Colossians 1:16-18 ? NASB).
?? do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him (the Lord), and He will make your paths straight? (NASB ? Proverbs 3:5b-6). These Scriptures speak of the preeminence of God, of Christ. Preeminence means He is first in all things; He is before all things. As the Bible says in Proverbs, rather than lean on your own mind for an explanation, give Him preeminence. Stop and talk to the Lord about what you?re thinking, what you?re trying to understand, what conclusions you?ve drawn. Tell Him they are His and ask for His wisdom. Ask Him for eyes to see what He sees and how He sees it. Ask Him to reveal what you don?t know that you need to know: ?Show me what I don?t see, Lord. By divine revelation, tell me what I don?t know and bring only YOUR version of the truth to my understanding.?
"TRUST IN THE LORD" Hel l o!! I know t hat ! God has been giving me revelation about not relying on my own understanding. I have known, read and taught on Proverbs 3:5-6 for years! I have never had the level of revelation of verse 5b that I received recently ?? do not lean on your own understanding.? There is a reason I did not include Proverbs 3:5a when writing the opening Scripture for this article. Proverbs 3:5a says, ?Trust in the Lord with all your heart? ? It was as if, when I read Proverbs 3:5-6, I focused only on verse 5a and missed 5b entirely. Why is that important? To ?trust in the Lord? ? as verse 5a says, is to ?not lean on your own understanding? as verse 5b states. When we 12 June 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
lean on our own understanding, we trust ourselves to figure it out or make an informed, well-thought-out decision. I get tired of hearing people casually say, ?Trust the Lord!? Hello!! I know that!! ?If you could only see what I see, you wouldn?t so flippantly tell me to trust the Lord?is what I think in response. Do you see how disconnected this thinking is? I am told to trust the Lord, but I am thinking about how I cannot trust the Lord with the circumstances as I see them, because they seem impossible! We often have feelings of fear when we can?t see a way to fix it. It?s almost as if ?trust in the Lord? has been too abstract for me, at times! What does that really mean? It?s as if it has been too much for me to figure out how to do that. Do you see that, even in my response, I was looking at the concept of ?trust in the Lord? and unable to figure it out with my natural mind? I have struggled to figure out what it really means and how to do it. Even in ?trying? to trust the Lord, I have leaned on my own understanding. What it seems that I needed someone to say instead of ?trust the Lord? was ?do not lean on your own understanding.? AH-HA!!! THE GIANTS I was busy observing and fixating on the giants in the land. What I saw (or didn?t see) rather than fixing (setting) my eyes on, ?The Lord is with [me] us; do not fear them? and ?? for [I] we will surely overcome it? (Numbers 14:9, 13:30, NASB, brackets mine). Read Numbers, chapters 13 and 14. God starts chapter 13 (verse 2), ?Send out for yourself men so that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am going to give to the sons of Israel? ? When instructing Moses to send spies to this land that He was going to give to the sons of Israel, God knew while seeing the magnificent fruit and land flowing with provision, they also would see giants and the fortified city walls. He knew they would believe a battle necessary to overtake the land. God tested them. Would they rely on their own understanding (the 13 His Word, Your Hope EnduringHopeMinistries.com
giants and the fortified cities) and declare themselves unable to take the land God said He would give them (because the people were bigger and the city walls impossible to breach)? Or, would they notice the giants and the fortified city walls yet recall God declaring that He would give them this land and determine that, no matter what it looked like, they would overcome and possess the land because the Lord would be with them and see His Word accomplished as they stepped out in faith, knowing in advance that they had the victory? They chose the former! They leaned on their own understanding, ?Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword?...? (Numbers 14:3, NASB) They spoke falsely against the Lord, because they were convinced by what they saw rather than by what the Lord said. This resulted in their wandering through the wilderness rather than possessing the land God promised to them.
I wil l est abl ish it upon t he wat ers Here?s another testimony of our supernatural God moving on something unseen: A few years ago, the Lord gave me this Word in response to something I prayed for? ?I will establish it upon the waters.? To be honest, I wasn?t sure what it meant. I inquired of the Lord, I went to the Word; I had a few thoughts but no revelation. From time to time, this Word came to mind; I would ponder it and thank the Lord for it. Eventually, one day it came to mind and I found something the Lord used to grant me revelation, at just the
right time? 2 Peter 3:5 says, ?? by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water? ? My NASB study notes say this about verse 5, ?Creation was God?s stepping into the emptiness and bringing the universe into existence? The earth was formed between two realms of watery mass. During the early part of the creation week, God collected the upper waters into a canopy around the whole earth, and the lower waters into underground reservoirs, rivers, lakes, and seas.? Read Genesis 1:1-10; it explains what 2 Peter 3:5 is referring to. Genesis 1:1-2 says, ?In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters? ? What could be seen ? formlessness, emptiness, a void. THE WORD OF THE LORD created something out of nothing ? the heavens and the earth. What God was creating and what He was doing could not be seen! Isaiah 55:11 says, ?So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.? Even though I can?t see it working (as the Israelites couldn?t see it), the Word of the Lord has been spoken! He created something out of what appeared to be nothing when He created the earth ? out of (and by) the waters. He will do the same for me and for you, because His Word will not return unto Him void! He was before the foundations of the world, the Bible says. Know that He is also before the plan for your life! Let Him have preeminence! Follow Him and His wisdom instead of you and your understanding of what you can (or can?t) see, so you can enter into (or possess) what He promised to you! ~Shelly Hess 15 His Word, Your Hope EnduringHopeMinistries.com
? ? It isn?t easy living in a broken world. There are too many things pulling at us, distracting us, taking our attention away from the important just to take care of the urgent. These things pull at our ?heart strings? and divert our attention away from our purpose in life. ? ? I guess that is where it all starts, doesn?t it? Do I have purpose? And if I do, what is it? How do I find my ?Purpose? with a capital ?P?? There are certain worldviews that have a foundation that denies human purpose; so it depends what your worldview is based on. That is determined by the choices you have made in your heart. And your choices are determined by what you have been told about yourself. Are you ?slime plus time,? or are you made ?in the image of your Creator?? ? ? For the first 200 years of our nation?s history, the Holy Bible was the foundation of our educational system. The New England Primer was the first reading primer designed for the American Colonies. This was the primer from which our founding fathers learned to read. By reading this over the years, a student?s heart was turned toward God from an early age. Therefore, it was easy for them to choose to consider living a life according to the Bible?s teaching. This was wonderful training for them to make right decisions for their future. And the United States of America became a ?city set on a hill.? ? ? In 1963, the SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) determined that we could no longer read the Holy Bible in our schools. A few years later, we could not pray. And now, God seems to be banned from our culture. We all wonder how this could have happened. ? ? It happened because it isn?t enough to learn about God; we must learn to know God personally. We tended to institutionalize our relationship with God, and it became ?religion.? As we became religious, our intimacy with God withered and we began to be obedient. It was what we had always done. When our children asked us why we did those things, our answers had no meaning or substance. And they began to seek their
PROVERBS3:5-6,?TRUSTINTHELORDWITHALLYOURHEARTANDDONOT LEANONYOUROWNUNDERSTANDING. INALLYOURWAYSACKNOWLEDGE HIM,ANDHEWILLMAKEYOURPATHSSTRAIGHT.? ?WATCHOVERYOURHEARTWITHALLDILIGENCE,FORFROMITFLOWTHE SPRINGSOFLIFE.?PROVERBS4:23,
own answers. It wasn?t long before we no longer followed the instruction of Proverbs 3:5-6; it was more like Judges 17:6, ?In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.? We excused it all saying, ?I?m not hurting anyone but myself? ? ? ? This is the result of neglecting to ?? watch over our hearts? ? When we lost our right to read God?s Word in schools, we deferred to ?other people?s? rights and allowed ours to be taken away! As a result, we lost the compass that kept us on course. As a result of losing our moral compass, we lost our way. We began to believe that it didn?t matter which way we chose. After all, one was as good as the other, wasn?t it?
REALLIFEGETS CROWDED.PEOPLE(AND THINGS) GETINTHE WAYOFOURBUSINESS.
? ? When we talk about ?heart,? we are not talking about the organ that pumps blood throughout our body. We mean it is the source and center of our physical, spiritual, intellectual and cultural lives. It is the source of all of our vitality. Proverbs says the springs of life flow from our heart. Matthew 15:18-20 records Jesus? words to His disciples, ?But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slander. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.? ? ? The Apostle Paul shows the contrast in the life of the spirit/ flesh in Galatians 5:19-23: ?Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which
are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.? ? ? We don?t think of ourselves as acting in the category of deeds of the flesh or spirit. Let?s change the words to something more familiar for us today. We could ask, ?What is your attitude? Are there people you have written off of your ?care about list?? Do you listen to (or share) gossip? Do you have enmity against someone?? I think it would be impossible to guard (or watch over) our heart with the fruit of the Holy Spirit working in us. Living in a broken world is impossible without His aid. ? ? When people disrupt our day, do they get outbursts of anger or love? Real life gets crowded. People (and things) get in the way of our business. In times of frustration, can we slow down and guard or watch over our hearts so we cause the springs of life that flow from them to be like Jesus? Psalm 34:8 tells us, ?O taste and see that the LORD is good? ? That is the invitation we should give to those around us. When they ?take a bite out of us,?what do they taste? ??
How do we skillfully develop a ?broken world? life-plan?
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1.Trust intheLORDwithall our heart. Have you ever sat on a chair that you didn?t really trust? Don?t let your confidence in God be like that. Put your full weight on Him and trust Him. We are sometimes disappointed when we pray and do not get what we asked for. Too often, we already have God?s answer ready for Him to just sign and pronounce it done! We lean to our own understanding.
2. AcknowledgeHimineverythingwedo. There is a wonderful promise in Psalm 32:8, ?I will counsel you with My eye upon you.? God loves this intimacy with us. Because we know His Word, we understand what is right and what is not.
3. Watchover our heart! We are in a broken world because, when our liberties were assaulted, we were silent. We knew it was not right to take God?s Word out of our schools; but we were quiet. We were ?good citizens,? not wanting to make anyone uncomfortable. When our hearts are established in God?s Word, they will not lead us astray. We must guard our hearts against pride, jealousy, lust, or any other thing that will pollute the springs of life.
? ? Living in a broken world is exciting, because we have the First Aid kit to restore it to life and meaning. It takes vigilance and care. We must fortify our hearts and minds with God?s Word and prayer. We must follow the Apostle Peter?s admonition in 1 Peter 1:13, ?Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.? It is easy to allow the day?s news headlines to distract us. Our favorite television programs can dull our senses. Our duties with children, spouses, jobs or friends will sap us of our strength and distract us from our mission. ? ? Do not be deceived! God has plans for you! Jeremiah 29:11, written to Israel and Judah while they were captive, still says, ?For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says theLord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.? Living in this broken world, we are still Salt and Light. We preserve and flavor, guide and illumine while living. Watch over your heart! Determine to be Salt and Light in this broken world! Give ?em Heaven! Pastor Chuck Hamby
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Cal l ed To... Est ab l i sh Boun d ar i es A Year of Calling : Devotional Study Series - Part VI Mary Beth Pecora
oes the word 'Boundary' bring negative or positive thoughts?
For most, boundary has a negative connotation. Actually, though, boundaries are very good; they help establish parameters. The word boundary can be defined as a line that marks the limits of an area, a dividing line, or a border. It is wise to establish a boundary for acceptable behaviors in our life. Psalm 16:5-6 (NIV) says, ?Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.? For a boundary line to fall, it must first be launched. While studying this passage, I discovered that, in biblical days, boundary stones were set up to indicate the parameters of fields or landed estates. It was common for neighbors to illegally move a neighbor's stones to increase their holdings. Moving boundary stones was considered a crime. The law concerning these stones says: "Do not move your neighbor?s boundary stone set up by your predecessors in the inheritance you receive in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess" (Deuteronomy 19:14, NIV).
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God put s l imit at ions on us: If permitted to do anything at any time, we are undisciplined. As a parent, we must teach boundaries to our children to ensure their safety. When God says our ?portion has been made secure,? He is reassuring that He has (and will continue to) provided! Boundaries that have fallen are in pleasant places where we reach for (and receive) our inheritance. Even in creation, boundaries were created and made secure! The land is distinct from the sky and from the seas ? providing a firm foundation! Boundaries provide a firm foundation! God?s establishments are firm, secure and pleasant. He establishes and secures us, not in ourselves but in Him! If we don?t allow Him to do this, our life can be awfully messy! Think about it! When the earth was created, if no boundaries existed between land, sky and seas, creation would not be as beautiful as it is! Take a ride into the foothills on a sunny day. Note the green, grassy fields and rolling hills lined with beautiful trees and garden edges ? where obvious boundaries are marked out. Boundaries, when defined, display God?s beauty! Let boundaries define you! Formal boundaries make it easier to choose right from wrong. Setting boundaries is wise! There is an invitation sent out for wisdom or folly. Which will you choose? If choosing folly (a life without boundaries), here?s what you receive: ?Folly is an unruly woman; she is simple and knows nothing. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way, ?Let all who are simple come to my house!?To those who have no sense she says, ?Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!?But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead? (Proverbs 9:13-18, NIV). A life without boundaries is an undisciplined one!
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"BOUNDARIESPROVIDEAFIRMFOUNDATION! THELANDISDISTINCTFROMTHESKYANDFROM THESEAS?PROVIDINGAFIRMFOUNDATION! "
GENERATINGBOUNDARIES ALLOWSGODTOWORKINOUR LIFE,RELEASINGHISBLESSINGS! The Cal l : Here?s the call (Proverbs 8, NIV) of wisdom: ?? Does not understanding raise her voice?...I raise my voice to all mankind? Listen, for I have trustworthy things to say; I open my lips to speak what is right... for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her? " (verses 1, 4, 6, 11) "...The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was formed long ages ago, at the very beginning, when the world came to be. When there were no watery depths, I was given birth, when there were no springs overflowing with water; before the mountains were settled in place; before the hills, I was given birth, before he made the world or its fields or any of the dust of the earth. I was there when he set the heavens in place, when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when he established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep, when he gave the sea its boundary so the water would not overstep his command, and when he marked out the foundations of the earth...." (verses 22-29). For those who find me (wisdom) find life and receive favor from the Lord (verse 35). Instituting boundaries means applying wisdom. 28 June 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
Finding wisdom brings favor from the Living God. When He makes our cup secure and releases boundaries, our inheritance is released. God fashioned boundaries so nothing would overstep His commands. His decrees cannot be overridden, for He is supreme! Generating boundaries allows God to work in our life, releasing His blessings! Boundaries help us be disciplined, to draw a line in certain areas of life and in our walk with God and other people. In this process, we learn when to say ?Yes!? or ?No!? Since Jesus promised that the ?boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places,? we should embrace boundaries as good. When something is good (or pleasant), we get a sense of happiness, satisfaction or enjoyment. Enjoy boundaries; be satisfied with them in place! God always intended us to maintain boundaries to keep us healthy ? emotionally, spiritually and physically. ?May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it? (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, NIV). Jesus came to make us whole! ?Dear friends, this is no my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking? (2 Peter 3:1, NIV). Inst it ut ing boundaries produces whol esome t hinking and a whol esome l if est yl e! It ?s t ime f or a l if est yl e change!
Making Changes With You! -Mary Beth Pecora 29 His Word, Your Hope EnduringHopeMinistries.com
Abominat ion of Desol at ion
Mark 13:14-23 ?When you see ?the abomination that causes desolation?standing where it does not belong? let the reader understand? then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let no one on the housetop go down or enter the house to take anything out. 16 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 17 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 18 Pray that this will not take place in winter, 19 because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now? and never to be equaled again. 20 ?If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them. 21 At that time if anyone says to you, ?Look, here is the Messiah!?or, ?Look, there he is!?do not believe it. 22 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 23 So be on your guard; I have told you everything ahead of time. In the following passages, Jesus answered the disciple?s question ?And what will be the sign when all these things will be fulfilled?? Jesus referred back to the prophet Daniel who had spoken about the tribulation that would occur. Jesus wanted the disciples to realize when the abomination of desolation occurred, it would signify the onslaught of persecution. However, Jesus wanted them to realize He was the One who would continue to be their Provider, Defender, Protector, Sustainer, and Equipper. The character of God does not change. Just as Jesus prepared the disciples beforehand, He also speaks His truths so His people so we too will be prepared. God uses His Living Word to speak His truths to the heart of His people. But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you 30 June 2016 Point of Hope Magazine
must continue in the in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them (NKJV- 2 Timothy 3:13-15). We as followers of Jesus Christ must continue in the things we have learned. In other words, we cannot be just hearers of the Word of God but be doers of it. When the Holy Spirit directs us to truth, we must adhere to His ways. The Greatest Teacher you will ever sit under is the Holy Spirit. His job is to always point you to Jesus. To direct you to truth and will reveal only things He hears the Father speaking. Our assurance is developed when we come to know the character and nature of God. Our confidence rests in knowing God is faithful in all He is. Are you taking the time to be with One who beckons you to Him?
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