Staff -founder / president Melissa Pearce
-copy editor Laurie Hamby
-contributing writers Jamie Clawson Katie Cline Pastor Chuck Hamby Toni Hembree Maureen Kurp Melissa Pearce Ronald Pearce Mary Beth Pecora
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What keeps a heart from falling into a state of discouragement and despair? Itâ€™s hope! Hope is the anchor every heart needs to persevere. Without hope, the soul flounders and at times sinks. God never intended for us to flounder or sink. He called us to be overcomers in Him. However, we have to place our hope in Him and not our own abilities, people or possessions. He has to be the Anchor within our lives. When He is the Anchor, He gives us security, love and peace. As Anchor, He wants our hearts to be filled with His assurance. Assurance comes when we know deep down within our hearts the faithfulness of God. His assurance gives us security. We know we can place our hope in Him and He will remain faithful. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (NIV â€“ Hebrews 10:23). As Anchor, He can be trusted to set the pace within our lives. Just as an anchor drags on the bottom of the ocean, it causes the ship to slow down. At other times, the anchor settles on the ocean floor, causing the ship to stop. There will be times within our lives, God will allow the anchor to drag because He is looking to do a greater work within our hearts or reveal a deeper side of Himself to us. Sometimes He will have the anchor settle so we can rest in Him. No matter what, we must realize the love God has for us. When our hearts are anchored in His love, we realize we are a conqueror in Him. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37). Finally, as Anchor, He can be trusted to be our constant One within the storms, giving our hearts His peace. When our hearts are anchored in God, He enables us to move forward. He gives us the courage to look past our fears and press forward. He fills our heart with joy instead of despair. God wants you anchored to Him because He wants your heart filled with His amazing Hope. eyes like flint on the One Who is able, and watch Him do amazing things within your life!
~In Him Melissa Pearce Founder/President Enduring Hope Ministries
Isaiah 35: 1 The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and
Spring Has Sprung!
Winter has passed and springtime has come!
out my cold, snowy window, looking ahead at what lies before us.
I am writing this as I look The trees and flowers
become full of life, buds appear, and blooming occurs, so symbolic of the different seasons of our lives!
Drab, cold, winter days make way for warm, sunny, pleasant ones ahead.
Since I like researching words to get a deeper understanding of their meanings, I began by looking up the word “blossom.” It said this:
a flower to open, to begin to thrive or flourish, to
develop well in a pleasing or promising way.
The word “wilderness” is defined as an uncultivated, uninhabited region; waste.
If you are in a dry season—a time of feeling unfruitful or being in the wilderness, alone – trust that God is promising gladness and a season to bloom, to blossom. Even if it currently seems that a time to blossom is far away, here’s the rest of the promise in the same chapter:
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy (Isaiah 35: 2).
You are promised not only to bloom, but to burst; which is to be abnormally full!
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord and the splendor of our God (Isaiah 35: 2b).
Lebanon and Sharon are fertile regions known for beautiful trees and foliage.
The areas of
dryness in your life shall produce, and the glory and splendor of the Lord shall be seen! Regions shall see them!
Regions shall see Him.
To get there, we are next instructed to:
Strengthen our feeble hands; steady our knees that give way,
Say to those with fearful hearts,
be strong, do not fear; your God will come; He will come with vengeance; with divine retribution. He will come to save you (Isaiah 35: 3-4).
We are encouraged to stand up in strength and confidence, knowing that God will come! need not fear!
Look at what is promised then:
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped. lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. wilderness and streams in the desert.
Then will the
Water will gush forth in the
The burning sand will become a pool, the thirsty ground
bubbling springs (Isaiah 35:5-7).
Let ’ s picture this and understand the imagery here! The dry, parched, cracked land – the wilderness land, where there is no vegetation, no growth — will gush forth water and release streams of refreshment in the desert.
The hot, burning sand that is very difficult to walk on
barefooted will become thirsty and will be watered.
Incidentally, the subtitle for this chapter that we are looking at is:
The Joy of the Redeemed!
When fullness of joy is released, it blossoms and releases miracles, signs and wonders.
scripture tells us the eyes of the blind are opened…the ears that are deaf are unstopped…the lame leap like a deer and the mute tongue shouts for joy!
A highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness (Isaiah 35: 8).
A highway is a road built-up to make travel easy.
In Biblical days, the roads were not built-up
but dusty and rocky, with lots of obstacles making traveling difficult.
So when Isaiah stated
that a highway will be there, he was promising a road free of obstacles that many could travel on!
Another verse states this: There will be a highway for the people (Isaiah 11: 16).
A built-up road, in my Bible Text notes, indicates the removal of obstacles leading to Jerusalem.
This city was the place they gathered to worship.
Yes, may all obstacles be removed –
especially the ones that prevent worship!
No lion will be there, nor will any ferocious beast get up on it; they will not be found there and the ransomed, the redeemed of the Lord will return. everlasting joy will crown their heads.
They will enter Zion with singing;
Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and
sighing will flee away (Isaiah 35: 9-10).
Yes, my friends, there is a road ahead of you, free from obstacles; a road prepared for you to travel on, a road paved out … For in the days of old, wild animals would sometimes travel on these roads making traveling dangerous. Many obstacles were ahead and the road was unsure. The fear of being attacked shall be gone, for the highway has been built-up and has been prepared.
As you walk, a crown of everlasting joy is upon you, is upon your head…
For within His crown, IS a crown of glory, IS a crown of joy!
For gladness and joy will overtake
you and sorrow and sighing will be no more!
So as you see the blossoms, remember the strength, remember the joy, and remember the miracles; for this is the highway that God is preparing for us to walk upon, for it will be there…
It is there!
Miracles, signs and wonders shall be released on this journey — this road — this highway … a highway for our God.
Prepare the Way of the Lord…Make straight paths
for Him…for this is your inheritance…This is the joy set before you—your road—your journey!
So let us:
Throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run
with perseverance the race marked out for us.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and
perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God
It’s time to bloom!
(Hebrews 12: 1b-2).
It’s time to flourish!
It’s time to release the joy of the redeemed, an everlasting joy that is your crown… that is His glory and for His glory!
Written by : Mary Beth Pecora
As people get ready to celebrate Easter, many use this time to reflect upon God’s love, the works of the Cross, and God’s amazing grace. Yet, while it is good to reflect upon all of these things, we need to take it one step further. We need to receive what God has done for us. Too often, we do not receive all God has for us because we are not accepting the whole gift He has given to us. Let me explain. There are times we will receive a gift from a friend or loved one. We did not expect it from them; they chose out of love to do it for us. However, the friend does not give us part of a gift, but the whole thing. Nor, would we just open part of the gift. We would open the whole package. This is the same with God. God’s amazing grace is His unmerited favor towards us. We cannot earn it nor do we deserve it. Out of love for us, He sent His Son, Jesus, to be our Savior, Redeemer, Deliver, Provider and Healer. Yet, too many of us are not receiving God’s grace He has given us because we are bound by our own works.
Grace is God’s gift to whomever would receive it from Him. The criminal who hung on the cross next to Jesus understood this principle.
Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly , for we received the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember, me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (NKJV – Luke 23:39-43).
Notice what Jesus said to the criminal who turned to Him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Jesus did not tell the criminal he had to perform for Him or work to obtain Jesus’ forgiveness. Jesus did not tell the criminal he had to wait for a period of time before He would receive him. No, it was in that very moment, when the criminal turned to Jesus, that grace was extended to him. Jesus said to him, “…today you will be with Me...” God’s grace is for NOW! God wants us to receive the fullness of His forgiveness and to walk in His grace. Grace is God’s gift to each one of us. You do not have to wait for it; all you have to do is receive it! When Jesus died on the Cross, He did all the work for us. Jesus is just waiting for you to receive the fullness of His gift He has for you. Why do so many people struggle with receiving God’s grace for the forgiveness of sins? Is it because they do not understand God’s grace? Or have they been so
conditioned by man that they believe love and forgiveness is based upon performance? Our relationship in Jesus Christ is not based upon works but our faith in Him. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (NKJV-Ephesians 2:8-9). God does not love the way man loves. God’s love is unconditional and constant. We cannot do anything to add to God’s love, nor can we do anything to detract from it. He does not love based upon performance, works, or conditions. The more we learn to understand the love God has for us, the more we will walk in His amazing grace. God’s love has no conditions or boundaries. What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all- how will he not also, along with
him, graciously give us all things (NIV – Romans 8:31-32)? For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (NIV-Romans 8:38-39). God’s wants you to be fully convinced of the love He has for you. When we are secure in Him, we accept the fullness of His amazing grace. God does not want us basing our relationship on works for Him. Our relationship with God begins and ends with God’s grace.
grace brings liberty, setting us free from legalism and bondage. His grace helps us to understand who we are in Christ Jesus, an heir of Christ. His grace empowers us to fulfill the impossible tasks before us. Lastly, His grace is always motivated out of love. Isn’t it time for you to receive God’s amazing grace? God thinks so. He wants you to learn about His love and to receive all He has ordained for you. He wants you to receive His grace NOW! Don’t wait and be burdened, but walk in the security of His love, the victory of the Cross and the destiny of His grace. Remember, this is your gift from God. Receive it!
In Him, Melissa Pearce It is through God’s grace that we are brought into a deeper relationship with Him. His
Founder/President Enduring Hope Ministries Visit: www.EnduringHopeMinistries.com
The definition of “gossip,” defined by Webster’s Dictionary, is “information about the behavior and personal lives of other people; rumor or report of an intimate nature; a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts about others.”
God’s Word clearly states that we are not to gossip. Rather, it tells us to esteem others better than [ourselves] (Philippians 2:3) and just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise (Luke 6:31). Jesus told the Pharisees ..out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment (Matthew 12:34-36). And James 3:6, 9-10 says …the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. Why does God hate gossip so much? Because gossip is a killer. It kills relationships, it kills our character, and it kills our witness. We are to be a light on a hill and the salt of the earth, drawing people to Christ; not pushing them away by belittling others to esteem ourselves. When we gossip, we prove ourselves untrustworthy. People will refuse to confide in us, and they may refuse God because of us. Here are some S.I.M.P.L.E. Tips to help your heart and words live up to God’s standard… 1.
Beware of telling others’ business under the pretense of them “needing prayer.” Get permission to share a true prayer need from the one who owns it. Gossip can stem from jealousy, anger, and unforgiveness. Ask God to show you if you are holding any of those things in your heart. Remember this – we are all created in the image of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guard the doors of your mouth (Micah 7:5). He will quicken your spirit so you can stop gossip before it starts. Live by this adage – If you wouldn’t say it in front of the person, don’t say it behind their back.
Growing along with you, to be more like Him, ~Jamie Clawson email@example.com
It was a night to remember for all eternity. No doubt the air was thick and humid, due to the vegetation in the garden and the Mediterranean climate surrounding the city. It was a quiet night, so quiet in fact that your thoughts seem to shout at you. A walk in the garden might bring some kind of peace of mind. It was a somber night – the night before the world, as it was known, would be changed forever.
Just a few hours earlier, twelve friends had gathered for a meal they learned would be their last together…for now. This meal probably started like any other: friends laughing at each other’s quips, reminiscing about old times, and sharing some inside jokes. But as they sat down to eat with their beloved teacher, He spoke of something that shook them to their core.
“Assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me.” And they were exceedingly sorrowful, and each of them began to say to Him, “Lord, is it I?” He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. The Son of Man indeed goes just as it is written of Him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” Then Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Rabbi, is it I?” He said to him, “You have said it” (Matthew 26:20-25).
The evening became very strange as the word “betray” haunted the room. A deafening silence penetrated the party. Then the teacher spoke again. His speech was always captivating, and though he often spoke in parables and metaphors, those who listened hung on to his every word. But tonight’s analogy signified the end of an era.
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:26-29).
This was not the first time the disciples had heard about the Father’s kingdom. Jesus had talked of the glory of Heaven on several occasions, yet this time it was surreal. And where there should have been rejoicing over the coming of this perfect place, a sense of despair was looming in the atmosphere. Can you imagine what the disciples were thinking? What about Jesus’ thoughts? If He was God incarnate, why did He feel sorrowful about what was to come? He often spoke of Heaven and its beauty, so was Jesus afraid
of death or was the weight of the world’s sin too much for him to bear? Why did God seem so distant? If God could abandon His Son in His most desperate hour, then why would He ever care about what happens to us?
As the tension mounted in the Upper Room, it was no wonder the dinner party reconvened to the serenity of the Garden of Gethsemane. But why would Jesus feel the need to go off by himself to pray? Perhaps a walk would ease some of the tension and clear the Master’s head. Each step on this desperate trek must have been heavy, painful, and exhausting as blood, mixed with sweat, dripped from Jesus’ brow and left a trail behind him.
He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will… Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done…” So He left them [the disciples], went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He
came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand” (Matthew 26:39-46).
God hear His one and only Son crying out in desperation, not once but three times to take this cup from Him? What did Jesus do to deserve what was to come? He was betrayed by two of his closest friends, put on a public trial of utter humiliation in front of thousands, accused of blaspheming his own Father, spat on, kicked, flogged, beaten to the point of disfiguration, nailed to a tree, and suffocated to death. How could God just watch from afar on His throne? If God is all-powerful, then why didn’t He do something to stop this?
The reason came three days later: the resurrection. This is the one aspect of Christianity that no other religion can claim. Because of the severity of sin, there could be no other way. Jesus knew all along that His purpose for living was death. Had he come to live a sinless life without the sacrifice of death, we would be separated from God the Father forever and our lives would be hopeless. The
Word became flesh so that He could truly empathize with His creation.
God does not purposefully hurt us. He loves us too much to leave us in agony. No matter the hurt and no matter how deep, God can take on your pain because He knows what pain feels like. He watched His one and only Son die in the most vile and disgraceful way. And the reason He did not stop it was because He had you in mind. He knows your pain. . He sees every tear that falls and endures the pain of every broken heart. He sacrificed his perfect Son so that you could live in His Kingdom forever – free from pain, free from disappointment, and free from despair.
So take heart, there is a silver lining! Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can rest assured that our pain is only temporary. When we feel like God has abandoned us in our pain, we only need to remember Jesus’ final hours on earth. His pain is our gain. By: Toni Hembree
noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book For centuries the Holy Bible was the that is thus early impressed lasts long, and primary text in the schools of this great nation. probably, if not impressed in infancy never Founding father Fisher Ames wrote an article takes firm hold of the mind.” * called, “School Books.” Here is a quote from it. “It has been the custom of late years to put Mr. Ames was living proof of his reasoning. a number of little books into the hands of He learned to read the Scriptures in early children containing fables and moral lessons.” childhood and by the age of six, was learning But Ames noted that each time a new Latin. At the age of twelve, he passed the schoolbook was placed into the classroom, entrance exam to Harvard and graduated time was spent on it, thus reducing the time when he was sixteen.
He then became a
spent by students on the Bible. The overall teacher. effect was that the Bible was gradually drifting In the past, a moral sense of right and to the back of the classroom, and to this wrong has been commonly understood.
Ames strongly objected. community standards of our villages were He continued in the article, “ Why then, if based on the Law of Moses. Our government these books for children must be retained (as was founded on these principles with great they will be), should not the Bible regain the success. In the last seventy-five years, there place it once held as a school book? Its has been a migration from the Biblical morals are pure; its examples captivating and statutes that kept us safe, stable, and strong.
We have ignored the equation: God ’ s
My people have committed two evils:
promises are built on God ’ s principles. We
have forsaken Me, The fountain of living
have become a culture that arrogantly asks,
“Who said so?”
cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water ”
(NASB). Our “ wisdom ”
We have fallen and we can ’ t get up. In sophistication have brought us to moral professing ourselves as a culture of brilliance bankruptcy. (especially the educated elite), we have become fools. We have exchanged the glory We have rejected that we are made in of the incorruptible God for an image in the God’s image and have begun to make God in form of corruptible man and of birds and our image. He has become small and insipid four-footed animals and crawling creatures with no power or promise to aid us in our (Romans 1:23 NASB). desperation. Our “ experts ” are continually Though we have not hewn out images amazed that things have not gone as they (yet), we have displaced the wisdom of God had surmised. The economy is faltering, the with our vain imaginings. Centuries before violence is increasing, and our children are Christ, men were imagining how the universe falling farther and farther behind in education. could have come about other than in the Why is that? We are spending more now than beginning God created the heavens and the ever before on education and all empirical earth.
We have crowded God from our evidence says we are in a
“ fabledom. ”
“ free-fall ”
But in our pursuit, we have examination of an eighth grade class in
destroyed ourselves. We have lost sense of Salina, Kansas in 1895. All I will say is – wonder about being made in the image of check it out! God, because back when we were being Back in the nineteenth century, the Bible instructed in the Law of God, the crude and was still prominent in our schools. There was callous call, “Who said so?” came forth. a prayer before the school day began. There was no protest that someone may be 12
Jeremiah chapter 2 records,
“ Be offended. There were children who were able
appalled, O heavens, at this, And shudder, be to answer the questions and pass the (before very desolate,” declares the LORD. 13 “For
mentioned) examination. We banned prayer
forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15
“ Now My eyes will be open and My ears
from the classroom. The foundation of our nation has been chipped away and we
attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 16
“ For now I have chosen and consecrated
wonder how it happened.
this house that My name may be there It happened covertly. Our institutions of forever, and My eyes and My heart will be higher learning used to be places that there perpetually. honored God. Both Harvard and Yale were 17
“ As for you, if you walk before Me as your schools to train ministers to rightly divide the father David walked, even to do according to Word of Truth. They taught the Scriptures. all that I have commanded you, and will keep Now they are relegated to a Comparative My statutes and My ordinances, Religions class. What happened? 18
then I will establish your royal throne as I When the door is closed on the Light and covenanted with your father David, saying, Life, there should be no surprise when we ‘You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’ experience darkness and death.
“ But if you turn away and forsake My education
an statutes and My commandments which I have
humanistic set before you, and go and serve other gods
progressivism. Students are not taught how and worship them, to think; they are taught what to think. 20
then I will uproot you from My land which I have given you, and this house which I have Our situation is far from hopeless, 12
consecrated for My name I will cast out of My however. 2 Chronicles 7 is still true…
Then sight and I will make it a proverb and a
the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and byword among all peoples. said to him, “ I have heard your prayer and 21
“ As for this house, which was exalted, have chosen this place for Myself as a house everyone who passes by it will be astonished of sacrifice. 13
“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no and say, ‘ Why has the LORD done thus to rain, or if I command the locust to devour the this land and to this house?’ land, or if I send pestilence among My 22 14
“ And they will say, ‘ Because they forsook people,
and My people who are called by the LORD, the God of their fathers who
My name humble themselves and pray and brought them from the land of Egypt, and they seek My face and turn from their wicked adopted other gods and worshiped them and ways, then I will hear from heaven, will
served them; therefore He has brought all this
with charity toward all and malice toward
adversity on them’” (NASB).
none, darkness back. This requires courage, it
We are not helpless, hopeless, or commitment… all to which, in God’s name, I desolate; we need only to turn to the light. We call you! carry the light of God’s Word to drive the must at every corner, in every place, with charity toward all and malice toward none,must at
~Pastor Chuck Hamby every corner, in every place,
Cornerstone TeleVision * The Founders Bible: Shiloh Road Publishers: David Barton, author of the article
I’m not a fan of corny analogies, but I’m going there today.
I’m trying to form some better habits in my morning routine, one of which is making breakfast. I woke up today ready to tackle the morning, but before I knew it, I was running late. Still, I was determined to make breakfast. Quick and easy oatmeal was the solution. The only bowl available was smaller than the one I usually use in the microwave, but I went with it anyway. All of you oatmeal-making veterans know exactly what came next – The Great Oatmeal Explosion of 2014. Running late could have shattered my good mood, let alone having to clean up the oatmeal swamp. Despite it all, I just laughed. We’ve all been there. We set out to do something. We create a grand plan. We want to exercise more, eat well, put better effort into a relationship, clean the house, spend more time with God, etc. The roadblocks come, the obstacles pour, and life happens.
Despite the fact that the proverbial oatmeal will at some point explode, I believe God wants us to set goals and build dreams. He’s all about us trying to take care of ourselves and our family. I’m not talking about painfully striving for perfection, having poor boundaries for your life, not giving yourself grace, or anything like that. I’m talking about trying to be your best for yourself, your family, and God. We know we can’t be perfect, but we can try to be healthy, effective, and efficient vessels. The Great Oatmeal Explosion of 2014 reminded me of a few things: 1. Obstacles come. Stuff keeps getting in the way? Congratulations! You’re normal. That’s no reason for us to stop trying to take care of ourselves, our families, our homes, etc. Don’t let setbacks or fear win.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3).
2. Perseverance is a key. This is old news, but it’s worth repeating. Reaching goals and building dreams requires hard work. Press on and recruit loving people to cheer for you! And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1b). Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything (James 1:4). 3. Include God. Whether it’s trying to create healthy habits, undertaking a messy room, or building a business, make sure that God’s a part of the conversation and process. We need Him to help us persevere. We need Him to be our strength. It might seem ridiculous to ask Him to be a part of things that we deem small, but He cares. Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain (Psalm 127:1a). 4. Give grace. Oh boy, do we need it! We will stumble, fail, and have to reset and retry many times. The road to reaching our goals and building our dreams may get a little ugly. We get stuck sometimes. Rest in God’s goodness and grace. Wipe up the oatmeal and keep going!
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me (2 Corinthians 12:9). Don’t be discouraged when the oatmeal explodes. Keep moving forward. Know you’re not alone in this. You have a mighty God Who’s on your side. Surround yourself with positive people who can journey along with you. If you’re lacking those kinds of people, know that you have friends at Enduring Hope Ministries. Many blessings, Katie Cline firstname.lastname@example.org
“What if my boyfriend knows Jesus but isn’t at the same level as me?” While this situation is less black-and-white than do not be yoked together with an unbeliever (2 Corinthians 6:14), God still gives us guidance in His Word to navigate through this question. Reiterating from last month’s article, God wants to be the first love in your life. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus gave this as the number one commandment – ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ The fact that you are asking this particular question means that your relationship with Christ is important to you, and that you want to do what is right and in accordance with His plan for your life. But, on the other hand, the fact that you’re asking this question probably means that you’re feeling convicted. You know – that feeling or nudging that won’t go away, no matter how hard you try to repress it. If that sounds like you, then take heart in the assurance of God’s guidance Your own ears will hear him. Right behind
You a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left (Isaiah 30:21, NLT).
Here are some practical questions to get you thinking:
Does this person help you grow closer to God, or does he pull you further away? Considering what God wants and has planned for your life – would you be compromising that by staying with or marrying this person?
It can be challenging to be fully satisfied with God, especially if there is a person who is meeting core needs that you have. Look over this list of hindrances that may affect your relationship with God through a relationship with another person. 1.
Immediate affection - God is a spiritual being. Jesus was a physical man, but He is in heaven right now. The Holy Spirit lives inside of you, but you cannot touch Him. It can be very
easy to dive into a relationship and stay there because it meets your physical needs of affection. (I suggest reading “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman to evaluate how you receive and show love, so that you are armed and ready to stand firm in Christ). Make sure you are not giving up the divine for the temporal and physical. The comfort of having your physical and emotional needs met with eventually fade – due to a break up, death, or simply from our fickle feelings. The wholeness and security you can find in Christ never has to fade. 2. Lust - Some people are more physically aggressive with affection. Be sure that your reason for being in a relationship is not to satisfy your flesh with the excitement that you feel with this person. Jesus warned that acting on your physical desires doesn’t have to occur for sin to take place. It starts in your mind and heart. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body (Matthew 5:28, The Message). 3. Identity - No matter how long you have been together, what you have been through, or how much you love each other, hear this – no guy can define you. We can think they do and feel like they do, but God says otherwise. As a Christian, you are HIS. He bought you with His blood. Isaiah 54:5 says, For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name. Finding your identity in anyone but Him will always bring confusion and turmoil. Being rooted
in Christ brings life and peace. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built (Luke 6:48). Christ should be the solid rock on which you stand and build your life upon! Maybe you are not feeling convicted, but are solely asking this question because you want your man to be as close to Christ as you are. Then do this: Pray for him. If this is the man God has for you, praying for him, in faith, will make a huge impact. God wants more for him than even you do! I also suggest reading “Not a Fan” by Kyle Idleman. It will challenge both of you to evaluate your walk with Christ and deepen your commitment to Him. Reading it together would be better yet! No matter your situation, God will show you the way. He is for you, not against you! Heed His voice, because He promises to never leave you!
Written By: ~Jamie Clawson email@example.com
P.O.H. is a publication of Enduring Hope Ministries.