March 14, ’23 Reflection on “Living Hope!”

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest is love. I Corinthians 13:13. Nevertheless, I am continually with you. You hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward You will receive me to glory.  Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:23-26.

         Hope is the link between Faith in Jesus and Love, for these two–believing, loving, as Jesus births a joyous and eternal Hope for our salvation with the Lord. This promise is the foundation of Hope that encourages us every day. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. Psalm 118:8-9.

         Living ‘by faith’ creates a hunger for God’s Way to righteousness. Hearing and Believing blossoms into Faith. What is faith? Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith, we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 11:1-3.

          Do we read His Wore once a week? No, Hope happens day and night as we read and obey His Word. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him.

Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. I Peter 1:8-9.

         Is this a new idea? We find this commandment in the Old Testament.

        You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:5-7. This is found also in Matthew 22:36-39, in the New Testament.

         Why is this commandment important? It is the beginning of believing and trusting: “For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.  Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because He has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John 3: 16-18.

         One day, Karen brought me some dwarfed Petunia seeds. They were so tiny, I wondered in awe again at the Providence of God. As the seeds grew, it reminds me of how my ancestors brought the best red wheat seed to bring with them to America in 1874. God commanded Man, His Creation, to be fruitful and multiply eleven times from Genesis (9)—to Ezekiel (1) and Jeremiah (1). God loves things that are born and mature. As I watch things grow and see my family enlarge and turn to God, I praise God for His goodness and wisdom.

         Is that all, sitting back and rejoicing? Then comes times of testing our faith. And I turn to James 1:2-4. Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

          And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

         Then I read this scripture: And He said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” Mark 16:15-16.

         Jesus said, “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of Him who sent me.” John 5:30. Whose will do we desire? If we truly reflect Jesus, we desire our Lord God.

         What is an Ambassador? A representative. Even as in Christ Jesus, we have a new identity in Him and a new Land. When I read this, I realize God has given us a challenge to follow Him and be His Ambassadors. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.  2 Corinthians 5:20-21.

         How can we be ambassadors? Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:2-4.

         God is so amazing. When I was unable to do anything and dreaded each painful moment during rehab over a year ago. God provided just what I needed! So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. I Corinthians 10:31.

         Being an ambassador isn’t in just the realm of pain. But teaching and living as Jesus Christ commands in our jobs, in our relationships and as parents. ‘Be fruitful and multiply’ has other meanings as an Ambassador for Jesus Christ, raising our blessing of children in the way of the Lord. There is more to loving others than meets the eye. So, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2.