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Posts Tagged ‘Romans 15:13’

I think most of us can agree on the ideas advanced in this meme. The question in my mind focuses around hope.

It’s natural to “hope for the best” in all things. To hope our children will do well. To hope our parents live a few more years. To hope our finances survive the latest economic challenge. To hope that rap/hip-hop goes away (sorry, that’s just my hope ;-)).

But what about something bigger? Something beyond the 70 or 80 years we spent on this planet?

We live in a culture that constantly, subtly discourages us from pondering the BIG questions. Go shopping, get a tatoo, pursue another promotion, buy the newest smartphone. THAT, our culture insists, is what we should focus on.

Maybe you’ve done that for awhile. And maybe you’ve come to realize your soul is hungry for something more. Something deeper. (Perhaps that’s why you’re reading this blog).

I wanted something more, and that led me to Jesus of Nazareth, who many people believe is the Son of God. I follow Him because He offers a precious HOPE to everyone – including YOU – regardless of who they are or what they’ve done (or not done).

  • Hope to be the person you were created to be
  • Hope for this world, which even the most optimist of us must admit isn’t doing very well
  • Hope for something beyond this life

How can one guy do all this? Consider these quotes from ancient writers:

  • He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts.
  • The Spirit God gave us does not make us afraid. His Spirit is a source of power and love and self-control.
  • The Sovereign Lord is my strength. He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.

And these words, from one of Jesus’s earliest and most influential followers:

  • The Lord is true to His promises; He will hold you up and guard you against the evil one.
  • I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in him. Then you will have more and more hope.

There it is. HOPE.

So how can you get in on this? Simple. God offers Jesus as a gift to anyone willing to accept Him. All you need to do is say yes to Jesus. Declare, with honest sincerity, that He is your Lord, Saviour and best friend. Ask Him to forgive you for all the wrong things you’ve done and all the right things you’ve failed to do. Ask Him to give you the HOPE only He can provide.

When that happens, Jesus comes into your life and starts to make you who you were created to be. It’s a long process that won’t end until this life ends. When that happens, trusting in Jesus means that God will see you like He sees His Son: perfect in every way. And you’ll be welcomed into Heaven to spend eternity with Him.

Sound good? Yes or no, post your comment below and let’s have a conversation. 🙂

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I discovered this fascinating meme on Pinterest then, after confirming its authenticity (Jillette is half of the renowned Penn & Teller duo of magicians), I decided to see if my life as a follower of Jesus of Nazareth is compatible with his commandments.

Let’s go through the list.

1. Intelligence, creativity and love are wonderful ideals. The last one, in fact, is so important that an ancient Jesus follower wrote “Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love”.

2. Putting things or ideas above other people inevitably leads to disaster. Look at the misery caused by ideas like communism and fascism. Look how some people drive themselves into bankruptcy in their pursuit of a bigger house, fancier vehicles and more vacations. So I’m definitely with Penn on this one.

3. Saying what you mean, even when talking to yourself, is a great ‘commandment’; how many of us delude ourselves—and others—through carefully worded deceptions?

4. Putting aside time to rest and think is vital. In fact, it’s a pillar of following Jesus. Not only do ancient writers and prophets depict God as resting after creating the universe, one of the Ten Commandments (#4) tells us “Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don’t do any work.”

5. Loving your parents, partner and children is sometimes hard (given complicated family dynamics), but it’s still a no-brainer for pretty much everyone.

6. Respect and protect all human life. Yes! That’s why most serious Jesus followers are pro-life.

7. Keep your promises. Of course. And this requires us to be very thoughtful about what promises we make.

8. Don’t steal. So glad atheists like Penn agree with #8 in God’s Ten Commandments. 🙂

9. Don’t lie. This one lines up with #9 in God’s Ten Commandments.

10. Wasting time wishing, hoping and being envious? There’s nothing wrong with a little hoping. In fact, one of Jesus’s earliest followers wrote “I pray that the God who gives hope will fill you with much joy and peace as you trust in him. Then you will have more and more hope.” Envy? Another ancient writer addressed it this way: “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.

How about that? Turns out Jesus followers and atheists have more in common than many folks might think. So, if you’re one of those people who leans toward atheism, maybe it’s time to give Jesus an open-minded second look.

In fact, you might find the ideas that (1) you actually have a soul and it’s vitally important to Someone, and (2) there’s an eternity beyond our 80-or-so years of working, eating and sleeping to be very attractive.

Your thoughts? Post them below and Let’s have a conversation.

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