A Loving Hope

Do everything in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14, NIV)

We look ahead and hope for the answers to our prayers. As we do, let us not forget to look around and hope for the deliverance of the sick, the frail, the needy, the anxious, the frightened, and the grieving. Like us, they, too, are struggling, waiting, anticipating. Let us give them love and consequently, give them hope.

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A Believing Hope

Commit your future to the Lord. Trust in him, and he will act on your behalf. (Psalm 37:5,NET)

A whole year awaits us. Will the next 365 days be filled with sunshine and laughter, or rain and pain? None of us knows. But there is one thing we know for sure: God will be with us every step of the journey. So, with all its highs and even its lows, 2022 will be our best year yet. This is the hope we believe in.

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I am CHOSEN; I am prepared for eternity.

And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:11)

Ever experienced any of these?

– A competition where the judges’ vote was “not you”

– A job interview that ended with them saying “not you”

– A proposal of love answered with a “not you”

The world may not choose you, but there is Someone who surely will, over and over again: Jesus Christ.

In fact, He already has. When He left heaven and took on the likeness of man, He already chose you. Even if choosing you also meant choosing a life of poverty, of shame, of scorn, of suffering, of death, He still did.

So against everyone telling you “not you,” shout aloud and say, “I am chosen, chosen by no less than the King of kings and Lord of lords.”

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I am ALIVE; I am prepared for eternity.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)

We won’t live on earth forever. There will come a day when our lungs would stop breathing and our heart would stop beating. Sounds bleak? Not if we look at it this way: our time here on earth is but a preparation for eternity. Therefore, death is not the end, but the beginning–the beginning of life eternal with Him who IS Life, Jesus Christ.

If we want to receive this kind of life, we must believe in Jesus’ redemptive power, turn away from sin, and surrender everything to the Lordship of Christ. Then our soul will live forever, even if our body dies and rots in the grave.

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I am INVOLVED; I am prepared for eternity.

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37)

We have been saved and redeemed and called into the family of God. We have been shepherded, looked after, and cared for. We have been edified within the Body; we have grown and matured in our faith. The next step? The next step is to look around—to look around and see that there is work to do: within the church, we can use our talents and skills and abilities so that our fellow believers could be edified and God, glorified… outside the church, we can be the hands that would reach out to those looking for help, looking for hope, looking for God.

Our Lord and Master is calling on us to act. To be His hands and feet, to be His instruments, to be His servants. Will we heed His call?

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I am EMBOLDENED; I am prepared for eternity.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:8)

As recipients of God’s mercy, we are called to witness. We are called to tell our neighbors, classmates and colleagues, friends and family, that they are loved and cherished by God. We are called to tell the poor, the sick, the chained, and the abandoned that provisions, healing, freedom, and acceptance–along with deliverance, hope, salvation and life–can be found in Jesus.

But how? We need power, not of speech or persuasion, but power from on high: the supernatural anointing of the Holy Spirit who alone touches hearts and transforms lives.

So before we go and witness, let us first stop and kneel. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to fill and saturate us, to empower and embolden us, that we may powerfully testify of God’s loving mercy.

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I am VIGILANT; I am prepared for eternity.

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)

The world we live in is fraught with evil: injustices, crimes, wars, moral decay, and systemic evil. All these and more call to us, tempting us to turn our backs from God.
But no matter how hard the pull may be, we must not succumb. We must resist the enemy and his temptations at all costs. Because it is our one soul, our eternal irrevocable destiny, that is at stake.

So let us keep our guards up. Let us not allow even a little entry point for the enemy to come into our lives. Through devoted prayer, careful study and living out of the Word, regular quiet time, participation in the fellowship of the saints, faithful service in the ministry, and engagement in other faith-building activities, we renounce sin, denounce the enemies’ attacks, and stand against anything that would take our eyes off of Jesus Christ.

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I am RECHARGED; I am prepared for eternity.

I am RECHARGED; I am prepared for eternity.
But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. (Malachi 4:2)

Half the year has already passed and you sure had your share of stresses and strains, heartaches and disappointments, challenges and trials. There are the daily rigors of life: chores to do, tasks to accomplish, bills to pay, children to attend to, and people to deal with. Then there are the problems of life: a severe illness, an impending layoff, a collapsing business, a painful betrayal, a broken relationship, a deceased loved one.

All of those may have left you feeling physically weak, mentally drained, and emotionally shattered. You may have even lost all hope that you want to throw the towel and just give up.

The good news? There is Someone who can recharge you–body, mind, and soul. There is Someone who can give you new strength and new hope and new life. If only you would come and claim the rest He offers. If only you would cast all your worries and anxieties to Him. If only you would allow Him to embrace you, restore you, revive you.

What are you waiting for? Come to Jesus.

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I am FREE; I am prepared for eternity.

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. (Romans 6:18)

The work of salvation was already completed. Jesus Christ did step out of heaven and into this earth. He did suffer, He did endure the Cross, He did die, and He did rise again in glory. It is done.

So why still live as a slave? Why still live under the shackles of sin and death? Go and receive God’s gift and be free: free to live and breathe and move for God… free to live under His grace and mercy… free to live in righteousness. You’ve been set free, so live like one!

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I am called to be holy; I am prepared for eternity.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. (Matthew 5:8)

Jesus’ teaching on holiness targeted the heart. In this verse, He did not command us to be pure in speech, ways, or spiritual activities. Jesus said: be pure in heart. BE HOLY. He aimed at the center of man’s being from which all thoughts, words, and actions come.

For if a man speaks decently yet delights in foul thoughts, acts with goodness yet harbors wicked motives, or sings in the church yet rejoices in the misery of others, what good is there? His heart’s sinfulness invalidates them all.

This month, let us relentlessly press on in our pursuit of holiness. Let us guard our hearts. Let us not leave any room for Satan to triumph in our families, in our communities, and even in the church. Once we do, not only will our sinful, distorted vision be cured, but we shall see the greatest and grandest spectacle we look forward to in eternity—JESUS.