When did Jesus of Nazareth really die? #PassoverLamb #GoodFriday

We are approaching Passover as well as Good Friday, and after recently learning about Exodus and the first Passover, I have became extremely interested in the traditions and festivals that Jewish people celebrate as well as holidays Christians celebrate nowadays. As a Christian, I barely know when, and why this all began. After going through Exodus and listening to sermons, I have even searched online for some additional information. I find it extremely interesting that Jesus is referred to as our Passover Lamb by Apostle Paul in his letter to the Corinthians. How likely is it? And why don’t Jewish people realize this celebration and tradition all points to Jesus, the Messiah as our Passover Lamb. Even how God laid down the rules for the selection of the lamb in Exodus reveals He is implying and actually applying this to His son. Crazy, right?

 

So, before we celebrate Passover on the 14th day of Nisan for 7 days, and before we come across Good Friday, let us look and the clues and facts that lead us to find out when Jesus was crucified and punished for all of the sins of the world. Once, and for all!

 

The following is not my research, but that of Jimmy Akin. Please be a Berean when it comes to digesting spiritual information. See if it adds up for yourself. Be your own detective. Please let us know what your thoughts and feelings are on the subject. Please note: all hateful and inconsiderate comments will not be shared or posted. Thank you!

 

 

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We all know that this happened in Jerusalem in the first century.

That separates Jesus from mythical pagan deities, who were supposed to live in places or times that none could specify.

Just how specific can we be with the death of Jesus?

Can we determine the exact day?

We can.

And here’s how . . .

 

Clue #1: The High Priesthood of Caiaphas

The gospels indicate that Jesus was crucified at the instigation of the first century high priest named Caiaphas (Matthew 26:3-4John 11:49-53).

We know from other sources that he served as high priest from A.D. 18 to 36, so that puts Jesus’ death in that time frame.

But we can get more specific. Much more.

 

Clue #2: The Governorship of Pontius Pilate

All four gospels agree that Jesus was crucified on the orders of Pontius Pilate (Matthew 27:24-26Mark 15:15Luke 23:24John 19:15-16).

We know from other sources when he served as governor of Judea–A.D. 26 to A.D. 36–so we can narrow down the range by several years.

But how are we going to get it down to a specific day and year?

 

Clue #3: After “the Fifteenth Year of Tiberius Caesar”

The Gospel of Luke tells us when the ministry of John the Baptist began:

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar . . . the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness [Luke 3:1-2].

This picks out a specific year: A.D. 29.

Since all four gospels depict the ministry of Christ beginning after that of John the Baptist had begun (Matthew 3Mark 1Luke 3John 1), this means that we can shave a few more years off our range.

The death of Christ had to be in a range of seven years: between A.D. 29 and 36.

 

Clue #4: Crucified on a Friday

All four gospels agree that Jesus was crucified on a Friday (Matt. 27:62Mark 15:42Luke23:54;  John 19:42), just before a Sabbath, which was just before the first day of the week (Matthew 28:1Mark 16:2Luke 24:1John 20:1).

We know that it was a Friday because it is referred to as “the day of preparation”–that is, the day on which Jews made the preparations they needed for the Sabbath, since they could not do any work on that day. Thus thus cooked food in advance and made other necessary preparations.

The Jewish Encyclopedia states:

Friday, as the forerunner of Shabbat, is called “‘Ereb Shabbat” (The Eve of Sabbath). The term “‘ereb” admits of two meanings: “evening” and “admixture” (Ex. xii. 38); and “‘Ereb Shabbat” accordingly denotes the day on the evening of which Sabbath begins, or the day on which food is prepared for both the current and the following days, which latter is Sabbath.

The idea of preparation is expressed by the Greek name paraskeué, given by Josephus (“Ant.” xvi. 6, § 2) to that day (compare Mark xv. 42; Luke xxiii. 54; Matt. xxvii. 62; John xix. 42). In Yer. Pesaḥim iv. 1 the day is called “Yoma da-’Arubta” (Day of Preparation) [Jewish Encyclopedia, s.v., "Calendar"].

That eliminates six of the days of the week, but there were still quite a few Fridays between A.D. 29 and 36.

Can we figure out which one?

 

Clue #5: A Friday at Passover

The gospels also agree that Jesus was crucified in conjunction with the annual feast of Passover (Matthew 26:2Mark 14:1Luke 22:1John 18:39).

Here we encounter a momentary complication, because Matthew, Mark, and Luke describe the Last Supper on Holy Thursday as a Passover meal (Matthew 26:19Mark 14:14Luke 22:15). That would suggest that Good Friday was the day after Passover.

However, when describing the morning of Good Friday, John indicates that the Jewish authorities had not yet eaten the Passover meal:

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the Praetorium [i.e., Pilate's palace]. It was early. They themselves did not enter the Praetorium, so that they might not be defiled, but might eat the passover. So Pilate went out to them [John 18:28-29a].

That suggests that the Passover would have begun on sundown Friday.

There are a number of ways of resolving this. For example, some have suggested that Jesus and his disciples used a different calendar than the Jewish authorities, and we know that there were different calendars in use in first century Judaism.

It’s also possible that Jesus just advanced the date of the Passover celebration for him and his disciples. I mean, they were already convinced he was the Messiah and the Son of God. If he says, “We’re celebrating Passover today,” and it’s a day earlier than most people, they’d just go with that. (Note that he made other modifications to the ceremony, such as instituting the Eucharist in the midst of it.)

And there are other solutions.

However, regardless of what Jesus’ movement did, we can look to John’s statement about the Jesus’ captors as an indication of what the Jewish authorities or the mainstream Jewish practice was: They were celebrating a Passover beginning on what we would call Friday evening.

That lets us narrow down the range of possible dates to just a few. Here is a complete list of the days between A.D. 29 and 36 on whose evenings Passover began:

  • Monday, April 18, A.D. 29
  • Friday, April 7, A.D. 30
  • Tuesday, March 27, A.D. 31
  • Monday, April 14, A.D. 32
  • Friday, April 3, A.D. 33
  • Wednesday, March 24, A.D. 34
  • Tuesday, April 12, A.D. 35
  • Saturday, March 31, A.D. 36

As you can see, we have just two candidates left: Jesus was either crucified on April 7 of A.D. 30 or April 3 of A.D. 33.

Which was it?

The traditional date is that of A.D. 33. You will find quite a number of people today advocating the A.D. 30 date.

Do the gospels let us decide between the two?

 

Clue #6: John’s Three Passovers

The Gospel of John records three different Passovers during the ministry of Jesus:

  • Passover #1: This is recorded in John 2:13, near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
  • Passover #2: This is recorded in John 6:4, in the middle of Jesus’ ministry.
  • Passover #3: This is recorded in John 11:55 (and frequently mentioned afterwards), at the end of Jesus’ ministry.

That means that the ministry of Jesus had to span something over two years. A fuller treatment would reveal that it spanned about three and a half years, but even if we assume it began immediately before Passover #1, the addition of two more Passovers shows that it lasted more than two years at a bare minimum.

That means the A.D. 30 date is out.

There is not enough time between the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar–A.D. 29–and the next year’s Passover to accomodate a ministry of at least two years.

The numbers don’t add up.

As a result, the traditional date of Jesus’ death–Friday, April 3, A.D. 33–must be regarded as the correct one.

Can we be even more precise?

 

Clue #7: “The Ninth Hour”

Matthew, Mark, and Luke each record that Jesus died about “the ninth hour” (Matthew 27:45-50Mark 15:34-37Luke 23:44-46).

“The ninth hour” is what we, today, would refer to as 3:00 p.m.

This allows us to narrow down the time of Jesus’ death to a very specific point in history: around 3:00 p.m on Friday, April 3, A.D. 33.

Of course, there are a lot of detailed arguments that I haven’t taken space to deal with here. But this is the thrust of things.

This is when it happened. 

 

#GoodNews: Kings find out man cannot survive if he ignores God #DrawNear #Intimacy

A PSALM IN CHRONICLES

Israel’s Northern Kingdom lasted less than 250 years. During this time, nineteen kings reigned over this kingdom and all of them were wicked. The longest reign of any king of Israel was 41 years. One king lasted only seven days. Judah, the Southern Kingdom, fared somewhat better. They survived more than 325 years with twenty kings. Seven of the leaders were good; thirteen were evil. One king reigned 55 years, but two governments continue in the two books of Chronicles.

The name Chronicles comes from the Greek word which is related to our word chronology. These books give a colorful and clear account of Israel’s history arranged in sequence. There are several differences between the books of Kings and the books of Chronicles. These are not discrepancies or inconsistencies but omissions. It is necessary to read both if one is to have the full history of Israel. Chronicles emphasizes Jewish ceremony and genealogies, whereas Kings is dominated by the prophets. Jerome, a church father of the fourth century A.D., considered Chronicles the epitome of the Old Testament. Modern readers find these books rich in history and spiritual lessons.

As in the book of Judges, the message of Chronicles comes through clearly: Man cannot survive if he ignores God. We must allow the Creator to govern our personal lives each day. Another lesson we learn in this book is that God is longing to help man. In David’s beautiful psalm recorded here, we find how deeply God desires to assist those who will turn to Him. Riches, honor, and strength come from God to those who love Him. Chronicles shows how hopeless it is for man to try to “go it” alone. Man will always be miserable until he fully turns to Christ with his whole being.

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✪ Review ✪ KSON’s Debut Album “Light In Me”

KSON stands for King’s Son which is an appropriate name for this PK known to his friends as AJ. KSON has been writing and rhyming since he was living in Modesto, California. His Father’s Church was in the heart of the city and it was the first Church I’ve been to in such a shady neighborhood. But this was the heart and intent of KSON and his father all along. They were right in it. I strongly believe this impacted KSON into the man he has become and I know this has had a huge influence on his powerful lyrics.

In 2006 KSON moved to Oklahoma and jumped into the hip-hop scene in the greater Tulsa area. He was blessed with the opportunity to open for KJ-52 and Group 1 Crew. A few of his songs got play on his local radio station as well. All of this just helped him prepare and build up his skill and craft.

Since the beginning of this project, KSON has faced diverse adversity. “I’ll Be Here” reflects just one of his troubling experiences. In the past few years, KSON has been surrounded by darkness, not by choice. It seems as if everything has been against him. But that hasn’t stopped him or slowed him down. He remains a light in a dark place. And although he could have faced harsh depression, he said he will “keep the Light In Me” and shine on like a K Kid should.

This album has strong lyrics backed by hard hitting production. His words hit you quick like jabs from a hard-spitting-emcee like Braille. And like Braille, he isn’t afraid of speaking the truth and attacking all issues he sees. KSON doesn’t just provide trunk rattlers, he provides some soulful music and I’m sure tobyMac would be proud of him. This is just the beginning of the progression of a true artist.

The only thing I dislike about this project is that it is only 9 tracks. But that is okay. We know that with the success from this project, KSON will continue shining from within and sharing the light with us all.

My favorite songs are all the ones with features coincidentally, but if I had to narrow it down, I’ll take; I’ll Be Here, K KID, & Victory as my top three favorite songs from Light In Me.

- Christian Treborn -

RELATED POSTS: SoulAnchorMusic.com/LightInMe

† Devo † Lost and Found #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

In the parable of the lost son, the father restores the rebellious younger brother to his former position at a great cost to the elder brother. Why? His father had divided his property between them before the younger brother left. The younger brother spent his portion and the family estate now belonged to the elder brother. For his father to restore the younger brother meant taking something away from the elder brother and he was angry. His attitude reveals that he had served his father to earn a reward rather than out of love.

As parents, we often have the same attitude towards our Heavenly Father. We are resentful when we struggle with our kids while non-believing parents seem to be coasting along. We feel entitled to greater blessings and we remind God that we faithfully attended church, prayed, and read our Bibles. Ironically, obedience can be the biggest hurdle to experiencing grace because we tend to feel as if we’ve earned it.

There is a true elder brother, however. Unlike the elder brother in the parable, he seeks us and desires to have a relationship with us. He came down from heaven and willingly paid the cost to bring us home. Recognizing what Jesus was willing to do to “find” us makes all the difference.

Obey God in response to His blessings, not to earn them.

Because this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found! And they began to revel andfeast andmake merry.

Luke 15:24

† Devo † Resisting Pressure #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

“You’re the only mother who isn’t letting me see the movie!” “Lauren’s parents are so much cooler that you guys.” “Dad, you’re a control freak.”

Hearing these kinds of statements can really sting. And sometimes, our hurt feelings can cause us to be overly harsh in our words and discipline.

But as Christian parents, we are called to carry out our responsibilities with humility and love rather than sarcasm and guilt. This is only possible when we are confident of our value in Christ and allow His love to hold us up and cover the pain of disrespectful statements.

Don’t let your hurt feelings result in ungodly parenting.

He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding has a cool spirit.

Proverbs 17:27

† Devo † Identity Theft #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

If you trusted Christ as your Savior, you have a new identity. You are like an adopted child. You have a new name, new family and new traditions. Your old customs have been replaced by new ones that set you apart from those of other families. Paul describes this as being “in Christ”.

Satan would love to steal your identity. He seeks to lure you back to the old identity by tempting you with his family’s customs and traditions — anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language (Col 3:8), but you can resist his identity theft by practicing the customs of your new family — compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Col 3:12).

Your children were born into your new family’s traditions, and they should be raised that way. Your practice of the new customs will expel the old ones from your life. Your new identity based on your adoption into the family of God, is a powerful incentive for them to want to be adopted as well.

Protect yourself and your children from spiritual identity theft.

And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:2-3

† Devo † Fervent Prayer #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

As we tackle the details of life, we may neglect the most important thing; praying for our kids. Do you find yourself too distracted or exhausted to pray? Perhaps your prayers have become a bit routine? Paul gives us an example of a great prayer warrior in Epaphras. What does it mean to “labor fervently” in prayer? The Greek word used here is agoonizomenos (the English word is agonize) and describes the struggle of an athlete as he competes. It implores us to throw ourselves into prayer with persistence, discipline, and zeal.

Imagine if we invested as much time and effort praying for our kids as we spend on their sports activities–buying uniforms and equipment, going to their practices, and cheering them on at games!

Follow the example of Epaphras in praying fervently for your kids.

Epaphras, who is one of yourselves, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. [He is] always striving for you earnestly in his prayers, [pleading] that you may [as persons of ripe character and clear conviction] stand firm and mature [in spiritual growth], convinced and fully assured in everything willed by God.

Colossians 4:12

Call of Duty: Spiritual Warfare

When was the last time you felt like you got shot—emotionally, relationally, financially, spiritually? What we tend to do in those moments is look up and ask, “God, where are you? I thought you were good.” What we need to know is that it’s not just us and God. There’s a third variable: Satan and his demons. We are in a war. Do you know your enemy? Your king? What weapons are you using to fight?

I Am Victorious (Ephesians 6:10–24)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

21 So that you also may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will tell you everything. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brothers, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love incorruptible.

Know your enemy

You need to know, I need to know, we need to know that it’s not just us and God. There’s a third variable that we absolutely have to factor into everything, and that’s Satan and demons.

We live in a day when, through psychology, through explanation, through a resistance to the supernatural, people don’t even believe in Satan and demons. We turn them into fictitious cartoon characters and mythical parts of our historical narrative; the stories we tell and the fairy tales we enjoy—we don’t think they’re real. We don’t think that Satan is real; we don’t think that demons are real. And so we tend to, every time we are shot, question or blame God, while Satan laughs and runs away.

This is incredibly important. The world is not the way it should be. Not everything that happens is God’s will. There is also God’s enemy. And it’s so important that it’s the final word in the book of Ephesians.

This is a word to the whole church—not just individuals in the church but the whole church, laboring, warring, working together. This is a word for us. It’s a word for you, but it’s word for you as part of us. Jesus loves us; Satan hates us. Jesus has plans for us; Satan has plans to oppose us. Jesus, in every way, will bless us; but Satan will, in every way, seek to undermine that blessing. It’s a war!

Do you know that? Most Christians don’t! We live in a therapeutic culture where God is reduced to a damnable life coach who comes along to ask you what you want and to give you tips and tricks to do a better job, to live for your glory, to be what you want, to get what you want, to do what you want! And in that way, it’s absolutely demonic! God does not exist to bless you; you exist to serve him!

It’s a war! It’s a war! How many of you feel like this life is just a freaking war? You know why? It’s a freaking war! The closer you get to Jesus, the more resistance you’ll get! The more you advance to the kingdom of God, the more shots you’ll take! Don’t be a coward who says, “Oh, things are hard. It must not be God’s will.” The harder it gets, the closer you are to the will of God.

People are not our enemy; Satan and demons are our enemy. The Bible speaks of non-Christians as captives. What happens in a war is an overtaking army then enslaves and takes captives the citizens who are conquered. That’s called earth. The world has been conquered by Satan and demons. We’ve been taken captives in the war.

So, our war is not against the captives; our war is against their captors, Satan and demons. The people would be spiritually, in every way, set free to become the children of God. This is why Jesus says very early in his earthly ministry that he has come to set captives free. That’s what he’s talking about. So, our war is not against the non-Christians. Our war is not against those who would disagree with biblical faith. Our war is against Satan and demons who have taken people captive to do his will.

Satan was created by God. So, he’s not God; he’s not equal to God. You need to know this. He doesn’t share all of God’s attributes. God can be everywhere; Satan can’t. God knows everything; Satan doesn’t. God reads your mind and thoughts; Satan can’t. He’s created; he’s also fallen. He’s rebelled against God. He’s turned his back on God. He’s declared war on God. He’s also very powerful as a spirit being, akin to an angel who has turned to the dark side. He’s very powerful. He’s also been observing human history for thousands of years, so he understands how to read people. He can’t read your mind, but he can read your life and your body language. And we’re not all dealing with Satan because he is limited, but he has demons at his disposal. These are fallen angels, rebellious angels, who joined him in his war against God.

Friends, they are real, and they are really at work in the world. You need to understand this: under Satan’s motivation is ultimately pride. Satan is the most proud being in the history of creation. Meanwhile, God is utterly humble. We see this in the Lord Jesus. Satan has done such a good job in our day that self-esteem is not a vice; it’s a virtue. Independence is not a vice; it’s a virtue.

Some of you don’t even believe in Satan and demons, but let me say that the root of demonic work is always sourced ultimately in pride. “I don’t need to listen to someone else; I’m smart enough. I don’t need to submit to someone else; I can take care of myself. I don’t need to follow someone else; I’m the authority in my own life.” And Satan will, in every way, tempt and test your pride. He fell through pride. The angels who fell with him and became demons fell through pride. And he will tempt you ultimately through pride. You need to know that he is real, that he is really powerful, and that he is really at work. You also need to know that we need to be careful not to make too much of him or too little of him.

Know your King

Number two, know your King. Who do you fight for? You know what? If you don’t know whom you fight for, you’re probably not going to fight well. He says it this way, Ephesians 6:10, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.” Who’s the Lord? Our Lord Jesus Christ. You need to know this: it’s his fight. This is his church, right? This is his book. The spiritual battle—it’s his war. It’s not yours; it’s not mine. We’re not the king; it’s not our kingdom. We’re the servants; we’re the soldiers, we labor for a great, glorious, and good King.

Praying in the Spirit

“Praying in the Spirit.” One of the most important things in the battle is communication. You need to talk to headquarters; you need to listen to headquarters. We call that prayer.

He says it’s in the Spirit, so this is different than how other religions pray. See, other religions pray not by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit only indwells the people of God. Other religions may pray, but they don’t pray by the power of the Holy Spirit. They may pray by their own wishful thinking or Satan and demons, but it ain’t by the power of the Holy Spirit, the third member of the Trinity. He says to pray in the Spirit at all times for anything.

Perseverance

He says, “Perseverance.” Perseverance. Four times in this section he uses the language of “stand.” So it’s, “Stand, stand, stand, stand.” A soldier needs to hold his post—right, soldiers? You plant your feet. You stand. You don’t say, “Oh, I feel like I should go to another post. I feel like I should have a—” No, no, no. Hold that line, right? Your king has sent you there to hold that line. Your job? Stand there. Your Community Group in your neighborhood, stand there. Whichever local church you’re in, stand there. Whichever ministry role you’re in, stand there, plant your feet. What we don’t need, is twelve thousand generals. We need one general and twelve thousand faithful soldiers.

Paul’s final words. He says to pray for the leadership. “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.”

He’s in prison. I’d be shocked if I’m not eventually. The way culture is trending, to preach sin and repentance will soon be hate speech. I don’t know if it’ll happen in five years or fifty years. I would doubt preaching the gospel won’t get you in prison eventually if things continue the direction they are. “That I may declare it boldly”—boldly, boldly—“as I ought to speak.” Pray for me that I would not give up, that I would not back down, that I would not calm down, OK? Pray for our church.

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† Devo † Power of Humility (Pt.II) #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

Here we see how God accomplishes His will through a chain reaction of humble acts. First, Paul and Silas humbled themselves by refusing to run away after the earthquake opened the prison doors. Then the jailer humbled himself when he brought the very prisoners he was assigned to guard to his home where he washed their wounds and fed them! It must have been a powerful testimony because the jailer’s whole family believed in God and was baptized.

Where do you need to humble yourself today? Do you need to apologize to your kids for being sarcastic or harsh? Did you dismiss their feelings in order to defend your own point?

Let your example start a chain reaction of humble acts in your own home.

And he took them the same hour of the night and bathed [them because of their bloody] wounds, and he was baptized immediately and all [the members of] his [household]. Then he took them up into his house and set food before them; and he leaped much for joy and exulted with all his family that he believed in God [accepting and joyously welcoming what He had made known through Christ].

Acts 16:33-34

† Devo † Serving The One True God #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

This verse refers to the journey of the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt to the Promised Land. God alone led the Israelites through the desert. They faced difficulties and trials, many of their own making, but through it all, it was very obvious that God was the only one that could protect and prosper them.

When we guide our children, we should follow God’s example and let them know that no foreign god should be allowed to come between them and the one true God. Keep in mind that “foreign gods” take a variety of forms in today’s world, such as money, power, beauty, and fame. We must be diligent to watch for the influence of these gods in our lives and the lives of our children.

Let your children know that the Lord alone is sufficient to lead your family.

So the Lord alone led him; there was no foreign god with Him.

Deuteronomy 32:12

† Devo † Fighting In The Spirit #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

When Saul turned against David, David was forced to run for his life. At one point, he and his men hid in a cave at the desert oasis of En Gedi. As Saul searched the area for David, he unknowingly entered the very cave where David and his men were hiding. Although David could have easily ambushed and killed him, he refused because he knew Saul was God’s anointed king. He left judgment to God.

When someone has wronged us or our children, we are often tempted to seek revenge. We may gossip, give them the “silent treatment,” or exclude them. We have a choice, however, to live our lives in the spirit or in the flesh. David refused to fight in the flesh, and left Saul’s judgment to the Spirit of God.

Live in the Spirit and allow God to be the judge.

May the Lord be judge and judge between me and you, and see and plead my cause, and deliver me out of your hands.

1 Samuel 24:15

† Devo † A Parent’s Comfort #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

These verses were written by King David during an incredibly turbulent time in his life. One son had been killed, his daughter had been raped, and another son was seeking revenge against him! David had just fled Jerusalem in fear after hearing that his son, Absalom, wanted to overthrow him as king. In David’s position, I doubt very much that the words “I will sing for joy” would come to my mind!

But David saw God’s protection and love as a safe place where he could be comforted. He knew from experience that when he humbly submitted to his Father, he would be upheld by the Lord. This did not mean that God would spare David from the consequences of his actions, but that He would walk with David through the consequences, providing hope and comfort even in the most difficult of circumstances. What an example for us as parents!

We should not rescue our kids from the consequences of their actions, but we can always offer a place of hope and comfort.

For You have been my help, and in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice. My whole being follows hard after You and clings closely to You; Your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:7-8

† Devo † Be a Light To Others #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

In these verses, Paul confronts the believers in Philippi because their complaining and arguing was harming their testimony about Christ. Instead of being “lights in the world”, they were behaving like unbelievers.

We may profess a deep trust in Christ, but what we truly believe will emerge in our words and attitude. Take a moment to consider your conversations. What characteristics would stand out to your children? Do you have a tendency to gossip, argue with others, or complain?

If so, you may want to reevaluate the source of your contentment. As Christians, we have an eternal hope in Christ that allows us to face the challenges of life with calmness and peace. If you find yourself relying on favorable circumstances or the actions of others to bring you happiness, ask God to strengthen your faith in Him.

Let your words and actions reflect the love of Christ in your life and be a light to others.

Do all things without grumbling and fault finding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves], That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and uncontaminated, children of God without blemish (faultless, unrebukable) in the midst of a crooked and wicked generation [spiritually perverted and perverse], among whom you are seen as bright lights (stars or beacons shining out clearly) in the [dark] world

Philippians 2:14-15

† Devo † Being Seen and Known #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

Although she did not call out to him, Jesus saw the widow who had lost her son. How wonderful to be seen by the Son of God! Not only did He see her, but this verse says His heart went out to her. He connected with her suffering.

What encouragement for us as parents. Jesus sees us, too, but not in a casual, indifferent way. He feels our pain and He knows our struggles. You can take comfort in knowing that as you walk the sometimes difficult and painful path of parenthood, His heart goes out to you as well. Remember that you are not alone. He is walking alongside you this very day.

You are known and loved by the Son of God.

[Just] as He drew near the gate of the town, behold, a man who had died was being carried out–the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a large gathering from the town was accompanying her.13And when the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, Do not weep.

Luke 7:12-13

 

† Devo † Strength From Weakness #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

When raising kids, there are situations that make us feel inadequate because there is nothing we can do to “fix” the situation. Maybe our child’s feelings were hurt when they were excluded from a party. Perhaps a love interest “dumped” them or they were cut from a team.

One of our biggest obstacles in trusting God is our own sense of strength. The truth is we can never be too weak for God to use us, but we can be too strong. When we recognize the limits of our control, however, we are much more likely to embrace our need for God.

Let your weaknesses become an opportunity to point your kids towards the real source of strength; dependence on Christ.

But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for Mystrength andpower are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effectivein [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses andinfirmities, that the strength andpower of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me! So for the sake of Christ, I am well pleased andtake pleasure in infirmities, insults, hardships, persecutions, perplexities anddistresses; for when I am weak [in human strength], then am I [truly] strong (able, powerful in divine strength).

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

† Devo † Covering Shame #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

The Garden of Eden was perfect until Adam and Eve brought sin and shame into the world. God covered their shame, but that covering came at a cost. To provide the skin needed to make garments, an innocent animal was slain.

What a foreshadowing of Christ’s work on the cross! Jesus, the Lamb of God, shed His innocent blood for our sin so God could cover our shame as well. And, although the Bible does not specify, would anyone be surprised if the animal slain in the Garden of Eden turned out to be a lamb?

God demonstrated the response of a loving Perfect Parent; He covered the shame that caused Adam and Eve to hide. Then, He delivered consequences for rebellion in a way that Adam and Eve (and their descendants) were taught a powerful lesson about His provision of righteousness in the future.

Had God not first covered their shame, Adam and Eve may not have received the lesson. God’s act of covering them demonstrated He would never leave or forsake His children. Adam and Eve could receive the lesson because they loved and trusted the Teacher.

Covering shame makes teaching possible.

For Adam also and for his wife the Lord God made long coats (tunics) of skins and clothed them.

Genesis 3:21

† Devo † God’s Example of Empathy #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

Eating from the tree did not have the result Adam and Eve hoped. While they became like God in their ability to recognize both good and evil, they soon realized it was their own evil that was revealed. The result? Shame entered the world for the first time.This single verse from the Bible has astounding ramifications! Despite Adam’s and Eve’s blatant disobedience, and the fact that incredibly significant consequences were going to be delivered, God responded with perfect empathy. After they committed the most significant sin of all time, God acknowledged their feelings and made garments of skin to cover their shame!What an amazing and loving Father we have! As parents, we must try to model that same empathy to our kids, even in the midst of their disobedience. How? By soliciting their thoughts, feelings, motivations, and insecurities even as we deliver necessary consequences and grieving with them over the tough, but necessary lessons of life.

As you experience God’s incredible love, let the overflow of a grateful heart motivate and guide your parenting.

 

Benefit Concert: Driving Tabitha!

drivingtabitha

When: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 @ 6:15pm

What: This is a benefit to raise funds to provide Tabitha Schulke with a wheelchair equipped van!

Who: Featuring Performances By Starship Renegade, Cry Of Stones, Unlockable Praise, & The Mzungu’s!

Invite friends via Facebook!

† Devo † No More Hiding #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

After Adam and Eve ate from the tree, they realized they were naked. In response, they hid from God and sewed fig leaves together to cover their nakedness. God’s response to Adam’s sin was a question: “Where are you?” Now, you can be certain that God had not misplaced Adam! He asked the question for Adam’s benefit, not His.

The legacy of Adam and Eve’s act is that we are still hiding today. Shopping, food, drug and alcohol abuse, and sometimes even exercise represent our “fig leaves.” Still, God continues to ask us, “Where are you?” He is calling for us to come out of hiding and into a relationship with Him.

What an example for parents! Call your kids out of hiding by asking open-ended questions and listen to their answers with understanding, rather than meeting them with judgment and shame. If you need to give consequences for their disobedience, choose to give those consequences with empathy.

Meeting your kids with empathy helps them come out of hiding and into relationship.

But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? 10He said, I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.

Genesis 3:9-10

† Devo † God’s Design #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

As Christians, we should spend our lives discovering and using our spiritual gifts, and the same is true of our kids. This pursuit is essential if we are to accomplish God’s purpose for us, because we can’t do anything for Him without the gifts He gave us. With those gifts, however, we can accomplish a lot!

Isn’t it encouraging that God equips us specifically to do the things He has called us to do? That is the beauty of spiritual giftsÑthey enable us to minister as God intended. Of course, the reverse is also trueÑwhen we try to do anything other than what God has enabled us to do, we fall outside His design for us and we are destined to fall short.

Help your kids uncover their God-given gifts, cultivate them and help them put them to work, for the glory of the Lord.

Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith.

Romans 12:6

† Devo † Moms and Dads #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

These verses describe the qualities necessary to raise well-rounded children in a spiritual family. Some of these qualities are associated with moms, such as patience, gentleness and a devotion for her children that makes her want to spend time with them and nourish them, physically and spiritually. Other qualities are associated with dads, such as encouragement, comfort and urging their children to live lives worthy of the Lord.

Paul and the other missionaries supplied these qualities to the believers in Thessalonica so that they could grow spiritually. He filled the role of both mom and dad, and he also gave us a beautiful picture of the needs of kids and the roles of parents in meeting those needs. Whether you are in a one- or two-parent family, the kids’ needs are the same. But take heart, God will equip each of you to do the job He has called you to (Heb. 13:21).

Trust God for the strength and qualities necessary to raise your children.

For you know how, as a father [dealing with] his children, we used to exhort each of you personally, stimulating andencouraging and charging you12To live lives worthy of God, Who calls you into His own kingdom and the glorious blessedness [into which true believers will enter after Christ’s return].

1 Thessalonians 2:7,11-12

† Devo † Discernment #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

 

Paul’s prayer for the Philippians could easily be our prayer for our kids. Who doesn’t want their children to abound in knowledge and insight and be pure and blameless, making decisions that reflect God’s righteousness? How will you help them reach those lofty goals?

One way is to give your kids more choices and opportunities to learn from hands-on experience. Good decision making isn’t learned overnight. Your kids may have to make some poor choices along the way before they will know how to make good ones. Obviously, you won’t give them just any choice because they should only be given choices you are willing for them to make. But the opportunities to give significant choices are endless.

Practice with little choices for little kids and more expanded choices as kids mature. Walk beside them as they get their hands dirty. Enjoy the process!

Kids who are encouraged to make lots of appropriate choices gain knowledge, insight, and discernment.

And this I pray: that your love may abound yet more and more andextend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight [that your love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment], So that you may surely learn to sense what is vital, andapprove andprize what is excellent andof real value [recognizing the highest and the best, and distinguishing the moral differences], and that you may be untainted andpure and unerring andblameless [so that with hearts sincere and certain and unsullied, you may approach] the day of Christ [not stumbling norcausing others to stumble]. May you abound in andbe filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized].

Philippians 1:9-11

† Devo † Relief #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

We all make mistakes in parenting at times; we will yell at our kids, lecture or nag them, rescue them from their mistakes, punish them harshly, etc. This does not surprise God. He knows and He is willing to forgive it all. You can surrender your guilt and your shame to Him. He will take your selfishness and neglect, too, if you turn to Him and confess.

That’s a great relief! God is in charge, and He is willing to work alongside you to raise your kids. When you do something wrong, He will help you model humility as you confess your sin to them and ask for their forgiveness. Sometimes God even uses our mistakes as opportunities to connect with our children in a more personal way.

Rely on the Perfect Parent and He will purify all your mistakes.

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned andconfess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].

1 John 1:9

@KevlarHipHop’s #NothingSpecial – Spoken Word Challenge on #Identity

Please go support one of the finest emcees – Kevlar and watch his Spoken Word contest video 100 times.

More info here: spokenwordchallenge.tumblr.com

† Devo † Proof #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

 

We do not always know how faithful we are until we are tested. Trials have a way of exposing those areas where we are trusting in ourselves instead of relying on God. Paul encouraged these believers by showing them the value of God’s sanctifying work in their lives.

 

The purpose in sanctification isn’t to reveal a person’s heart to God. He already knows! Rather, it is to reveal the heart to the person himself. This can be painful at times as we are confronted with the depths of our sin and challenged to mature spiritually

 

Pray for God to expose the “logs” in your eyes and the strength to embrace the sanctification process. Difficult times provide an opportunity to become more Christ-like and to be a humble example for our family.

 

Trials expose our weaknesses and challenge us to grow spiritually.

But we, brethren beloved by the Lord, ought andare obligated [as those who are in debt] to give thanks always to God for you, because God chose you from the beginning as His firstfruits (first converts)for salvation through the sanctifying work of the [Holy] Spirit and [your] belief in (adherence to, trust in, and reliance on) the Truth. 2 Thessalonians 2:13

† Devo † Plugging Into The Power #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

The apostle Paul knew that faith is the key to an obedient life. By faith, we are able to increase our love for one another and persevere in the midst of trials (2 Thes. 1:3-4). In this passage, he goes on to show us how faith is connected to power.

Faith allows us to receive God’s power to fulfill His purpose for our lives. It is like the battery charger on my laptop. If it is not plugged in, the battery will not recharge and my laptop will go dead in a short time. When I keep the power cord plugged in, the battery stays charged and I have the ability to work for long stretches.

When we rely on our own strength to do the right thing, we soon become frustrated as we reach the end of our human abilities, But when we glorify Jesus and yield to His will for our lives, we tap into a power that far exceeds our human will.

Stay plugged in to God’s power through prayer and faith.

With this in view we constantly pray for you, that our God may deem andcount you worthy of [your] calling and [His] every gracious purpose of goodness, and with power may complete in [your] every particular work of faith (faith which is that leaning of the whole human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness). 2 Thessalonians 1:11

† Devo † Fingerprints of God #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

Your family may hear about the terrible condition the world is in, and how it has never been more depraved or Godless. Some people anticipate a steady decline in morals and behavior until the Lord comes back and makes everything right again.

But sometimes we get so focused on the negative aspects of this world, we overlook the positive. There are echoes of His majesty all around us. You can see the fingerprints of God in mountains and oceans, in sunrises and sunsets, and even in the kind acts of strangers towards each other.

Busy schedules often rob us of simple pleasures. Take time to help your kids see God in His creation and appreciate the beauty of His craftsmanship. It might even be refreshing for you!

The earth is full of God’s work; let’s recognize it together.

The earth, O Lord, is full of Your mercyandloving-kindness; teach me Your statutes. Psalm 119:64

† Devo † Discipline From A Loving Parent #AnchorFAM #ParentingByDesign

The word “discipline” in this passage means to educate or train, rather than to condemn or punish. Most of us realize our discipline stems from our love and concern for our kids. Interestingly, it is this same parental love that causes God to discipline us throughout our lives as well.

How does God discipline us? Often, it is by delivering consequences when we make mistakes, and then walking with us as we deal with those consequences. When we have learned from the process, He gives us new opportunities to obey, and helps us grow and mature in ways we never thought possible.

It is important to remember that the purpose of His discipline isn’t to defeat us. Romans 8:1 says, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.” Instead, He wants us to learn from discipline, to look towards Him, and keep going! What a great example of a Perfect Parent!

Embrace the Lord’s discipline as an expression of His love. Use Him as your model for disciplining your children.

And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal andencouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly orscorn to submit to the correction anddiscipline of the Lord, nor lose courage andgive up andfaint when you are reproved orcorrected by Him; For the Lord corrects anddisciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts andwelcomes to His heart and cherishes. Hebrews 12:5-6

I have a friend who… believes all roads lead to God #FaithSmoothie @WSFChurch

Pastor John Continues our series, I Have a Friend Who… A series directed by you. Today Pastor John discusses what makes Jesus unique.

Listen here!

Being a Child of Parents: Teach Your Parents to Become Children Again #AnchorFAM

Little children are so used to having everything automatically provided for them–clothing, food, shelter, transportation–that trust comes naturally to them. This makes it easier for them to believe in Jesus too. They simply know that Jesus loves them. They simply trust that Jesus will help them.

As we grow older, however, and grow more self-sufficient and self-reliant, we lose the faith that everything we need will be provided. Adults know that they have to work for everything they get. The problem comes when adults get confused and start to think maybe they have to work for God’s love and earn his blessings.

Grown-ups may think if they act better, swear less, drink less, or give more, they might earn a better place in heaven. Perhaps the “achievers” come to think that they are better than other people and deserve everything they plan to get from God. Or worse–perhaps they fear that because they have made so many messes they have forfeited God’s favor.

Let Jesus whisper this in your ear. Ready? “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

This kind of “second childhood” isn’t senility. It’s reality; it’s a very happy state of mind to live in.

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn andbecome like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Being a Child of Parents: You’re Adopted #AnchorFAM

You’ve heard of dual citizenship, in which a person actually carries two passports? Did you know that you hold dual family membership?

The Bible says that your baptism actually represents a moment in which God the Father publicly claimed you and accepted a lifelong obligation to do for you what good fathers do for children they love. I guess that makes your baptismal certificate your adoption papers: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:26,27).

This is great news, especially for people whose own earthly families are missing some pieces. If your biological father was missing in your life or is deceased, you are not fatherless anymore. If you are an only child, guess what? Your adopted family is huge, and you’re connected to them all. If you are single and longing for a feeling of belonging and connection, Christ your Savior loves to compare himself to a bridegroom. You’re engaged! The wedding feast is coming soon.

God is proud publicly to call you his daughter or his son. May I invite you to be just as proud to call him your Father?”

For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ haveput on Christ.

Devo: Spirit of Fear in America #Shootings #WhatWeNeedIsLove

The United States has more cases of extreme mental disorders per capita than any other nation. Statistics reveal that one of every twenty Americans can expect to be institutionalized for mental illness, and one family in five will be touched by mental disorder. Those who spend their lives trying to determine the reason for these frightening statistics say that the most frequent cause of mental illness is fear. Frankly, Americans are terrified.

All fear is not bad. One kind of fear motivates us, keeping us from jumping off buildings and burning ourselves to death. This fear, which keeps us physically and spiritually healthy, is the fear which moved Noah to build the ark. It is the “fear of the Lord.” However, another kind of fear dominates us, and it is destructive. It literally drives men crazy, tormenting them and making them live in constant dread. This fear takes a heavy toll in heart attack victims, suicides, and alcoholics. It must be conquered if man is to know peace.

As always, the answer to this problem is in God’s Word. John said the antidote for fear is perfect love. As we learn to love Christ more and actualize that love in our relationships with people, fear is crowded from our lives: but perfect love casts out fear. Even some believers have not yet learned to live without fear. John patiently told them: But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. As we continue to expose ourselves to the Lord, love begins to force out nagging and destructive fears.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

(1 John 4:18 ESV)

#FYI: Bring The Books

For five hundred years after Christ, the Bible had no name. Derived from the Greek word biblos which means “book,” our title for God’s Word came in the following way: The religious leaders in charge of the various manuscripts used in the churches referred to them as “the books.” Eventually, they dropped the plural and merely called this collection of manuscripts the “Holy Book.” The name stuck, and for fifteen hundred years we have called the Scripture, “The Holy Bible.”

Believers refer to the Bible also as “Holy Scripture,” “God’s Word,” and “The Law.” However, the most popular name by far is “The Holy Bible.” The designation “Old and New Testaments” comes from the Bible, from the book of Hebrews. There the writer calls attention to the “Old and New Covenants.” The Latin word testamentum means “covenant.” The two parts of the Bible indicate how God once dealt with man and how He deals with him today.

Paul referred to the Bible as “Scripture.” In writing to young Timothy, he was careful to capture the purpose for God’s Word: All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Regardless of what title we use when we speak of the Bible, we should remember it is God’s Word and that it gives a foundation for faith, reproves us for errors, and offers instructions on becoming the kind of people God desires. For these reasons, the Bible is a vital part of our daily life. We not only read it, we live it; and in so doing begin to grow into the image of God’s Son. In our growth toward perfection, prayerful Bible reading provides us the help we need.

The Scriptures train God’s servants to do all kinds of good deeds.

(2 Timothy 3:17 CEV)

Devo: Possessor or Possessed? (Causes of Divorce 2) #DrawNear #DivineIntimacy #Marriage

Psychologists rate finances as the number one cause of divorce. As we learned in the previous guide, partners in marriage often have different feelings about money. Money to some breeds self-indulgence. Husbands who have not grown up can wreak havoc in marriage. One cynic said the only difference between men and boys is the cost of their toys. Women, too, can be self-indulgent, spending for many items that are not necessary. But happy and healthy couples use their money as an expression of faith. They realize God has made them stewards of money, and they use it to expand their souls. Jesus said: It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).

One of the benefits of tithing to God and His work is the development of a proper view of money. Each week, as we give our 10 percent to the Lord’s work, we are exercising unselfishness and declaring that we do not hold onto possessions too tightly. The wise husband and wife do not let possessions possess them; they possess their possessions.

Divorces do come because of money problems. The Bible warns: For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows (1 Timothy 6:10). The wise couple gets a proper grip on the meaning of money and comes to agreement on how it is to be properly dispersed. We must remember the Bible says: He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house (Proverbs 15:27).

Being greedy causes trouble for your family, but you protect yourself by refusing bribes.

(Proverbs 15:27 CEV)

Devo: Causes of Divorce #DrawNear #DivineIntimacy #Marriage

Astute psychologists have made sophisticated studies of the causes of divorce. They classify these causes into: (1) finance; (2) obnoxious behavior; (3) extramarital affairs; (4) in-laws; and (5) religious differences. In our consideration of the next few guides, we will look at each of these areas to see what God’s Word has to say.

The first of the causes for divorce is said to be finances. Prosperity brings problems to a marriage that are unknown in poverty. The economically deprived need all their financial resources to merely pay for food, shelter, and clothing. However, as prosperity comes, couples find themselves with more than enough for survival. Tension then develops because they disagree on how to use the money. Good questions to ask are “What does money mean to me?” and “What does money mean to my mate?” To many, money means status. The “keeping up with the Joneses” syndrome becomes a compulsion. Those locked into such a view will over-borrow and ultimately keep their financial needs so critical they have little time to enjoy and love one another.

Others see money as security. They often become hoarders. In being miserly, they heap up for themselves treasures but still are frustrated because they have not learned that security can come only from Christ, not from things possessed. Jesus told a story about a rich farmer who hoarded (Luke 12:16-21). In Jesus’ eyes, this man was a fool. If we have no proper concept of resources then we, too, are fools.

Then he said to the crowd, “Don’t be greedy! Owning a lot of things won’t make your life safe.”

(Luke 12:15 CEV)

Devo: The Source of Our Hope

As we encounter the challenges of day to day life, we often place our hope in the possibility of circumstances improving or people changing. In the midst of trials, we may think, “I would be happy if my spouse would just change”, “If only I could make more money”, or “I will have peace when my kids grow up and stop rebelling.” The problem with this line of thinking is that our contentment becomes conditional and dependent on things that are out of our control. We become too focused on experiencing comfort on earth and miss the greater purpose God has for our lives!

Through blessings or trials, abundance or poverty, the source of our hope never changes; the anticipation of the glory of God that will be revealed in heaven. In the meantime, we can choose to see our struggles on earth for what they are; tools to make us more Christ-like and push us towards a greater dependence on our Heavenly Father.

Place your hope in the only place it can truly be found; God.

Christ has also introduced us to God’s gift of undeserved grace on which we now take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God. But that’s not all! We gladly suffer, because we know that suffering helps us to endure. And endurance builds character, which gives us a hope

(ROMANS 5:2-4 CEV)