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Archive for June, 2016

HOPE! HOPE! HOPE!

THERE IS A PATTERN DEVELOPING. . . A pattern of prayer 1) Paul prays for earthy, simple things like the desire to go see people he loves, and for people to get along with each other. 2) Then we see…

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THERE IS A PATTERN DEVELOPING. . . A pattern of prayer

1) Paul prays for earthy, simple things like the desire to go see people he loves, and for people to get along with each other.
2) Then we see him praying for some abstract things as being happy in hope, being patient in tribulation and constant in prayer.  Hope is a continual theme.
3) We will see the next level coming in future blogs prayers for people’s relationship with God
4) Finally Paul prays for us to get the big picture.

Keep on the lookout for things to come. . .

HOPE, HOPE, HOPE

Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

This is a first things first verse. “What does “. . .the God of hope…” mean! Real hope must be in someone or something that is secure, competent, reliable and trustworthy. I lost hope in my doctors in Dallas. They were none of the above. I had gone to many, many doctors there. I actually lost the will to live because I had no hope anyone could help me. Without a firm trust I gave up. Without a firm trust in the God of hope, we can become hopeless. But why or how can we trust in God.

                                     Processed with MOLDIV

 

But when John the Baptist was in jail, he started doubting, started feeling hopeless. He wanted to know if Jesus really was the person God had promised would come and save the people in world even though John baptized Jesus.. No governments had been overthrown. No freedom from the Roman rule had happened. Where was the kingdom of God? The disciples came back to John with Jesus answer, “Jesus answered them, “Go tell John what you hear and see: The blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news proclaimed to them. Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me” (Matthew 11:2-6). One thing about God you need to know, He is full of surprises. Well. . . actually they only seem like surprises because we, like John are expecting one thing while God has told us something completely different. So we need to listen as well as talk with God. When we lose hope, we become poor in spirit. Matthew 5:3. We are impoverished of hope—clutching the bars of our prison cells with white knuckles, our once confident voices now desperately crying “Can anyone help me?”

Jesus, are you the one, or are we to wait for another?

In the post below “How to Have Hope When There is No Hope,” we saw that the one characteristic you can grab onto and hang on for dear life is God’s LOVE. Love is what motivates Him to help us. We can trust that. . . always. That is the security we have that God is “The God of hope.” The Bible says,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not die but have eternal life.” John 3:16

“. . . fill you with all joy and peace in believing.” Hopelessness is a curse. Every person who has gone through “Recovery” knows that the beginning step is to recognize a higher power. We gave have to look up and out of our selves. When we look to a God we can trust, absolutely, something beautiful starts growing.

I am reminded of the words of John Michael Talbot’s song “Be Not Afraid.”

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

When we find that place of rest in the center of our being JOY is our first response. It may be very quiet or it may burst out like stream out of our rocky hearts. Then a deep, quiet PEACE settles in that cannot be described. We feel this could last forever but there is a qualifier, “BELIEVING.” Staying here in this beautiful, restful, quiet center requires the constant exercise of believing.

BELIEVE! God is waiting to hear from you. Why not take a few moments right now and talk with Him.

We must use our minds and our spirits to do this new exercise of faith. We need the power of the Holy Spirit of God to help us in this new way of living. We cannot do this by ourselves. We need help to turn old, old negative thoughts, attitudes, moods and behaviors into hope, joy and believing. Then we can “. . . abound in hope.”. Odd little phrase. But it simply means that we get way more hope than we could ever imagine

If this has been helpful to you or if you want to comment, please use the COMMENT BOX below.

 

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Romans 15:5–6
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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We need endurance and encouragement to live in harmony with other people. Notice that harmony means we all don’t sing the same note. Allowing people around us to have differing opinions and viewpoints is essential to living in harmony with each other. But HOW do we do that? The Apostle Paul gives us hint in our verse, “. . .in accord with Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus is the embodiment of pure LOVE*. Living a life of LOVE is only possible if Jesus is living in me and through me. I cannot be in harmony with all the obnoxious, ignorant, angry people around me by myself. Ask Jesus to come into your life. John 3:16.

We also need guidance.

7 SIMPLE EXERCISES FOR LIVING IN HARMONY WITH PEOPLE

1) Try not to escalate in any disagreements. This includes raising your voice, “punching the other person’s buttons,” throwing things, etc. It is fruitless to increase the trouble by loudly using unkind words and blaming others, even though we find that they are wrong, they are to blame, or lying.

2) Agree with the other person as many times as you can. Remember “Fools argue; wise people discuss.”

3) Walk away. Some people are completely incapable of having a calm conversation with you at this time. It is wise to turn around and walk away. Make an appointment with the them (even if it is you spouse) to continue the conversation at another time, even if it’s a social media conversation.

4) Avoid banging people with truth! Respect truth but don’t annoy anybody with it. My grandmother used to tell me “You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.” You might be technically right. But living a life if LOVE is NOT about being right. It is about loving other people and finding a way to do that.

5) Learn when to speak and when to be silent. You are not comprising you own ideals, truth, and inner peace by not arguing. If in doubt about what to say then listen, really listen to what the other person is saying.

6) Be courteous! We should first of all be courteous to our immediate relatives. The closer people are to us the more we need to use words like, please and thank you. Calm silence, sincerity, and courteous words, whether one is agreeing or disagreeing with others, mark the person who knows how to behave.

7) If you want to be loved, start loving others who need your love. If you want to be respected, you must learn to be respectful to everyone, both young and old, obnoxious and sweet.

We cannot do these things without the help if Jesus. Rely on the Holy Spirit of Jesus to help you deal with toxic people and people who are simply annoying. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit then you will have the power of God, Himself in your inner person. Our goal is to learn to live a life of LOVE. Using the exercises above will enable us to “with one voice” live the life if LOVE. This is what God wants.

Please let me know if it’s has been helpful to you. Write a comment below.

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