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October 27, 2015, 9:15 AM

The Foundation of Hope

Hope is a beautiful thing.  

Hope can encourage us, motivate us, and strengthen us.  Hope can lift us up, carry us through, and give us a place to stand.  

Hope is an amazing thing…but without a firm foundation, hope can turn to hopelessness.  Hope can fail, falter, and betray us.  

If you only have hope you only have something that is fleeting.  

We can hope for healing but sometimes healing does not come.

We can have hope for financial security or for a job, but sometimes we never seem to get ahead.

We can have hope for the future, but we don’t know what tomorrow might bring.

We can hope that a love is real, but sometimes our hope is dashed by betrayal.  

We can hope for the best, but sometimes we don’t really know or understand what is best.

But when you have Jesus and your hope is in Him, you have a hope that sure.  

Because, your hope is one who is true, and has been tested and tried.  Hope in Christ is hope that springs eternal.

He is the great physician.  We can be secure in Him.  He holds tomorrow.  He is love and His love is perfect and free for all who will receive it.  He knows you, your dilemma and all of your hurts, cares, and needs.  He is a firm foundation on which you can place your hope and stand sure.  

He also knows what is best.  

He knows that sometimes a healing is not what is best because for the believer there is something better than being healed. 

 He knows that sometimes you don’t need financial security because you simply need to trust Him to provide for your needs. 

 He knows what is around the bend, beyond the sunset, and after the sunrise; and He has a perfect plan for you.

He loves you and will never stop loving you.  We can love because He first loved us.  He is worthy of our trust and worthy of our hope.

No matter how hard the road may seem ahead.  Even when we don’t understand.  We know that we have a true hope in Christ.

Hope in Christ is a hope without end.

Psalm 39:7

“And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.”

#pleasanthillsbc #hope  #life #trust #love #Jesus

October 15, 2015, 12:00 AM

Getting to Know God

Do you really know God?  Who is God to you?  God knows you, but do you really know Him?

If you are a Born again believer in Christ than you have turned to God as Savior and that is the most important but is that all He is?

The reality is that God will reveal Himself to you as you walk with Him.  God has always revealed Himself to His people through the generations as they walked with Him through life.  He progressively reveals His nature according to His purposes for and the needs of His people.

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob knew Him as God almighty because they needed Him to protect them from their enemies.  

Moses and Israel learned not only was He God almighty who delivered them from the Egyptians but He was Lord and master over every nation and everything.  He delivered them from their mighty enemies but also led them into the promised Land.

David knew Him as Lord and God Almighty but also as an intimate and loving Shepherd who cares for His own.  

As you go through life and face life’s circumstances God will continue to reveal His character to you based on His calling for your life and the needs of your life.  You will only come to know these characteristics as we obey Him.

When you grieve He will be a comforter.

When you are in need He will show Himself to be a great provider.

When you are afraid He will spread His arms around you to protect you like a bird protects her young.

When you face a serious challenge He will be to you God Almighty.

When you sin, fall and fail, He will be to you a forgiving Father and friend who picks you up, dusts you off and encourages you to keep going.

Your understanding of who God is now should be greater than your understanding of Who God was when you first became a Christian.  You aught to know Him better today than you did yesterday, a month ago or 5 years ago.  

One reason why we must go through difficulty and trial is so that we can come to know God’s character and to learn that God will be all that we will ever need.  

Sadly it is the going through these trials that cause many to turn away from Him.  Understand that God works all things for your good if you love Him and believe in Him.  All the things  you go through are designed to draw you closer to God and thus help you know him better today and therefore make you stronger for tomorrow.  

Whatever your current situation or the situation you find yourself in tomorrow; view it in the light that it is God teaching you something else about Himself.

If you do you will come to know God in dimensions that you have never known Him before.  

If you don’t know Him, have never called upon Him and never trusted Him as savior:  Turn to Him today and discover that He is the very need of your life and salvation of your soul.

Exodus 6:2-3

And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord:

And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them.

October 9, 2015, 2:28 PM

Leave the Negative Behind

If you let it, negativity will upset your day, ruin your attitude and wreck your life.

In today’s world it can certainly be difficult to maintain a positive outlook.  Negativity seems to lurk around every corner.  Violence, wickedness, poverty, racism, and calamity all have weighed heavily in the news in recent days.  

It is often nearly impossible to even check the news for a weather report without getting some negative news story thrown in.  Even if we could escape without being assaulted by such a story, we often find the weather is not what we wanted.  Either the weather is too hot, too cold, dry, wet or windy.  

Sometimes it seems that no matter what we face we see the negative and that is all we see.  

Negativity steals our zeal, our passion and our motivation if we let it.  It will change our attitude, our language and our lives.  But it will also infect all those around us.  Our negative attitudes will spread like a brush fire through out all who surround us.

How do we rid ourselves of negativity?  I am glad you asked because it is time we left the negative behind.

1. Fix your eyes on Jesus and ask him to open our eyes to all that we are blessed with - count your blessings

2. Ask Him to shield you from that which would take our focus off of Him.  I am not talking about sticking our head in the sand and ingnoring reality but rather asking God to affect our reality by affecting our perspective.  - find Him in the midst of the storm

3. Surround yourself with those that are going to strive to leave negativity behind.  Avoid prolonged exposure those who refuse to do so.  Nothing will drag you back into the darkness of the negative faster than a negative person.

4.  Focus on the good, the wholesome and pure.  Via the music you listen to, the tv you watch and what you read.  

5.  Replace those negative things with God’s Word.  Particularly the Psalms.

6.  Trust God, Believe God and turn to God - there is not a negative thing about Him. 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.


October 8, 2015, 5:41 PM

A Word of Encouragement: Thanking God for the blood of Jesus!

A Word of Encouragement:

Ephesians 2:13 gives us a wonderful promise and truth.
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were a far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ."

In other words:  Even though all of us that are or were previously far from God, we can be near to God and have a relationship with Him in this life.  If we believe in Jesus as our way to heaven, and repent of sin and turn to Him we can walk with Him now and live with Him forever in heaven, because Jesus died on the cross in our place to pay our price.

Praise God for the shed blood of Jesus Christ!

October 6, 2015, 1:23 PM

Raise Your Expectations

Far too often we settle for far less in our lives than what God wants for our lives.

Jeremiah 32:27 says:

“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh:  Is there any thing too hard for me?”

Most of us, if asked that question would say that we believe there is nothing that God cannot do.  Yet in our day to day lives we begin to qualify our belief and lower our expectations of what God can or will do.

It is one thing to say we believe in a miracle God did a couple thousand years ago in the Bible, but it is completely different to believe that God could do miracles today, right?

We must remember that the God we serve is the same yesterday, today and forever.  He never changes.  His love never changes, His power never changes and the victory over sin, death and the hell never changes.  Nor does his power to do miracles in our lives.  

Yes we must understand that His will may be different than what ours is.  But when we pray we must believe that He can and will until he does not.  Too many times we don’t ask God to do a miracle because either we believe he cannot or we believe he will not.  Far to often, even when we do go to Him in prayer we ask far to generally and generically because we are afraid He cannot or will not come through.  

God is able.  God is love.  God is able to do abundantly above what we can even think of (Ephesians 3:20).   He delights in giving us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4).  And we often have not because we ask (Matthew 7:7).

Yes God sometimes says no.  He knows what we need before we do better than we do.  But that does not mean we should learn not to ask or learn to lower our expectations.

Do you sense that there is far more through your life that what you have been experiencing?  Don’t lower your expectations.  Ask God to do great and mighty things and then be prepared to act on faith as He reveals His will to you.

God is God!  Raise Your Expectations!

Jeremiah 33:3

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things , which thou knowest not.”

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