At some point Ahab will be a leadership study for me on how OT characters are an example of putting God as priority in their lives.  My daily devotions this week have been on Ahab and until this morning there was not much there.

Ahab, the most wicked king of Israel, has given all of us hope and incentive to humble ourselves before the Lord.

 Our only hope is in Christ – our true source of humility. God continues to bring out meekness in me and somehow our world needs more of that these days.

While Ahab did not regard Elijah as a friend, in reality, he was his best friend and best hope.  Jezebel, his wife, was not so much a friend as he thought. We are the best friends for many of those in leadership today.  They might not see it and that is too bad, but we are the hope for many.  It is why Jesus calls us salt and light. Once we are removed, and unfortunately some of us will be, we will be missed.

In our message to this world, we look at sin and divine judgment, but let us remember through the humbling of Ahab, that there is another message – mercy.  If we are going to preach divine judgment, do it with hope and if we are going to promise mercy, remember to give the Gospel warning regarding repentance.

Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite:  “Have you seen how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring the disaster in his days; but in his son’s days I will bring the disaster on his house.” – 1 Kings 21:28-29

Hillsong – Narrow Road



We are the Lord’s

This is the consecration to Christ of my life. To think, to study, to understand His will and to read His Word. To make Him the object of my love, joy and hope.  To use my mouth to speak for Him, hands to work for Him and my feet to carry His message. To be one with Him. 

So when I resign my life to Him, and its pleasure, to magnify Him, I can do so by living or by dying.  Even in death, I know I will be raised up to live with Him forever.  In the faith and hope of this, whether I live or die, it is for His glory and I know I am the Lord’s.

 The follower of Christ lives to the Lord – the most important reality in my life.  Jesus is the hub of my day-to-day existence – everything revolves around Him and my conversation with Him is in being thankful, confessing and asking with some meditative time to listen.  Jesus did model a life of prayer and our impact in the world would be extraordinary if our life were always pointing in a certain direction – Jesus. Wherever I am, whatever company I keep, or the day of the week – my heart is going to God in a spirit of dependence and hope.  I live because I belong to the Lord.

This is all I have to give to those who have fallen to addictions of some kind or have decided they no longer want to live. Hope is what they have coming from somewhere that they can change and I am right in front of them knowing where that hope is coming from. They can be raised up in Jesus who sits at God’s right hand and they can live with Him forever if they believe and put their faith in Him.

We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves.  If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.  For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. – Romans 14:7-9

We Are the Lord’s; His All Sufficient Merit

1. We are the Lord’s; His all-sufficient merit, Sealed on the cross, to us this grace accords. We are the Lord’s and all things shall inherit; Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

2. We are the Lord’s; then let us gladly tender Our souls to Him in deeds, not empty words. Let heart and tongue and life combine to render No doubtful witness that we are the Lord’s.

3. We are the Lord’s; no darkness brooding o’er us Can make us tremble while this star affords A steady light along the path before us– Faith’s full assurance that we are the Lord’s.

4. We are the Lord’s; no evil can befall us In the dread hour of life’s fast-loos’ning cords; No pangs of death shall even then appal us. Death we shall vanquish, for we are the Lord’s.

Downcast no longer

• Hannah was a married woman who had no children and was unable to have children.
• She was married to a man by the name of Elkanah and she was one of two wives.
• The other wife seemed to be very fruitful and had several children.
• Hannah had none.
• In that time a large family was seen as a sign of a blessing and the lack thereof was seen as a curse.
• Hannah had to endure ongoing humiliation and shame.
• To make matters worse, the other wife constantly harassed and taunted her.
• She had desperate circumstances and there appeared to be no hope and no end in sight.
• She really had a raw deal.
• Her name, Hannah, meant ‘woman of grace’ or ‘gracious woman’.
• But it must have been very difficult to be what her name meant when she was surrounded by such desperate, on-going circumstances and issues.
• We know that she often cried and wept and that she would not eat because of all that was going on.

The story of Hannah receiving a kind word of blessing from Eli the priest as a prophecy was a like a gift of faith to fulfill her incredibly earnest desire for a child, dispel her sadness and fill her with a confident hope.

What hope can we receive from the trials we go through and how does our own understanding of who God is give us hope in times of great hopelessness?

  “When we make self the end of
prayer, it is not worship but self-seeking.”
—Thomas Manton

As followers of Christ, we need to choose prayer, not hopelessness.

“It is narratively significant that neither Peninnah or Elkanah will
suffice for hope any longer. But in a moment of decisive action
she turns from both her sociological hope the hope of Peninnah
and her psychological hope her hope with Elkanah to identify
with God alone. – Robert Alter

  Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.”  She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. – 1 Samuel 1:17-18

Marty Nystrom – Why So Downcast (Live)


Resolved in the Spirit

As followers of Christ, we can make the decision to follow the leading of the Spirit and His call or we can still go our own way.  I am not sure if we decide to go our own way as to when we are no longer followers of Jesus.  

Paul expressed many times how the Spirit of God was leading him through the instinct and motion of the Spirit and how his whole life was framed according to God’s will and pleasure.  The outcomes of his journey did not depend on the journey itself but rather that he obeyed and was faithful – for we know some of the outcomes Paul faced, even death.  It was if Paul was addicted to following Jesus – to the profit of the Church – even neglecting his own safety.  At one point, he even deprived himself of his most faithful companion, Timothy, so that the Macedonian church would not have to wait for him.

We see a little bit of Paul at this very moment in his letter to the Romans.  He writes —

Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news,[a] not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him shall see,
    and those who have never heard of him shall understand.”


 This is the reason that I have so often been hindered from coming to you.  But now, with no further place for me in these regions, I desire, as I have for many years, to come to you  when I go to Spain. For I do hope to see you on my journey and to be sent on by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little while.  At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem in a ministry to the saints – Romans 15:20-25

Paul had an incredible desire to not want to build on the foundation of another – he wanted to work in bringing the gospel to a place that had never heard it before.  

Now after these things had been accomplished, Paul resolved in the Spirit to go through Macedonia and Achaia, and then to go on to Jerusalem. He said, “After I have gone there, I must also see Rome.” – Acts 19:21

Where hope is ultimately placed

Paul’s experience in Ephesus must have been amazing.  To see the fruit of discipleship displayed so demonstratively with the burning of all their magic books would have been moving.

My first experience was with a drug user who had come to Christ.  He took me back to his place where he showed me all of his cocaine and then told me that for Christ he was going to flush them down the sink.  He did so.  Wow!

I also think of Judas – I know, a little weird – he probably would have wanted to sell all the magic books to redeem their value and give more to the poor.  But as usual, he would have missed the point of repentance that was taking place and the turning of ones back to the things that held them prisoner for so long.  But also, why put someone else into bondage?

 Also many of those who became believers confessed and disclosed their practices. A number of those who practiced magic collected their books and burned them publicly; when the value of these books was calculated, it was found to come to fifty thousand silver coins.  Acts 19:18-19

Where Hope Is Still Alive.wmv




What must I do to be saved?

Are you willing to turn from what you have been trusting and transfer all your hope of heaven upon Christ?

What hope then do we have? God has made it possible for us to be reconciled to Him by providing a perfect sacrifice to atone for our sins. God sent His Son, Jesus, to live a perfect life so that He could die, not for His own sins, but for ours.  

How can we can receive forgiveness of sins and the hope of eternal life? The Bible’s answer is that salvation is a free gift of God’s grace which we receive through Jesus by responding to Him in faith.

 But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.  Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”  They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.  At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay.  He brought them up into the house and set food before them; and he and his entire household rejoiced that he had become a believer in God. – Acts 16:28-34


From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia[a]
    my suppliants, my scattered ones,
    shall bring my offering. – Zephaniah 3:10

Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say,
    “The Lord will surely separate me from his people”;
and do not let the eunuch say,
    “I am just a dry tree.”
 For thus says the Lord:
To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,
    who choose the things that please me
    and hold fast my covenant,
 I will give, in my house and within my walls,
    a monument and a name
    better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name
    that shall not be cut off.

 And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord,
    to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord,
    and to be his servants,
all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it,
    and hold fast my covenant— Isaiah 56:3-6


The story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch is a powerful one.  When I read it again I saw two sets of hope – Philip knew an adventure was coming when God asked him to go along a wilderness road and the eunuch made a long trip in hopes of finding more of God.  Then I found the third and fourth hope, but I guess they count as one since the Holy Spirit inspired both Zephaniah and Isaiah.  

The Holy Spirit was still trying to woo the Ethiopian as we saw his thirst in still reading the scroll of Isaiah.  Here in the Old Testament, the revelation of Jesus as the sacrificed lamb was powerful enough to save.

But in your hearts sanctify Christ as Lord. Always be ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you – 1 Peter 3:15

When we think about opportunities to share the gospel, we can trust the Holy Spirit to already have gone ahead of us to prepare the heart that needs to hear.  If you care about those who will be eternally separated from God, if you suspect and hope that you are a link in the many influences of a person becoming a follower of Christ and even if you are a bit nervous about pushing Jesus – sharing your faith is still something you want to do even if it is rather intimidating – it is your turn to trust Him – He will lead the way, you only need to follow and serve.

Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.) So he got up and went. – Acts 8:26-27

Go – Hillsong United

Ask the Lord

Do we remember what is was like when we walked this life without Jesus?  Do we remember how we acted like we had it all together – for those who came to Christ at an older age we may have even defined ourselves as successful.  Jesus though saw our hearts. Saw our despair.

Remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. – Ephesians 2:12

Jesus saw us as part of His family.  Yes, He had eyes of compassion when He saw us missing the meaning and purpose of life.  So Jesus looks at this lost world and says that just as He brought me to Him He wants to bring them all to Him – not only does He want too, He says that they are ready to come.  In order for us to understand, we need to see the world as Jesus does, look through His eyes to see how lost people are and then to experience the compassion of Christ to them.  We need to have the expectancy and hopefulness of Jesus and anticipate this harvest time. I want to look at my neighbours, colleagues, classmates and associates and see them as potential followers of Jesus.  We know the world is missing Him.

If you are like me, what is holding us back, what is paralyzing us to share who we are in Christ?  God, by design, established the universe – whether you enjoy the stars in the sky or the trees of the forest – He knows them all by name, even knows the number of hairs on our head. There is hope, even in the midst of what we think is too big for us.  Since we know the Lord of the harvest, we can ask Him to send out those He has called.

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;  therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” – Matthew 9:35-38

Jackie Evancho – To Believe


Jesus Christ – the same tomorrow as He was yesterday and today.  Our hope for everlasting joy rests on this relationship.

Our promised redemption on oath and absolute certainty, ratified by blood on the cross, and now we place our entire faith and hope on Him.

Unchanging – a Saviour only to sinners – those lost, those farthest away from God and hope – inspiring them through the Holy Spirit.

Our faith and hope and knowledge all ultimately depend on a person who is infinitely worthy of trust – because he is absolutely and eternally unchanging in his being, perfections, purposes, and promises. – Grudem

We all experience those moments in life when the only consolation we have is to hold on to that unchanging hand of God.  As much as change can be exciting and maybe even desirable at times, it also can be accompanied by failure, loss of health, death of loved ones, and old age.  The soul of a person can find no better haven of rest than in the unchanging Jesus.  He is the north star in the heavens, shining the brightest in the darkness, an unchanging hope in a world of troubles.

The unchanging character of Jesus also means that everything surrounding Him is also changeless.  The gospel, the plan of redemption, His relationship with the Church – it’s government, doctrine, purpose and hope – all are changeless.  His purposes, great love, assurance of resurrection and eternal life – all the same.

So we give Jesus our total commitment – we place our hope completely on Him and His grace.

Jesus, our unchanging rock, immutable hope, firm foundation – the one whom we place our trust, forever.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8

Brian Doerksen, Everlasting

What you’ve been called to

Prayer is made for wisdom – asking to know God and His ways.

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:18-19

I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints,  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. – Ephesians 1:17-19

I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective when you perceive all the good that we[a] may do for Christ. – Philemon 6

 So that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. – Colossians 1:10

I want their hearts to be encouraged and united in love, so that they may have all the riches of assured understanding and have the knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ himself,[a]  in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. – Colossians 2:2-3

In practice, that will be found in those who hide God’s Word in them, feeding on it daily, acquiring a habitual bent towards spiritual matters.  How hopeful am I when I preach that someone’s soul is listening.  When the heart applies to the Word and some portion of it enters in, it makes room for more.

My child, if you accept my words and treasure up my commandments within you,  making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;  if you indeed cry out for insight, and raise your voice for understanding;  if you seek it like silver, and search for it as for hidden treasures—  then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God. – Proverbs 2:1-5

Ephesians 4:4

Called to Hope

The hope to which we are called

God Called Us into Life and Hope

Live worthy of your calling