If we will only heed

We live in two words – blessing and curse.  They are real and they have real effects.  With them or behind them is the character of God – first came the blessing and only then followed by the curse.  God is slow to anger, swift to show mercy, delighted to bless.  It is better for us to be drawn into Him and His blessing by a child-like hope in His favour.  That blessing is promised as we listen, trust and follow in obedience the word of God.

 When this first appeared to the people of Israel in Deuteronomy, their hope totally depended on and was completely placed in the faithfulness of God and His promise.

So when we look at the law of God’s Word that produces blessings when we follow in obedience – which commandment is the first of them all?  That question asked by a lawyer to Jesus is still what lies at the very heart of what we believe.  Hard to believe for some of us that Bishop David Jenkins could quote such an orthodox statement, but it is quite the contemporary statement of our time —

There is God; He is as He is in Jesus; there is hope

 The feasts established in the Old Testament took moments out of the lives of the people and turned the concept of time being busy towards repentance and to one of hope.

God is trying to get His voice into our hearts to say to us that He will meet our needs – He is our source.  How many times do we see hope almost disappearing – feeling our source was running out – and God would rain from heaven, if you will, blessing us, restoring us.

If you will only heed his every commandment that I am commanding you today—loving the Lord your God, and serving him with all your heart and with all your soul— then he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil;  and he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you will eat your fill. – Deuteronomy 11:13-15

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The name that instills hope

“The root of Jesse shall come,
    the one who rises to rule the Gentiles;
in him the Gentiles shall hope.” – Romans 15:12

The name of Jesus is our sole hope for salvation and for all our needs.  To hope in Jesus means to despise all earthly ties and to desire to walk as one would walk in eternity.  It also means because we live in the promise of being with Him forever, we can bear with patience and peace the losses we experience in this life, even the evil, because He has a place prepared for us.

It is crazy that the people of Israel were taught that the Messiah would be earthly, defeating and humiliating those nations that opposed them from the beginning of time.  I wonder how they took to Isaiah’s words that the Messiah would come and the world would love Him and put their hope in Him.  I am not even sure they were aware of the intimacy that was involved in that hope – God’s love, forgiveness, salvation, heaven, answered prayers and leading us in our journey through life.

The hope has to be in Jesus and yet how tempting it is and how many of us fall into the temptation of putting our hope in our spouse, friends, children, bank accounts, success, government, our own intelligence, strength, academic standings and for some, even our looks. Jesus is both personal and universal, intimate and yet accessible to all.  He is God, He is Emmanuel – God with us, our living hope.

Hope is a person, and His name is Jesus – Darlene Zschech

 Without His name, there is no hope.  As the days seem to be getting darker, this truth becomes even more important.  We need an anchor – it is hope – it is the name of Jesus.

This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:  “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.  He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets.  A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory.  In his name the nations will put their hope.” – Matthew 12:17-21

Take the Name Of Jesus With You – Lydia Baxter