Abound In Hope

In this hopeless time, we can abound in hope of our hope is in the God of hope!

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭15:13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

In this crazy time we live in, it is important that we live a life that abounds in hope.

“My hope is built on nothing less,
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest fram
But wholly lean on Jesus name

On Christ the solid rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.

The above song lyrics have been playing on repeat in my head! I woke up one morning this past week, singing this song on repeat in my head.

I’m so thankful that my hope isn’t in a man. I’m so thankful that my hope isn’t in politics. I’m so thankful that my hope isn’t in the dollar bill.

My hope is in Jesus Christ and Him alone!

Where’s your hope at? Who is your hope in? If your hope isn’t in Jesus Christ, you will end up discouraged, disappointed and defeated!

The verse at the beginning of this post states the “God of hope.” If we are to have hope, we need to go to the one who is hope, and that’s God.

When you place your hope in God, He will fill you with joy AND peace! Hope in the right Person will bring happiness in the other areas of your life. Hope in the right Person will bring calm to the trouble in your life.

Too many Christians have placed their hope in the President, in politics, in the pulpit of their church, in their preacher, etc. but we need to return to the God of hope and be filled with joy and peace!

Once you put your hope in God, you will abound in hope! It’s amazing how your outlook on life changes when your hope is in Jesus Christ!

Hey Christian, where is your hope? Is it in the God of hope or in something else?

We need to abound in hope so that we can help those around us!

Chutes and Ladders (Part 1)

As you can see by the title, we are going to discuss the classic children’s board game. Chutes and Ladders has many different variations but the concept is the same, as you move on the board if you land on a ladder you go up and if you land on a chute you do down. It’s a very simple concept!

I am a very competitive person, anyone who knows me, knows that to be true. I turn everything into a competition, I want to win at everything! Life is like a game. We are the pieces on the playing board of life. Every move we make in life has an outcome whether it’s good or bad, helpful or hurtful.

I saw a verse a few weeks ago that made me think about this game “Chutes and Ladders.”

“Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭26:1‬ ‭KJV‬‬

I want to talk about the last half of this verse today. “I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.”

In the Christian life, we can slide. In life in general, we can slide. Unless we trust in the Lord. I got to thinking about slides and thought of a few points that would illustrate our sliding away from God.

One of the best things about any playground is the slide. Slides are fun! I love y’all slides that go really fast! I remember a place in Colorado called the “North Pole.” It was like a children’s amusement park that was Christmas themed. There they had like a three-story slide that you had to go down on a potato sack! It was so much fun!

Even though slides are fun, no matter the shape or size, they all have somethings in common that we can learn from. It’s good to learn spiritual lessons from everyday things.

The Direction of a Slide.

The first direction a slide goes is down.

If you were playing “Chutes and Ladders” and landed on a chute, or a slide, you would slide back down the board to wherever it ends. You would move backwards.

A slide on a playground always goes down. I’ve never seen a playground slide that goes up!

In the Christian life, if we do not trust in God and I’m talking about trusting Him more than in just salvation, we will start to slide in our life and gradually decline and move away from Him. When we aren’t trusting in God, we are trusting in something else, whether it be ourselves, someone else, money or whatever the case may be, our trust isn’t in God. Lack of trust in God will bring sliding in our life.

The second direction a slide goes is away.

You may not always go down when you start to slide but you will definitely start sliding away from the top or where you should be.

When you fail to trust God, you will eventually end up sliding away from Him. It may not happen instantly but over time, there will be so much distance between you and God because you trusted in everything else but Him.

The Dangers of a Slide

Although slides are very fun, they can be dangerous! In my opinion, the higher a slide is and the faster it goes, the better! I don’t like the little three foot slides anymore, I need something exciting!

I’ve seen kids fall off of slides, get stuck on a slide, hit the ground hard at the bottom of a slide. I’ve seen children crying because of their experience on a slide! I’ve seen the dangers of a slide.

When we start sliding in our Christian life because we lack trusting in God, we are in danger of failing as a Christian. When we don’t trust in God to lead and guide us in our daily life, we are in danger of making stupid decisions that we will end up regretting later!

Slides at the playground are fun! Like I mentioned before, the higher and faster they go, the better! Sliding in life because of our lack of trust in God, that’s not fun. It has its consequences!

Trust in the Lord! He will keep you from sliding in life!

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Cut Down Your Trees

Saving trees means you are losing ground.

“And Joshua answered them, If thou be a great people, then get thee up to the wood country, and cut down for thyself there in the land of the Perizzites and of the giants, if mount Ephraim be too narrow for thee.”

‭‭Joshua‬ ‭17:15‬ ‭KJV‬‬

It has been awhile since I have posted a blog but I heard a tremendous message tonight about why we fail to grow in our Christian lives and from it, I got my own little outline that I want to share with you.

A quick and simple background to the verse above…

The children of Israel had entered and taken over the land of Canaan. After some time they came to Joshua and started complaining that they didn’t have enough room for their families. Joshua then scolded them saying they didn’t drive out the Canaanites like they were supposed to and that is why they didn’t have room for their families to grow. Joshua told them that if they wanted more land to go to the wood country, to the mountains and chase out the giants and cut down the trees and they would have plenty of room. Which brings me to this thought I want to share with you.

“Cut down the trees in your life so you have room to grow as a Christian!”

The trees I mention today are in reference to anything that is standing between you and God. These trees could be any type of sin or these trees can be a hobby or a pastime that is keeping you from being close to the Lord.

We all have trees. We all have different trees. It’s up to us to decide what we do with these trees.

The first time I see trees being a problem in the Bible is in the book of Genesis. Adam and Eve had eaten of the fruit and their eyes were opened and they saw they were naked. When they knew this, they hid among the trees when God came walking through the garden. “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” Genesis 3:8 Adam and Eve went and hid among the trees when it was time to walk with God.

What trees are you hiding behind in your life that are preventing you from walking with God?

If you aren’t walking with God like you should be, then you probably have trees in your life that are hindering you from walking with Him. What trees, what sin, what things are keeping you from daily walking with God? Do you wake up late everyday? Are you too prideful to walk with God? Is there something or even someone that keeps you from walking with God? Whatever your tree, it’s time to cut it down and remove it so you can have clear access to walking with God daily!

The next group of trees I see are the ones found here in Joshua 17:15. These trees were preventing the children of Israel from doing what God had told them to do, from possessing the land. They were scared of the inhabitants and the giants that were among the trees. What trees are preventing you from working for God?

Many times I wonder why am I not being used more by God or why am I not getting more opportunities, then I realize my ground is taken up by trees. Whether it’s some type of sin or some hobby or even something like laziness, they are cluttering my life. I need to go through my own personal life and cut down trees so that I can do more for the work of the Lord. There is ground that the Lord wants you to conquer, there is a work the Lord wants you to do, yet you’re surrounded by your trees which are hindering you from doing more! Those trees that are hindering you and I, it is time that we cut them down and fulfill the work that the Lord has for us!

The next set of trees I see that we should cut down are found in Judges 6:25-26. “And it came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: And build an altar unto the Lord thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.” In the Bible times, an altar was one of the tools used in worship. When God told Gideon to cut down the grove, He wanted to reestablish true worship instead of worship to false idols.

In this age, we have let too many trees grow between us and our worship towards God.

There are many different ways I can go on this point, but I want to keep it brief. We have let the world dictate to us the way we should worship. We have let this new age of worship creep into our lives and into our churches. It is time we cut down the trees that are keeping us from worshipping the way God wants us to.

We all have trees in our life that are hindering us from walking with God, working for God and worshipping God. It is time we cut those trees down and get rid of the sin and things in our life that are keeping us from being closer to God.

Here are a few closing thoughts…

  • Trees left to themselves will reproduce.
  • Saving trees means you are willing to lose ground.

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