PO Box 3425
March/April Issue 2009 - Volume 28 Number 2
Some Reasons For Hope
Some Reasons For Hope
seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things
shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
day we are bombarded with depressing news.
Look at the headlines of any newspaper and you will see dire
predictions of the collapse of our economy and alarming stories about how
bad the war on terror is going. In addition to this, we are constantly
reminded of the frailty of the flesh when family members, neighbors and
friends are stricken with cancer or some other terminal disease. Many people
give in to depression and skepticism when faced with these circumstances.
good news is that the Bible is full of stories of hope despite all of the
bad news that the world throws at us. We need not despair even though many
predict that our current recession could turn into another depression.
Look at the promise God gives us in Matthew 6:33.
We do not have to worry about what we will eat, what we will drink or
what we will wear because God says if we put his kingdom first in our lives
that all of these necessities will be provided for us.
This does not mean that we will have everything that we want, but it
does mean that we will have everything that we need.
This is good news! It is
a reason for hope.
assures us in 2 Peter 3:9, “ The Lord is not slack concerning His promise,
as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that
any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” This is good
news, too! God is on our side;
He is not against us. He wants us to succeed; He wants us to be saved.
When Cain was angry with God and with his brother Abel, God pleaded
with Cain and warned him, “So the Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry?
And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be
accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is
for you, but you should rule over it’” (Gen. 4:6-7). God was calling
Cain to take charge of his own emotions and desires and not let them lead
him into something he would later regret. God was calling Cain to
repentance. God wasn’t playing favorites. Cain could be accepted just as
well as Abel. It was all up to Cain and the choices that he made. This story
gives us hope today because we see how that God is not willing that any
are only a couple of examples from the Bible of the many reasons that we
have for hope in the world today. How is your outlook, my friend?
Do you have hope? You can enjoy many reasons for hope when you trust
God and His word. Despair and skepticism may be knocking on your door today,
but you don’t have to let them in. Instead you can open the door to
everlasting hope by responding to the promises of God.
“And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and
proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be
a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each
of you shall return to his family. That fiftieth year shall be a Jubilee to
you; in it you shall neither sow nor reap what grows of its own accord, nor
gather the grapes of your untended vine. For it is the Jubilee; it shall be
holy to you; you shall eat its produce from the field. In this Year of
Jubilee, each of you shall return to his possession.”
would you like to have all your debts cancelled, any inheritance that your
family had lost to be restored, and have a full year of paid vacation?
just described what an entire nation was offered, not just once, but every
50 years! It was called the
year of Jubilee that God offered to the nation of Israel. The Jubilee was a foreshadowing of an offer made to you, the
offer of the gospel of Jesus.
Jubilee was a time of liberty from personal debt and slavery. All property was returned to its original owner or his
descendants, and for the entire year they did not sow or reap their crops,
but lived off of the Lord’s bountiful provision.
you and me today, we see that Jesus came to pay the debt we owe for our sin.
He paid it with his life; the debt was cancelled and we have been set
free from slavery to sin.
who have sinned have forfeited their inheritance, but that heavenly
inheritance has been restored by our elder brother, Jesus.
The paid vacation offered is for more than a year – it is eternal.
invites you to stop living only for yourself and begin to live in obedience
to God. He calls you to repent
of your sin, confess Jesus as Lord, be baptized into Christ, and let him
forgive your debt of sin, set you free, and give you eternal life.
turn down this great offer! You
must act now – time is limited!
College and Third Church of Christ Bulletin
is often no one in our lives who inspire more hope in us than our mothers.
The “bill paid in advance” in this story, reminds us that we have
eternal hope because Jesus has paid the bill for our sin.
“‘Many daughters have done well, but you excel them
all.’ Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the
Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her
own works praise her in the gates.” Proverbs
21 years of marriage, my wife wanted me to take another woman out to dinner
and a movie. She said, "I love you, but I know this other woman loves
you and would love to spend some time with you."
other woman that my wife wanted me to visit was my MOTHER, who has been a
widow for 19 years, but the demands of my work and my three children had
made it possible to visit her only occasionally.
night I called to invite her to go out for dinner and a movie.
wrong, are you well," she asked?
mother is the type of woman who suspects that a late night call or a
surprise invitation is a sign of bad news.
thought that it would be pleasant to spend some time with you," I
responded. "Just the two of us."
thought about it for a moment, and then said, "I would like that very
Friday after work, as I drove over to pick her up I was a bit nervous. When
I arrived at her house, I noticed that she, too, seemed to be nervous about
our date. She waited in the door with her coat on. She had curled her hair
and was wearing the dress that she had worn to celebrate her last wedding
smiled from a face that was as radiant as an angel's. "I told my
friends that I was going to go out with my son, and they were
impressed," she said, as she got into the car. "They can't wait to
hear about our meeting."
went to a restaurant that, although not elegant, was very nice and cozy. My
mother took my arm as if she were the First Lady. After we sat down, I had
to read the menu. Her eyes could only read large print. Half way through the
entries, I lifted my eyes and saw Mom sitting there staring at me. A
nostalgic smile was on her lips. "It was I who used to have to read the
menu when you were small," she said. "Then it's time that you
relax and let me return the favor," I responded.
the dinner, we had an agreeable conversation- -nothing extraordinary but
catching up on recent events of each others life. We talked so much that we
missed the movie.
we arrived at her house later, she said, "I'll go out with you again,
but only if you let me invite you." I agreed.
was your dinner date?" asked my wife when I got home. "Very nice.
more so than I could have imagined," I answered.
few days later, my mother died of a massive heart attack. It happened so
suddenly that I didn't have a chance to do anything for her.
time later, I received an envelope with a copy of a restaurant receipt from
the same place mother and I had dined. An attached note said: "I paid
this bill in advance. I wasn't sure that I could be there; but nevertheless,
I paid for two plates - one for you and the other for your wife. You will
never know what that night meant for me. I love you, son."
that moment, I understood the importance of saying in time: "I LOVE
YOU" and to give our loved ones the time that they deserve. Nothing in
life is more important than your family. Give them the time they deserve,
because these things cannot be put off till "some other time."
said it takes about six weeks to get back to normal after you've had a
baby.... somebody doesn't know that once you're a mother, "normal"
said you learn how to be a mother by instinct .... somebody never took a
said being a mother is boring...somebody never rode in a car driven by a
teenager with a driver's permit. Somebody said if you're a "good"
mother, your child will "turn out good"...somebody thinks a child
comes with directions and a guarantee.
said "good" mothers never raise their voices...somebody never came
out the back door just in time to see her child hit a golf ball through the
neighbor's kitchen window.
said you don't need an education to be a mother...somebody never helped a
fourth grader with his math.
said you can't love the second child as much as you love the first ...
somebody doesn't have two children.
said a mother can find all the answers to her child-rearing questions in the
books...somebody never had a child stuff beans up his nose or in his ears.
said the hardest part of being a mother is labor and delivery...somebody
never watched her "baby" get on the bus for the first day of
kindergarten .... or on a plane headed for military "boot camp."
said a mother can do her job with her eyes closed and one hand tied behind
her back…somebody never organized seven giggling Brownies to sell cookies.
said a mother can stop worrying after her child gets married...somebody
doesn't know that marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a mother's
said a mother's job is done when her last child leaves home...somebody never
said your mother knows you love her, so you don't need to tell
her...somebody isn't a mother.
this along to all the "mothers" in your life and to everyone who
ever had a mother. This isn't just about being a mother; it's about
appreciating the people in your life while you have them...no matter who
that person is.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his
appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the
Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but
the Lord looks at the heart.’” 1
man was exploring caves by the seashore.
In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened
clay balls. It was like someone
had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.
didn't look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of
the cave with him. As he
strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out
into the ocean as far as he could.
thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it
cracked open on a rock. Inside
was a beautiful, precious stone!
the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so
clay balls he had left. Then it
had been on the beach a long time. He
had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into
the ocean waves. Instead of
thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of
like that with people. We look
at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel.
It doesn't look like much from the outside.
It isn't always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it.
see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or
well known or wealthy. But we
have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.
is a treasure in each and every one of us.
If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to
show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away
and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.
we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a
fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay.
May we see the people in our world as God sees them.
am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with you. Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel.
you for being my Friend!
found ol' man Lister at the Bottomless Cup reading little
man Lister said, “My grandson also says that a turtle can’t go
put little Lester’s homework down, and I prepared myself
know, kid,” he said, “ I know a lot of folks that have a bad
know...I reckon he's right.
summer the parson went to a seminar for preachers and they
series of sermons last month was called “How to Make God Do
instance, one of the more intriguing titles was, “How
parson spoke about how we get all wrapped up in our plans and
do you make God laugh?” the parson asked.
“Just tell Him your
know...I reckon he's right.