Hope

The other day my daughter, Annie, was babysitting an eight-year-old girl and her five-year-old brother at our house. Annie volunteered to fill in for some local Grandparents who had to work this day while their Grandchildren came to stay with them for a couple of weeks. While sitting down for lunch, my daughter asked them if anyone wanted to say the blessing. Both children volunteered and said the sweetest prayers. “Kaci” asked God to “be close to all those who are hurting and have lost loved ones.” Curious, I asked Kaci if she attends church. She shared about her church and going to Sunday school each week.

“What do you learn there?” I asked.

“We learn about Jesus and how He died for our sins.”

I told her that Annie and I are God’s children because we have asked Jesus to forgive our sins and have asked Him to be our Lord and Savior. Her big brown eyes grew even larger as she smiled and said, “Me too! And I know that I will be with Him when I die.”

“Isn’t that great hope?” I asked, “. . . knowing that we’ll be with Him when our life is over here on earth?”

Needless to say, Annie and I were both blessed as she replied, “I can’t wait to be with Jesus!”

Ah, to have that kind of childlike faith and enthusiasm. It seems like many of us lose sight of hope as we grow older and find ourselves burdened by the pressures of adulthood. But hope is what enables us to keep our heads up, even when the storm clouds gather and we’re treading on rocky ground. Hope is our lifeline connecting us to heaven.

“How blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel; They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks, discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain! God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!” ~Psalm 84:5-7 (MSG)

If you find your head slumping and the weight on your shoulders too much to bear, remember there is One who never leaves your side. As we focus on His continual presence and the hope of heaven, He will help carry the load. The road He leads us on may be steep and full of potholes at times, but remember—as a child of God—your final destination is in heaven with our Lord.

Where Is Jesus Now?

Have you ever wondered where Jesus is now and what He’s been doing since His resurrection?

As a child I believed Jesus went back to heaven after He arose from the grave. But other than preparing a place for us, I wondered how He spent the rest of His time. After all, who enjoys building all the time? My young mind imagined Him enjoying activities I’d love to do. You know, things like jumping on fluffy clouds, soaring over colorful universes, and landing a quadruple back flip, just to name a few. 🙂

Not to say Jesus can’t, or doesn’t, engage in “fun” activities. But Scripture doesn’t promote Him as a thrill seeker or as One who is consumed with Himself. Rather, His thoughts and prayers are for His children.

Don’t you love that Jesus isn’t like a cartoon depiction of a Genie floating on a heavenly cloud, sipping Cherry Coke while being entertained? Not only did Christ accomplish His mission on earth through His teaching, atoning sacrifice and resurrection, but He still engages in our lives, helping us navigate all of life’s twists and turns. Having been through fiery trials and temptations Himself—without sinning—He not only knows what we need, He is also able to help us. And He presents His prayers and petitions to God the Father on our behalf!

Hebrews 1:3 says, “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

The apostle Paul also paints a beautiful picture of God’s children sitting victoriously with Christ in the “heavenly realms” over the dark canvas of what we used to be: objects of God’s wrath due to our sin (Ephesians 2:1-9). This is made possible because our sinless Lord took our deserved punishment upon Himself (Isaiah 53:4-12). Our eternal life is secured only through Jesus Christ (1 John 5:11-12).

God the Father raised Jesus up in the power of His Holy Spirit, seating Him at His right hand―to His original position before Christ took on flesh (John 1:1-5). Jesus now reigns victoriously (Philippians 2:9-11) and will one day reign in justice over a new earth (Revelation 21).

Maybe you’re unsure if you are God’s child. This is a decision you must make yourself. The church can’t save you. Your parents’ faith won’t save you. There are no guarantees for tomorrow, but you have today. Isaiah 55:6-7 says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on them, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.”

For more on where Jesus is now and why Scripture emphasizes the right hand of God, see the following links at gotquestions.org: Is Jesus in Heaven?, Right Hand of God.

Have a wonderful week!

The Kingdom of God

It has been said that, in the Gospel of Luke, we see Jesus as “the Friend of the friendless” (William Barclay, The Men, The Meaning, The Message Of The Books, p. 17). This is wonderful. Jesus is our Friend. We rejoice in this great when we sing, “What a Friend we have in Jesus.” Jesus […]

via The Kingdom Of God: Luke’s Gospel — Learning From God’s Word

Jesus Is Our Light

cropped-img_4175.jpg“The light of the righteous rejoices” (Proverbs 13:9). We thank You, Lord, that Jesus is our Light. He’s “the Light of the world” (John 8:12). In Him, we rejoice (Romans 5:11) – “the blood Of Jesus, Your Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:7). We thank You that, through Jesus, You have “called […]

via Jesus Is Our Light. — Learning From God’s Word

The Ark: A True Type of Christ, (Genesis 8)

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky.”    Genesis 8:1-2

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Read Genesis 8 here: Bible Gateway

The Hebrew term for remember means “began again to act on their behalf”.

After 150 days of reeling on the water the ark finally came to rest, most likely on Mount Ararat since it was the highest mountain in the region, Gen. 8:5.

After another seven months—totaling 371 days—Noah, his family, and the animals finally exited the ark.

The Ark: A true type of Christ

The Bible is full of parallels or “types.” We can see God arranging the affairs of several Old Testament people and events to show us similarities to Jesus Christ, the focal point of the Gospel. Consider the following parallels:

  • After five months of providing refuge and laboring to accomplish its work of saving its occupants from judgment of sin, the ark finished its mission. After Christ came to earth and provided refuge and healing for many, He died on the cross and finished His mission: the work of salvation (John 19:30).
  • The ark’s construction was made to be waterproof and resistant to decay by sealing it with “pitch” inside and out. The Hebrew word for pitch—kopher—means a “covering”. But it’s also the Hebrew word for atonement. This is the Bible’s first mention of atonement. Henry Morris writes: “It sufficed as a perfect covering for the ark, to keep out the waters of judgment, just as the blood of the Lamb (Christ) provides a perfect atonement for the soul.”
  • The Jewish date that the ark rested (Gen. 8:4) and the date Jesus Christ rose from the dead are the same: “the seventeenth day of the seventh month”.
  • The ark became the bridge from the old evil world to the present one (Gen. 7:7, 2 Peter 3:6-7). God would help Noah and his family with their new life in their new world. God also graciously provides deliverance from spiritual death to us through His Son, Jesus. This is symbolized through water baptism (1 Peter 3:21). He saves us from God’s judgment of sin. He not only gives us the opportunity for a new beginning, but also offers help in our daily walk.
  • Although Noah wasn’t perfect, he is described as a “righteous man who walked with God” (Gen. 6:9). Jesus was the perfect, blameless man who consistently obeyed His Father (Heb. 4:15).
  • Noah was like a “second Adam” since all people come from him (Gen. 8:15-9:17). Christ is called “the second man (Adam)” since He is the only source of eternal life (1 Cor. 15:47; Acts 4:12).
  • Human evil had reached a deplorable high, so God decided to undo his creation with a flood (Gen. 6:6-7). In God’s timing, He will undo His creation again; this time by fire (2 Peter 3:12-13) and then re-create it (Rev. 21:1).

Questions

Each of us share some similarities with Noah as we look forward to the removal of sin and its curse.

  • How is Jesus like a bridge for us to God the Father and new life?
  • Have you accepted God’s gracious invitation of new life through Jesus Christ?
  • How should we be living today? (2 Peter 3:12-14)

*For scientific evidence of the worldwide flood, read Starling Evidence for Noah’s Flood. Also, The Genesis Flood by Henry Morris is a comprehensive geological book that includes Biblical commentary.