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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Lancaster County Amish farm 9/6/18 (Click to enlarge)
Lancaster County Amish farm
(Click to enlarge)

"The Ever-Enduring Trifecta"

Message summary: The apostle Paul concluded the Love Chapter with these words, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love", what we are describing as the "The Ever-Enduring Trifecta". Today we consider the blessing of hope.

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"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love" (1 Corinthians 13:13). "Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it, 'But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you'" (Psalm 39:6,7). "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope" (Lamentations 3:21). "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you" (1 Peter 1:3,4).

Hallelujah, praise the One who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There's salvation in Your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Today marks 17 years since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. If you live in the USA and are old enough to remember you will recall that day. Most of us remember very graphically the events of that day and we all live with the lasting impact, some certainly more than others.

Evil has gone on unabated since the fall of the human race, but some calamitous days, like 9/11 are noteworthy reminders.

Hope is one of the most necessary spiritual and emotional components of life. Without it we live in despair. It has been said, "Man can live about 40 days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope." *

In the book of Lamentations the prophet Jeremiah is living through the period of Judah's final conquest. In the portion that precedes the third daily verse he describes the horrible, despicable events that accompanied this time and Jeremiah seems to be teetering on despair.

But in this text we have one of the greatest transition verses in all of Scripture. In the midst of this terrific despair Jeremiah writes, "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope". What Jeremiah called to mind brought hope from despair and today some 2,600 years later, it will do so for us as we reflect on the immutable attributes of God such as His omnipotence, omniscience and omnipresence (simply put, He is all powerful, all knowing and all present).

The kingdoms of this world are all temporary, self-serving, and polluted by the wiles of Satan's strategies to steal, kill and destroy. It is headed for total destruction. But, as believers, we follow after Christ who brings abundant life and an inheritance kept in heaven for us. Let us renounce the world and enter into His kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy. Though the world may crumble around us, our hope remains fixed on the eternal kingdom not seen with human eyes. Such anticipation fills us with inexpressible and glorious joy as we await the day that Jesus Christ is revealed in all His glory, splendor and holiness.

The apostle Paul concluded the Love Chapter with these words, "And now these three remain: faith, hope and love", what we are describing as the "The Ever-Enduring Trifecta".

Hope remains. The nature of the hope we have is foundationally a spiritual hope. The "good life" (peace and prosperity), as many of us have known it or desire it to be on this earth, is not guaranteed by God. So many, many of the heroes of the faith of the past and present testify to this. (Read Hebrews 11.)

The hope that remains is the assurance that ultimately "In all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose" (Romans 8:28). This is an enduring hope in which we can all be absolutely confident.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we solemnly consider the catastrophic impact that demonic Muslim terrorists have permanently etched in our painful memories from the horrific events of 9/11/01. Though we witnessed mayhem and saw evil at its worst, mercifully, we also witnessed acts of goodness at their best. We are not without hope, for we know that You are a God of hope that fills believers with all joy and peace as they trust in You, so that they may overflow with hope by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Help us to spread the overflowing, enduring hope that does not diminish in the midst of evil, but  focuses our hearts on the holy city, the New Jerusalem; the New Jerusalem where Your presence is with Your people; where You will wipe away every tear from our eyes and there will be no more death, sadness, crying, or pain, because all the old ways are gone, for You will make all things new. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Living Hope"  Video  Phil Wickham

"Hope for The Nations"  Video  Karen Peck & New River

"Prisoner of Hope"  Video  
Gaither Vocal Band

* Often attributed to Hal Lindsey

Here's the longest people have survived without air, food, water, sunshine, or sleep

We often mention our friends, Jesse and Anna Ruth and their seven children at the Old Windmill Farm. It's nice when the farm tour guests help them market the farm experience such as this traveling family who made a video which includes some beautiful drone footage.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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