Hope is never lost. Postponed, perhaps, but it is forever a part of the human spirit.
God created us that way in His image, to expect that life will get better in time… or eternity. Experience teaches that our dreams and hopes survive when they are focused on the things that will outlive us.
The anticipation of a New Year embraces the child within because we have the thrilling chance to begin again. Forgetting the past disappointments we may now press on toward higher goals which are bigger than a lifetime.
Join the GospeLines family in praying for a joyous New Year, one that is healthy in every way. May God bless you in all that you attempt in Jesus’ Name in 2008.
The GospeLines Staff
≈ Devotional for Thursday, January 3, 2008
November 19, 1863, on a battlefield near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the 16th President of the United States, shared his vision with a people who were weary of war…
“…we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom… and that government of the people… by the people… for the people… shall not perish from the earth.”
One hundred years later, on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in WashingtonD.C., Martin Luther King, Jr. shared his vision with a people weary of bigotry and discrimination…
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
I recently heard a Pastor share his vision for his church with a congregation weary of worldly conflicts and strife.This Pastor "…dreams of a church that is a household word in his community; where thousands flock to the services weekly to be blessed and healed."
Visions for the survival of a Nation under God; visions for the recognition of all people as equal creations of God; visions of people blessed and healed by God - amazingly similar to those historic words of Lincoln from over 200 years ago.What vision can we see if we go back over 2,000 years?
Paul tells us in 1st Timothy 2:3-5 that God our Savior wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth – God’s vision.
God wants us to believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ (1st John 3:23) and for all people everywhere to repent(Acts 17:30).
If we focus on His vision - if we call on the name of the Lord (Acts 2:21; Romans 10:13) - He will insure our survival - eternally; He will recognize us as equal - in Christ; He will bless us and heal us - spiritually.
If we focus on His vision - if we call on the name of the Lord according to His will and for His glory (1st Corinthians 10:31; Ephesians 1:11-13) - He will insure our survival - Nationally; He will cause men to recognize us as equal - in the world; and He will bless us and heal us - physically.
The difference is that His vision is for His Kingdom and is based in the Spirit; our visions are for our world and are based in this world.Let’s put our hope in the Lord and not in the world.
“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.” (1st John 2:17)
"…we can face Him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."
6The devil said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. It is written, 'He has told His angels to look after You. In their hands they will hold You up. Then Your foot will not hit against a stone.'" (Psalm 91:11-12) 7Jesus said to the devil, "It is written also, 'You must not tempt the Lord your God.'" (Deuteronomy 6:16)
8Again the devil took Jesus to a very high mountain. He had Jesus look at all the nations of the world to see how great they were. 9He said to Jesus, "I will give You all these nations if You will get down at my feet and worship me." 10Jesus said to the devil, "Get away, Satan. It is written, 'You must worship the Lord your God. You must obey Him only.'" (Deuteronomy 6:13)
Several people have asked me how I started writing devotionals.I could say that God knew the plan and I heard His call.But, that statement sounds much too simplistic.
Truthfully, an important relationship in my life is dying and as I have cried out for God to intervene, He has promised to be with me as I walk “through” this valley.
I am grieving and sometimes angry because I am powerless to change anything and my primary strength has been to seek Godly wisdom through prayer.He has sent Angels to comfort me and to impart His word in ways I could not have anticipated.(Thus, my path was directed to prayer through GospeLines.com and on to an assignment to write a devotional.And, as they say, the rest is history.)
You see, perhaps what I thought important had to die, so that I may live.Perhaps the status quo had gotten old and God needed to shake me up to know Him better.Perhaps, He needed me to acknowledge that He is the one and only source I will ever need.
I admit I have been taunted for sticking to my core values… for learning to live within my means, for learning to save for a rainy day, for helping to secure someone else’s future, for honoring my commitments, for being the best Carla had to offer.And, yes, my religious beliefs have been called into question.
I’ve deviated from the course set before me in my early adult years, as many of us have.And, in trying, at that time, to be someone other than who I am and whose I am, I didn’t gain a lifetime of happiness, a lasting love or necessarily enduring friendships.Those that I thought genuinely loved and cared about me… have moved on… through thought, word or deed.
But, this too, shall pass.No matter the outcome, I will be victorious because God is with me.
So, as we embark on 2008, if God says the same, I am putting the old away and dying to self so that I may live.I can no longer accept the status quo and while it’s not easy growing and moving on, change is constant and often necessary.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, my heart is broken, but I have Your promise as found in John 11:25 -
25Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies…"