Abounding in Hope

By the Holy Spirit
Romans 15:14-16 ESV

I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

The church, at large, has been given much knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ via the written word of God, the Holy Bible, and via the indwelling presence of God within the lives of Christ’s followers. Those who have truly united with Christ in faith have the Holy Spirit of God living within them empowering, strengthening, teaching and counseling them in the way that they should go, so they are not lacking in any good thing.

Those who have known the Lord for any length of time, especially, should be equipped to be able to instruct one another in the things of God, and of his Word, not only by their words, though, but by their lifestyles and attitudes, too. For, they have been given the very words of God, and the Word dwells within them, if truly they are in Christ by faith, and are not professors only.

Nonetheless, although the church has been given so much, and has been filled with the Spirit of God and with much knowledge and understanding of the scriptures, this does not necessarily mean the church is living up to her potential in the Lord. For, much of the church today, especially here in the USA, is in much need of “bold reminders” of what they have been given in Christ, and thus as to where they should be spiritually because of all that the Lord has granted them.

So, God has gifted certain individuals within the church with a gift for getting out these messages to the church, reminding them of the things of God and of his Word and of what the Lord requires of us, his servants. And, the purpose of this is to encourage (urge) the body of Christ to walk according to the Spirit and to not walk according to the flesh, and to live lives worthy of the calling which they have received from God, for many have gone astray and have fallen away from their pure devotion to Jesus Christ.

By Word and Deed
Romans 15:17-21 ESV

In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”

Those who are called to be ministers of the gospel in taking the message of salvation from sin to the world around us should do so humbly, not taking credit for themselves for what God has given them. For, all that we have we have received is from God. If the gifting is of God, and not of the flesh, then God should get all the glory for whatever is accomplished through our lives.

I know that for me personally, the Lord directs me in what I should write. He is the one who wakes me with a song in my mind which he intends to go with the passage of scripture to which he directs me each day. Sometimes he gives me a dream, too, as a parable, to illustrate biblical truth in all practical application of scripture to our lives today. And, they all flow beautifully together, because he is the one orchestrating it all, not me.

We, too, as ministers of the gospel, should be operating in the power of the Spirit of God, to please God, and not from our flesh, to please human beings. Our goal should never be to conform the message to the likes of humans, but we should be led of the Spirit of God in getting to the people the messages God has for them to hear. For, only He knows what they need.

The goal of our ministry, too, should always be to lead people to obedience to Christ and to his Word. For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. His grace to us is not a free license to continue in willful sin against God, but it instructs us to say “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives while we await Christ’s return.

And, although it is certainly important that we get the gospel out to people who have not already heard, it is critical, too, in today’s world, that we get the gospel to the church, because so much of the church is teaching a diluted gospel message which appeals to human flesh, and so many people are not hearing the truth at all and are buying into lies which give them a false hope of salvation in Jesus Christ, based on those lies.

In Your Prayers
Romans 15:30-33 ESV

I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

I believe we should be striving in prayer for the church, which has succumbed to these lies and deceptions, that God will deliver them from those unbelievers – from those false shepherds, those wolves in sheep’s clothing, who have infiltrated the church and who are leading the people astray. For, so many are being deceived by these men and women in their deceitful scheming and in their twisting of truth to their own advantage.

We should also pray for those who are teaching the truth of scripture, who are being persecuted for teaching the truth, that they will be delivered from these masqueraders of truth. For, many of those within the church who are teaching this false grace gospel, which requires no repentance and no obedience to Christ or to his word, and thus no death to sin or living to righteousness, are persecuting those who are teaching the truth. For, they oppose the truth of the gospel and its messengers, because they do not want the truth to get to the people, for the truth exposes their lies.

The reason we need deliverance from these false brethren and these false shepherds is that many are being deceived by them. Because these who are teaching lies are also lying about those who are teaching truth, thus the message of the gospel is being hindered from getting to the people. So, we need to pray that those hindrances will be removed, by the power of God’s Spirit, so that the truth of the gospel can get to the people so that many will be saved, and so the church will be revived.

Joy and Peace
Romans 15:13 ESV

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

While we wait on God for him to move in people’s hearts, and to answer our prayers for deliverance, we should not give up hope, or lose heart, just because we have not yet been delivered. But, we must hold on to hope.

Be Still
An Original Work / February 29, 2012

Based off Psalm 37 and 46

God’s our refuge and our strength,
An ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Though the mountains fall into the sea.
The Lord Almighty is with us;
God of Jacob is our fortress.
“Be still, and know that I am God;
Exalted I’ll be.”

Trust in the Lord and do good;
And delight yourself in the Lord,
And He will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit your way to the Lord.
Trust in Him and He will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine
Like the dawn, the justice of your
Cause – the noon-day sun.

Be still before the Lord,
And wait patiently for Him; do not fear.
Fretting only leads to evil.
Put your hope in Jesus Christ.
If the Lord delights in your way,
He makes your steps firm and steady.
The Lord upholds you with His hand,
So you will not fall.

Sunday, March 18, 2018, 5:34 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for these encouraging words. May we apply these truths to our hearts and lives.

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