"Endurance and Hope" - Wednesday, October 19th

"Endurance and Hope" - Wednesday, October 19th

We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation …. Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance …. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. Hebrews 6:9B, 11-12, 18-19A

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

The story of God’s dealings with mankind, his promises to us, and the amazing way he brings it all together as he works everything out, is what the Bible is all about. For a simple statement of how it all relates to us as real, everyday people, we can do no better than John 10:10B, where it says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” In the middle of all that God is doing, we find these words to be his personal and practical promise to each of us. But God knows something that we would never come up with on our own. He knows that our having the full life does not come when we focus on ourselves but when we focus outwardly.

Jesus is the one who came that we might “have life, and have it to the full.” While he was here he said, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Matthew 22:37-39). Do you see the outward focus of what is important to God? The full life comes from living fully for God and others. Jesus came to redeem us from living fully for ourselves. When we put our faith in Christ and his sacrifice on the cross for our sins we are redeemed so that we can love God and others fully.

Loving God and loving others is “life” indeed and God’s promise to us is that we can “have it to the full.” Read today’s Scripture again, keeping all we have been considering in mind. We need to go forward fully loving God and loving others. This is the stuff of God’s kingdom but for this we need endurance. Our passage today wonderfully connects endurance with hope. Hope is not “hope so” but rather “know so.” It is the confident “knowing” ahead of time that God is going to fulfill his promises regarding his kingdom. Hope is more of a “knowing of the heart” than it is a “knowing of the mind.” Hope goes hand in hand with faith and together they are great boost to our ability to keep going (endurance). With a heart full of hope we will have the full life, a life of loving God and others fully.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, deliver me from being spiritually sluggish and indifferent. Release me from living for myself. You are the refuge I flee to so that I might have great confidence that your promise of the truly full life will come about in my actual experience. Lord, I hold on to you and the hope that lies before me. The hope of my becoming one who truly loves you and others fully, is a strong and trustworthy anchor for my soul. Amen!

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