Hope for today: None like the Lord

HopeThus says the Lord, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
Fear not, nor be afraid;
have I not told you from of old and declared it?

And you are my witnesses!

Is there a God besides me?
There is no Rock; I know not any.”
Isaiah 44:6-8

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: remember others in prayer

Hope

I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. Philemon 1:4-7

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Hope for today: The Lord’s instruction

HopeGood and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. Psalm 25:8-10

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By faith Enoch

Hebrews 11.5a

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. Hebrews 11:5

I have always loved the story of Enoch, a man who so walked with God that the Lord just took him out of this world. Genesis 5:21-24 tells his story:

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

The Hebrew name for Enoch is Chanokh which means “dedicated.” We all know that in the Old Testament days a name had meaning for one’s life. I am led to believe that Enoch’s name is our first indicator of his walk with God. Enoch’s life was dedicated to God and he walked faithfully with God.

Now, this would not mean that he lived life as one who never committed sin for we know that would only be Jesus. The verse tells me that Enoch was man who knew how to live in communion with God. A man who knew how to ask forgiveness, make sacrifice for sin (OT requirements), repent, and spend time at the altar.

The Scriptures tell us that Enoch was a father of at least 5 children (note the “s” on the words son and daughter) so he must have had a wife and a busy life. Yet he was a man who was without excuses, was faithful and dedicated to God! Enoch’s life pleased God and one day he was no more, couldn’t be found, disappeared! He was not lost for God took him and commended him as one who pleased God. 

We are also privileged to know of Enoch’s son, Methuselah. The Scriptures tell us that Enoch was 65 years old when he became father of a baby boy, Methuselah. Methuselah’s name comes from two Hebrews words: muth means “death” and shalach which means to bring, to send forth. Methuselah’s name means to bring forth death, in other words judgment. It is interesting to note that Enoch was Methuselah’s father and God was sending a prophetic message of impending judgment in Enoch’s day through his son’s name.

So we are able to take note that at the time of Enoch’s dedicated, faithful, and pleasing walk with God things were not too pretty on the earth. So much so that God used Methuselah’s birth and life to warn of impending judgment. Methuselah lived 969 years…that would be 969 years of grace, mercy, opportunities to repent and turn back to God. When Methuselah died, the flood came.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Genesis 6:11-14.

I know, I know, I know…this is longer than you want to read but I’m trying to lay the background for a couple of meditative questions for you and for me.

  1.  I note that Scripture specifically states, After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years.” SSSSssssoooo Enoch lived 65 years before his faithful walk. At the age of 65, Enoch experienced a heart change that caused his walk with God to become faithful, that caused him to live according to his name – “dedicated” to God. Was it the prophetic warning of his son’s name, Methuselah? Was it the birth of a child and the responsibility to raise him in the fear and admonition of the Lord? Was it that the culture at the time revealed the need for a personal and intimate relationship with God that would be a witness to his children? We don’t know but I do know that the Genesis 6 verses sound very similar to the times of today. The question is what does your life, my life tell our children and present generation about God and culture? Does our walk with God display the self-focused, self-indulgence, self-exalting, selfishness of this present culture or display the beautiful, wonderful, magnificent attributes and character of God? The God worthy of our love, dedication, and sacrifice!
  2. The Scriptures above give testimony of Enoch and Methuselah’s lives. When all here is said and done, what testimony will we leave behind…that we walked faithfully with God? Pleasing to God? Though our lives were not perfect, when we were convicted of sin that we were in a hurry to repent? Will our very lives give testimony to the judgement to come?
    • But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17

For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.


Hebrews 11:5b

O Father, How we praise, honor, and bless Your Holy Name! Wash us by Your Spirit and Word that You would commend us as one who pleases You!
In Jesus Name, Amen!

Hebrews 11.5b

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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Hope for today: Blessed are…

Hope And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:1-11

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Hebrews 11 – Faith

Hebrews 11.1b

Blessings today…today we read the sweeter than honey, more precious than silver or gold, Word!

11 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead.
By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.

20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future.

21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

22 By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions concerning the burial of his bones.

23 By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict.

24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the application of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.

29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the army had marched around them for seven days.

31 By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient.

32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.

39 These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, 40 since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

Hebrews 11.6a

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Hope for today: walk in His ways

HopeBlessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways!  You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Psalm 128:1-2

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: boast in the Lord

Hope Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

Hope for today: add to

HopeFor this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-9

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

I will be their God and they will be my people

Hebrews 8.10

Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.

Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer. If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.” But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. But God found fault with the people and said: “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
11 No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear.

My, my, my…you have heard the saying, it doesn’t get any better than this!?!  Hallelujah! It doesn’t get any better than this…the new covenant. As the writer of Hebrews pens these verses, the focus was the Jews but in the context of the complete Bible these blessings belong to every true believer.

And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. Luke 22:20

In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”  1 Corinthians 11:25

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:29

Why is the new covenant superior? Because it ministers to the internal (the heart) rather than the external. In Jesus, all the shadows are fulfilled and replaced as the reality comes forward, that is Jesus the Christ. In Him comes the following promises, promises purchased by the blood of Jesus….and it doesn’t get any better than this!!! Hallelujah! Glory to the Superior High Priest who is the Lamb of God!

  • I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.
  • I will be their God, and they will be my people.
  • No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
    because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
  • For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

All speak of the grace and mercy of God to give those who will believe and receive a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus, the Mediator of the superior covenant! This is truly, “living the life.” Anything less is just the deception of the enemy and the depravity of the heart of man.

Now this is eternal life: that they may know You, the only true [supreme and sovereign] God, and [in the same manner know] Jesus [as the] Christ whom You have sent. John 17:3

Our Father, hallowed is Your name! You alone are God! Your love is amazing, Your grace is abundant, and Your mercy is tender. From everlasting to everlasting, You are God! Thank you for the superior covenant purchased by the Superior One, our Lord and Savior Jesus the Christ! We worship You and bow before You to offer our praise and thanks. It doesn’t get any better than knowing Jesus in an intimate and personal relationship and having Your law written upon our hearts. Once we were not a people, but now we are the people of God because of Your lavished love! Bless Your Holy Name! Help us to live for Your glory that others would know You!
In Jesus Name, Amen!

Hebrews 8.6Hebrews 8.12

To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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