Until That Day!

For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day 2 Timothy 1:12 KJV

In this letter, Paul wrote to his dearest friend on earth, Timothy, while He was facing almost certain execution. Paul had been in and out of prisons for years and was growing old and maybe a little worn out. The false teachers trying to manipulate the church for financial gain, as well as the hypocritical religious leaders trying to have him killed finally seemed to have him where they wanted him. Yet Paul was able to say with confidence that no matter what, he was not going to be ashamed. Why? Because He knows Jesus and trusts that Jesus will take care both of him and of the things that Paul had been working to do. Isn’t it interesting how a few years earlier in Paul’s letter to the Philippian church, he said that He wanted to know Christ more. Now it appears that God has granted Paul his desire, and he could say, “I’m not worried any more. Jesus has got this! He will take care of me and He will take care of the church when I am gone. He will bring everything to pass that he has promised and I can rest in Him. I know Him and I also know that the day is coming when He will come and make everything right!”

 One day each of us will also face the end of our life. Though right at this moment we may wish we knew Christ better, we can draw courage from today’s verse that if we trust Him completely then on that day He will help us to know Him just as Paul did. Jesus will take over and keep everything we have put in His hands and then He will take our hand and lead us until that day!

We used to sing the hymn with these words and though the melody is old fashioned, the words never go out of style. I pray each of you to know Him fully and to trust Jesus until that day! Have a blessed week.!

Seeds of Hope

So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. Acts 27:25 ESV

This past week I have been cleaning up the flower beds and planting seeds at my sister in law’s. While she is in hospice care at home my wife is cooking and helping with personal care while I weed, water and trim. Those seeds I plant give Diane hope because every one put in the ground says, “Come back in six weeks and I’ll show you my blooms!” Those seeds reminded me of the story of Saint Paul in the storm.

When Paul was going through that storm the easiest thing to do would have been to complain and blame everyone else. Yet though we can be sure that Paul prayed plenty the text seems to say that God just sent an angel with a message of hope while he was sleeping. Get the picture? Everyone was desperately fighting the storm, but Paul said his prayers, trusted God and lay down to rest! Then when Paul woke up he passed that hope on to everyone else who was in the same boat with him.

When we plant seeds, our garden doesn’t do anything. Its job is simply to receive. We as the gardeners do all the work and the garden gets to give joy to anyone who sees the flowers when they bloom. If we are believers in Jesus Christ then we each are a part of God’s big garden. God plants some seeds of hope in all of us especially when we are facing storms. Maybe we should ask, “What seeds of hope has he given me that I might show to others as they face their storm today?

All Our Needs in His Own Way

For even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need... And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:16 & 19 ESV

As I read my bible this morning, I was excited to see how the story of Paul’s missionary work is woven together with the little church in Philippi. When God first sent a vision to Paul to leave for Europe- he saw a man from Macedonia calling for help. So Paul went and bought a ticket, got on a boat and sailed across to Philippi. Rather surprisingly after obeying God’s call, Paul was promptly thrown in prison. But, on that famous night in the jail, while Paul and Silas sang hymns, God sent an earthquake and the church of Philippi was founded – with the jailer possibly becoming the first deacon! Now, many years later, Paul finds himself sitting in a Roman prison, but he was still concerned about the needs of that church in Philippi. All through the time Paul was establishing churches in Macedonia, Greece and Asia Minor, the Philippians had stayed in touch with him. Their leader Epaphroditus even visited Paul regularly, both bringing offerings and staying with him to help out. We do not hear of even one of the large rich churches sending help to Paul, but the Philippians continued doing all they could, because they considered Paul to be more than just an apostle. He was a part of their family. And just like when we send care packages to a son off in college, they were determined that as much as they were able they would take care of Paul.

Sure, God could have used larger churches or he could even have sent an angel with anything that Paul needed. But God chooses to use his people to take care of each other, so that we can experience the life of Christ for ourselves – and that experience begins with our learning how to give. Learning to give means learning to love and our greatest need of all is always love!

All Our Needs in His Own Way

All our needs in His own way
Jesus promises to meet
But He often uses hands of clay
To give the things we seek

So when God chooses us to lift
A load from off our brother
Remember it was from His cross
He showed how to love each other

All Our Needs in His Own Way by Peter Caligiuri 
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