God is moving…..

With the seemingly never-ending divisiveness of our current political situation I often find myself with a deep sense of despair in the direction our country is heading. Even with my deep belief that God is in control, and things will work out according to his plan, it can be difficult. For me  I find some solace in reading, studying, and sharing God’s Word. Yet often I yearn for more.

That is why when I read about God moving across the world and in my country, I find true inner peace for my daily life. Follow the link and see how God is using young people in West Virginia to spread his message of Love and Hope.

Revival In West Virginia

John 16:33 Common English Bible

33 I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.”

 

Some thoughts on a book I’m currently reading

Why is it that I read more in the summer months than the winter? It would seem I should read more in the winter, since there are less things for me to do, based on the often brutal weather outside. Not sure of the answer, but it is a fact I find it easier to read in the spring/summer months. Maybe just being outside with a book (ok my Kindle Fire) is so relaxing. I want to share from a book I’m currently reading, “Hosting the Presence.” by Bill Johnson. (an actual soft-cover book too.)

I can’t digest this book in large chunks. Most theological reads, for me are like this. I have to take in bite size pieces, often checking the referenced Scripture texts and figuring out if I agree with the point(s) being raised. I don’t think this book is for everyone, not even every follower of Jesus. However there are a couple of points I think demand everyone, (possibly even non-believers) take into consideration for their life’s journey.

The first thought I want to explore is taken from chapter 28 of Genesis. The verses that Pastor Johnson highlights are 16-17. “When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. He was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

Pastor Johnson explains:

“The elements of this story are simple—open Heaven, Father’s voice, angels ascending and descending, and the ladder on the earth reaching to Heaven. This in it’s entirety is a picture of the church. But the most astonishing part is the conclusion Jacob made from this revelation. This is none other that the house of God, the gate of Heaven. Did you catch it? The house of God is the gate of Heaven.”

I have read the story of Jacob at least a dozen times and did not make that connection. Johnson sums it up like this.

“This picture is quite profound. The Church is the eternal dwelling place of God. And at this moment in time it is a building built on the edge of two worlds. We are dual citizens of both Heaven and earth. As such, we are not only those who are to pray for God’s Kingdom to come, we are the tools who are often used by God to release that reality into this one. I’m not sure that we are to always know the magnitude of what we’re doing or the impact we’re having. But it’s helpful to understand that our obedience always releases His world into this one in a way that is more substantial than we ever thought possible.”

My core beliefs seem to agree with the above statement. The church is not a building, but a group of believers, and in its smallest unit, each individual believer. Gods Kingdom is at hand, it started with Jesus and His resurrection, and will continue until the His return to rule Heaven here on earth. (albeit a new earth see Revelation 21:1 ) When we draw closer to God, following the example given to us in Jesus, we impact people, often without knowing it. So with this knowledge what am I to do? Seems simple enough, the more I follow God’s will for my life, the more I am able make a difference in the world. Of course living in our broken world it is sometimes difficult, if not seemingly impossible at times, to feel I am doing what God would have me do. The good news is that God can overcome what I can not. As a long ago prophet gave us these words.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.”
Jeremiah 17:9-10

Being Thankful for What We Are Thankful For?

It’s that time of the year. People start to do crazy things.

Ok normally sane people start to do crazy things.

#Thanksgiving
What sane person, on an extra day off of work, decides to get up early, throws a 15 lb turkey in the sink, starts pulling out all kinds nasty stuff out of it, so they can then put bread filling into it, pop it in the oven…. Thus starts the day of Thanksgiving for many people. Yes, I have had to get up on occasion to help with the turkey. Then the preparation of everything else that goes into this special meal….. that may last 30 minutes.
So then after a day of eating way to much, watching football and trying to avoid the cleanup after the meal… People decide yes, it is time to go shopping….
I don’t know about you, but if I have to get up earlier than I do when I go fishing, just to get a special “sale” item…. I think I’ll just pay full price.
To think this is just the kickoff of the “Holiday Season!”
Life just seems to get so busy this time of the year.

This can cause a lot of mental anguish to many people. Why??

I think it really comes down to us forgetting in the busyness of the season all the things we have in our lives. The more distracted we are by the whirlwind of our lives, the harder it is to stay grounded in what is important. Especially the most important thing…… Each other…….

The world tells us that we are all different, unique individuals. 0526140813a

We are, each person different, yet all connected together through our actions. The world tells us we are the most important. If  I don’t look out for me, who will?

Yet that is not what the story of the Bible tells us.
As a country founded on Christian principles, why have we spiraled so far from doing what is right?
I think mainly because most “Christians” get it wrong. Somewhere along the path from 1776 to 2014 the church didn’t follow the most important command Jesus gave us.

The three year ministry of Jesus walking the earth was coming to an end. He had gathered together his closest disciples for a last meal, and here is what he tells them…..

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

That is it, right there, a new command. Yet how many times have you experienced a “Christian” not loving another “Christian.”  I’m as guilty as the next person. It can be hard to love people.

How different would our world be if we had just gotten this “new” commandment right. If most of us people going to church actually lived this commandment out?  How do you think the early church survived and Christianity spread?

Maybe because they lived this commandment.

So be sure you are thankful for what is most important. Each Other!

Love each other. After all, it is what Jesus commands us to do.

Is Temptation in our lives Sin?

I had originally posted this in 2012. I thought it was time to bump it up.
Kevin….

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”
1 Corinthians 10:13 NIV

Who is not tempted? Yes that is a trick question. Anyone who ever walked the earth has faced temptation. Jesus was tempted, Matthew 4:1 “Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”  So if God allowed Jesus to face temptation you can be sure all of us must face it. No it is not a test, resist and win, give in and lose. Temptation can have many purposes. Sometimes it is even for our benefit. First God does not cause the temptation, the evil that is our broken world is the source of temptation. So no matter how “good” you are, you will face temptation in the world we live in.
If we accept that statement as fact, then instead of trying to flee all temptation we need to examine how best to not give in to the temptations we face. Sometimes we will need to flee from it as fast as we can. At other times it can be a way to examine ourselves and find where our spiritual strengths and weaknesses are. Why do I feel this way and is there something I can do to change my feelings about this temptation. If you agree God does not cause the temptations we face, then we should accept he allows them, at times even for our benefit. Yes for our benefit.

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:1-2 NIV

In these verses and the ones that follow Jesus gives us a reason for some of our problems and temptations. I have found in my own life, the problems I have gone through allow me to spiritually grow in some way that benefits not only me, but my service in the Kingdom of God. Do I wish I didn’t have to go through many of these problems, yes.  Yet when facing seemingly insurmountable problems sometimes all we have to grasp is the fact that God is with us and things will work themselves out for our benefit and God’s Glory if we allow it.

A song that really speaks to me about this process is Kutless’  “Even If”. If you like that kind of thing check out. So what to do when faced with temptation? Trust in God. Don’t think you have to deal with it alone, that is the world’s way of deceiving you. Use friends, mentors, pastors, counselors. God created us to be in fellowship with Him and with other people. Getting through tough times is one reason why. What we experience we can then use to be of benefit to others. Let me close with some words from Jesus, John 15:12-15 NIV

 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

IS BEHAVING LIKE A CHILD THE KEY TO ACCESSING THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

“Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.”Luke 18:17 (MSG)

So how does one receive the Kingdom of God like a child? What if we think about receiving the Kingdom of God as something like getting a birthday gift from someone when we were a child. Here is this shiny wrapped up gift. We do not know for sure what is inside. Has any child ever looked a wrapped gift presented to them and said without opening it, sorry I don’t want it, I don’t deserve it, take it back. So a person has heard the Gospel, acknowledged Jesus as their Lord and Saviour yet when offered the wonderful gift of God’s grace they turn their backs and say no thanks. No I am not good enough to serve God. I am too old to serve God now. I am too poor to serve God. I do not have the time to serve God. All these reasons and any other excuse we give, is us handing back that beautiful present,
unopened and without knowing what may be inside once unwrapped. See we have to accept that gift of  grace. That is what helps lead us into doing what God would have us do and becoming who God would have us become. M. Robert Mulholland Jr gives insight;

In the final analysis, there is nothing we can do to transform ourselves into persons who love and serve as Jesus did except make ourselves available for God to do that work of transforming grace in our lives.

So we need to tear the bow and wrapping paper off, open up the free gift of grace that is given to us. That is how we not only gain access to, but become an active participant in Gods Kingdom. See Jesus is standing, holding this great big, beautiful wrapped up gift. He calls everyone no matter what their social, health, or economic status is. “Let the little children come to me.” Jesus at the same time gives a warning “do not hinder them.” The obvious message is for his disciples to allow the children to approach Jesus and receive a blessing. We as followers of Christ should also take care that nothing we do hinders anyone from access to Gods Kingdom. As discussed earlier, no one is unimportant and all have access to Jesus. This open invitation should include all,
without restriction. If we are including all, then certainly we must include ourselves. So each person may need to reflect on the question, is there anything that is hindering my own participation in the Kingdom of God? Are there any preconceived ideas that turn me away from a truth or truths of Gods Kingdom? It should be important that all believers attempt to not allow what they “like” to determine how they worship, praise and serve God. That is a challenge for many, but I believe that it should be related to the “do not hinder” warning Jesus gives us. So in summary what did I discern from the lesson Jesus gave speaking of the children? All are welcomed into the Kingdom of God. The realization that all we have is dependent on God opens up the door to accessing the work of his transforming grace. Once we allow this work to begin we should be on guard for anything that could stop us from being and becoming what God wants us to be.

Do you feel at peace when standing on the beach?

So what happens when you think something, and then while reading something it is like BOOM!
This belief gets solidified and you feel connected… Well at least this is what happened to me while reading
John Ortberg’s recent book, Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You

Then I go into nature. I stand on a beach before the ocean. My mind is filled with admiration for the sights and sounds of the waves. Other distracting thoughts melt away. There is congruence between what my body experiences (the sights and sounds of the ocean) and what my mind is thinking (God’s beauty and goodness). By slowing down and observing the beauty of my surroundings, I tend not to worry about tomorrow or regret yesterday. I am less enslaved by other people’s opinions of me. There is greater congruence between what I think, feel, choose, and do. I experience, at least for a few moments, what it is to be unconflicted, whole. My soul gets healed.

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It Is Finished…..

What I want to do is start at the ending, or what seems to be the end, with these two verses.

Matthew 27:50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.

Mark 15:37 Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last.

Jesus after being beaten, flogged and crucified on a cross seemingly has reached the end. The Gospel accounts in Matthew and Mark have the  words of Jesus as he reaches the end of his suffering.
Mark 15:34 “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which translated means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me” At this moment in time, God has abandoned God. The humanity God assumed in the persona of Jesus has been totally crushed. The weight of the broken world has been put onto the crucifixion of Jesus. The ultimate sacrifice has been paid for our sins. Here is more detail from the Gospel of John 19:28-30

Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said,“It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.

So what do you take out of these few verses from the Bible? “It is finished!” A common belief is that at that moment Jesus knows he has paid the price for our sins and with death seconds away acknowledges the price paid. Done! Finished! Our sins purchased with Jesus’s blood on the Cross. Certainly that is a basic understanding and truth of those words. However as Christians we know the story does not end there. In three days the tomb where Jesus body was laid is empty. Witnesses attest to seeing the risen Jesus. Certainly without the Resurrection there would be no Christianity. Since the story does not end on the Cross, why do the last words Jesus gives us on the Cross seemingly contradict his and our, ongoing story?

What these words have come to mean to me is that God’s Grace & Love has been interjected into our world. We can do nothing to stop it, reduce it, enlarged it, or earn it. It is finished, means God has entered our world and covered it with his Love & Grace. There is nothing anyone can do to make it more or less. In our sin, God still loves us and covers us with His Love & Grace in the persona of Jesus. Judah Smith, in his book JESUS IS _______ tells us a simple truth.

Lately, I have realized something about grace that has changed my life. It’s nothing new-people have understood this for years. It is straight out of the Bible. But it has become real to me, and it has helped a lot of things fall into place. Grace is more than a principle, more than an idea, more than a doctrine or dogma. More than a cover up for sin. Grace is a person. And his name is Jesus.

Whenever we sin, Jesus is there. Whenever we are at our wits end, Jesus is there. When we try to make our own definition for grace. Jesus is there. How is he there? Standing unchanged, speaking to us in Spirit and in Truth, by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, the Bible. When we try to hold our definition of Grace up to the light of Christ it becomes totally inadequate. When we come face to face with the truth of God’s Grace, Jesus, what else is left except to let it cover us and give us what we need, when we need it. In this truth all can find comfort no matter their situation. So are you ready to meet Grace today? See Jesus Loves you no matter who you are or what you have done. All you need to do is ask him into your life. Acknowledge him as your Lord and Savior. Accept His free gift of Grace and Love.

Coincidence or Godcidence?

Julyvac2012 003 How often do you have something happen that just seems too odd to be accounted for by just blind happenstance? You think of someone you have not seen or thought of in a long time and soon after you see them. Two total strangers meet and discover there is a connection between them that neither knew about. You are short money that is needed urgently for something important, like the rent. Suddenly extra income or a gift is given that is exactly or close to the amount that was needed. Have you had something like this happen to you? Sometimes this run of coincidence is negative. In my local area recently an elderly driver ran a stop sign and hit a car being driven by a young unlicensed driver. Of all the vehicles on the road circumstances put these two people together at a moment of time which resulted in this vehicular accident. So not only good things, but bad things happen that can cause you to pause and think, what are the odds of that happening? Ok, I confess I don’t call these things that happen in my life coincidences anymore. I call them “Godcidcences.” Yes, I am an Evangelical Christian. No, I do not have it all figured out. But I do know who does, God.

 James 4:13-15 Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

What I have found in my life is that if give control of my life over to Jesus, things just happen that you can not explain other than God is working his plan out and I am lucky to be a small part of it.

 Phillipians 2:12-13 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

No this does not mean my life is without problems or times of trouble. What it means to me is that in all things I want to try to honor God. When things go the way I want and when things go badly I strive to keep God first. What I would like to do now is to just tell the latest Godcidcence that happened to me. Those who know me are aware I have just resigned from a job to relocate with my wife to a new state. (Total honesty we have owned a condo in a beach area for a couple of years and decide to make the move earlier, rather than wait to retire there in three-five years) So as of December 22nd, you could count me among the unemployed. I had an interview for a part-time job that had been rescheduled, at my request, several times. It is a group interview, myself and three other men.

During this process I find somethings out about the younger man next to me;

  • He was brought to the interview by his mother.
  • He is hungry. No time for breakfast and will be happy for the lunch break.
  • He is living about 15 minutes away from where I live.
  • We all get offered a job, he is excited about staying for training that afternoon.

I make an offer to take him home after the training is done.  Hoping to save his mother from having to hang out until we are done.(four-five hours later.) Oh yeah, she lives about an hour and a half away from the interview site. So while commuting to the training site and then on the drive home we share more about our lives.

  • He went to church over the holidays and he asked God for a job. He had mentioned several times during the day what a “blessing” this day turned out to be.
  • He saw my Phillies key chain and asked if I was a Phillies fan. His mother moved with him out of the Philly area so of course he is a fan of all the Philly teams.
  • On the way home (no I did not make a detour!) we went by the church my wife and I attend, and just mentioned it to him. “That’s where we go to church.”
  • His girl works right next door to where I live so I dropped him off there.

Oh yeah, as he got out of my vehicle he asked if I had a card or something with the church phone number on it. I said no, why do you want that, to find out the service times? Yes that was it, so I wrote the times down for him.
(Forgetting that I did have the phone number in my cell phone, in my jacket pocket.)
So what does all this mean? I have not a clue. I know I am not going to be searching for hidden meanings or thinking I get extra points for playing taxi for someone who needed it. All I know is that for that 30-45 minutes I got to know someone a little bit. Someone God put into my path for some reason. In that time God showed me once again that he is in control. Now if I can just keep from getting in the way God will work out his plan for my life.

   “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

What is your Hope this Christmas Season?

So when you hear the word “Hope” what do you think of? To me, hope means looking towards something. “I hope I find a job soon.” “I hope I get everything done I need to get done today.” I hope we’ll have enough money to retire.” “ I hope the pastor is not long-winded today” We all hope for different things, at different times in our lives. So what are you hoping for this Christmas season? When I was a child, I know I was always hoping to get that one special gift at Christmas. How many people, not only children are hoping to get that special present under the tree this year. How many people don’t realize that the most precious gift of all, has been given to us a long time ago, in a manger, in Bethlehem. Now the Jewish people had been hoping for the Messiah to come to their world. Most Jewish people are still “hoping” for the Messiah to come. So are they hoping in vain? Do we ever hope for something that we really don’t think can happen, but we are going to hold out hope for what some would call a miracle. Jesus has already paid the price for us, by going to the cross. When Jesus died on that cross, what kind of hope did his followers have? What kind of hope do you think Peter had, Peter who had declared to Jesus, Jesus yes, “you are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God”. Matthew 16:16 What do you think he was hoping for? Is this all just a bad dream, we’ll wake up and Jesus will still be here with us. What do you think his mother Mary was hoping for as she watched the son she gave birth to, that an angel foretold her would be the son of God, die on the cross. What was she hoping for at that moment. It really can make you think, what would I have done if I was there. What would I have been hoping for?
I think everyone needs hope, if you have ever been around a person who has lost their hope, you know that person can be in serious trouble, mentally and physically….. I pray you haven’t had the experience of being without hope. It is a scary place to be. Yet why do some people lose hope? In my opinion, the main reason people lose hope, is that they have never accepted Jesus into their hearts. Or if they did, then for whatever the reason, somehow living in this broken world, they forgot about that precious gift that came into the world to save them, Jesus. With everything going on around us, if we don’t keep Jesus centered in our life, in our hearts, we start to lose focus on what is important, and when that happens we begin to lose hope, the hope of being who we were created to be, our hope in the Kingdom of God. See that should be our ultimate hope, that some day we will be raised to new life. Yet until that day we need to keep our hope alive doing whatever task God has given us to do, today, in God’s Kingdom. See God is multidimensional he is not confined to our dimension. He Was, He Is, and He Shall Be…….. So while living out our hope in today’s world, we also should place our trust and hope in the day that Jesus comes back to redeem his people. His people, like me and like you. YES YOU!
Jesus was asked by his disciples about how will they know when the end times are coming. This scripture is part of Jesus response to that question. Luke 21:25-29
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken.At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

So is that something we hope for? Jesus’s triumphant return. That is the ultimate climax of God’s creation. That is the ultimate destination for creation. It should be our ultimate hope, a new heaven and a new earth when Jesus returns. The necessity of Jesus returning to Earth for the final battle of all creation is a basic premise of our Christian faith. Just as Christ defeated sin and death in his resurrection, he must return to claim the ultimate victory over sin and death in this broken world. Is that something we are hoping for? Why should we, as followers of Jesus, living in today’s reality, even care about the end times, or what theologians call eschatology? After all didn’t Jesus give clear warnings about the futility of anyone knowing, or trying to figure out when he will return. Mark 13:32 “No one knows about the day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” The resurrected Jesus gives another warning, Acts 1-7 “It is not for you to know the times or dates, the Father has set by his own authority.” Hope! I think hope is the answer to the question of why we, as Christians should care about eschatology. What happens when Jesus returns, and who is saved are questions that have been debated for almost 2,000 years. The timing of when this happens, I believe, should not be a dominate concern for us as Christians. What should be paramount is taking the hope of this new heaven, out into the broken world of today, “It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions,and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope, the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:12-13 That hope is has always been a foundation of God’s plan of salvation for the world .” I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” Isiah 46:10 In his book, Surprised by Hope, NT Wright gives his thoughts on God’s ultimate plan:

God’s design was to rule creation in life-giving wisdom through his image-bearing human creatures. But this was always a promise for the future, a promise that one day the true human being, the image of God himself, God’s incarnate son, would come to lead the human race into their true identity. Meanwhile, the creation was subjected to futility, to transient and decay, until the time when God’s children are glorified, and what happened to Jesus at Easter, happens to all Jesus’s people.

So if we are to rely on God’s infinite love for all his creation to ultimately save our souls, what good does it do us attempting to model our lives after Jesus? Grace is always the answer to our salvation, no matter when it is given. We can do nothing to ensure our salvation. It rest’s entirely in God’s hands. This hope we have, that ultimately a loving God cares enough about each individual to give them eternal life, needs to be expressed daily in the lives we live. “But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” John 3:21 Even though we are saved by Grace and not works, each person will be judged according to their works. That is the catch twenty-two of Christianity. Let’s listen to the thoughts of  A.W. Tozer on this subject:

Does this mean that the redeemed man has no responsibility to God for his conduct? Does it mean that now that he is clothed with the righteousness of Christ he will never be called to account for his deeds? God forbid! How could the moral governor of that universe release a segment of that universe from the moral law of deeds and consequences and hope to uphold the order of the world?

Clearly it does matter what we as Christian’s do! “You see that a person is justified by what he does, and not by faith alone.” “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” Both these verses from the book of James, echo what should be apparent to those seeking to follow Jesus. Christianity in today’s society must include a large dose of doing! These good works, should grow out of the Hope we carry in our hearts, for that glorious day when Christ returns. The good news of the Gospel must be taken out into our world, by our actions and our words. Ultimately we will be judged on what we accomplish.  Romans 2:6 “God will give to each person according to what he has done.”  I pray that when the new heaven and new earth arrives I will have been a beacon of hope for my earthly domain.  Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.”
So if this is God’s ultimate plan, and we are Jesus’s people, we need to carry this hope with us at all times. Because it is this Hope, the Hope of the Birth of the Jesus, The Hope of what Jesus did on the Cross, The Hope of the Resurrection on Easter Morning, The Hope of Jesus returning, All this hope, we need to not only carry with us, but with this much Hope it should overflow from our souls, so those who don’t know this hope, this Hope in Jesus will see it in us.
1 John 3:3  

“All who have this hope in him purify themselves,just as he is pure.”