Faithfulness and Hope

3 Jan

{Weeks 3 & 4}

Faithfulness
Scripture Memory:

 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
(Colossians 1:7-8 ESV)

 When I first read this my initial thought was: I wanted to be like Epaphras. He was commended for his faithfulness in his service for Christ. I prayed that my work be done not for the glory of self, nor men but always “as unto the Lord.” I suspect that is how Epaphras did his ministry, which would explain why he was so effective for the cause of the gospel.

Then a few days later, I looked at the verse again and I was still struck with the same word “faithfulness” but this time it was God’s. As I have shared before in my prior posts, Agent G and I were going through some growing pains. But God, oh He is always faithful!

I can’t help but give Him props for always letting me know He can hear me and He knows what is going on. And what did He use this time? Of all things, fortune cookies. I normally don’t put stock in what the fortune cookies say but in this case I take exception. I mean, if God can use a donkey to speak to a prophet, He can surely send a message thru a cookie. And send a message He did.

 This is what my husband’s fortune said:

 2012-03-02_07-27-56_958.jpg

(Uh yes, he who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says.)

 This was mine:.

  2012-03-02_07-26-59_838.jpg

 These were both spot on. I looked around and listened for this tell-tale theme song because I was sure we just entered The Twilight Zone.

 I was speechless and beyond amazed that the Creator of heaven and earth, the God of the universe would take the time to – like it says in my memory verse – make known to me His love in the Spirit. I turned my face to hide a smile.

Thank you, Father!

Hope

Scripture Memory:

because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,
(Colossians 1:5-6 ESV)

A double one again today. It seems God is always ready to open up these verses each time I look at them. If I had any doubt that God’s word is alive and active, my experience in the last few days would certainly dispel that notion!

The first one is from the phrase “the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.”For most people the day they heard and understood the grace of God occur on the same day. In my case from the day I heard to the day I finally understood it took 16 years. My cousin, Tony, shared the gospel with me in the kitchen of our rental home in Daisy Place. We were eating dinner and I scoffed when he said if we accept Jesus Christ as my savior, all our sins are forgiven – past, present and future. That was 1987. I did not fully understand the grace of God in truth until 2003. It took three deaths – that of my maternal grandmother, my good friend and my mother – for everything to finally sink in. I finally got it. And I thought I was smart….

This morning the word hope caught my attention. February 28 has always been special to my husband and me. It was the day we started dating. We were young and so in love. I admit there are days when everything is difficult. But God! This morning, He gave me a special gift. I smiled when I saw it. Right there where that black blob is – wait, what IS that thing? A bird? A plane? Superman? Dirt on my window (most likely)? Anyway, right there – do you see it? The very faintest of rainbows curving down to the “N” in the sign. Just because He knows I love rainbows so much. It’s His way of saying there is hope, no matter how faint. It’s still there.

Yes, even in the midst of unidentified black blobs, the things that I don’t understand and dark clouds, overwhelming circumstances, dark emotions ~ there’s hope. Thank you, Father.

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One Response to “Faithfulness and Hope”

  1. bogodoy January 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm #

    The word “faithful” is ringing in my ears because that has been a topic in my Pastor’s sermon for quite some time. Now I understand, faithfulness entails sacrifice, selflessness, a lot of love for others and most of all Christ (He should be first), and dogged endurance — a dying to oneself so that Christ may live in us. For Epaphras to have been commended as faithful he must have had those qualities.

    May I also be found faithful in my service to God.

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