Tag Archives: Hope

Remember Jesus (2 Timothy 3)

I really love this passage, but two things really stand out to me. …be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (1) Paul doesn’t say, “Man up. It’s all up to you! So do it!” He says, “Be … Continue reading

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The hope of holiness (I Thessalonians 3-4)

I wrote on this passage not too long ago, but my church’s reading plan brought me back to this, and as I read it this time around, something else struck me about Paul’s words to us about holiness. I think … Continue reading

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Faith, hope, love (I Thessalonians 1)

No, the scripture reference is not a mistake. It is indeed I Thessalonians 1, not I Corinthians 13. The truth is, faith, hope, and love are three things that Paul often links in his letters. I Corinthians 13 just happens … Continue reading

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The reason for our hope (Hebrews 9-10)

We saw in my last post that in Jesus we find rest because Jesus himself finished the work of salvation for us. And in these chapters (and for that matter, in the previous chapters as well), the author of Hebrews … Continue reading

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Holiness (I Thessalonians 3-4)

If there is one theme at the end of chapter 3 and the start of chapter 4 (which is why it was probably a bad idea to break this section up with the chapter division), it’s holiness. Time and again, … Continue reading

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Joy (Psalm 30)

This psalm was written by David, probably after his sin that took place in I Chronicles 21. And it talks about the joy of forgiveness and restoration. But I also see Jesus in this psalm. On the cross, the Father hid … Continue reading

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The One who is on the throne (Psalm 9)

Sometimes, we look at the world, and it can get discouraging. We see all the evil and all the people who are hurting. Sometimes we ourselves are hurting. And we wonder where God is. But to David, the answer was … Continue reading

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Revelation 11 — From bad to worse…to salvation

I mentioned earlier that I was in deep waters trying to explain these things. The waters just keep getting deeper. 🙂 There’s a lot of disagreement among Christians about what this chapter all means. Again, all I can say is my … Continue reading

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II Peter 2:3-9 — A destruction that is not sleeping

Sometimes we wonder why God allows so much evil in the world. We wonder why God doesn’t do something now about the people who are doing evil. And in addressing the false teachers and their fate, Peter gives us an answer … Continue reading

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Hebrews 9:9-10:18 — What shadows and copies can and cannot do

For the last couple of days, we’ve been talking about shadows and copies. And essentially what we’ve been saying is that shadows and copies can show us pictures of reality. A shadow can give us a general idea of what … Continue reading

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Hebrews 6:9-20 — Impossible (or “The reason for our hope”)

I said yesterday that if you hold that Hebrews 6 says it is possible to lose your salvation, then once that person falls away it is impossible to get it back (6:4-6). There is no out. One reason is this … Continue reading

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II Timothy 4:16-22 — Though we may stand alone

I can’t help but think that Paul felt the same thing Jesus did during his trial. Like Jesus, Paul stood alone when he stood on trial for his life. All the people he could have reasonably expected to support him … Continue reading

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II Timothy 1 — Because we have hope

Although there are two more letters from Paul to go through after this one, this was the last letter Paul ever wrote. And it’s a very poignant one, because it came at a time when Paul knew he was going … Continue reading

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I Timothy 6:5-19 — What we pursue. What we put our hope in.

I suppose I could have finished up I Timothy yesterday. But there were a lot of things that Paul talked about in that passage that I couldn’t get into yesterday, and so that’s what I want to finish with today. The … Continue reading

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II Thessalonians 2 — Hope through tribulation

I’ve mentioned before that I do believe that most Christians will live to see the Antichrist and that the rapture will not happen until Jesus comes to destroy him. This passage is one reason why I think so. One argument … Continue reading

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I Thessalonians 4:13-18 — The hope that we have

“Hopes are for the living; the dead have no hope.” Those were the words of an ancient Greek poet, and it epitomizes how many people in Paul’s time saw death. For that matter, I talk to many Japanese today that … Continue reading

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Ephesians 1:15-23 — If we could only see

I wonder sometimes if we really see how much we are truly blessed in Christ?  My guess is no.  Oh sure, many of us know the truths of God’s grace and love in our lives.  But do we truly understand them? … Continue reading

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2 Corinthians 4 — How not to lose hope

Paul closes this chapter the same way he opens it: with hope.  Here was a man that had experienced so much that it would have been easy for him to lose hope. He had been hard pressed on every side, … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 16:22-23 — Come, Lord Jesus

It’s easy to look at this world and all the evil in it and get discouraged.  But as Christians we can have hope.  Why? Paul writes, If anyone does not love the Lord –a curse be on him. Come, O … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 15:58 — Because we have hope

Nobody said life was easy. And neither did Paul.  He was a man who had been stoned, shipwrecked, persecuted, imprisoned, and even more. What could keep a person going in the face of all these trials?  The hope that he … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 15:1-34 — The importance of Christ’s resurrection

I remember teaching at an English conversation school and overhearing this conversation between another teacher and her students. Student:  What is Easter? Teacher:  Oh, it’s the day that Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead. <dead silence, and probably incredulous … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 13:13 — What remains

It’s very interesting to consider what Paul says here in the final verse of chapter 13. In talking about the gifts that will pass away when we see Jesus face to face, he contrasts them with what will remain even … Continue reading

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I Corinthians 13:8-12 — A glimpse of what is to come

As I look at this passage, it strikes me that our spiritual gifts are a glimpse of what is to come when we reach heaven. Paul says, But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they … Continue reading

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Romans 8:29-30 — A reason for hope (part 2)

As I look at this passage, I see another reason for hope through the struggles that we go through:  that from eternity past, God had a plan for us. Paul writes, For those God foreknew he also predestined to be … Continue reading

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Romans 8:16-25 — Why do we have to go through suffering?

As I look at Romans 8:16-17, it starts out very encouraging. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ… Who doesn’t … Continue reading

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Romans 5:1-11 — But isn’t God punishing me?

I talked about verses 6-8 in yesterday’s blog, but I think it would be good to place them back in their context, so that we can get the full picture of all that Paul is saying. Paul was talking about how … Continue reading

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Romans 5:1-2 — The grace in which we stand

It would be so easy to just zoom past these passages, having read them so often.  But I can’t help but linger here, and think about all Paul is saying here. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we … Continue reading

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Acts 9:32-43 — The God who heals and raises the dead

In this passage we see two powerful stories.  The thing that struck me the most were Peter’s words to Aeneas and Dorcas (Tabitha). To Aeneas, who had been bedridden for eight years, and who had probably lost all hope of … Continue reading

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Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:41-56 — The God who cleanses and raises the dead

When you look throughout the Old Testament, particularly the law of Moses, you see the concept of “clean” and “unclean” a lot.  Namely, things that the Jews were to avoid and things Jews were allowed to come into contact with. … Continue reading

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Luke 6:17-21 — Good news

There seems to be some dispute as to whether the teachings from the Sermon on the Mount recorded in Matthew and the teachings from the Sermon on the Plain in Luke were actually the same message or not.  Some think … Continue reading

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Luke 1:1-25 — Disappointment

We start the book of Luke with a prologue talking about why it was written.  Luke was a doctor who had become a Christian when the church first began.  He was a learned man, and here he writes to a … Continue reading

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Psalm 116 — Hope in the darkest of times

I think I’ve loved this psalm ever since I heard a song based on the Living Bible version of it. The Living Bible puts it something like this, I love the Lord because he hears my prayers and answers them. … Continue reading

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Psalm 98 — Rejoicing in our salvation

This psalm is anonymous, so it could’ve been written in any number of contexts.  It could’ve been written following the Israelites deliverance from Egypt, or perhaps it was written by David after his reign was firmly established, or it could’ve … Continue reading

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Psalm 71 — Our hope and confidence

This is probably not the most well known of Psalms, but the more I read it, the more I like it.  It shows the hope and confidence that the psalmist had from knowing God, even during the darkest of times. … Continue reading

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Psalm 44 — Why is this happening to me?

“Why is this happening to me?” Have you ever felt that way?  The psalmist certainly did.  What the background of this psalm is, is unclear.  Apparently it was at a time when the people were trying to serve God, and … Continue reading

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Job 27-31 — A final defense

Job gives his longest speech here, and you could call it his final defense.  In chapter 27, he once again reiterates his contention that he is undeserving of all this suffering.  He then tells his “friends” that he hopes that … Continue reading

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Zechariah 6 — He who will come again

One of my favorite Easter songs is “Rise Again,” by Dallas Holm.  In the last verse of the song, it says, Go ahead Say I’m dead and gone. But you will see that you were wrong. Go ahead, Try to … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 37 — The God who raises what’s dead

Well, winter’s almost over, and spring is almost here.  Which mean that Easter is right around the corner.  And here we get a vivid picture of what Easter is all about. In this passage, Ezekiel is given a vision of … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 37-38 — A futile hope

Zedekiah is kind of a difficult guy to figure out.  Here is the son of the last good king of Judah, Josiah.  So he had an example of what a good king was.  He also saw how two of his … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 19 — Where a nation puts its hope

Where is hope for a nation found? For the Israelites, they put their hope in their leaders, hoping they could bring them prosperity.  And when the Assyrians came against them, and then the Babylonians, they looked to their leaders for … Continue reading

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Ezekiel 7 — The end

When I was a kid, there was a Japanese superhero show I used to always watch called Kikaida.  If you think he looks cheesy, you should’ve seen the monsters and special effects.  (I’m sure you can find this on youtube … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 29 — While we’re still here

I’ve been thinking a lot of about life and death recently.  One of the pillars of my church here in Japan, a woman named Kathleen Benton, passed away last week due to cancer.  She wasn’t a pastor, but what she … Continue reading

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Jeremiah 13-14 — Where our hope lies

Here we see more warnings of judgment to come.  Jeremiah first warns the people that they will be taken captive and put to shame because of their sins.  That while they would hope for light, God would cover them in … Continue reading

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Isaiah 54 — Reconciliation

Many times in scripture, God pictures himself as a husband pursuing his wayward wife. That’s pretty amazing to me.  I can’t imagine what I’d do if my wife were unfaithful to me.  If she were always pursuing other men in … Continue reading

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Isaiah 49:14-26 — Never forgotten. Never without hope.

Has God forgotten me?  Is there any hope for me? That’s what the Jewish exiles would feel, far from home, captives in a foreign land. They cried out, The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me. (14) And … Continue reading

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Isaiah 46:1-4 — He who sustains you

After all the words of judgment we’ve seen throughout the prophets, I must say that it’s refreshing…and encouraging to see the words of Isaiah in the past few chapters.  Here Isaiah addresses the people who would be exiled to Babylon … Continue reading

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Isaiah 44:24-28 — The God who knows the futu…our name

There are a number of non-Christian and “Christian” Biblical scholars that have serious doubts about whether Isaiah wrote chapters 40-66.  There are numerous reasons for this.  One is that Isaiah wrote about the future as if it had already happened.  … Continue reading

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Isaiah 42:1-17 — The One who brings justice and hope

I love the words concerning Jesus here.  The Father says of him, Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the … Continue reading

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Isaiah 40:27-31 — The power of hope

Hope. If there is one thing we need when facing the future, it’s hope.  Without hope, all that’s left is despair. And that’s how the Israelites felt.  In despair.  Their lives were falling apart, and God seemed far away.  And … Continue reading

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Isaiah 25 — When death is swallowed up

It’s amazing how time flies.  It was about this time last year, that I got word from my mother and sister that my dad wasn’t doing so well.  He had been in the hospital for a while, and they weren’t … Continue reading

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Isaiah 24 — The reason for judgment

One theme that we often see in science fiction movies, is the devastation of the earth where everything is laid waste.  Terminator and Matrix come to mind. And that’s the kind of picture I get as I read this passage … Continue reading

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Micah 7:1-7 — When there’s no one else we can count on

When trust has been broken, it can be hard to restore.  Just ask anyone whose spouse has cheated on them. Sometimes, when trust has been broken, it’s hard to trust anyone.  We start to wonder if there’s anyone in this … Continue reading

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Isaiah 21:1-10 — Hope for those who have been crushed

I’ve always thought this was a passage that was foretelling the fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians during the time of Daniel.  But it’s also possible that it’s referring to the Babylonians joining with the people of Elam … Continue reading

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Isaiah 9:1-7 — Come that day

In some ways, it’s been a depressing past couple of months.  Finances have been a bit of a struggle, and I’ll have to admit that it’s hard not to think about. But as I look at this passage, I see … Continue reading

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