Hezekiah received the letter of the hand of the messengers, and read it: and Hezekiah went up into the house of the Lord, and spread it before the Lord – 2 Kings 19:14 Here is one of the best pictures of prayer in the Bible. Hezekiah is king over Israel when the cruel and powerful Assyrian army marches against them. Rabshakeh, the army’s spokesman, sends a threatening letter and tells Hezekiah not to trust in his God for deliverance. Here was an enormous temptation and a trial, all wrapped into one little scroll. There is the imminent danger of being razed to the ground by the Assyrian empire; then there is the verbal prompting not to trust in God for a rescue. But how does Hezekiah deal with this letter? He receives it, he reads it…and then he takes it straight to the Lord and spreads it before him. What a wonderful picture of prayer! It is the spreading of our problems, our temptations, our struggles before the Lord inContinue reading »

“But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing), bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life” (John 4:14 Amplified). To the Israelites, after forty years of wandering the dry wilderness of Sinai, the many fresh water springs of Canaan were a sign of real blessing. In their dry climate, it was important for a spring to be nearby before a city or village could be established. Thus, the Hebrew word for spring; En, is preserved today in names such as En-dor, meaning “the spring of Dor”. Of course, I’m speaking of physical needs. Water, by itself, can slake normal thirst. But, what about spiritual dryness or burnout and how do we stay refreshed during those times? Growing up in East Tennessee, I loved drinking from a running brook pouring forth its pure crystal flow. Old timers claimed it must gush over seven rocks to be clean. Not sure if that’s true but I believed itContinue reading »

There once was an old farmer who was carrying a huge sack of potatoes on his back. The poor man almost collapsed under the weight and it was a sorry sight. Somebody who passed by with a sturdy horse-drawn wagon had compassion on the old man and offered him a ride. “Hey old timer…Wanna jump on? Hate to see you struggling like that.” The old farmer was thankful and with some difficulty he climbed up on the wagon. When he was finally seated he smiled broadly. “Thank you, Sir, for helping me out like that. That’s awfully kind of you.” But the heavy back of potatoes remained firmly on his sagging shoulders. Sweat trickled down his face and a weary sigh escaped his mouth. “Hey old man…Put those potatoes down. There’s no need for you to carry that load.” The driver of the wagon did not understand why the farmer kept that heavy bag on his shoulders. “Of course I amContinue reading »

I’m sure you’re aware that ‘rest in hope’ is the name of this website and I adore the title. You know, I’ve never heard the words rest and hope in the same sentence before, but it makes perfect sense. For one thing, we cannot have true rest unless we place our hope in Christ. And another thing, only God grants the kind of rest that restores our souls “He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters, He refreshes and restores my life” (Psalm 23:2-3 Amp). I confess, I know next to nothing about the art of resting, but I’d like to. Again, I say ‘art’ of resting because I believe one must cultivate skills of relaxation. I don’t know about you, but calmness doesn’t come easy for me. By nature, I’m spontaneous, impulsive and usually blurt out words I should have kept to myself. On the opposite side and thank God, my husband is a thinker. I’m grateful forContinue reading »

Of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord – 1 Corinthians 1:30-31 We first observe here the source of our blessings. They are of God and in Christ. We are not righteous in ourselves, but receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. It is according to God’s purpose and by his grace that we are in Christ and that these spiritual blessings are ours. Additional blessings are then described: not only do we have righteousness in Christ but also wisdom, sanctification and redemption. Wisdom that is not our own, sanctification that we could not effect on our own, and redemption that we could not purchase on our own. All of this is found in Christ alone. We then look at what our response should be: glory in the Lord! What are you rejoicing in today? What are you boasting about today? We cannotContinue reading »

A lovely young couple got married over the weekend at our local church in Tifton Georgia. During the wedding ceremony the beautiful bride washed her beloved’s feet. Then, the handsome groom cleansed hers. Ever so often, something memorable comes along that’s special. Can you imagine what a wonderful marriage this will be if they continue yielding to one another. Not that any union is always smooth sailing but humility goes a long way in making things run better; much like what oil does for a car’s engine. To broaden our perspective, let’s marvel at Jesus’ demeanor. In studying Jesus’ character traits, is it worth the effort for us to adopt a spirit of lowliness? I think yes. His own disciples selfishly argued over who would be exalted and sit with Him in lofty places of honor when He came into His Kingdom (Luke 22:24). By all means, they wanted to be noticed for greatness and I’m guessing this type of behavior gave Christ a saddened heart. In light of that,Continue reading »

Newly married, my husband and I discussed where we should live and raise our children. Suggesting his hometown made me terribly queasy. A fearful attitude crept in and I doubted my ability to get along with others. How would I adapt to meeting new people in a strange town, much less warm to in-laws? Boy, was I wrong. I was tenderly blessed with exceptional and delightful second parents. I especially loved Betty. She showered loving-kindnesses toward me and I felt completely accepted and loved; included as part of the family. Honestly, she practically raised our four children; and, for that I’m eternally grateful. Tom and Betty are with the Lord now, yet because of the manner in which they conducted themselves, we see sprinklings of adoration hovering in our home infecting and empowering the next generation. In a word: Phenomenal. Betty exuded joy upon all who knew her. Furthermore, memories linger in the corners of my mind of how she lived a Christ-like example without judging or hitting me overContinue reading »

“And the secret [mystery] is simply this: Christ in you! Yes, Christ in you bringing with Him the hope of all the glorious things to come” (Colossians 1:27 Phillips). Even though I gave my heart to Christ as a young child, I didn’t completely understand what it all meant. Growing up, I wasn’t sure where or if I belonged. Later, teenage years brought excruciating pain especially when dad (who I adored) died of a heart attack. A blind-sided avalanche—covered and smothered; I longed to be wanted, loved, and to matter to someone. Of course, I was vividly angry with God. Like a ship with no water, I had nowhere to sail. That is, until my last ditch effort of seeking my heavenly Father. Which brings me to an important topic that the Apostle Paul wants believers to understand. If we are to have any idea how to live a ‘good and productive’ life as Christ followers, it’s imperative we understand our position. Namely, we are ‘in Christ’ and He isContinue reading »