Wednesday, October 26, 2016

“Hope is the confident expectation that better things are ahead.”

From a thought in 10 Choices: A Proven Plan to Change Your Life Forever by James MacDonald, (Click on the title to go to to buy the book.)

Do you need a confident expectation that better things are ahead?  Do you need that?  Do you need hope?

James says, “I find most of us can identify an area of life in which we desperately need to hear God’s promise of hope. We need to know that good things can still come for our future. We haven’t so messed up our life that everything good is now past and all opportunities are gone.”

Is that true of you today or someone you know?

James goes on, “Hope is the idea that it’s not too late, no matter how many mistakes you’ve made. Your life could be better. Some of the things you’ve dreamed about can still be yours. You don’t have to be trapped in this cycle of failing and falling and fumbling all the time. You can rise up and be who God wants you to be. That is hope. Do you feel it rising in your heart?”

He goes on, “Hope is found in God’s Word. Hope isn’t even that hard to find when you choose to find it in God’s Word: ‘But this I call to mind, / and therefore I have hope: / The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; / his mercies never come to an end; / they are new every morning; / great is your faithfulness. / “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, / “therefore I will hope in him”’ (Lamentations 3: 21– 24). Hope is in God’s Word; it’s there now, waiting for you.”

He earlier said, “God’s not done with us yet, and by making better choices, we can get to a better place. Today could mark a turn-around in your life.”

A good choice is to read the Bible.

Do you have a Bible?  Have you read it lately?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

“God’s love is a protecting love, but it’s not always a preventing love.”

From a thought in 10 Choices: A Proven Plan to Change Your Life Forever by James MacDonald, (Click on the title to go to to buy the book.)

And that is a very important distinction.  My parents loved me very much and they did everything they could to protect me but they didn’t always prevent things from happening because they knew they would help me learn and help me grow. 

James says, “God doesn’t always keep hard things from happening. Here’s why. He has higher purposes for our pain.”  Yes, but if he really loved me but He does really love me and I can trust Him.

He goes on, “God may allow pain to humble us. When we are brought low by pain, we see how much we need Him. One of C. S. Lewis’s best-known comments describes pleasure as God’s whispers and pain as God’s megaphone!”

Another reason is, “God sometimes allows pain to restore us. Some of you were so far from God, off on your own, running away from God, going who knows where with your future. God allowed some hard thing in your life so that the pain of it brought you back to Him. If you would have never turned to Him without that heartache, isn’t it true that in some sense that pain was a very loving thing for God to allow? Wasn’t it that hurt that brought you to the wonderful place of asking for His help? A hundred years from today, as awful as that pain was, you’ll thank God for it if you choose to let its purpose be fulfilled in you.”

And then, “Sometimes God allows pain to refine us. This refining fire allows us to be more like Him. I’ve said to my wife, Kathy, many times, ‘I hate to think of the person that I would be, apart from God in my life.’ I shudder to imagine where I would be without God’s refining influence. Without God allowing difficult things into my life, what kind of husband and father would I be today? What kind of pastor or friend would I be? What kind of man would I be without the excruciating hurts that have driven me to my knees before the God who loves to refine me?  Looking back, it’s His love and mercy I see, even when His protection does not always prevent pain in my life.”

I have found that true over and over in my own life, my wife’s life, and my kids’ lives.  God’s love for me can be trusted.  I am so glad that I chose to follow Him.

So what do you choose?

Monday, October 24, 2016

“The most important choice you will ever make in your life is to choose God.”

From a thought in 10 Choices: A Proven Plan to Change Your Life Forever by James MacDonald, (Click on the title to go to to buy the book.)

We are looking with James MacDonald at 10 important choices for us to make and choosing God is the most important one.  It is the foundation of all your other choices because it will help you in making all the other ones.

Now James says,  “Since we’re talking about the God who created us, there’s not much point in arguing over who chose whom first. I suggest we get over the distracting discussions of who chooses who and go at this from the only angle we actually experience— our own. We choose God. That’s the way it feels, and that’s the way it functions. And until you get out of your armchair or ivory tower and choose God for your life, you will always be missing the main ingredient for human happiness.”

Until you choose God for your life you will always be missing the main ingredient for your happiness. 

James goes on, “When Joshua stood before the nation of Israel and challenged them to make a decision, he was not snickering up his sleeve that it was actually God who would be making all the choices. He didn’t say, You really don’t have any options in this, just sit tight, and we’ll see what God does. If you’re the ‘faith’ type of person, something will work out. No, Joshua faced the nation and raised his voice with an incredible offer . . . What’s it gonna be, the idols your fathers worshipped or the one true God?  ‘Choose this day whom you will serve’ (Joshua 24: 15). 

And that is where we are today.  This is a very important choice for you and me to make.  Yes, He has already chosen us, He created us but to really reap the unbelievable benefits of that choice we then have to choose Him.

Earlier James says, In fact, God only shows up for people who are looking, and He chooses to reveal Himself exclusively to people who really want to know Him. 

So do you really want to know Him?