You have waited so patiently for the before and after pictures. Here they are...
The Fellowship Hall:
God blessed abundantly when He chose our home. It was picked out before we came to Southern Asia. We had friends who looked for months for a home for us. We had given them a budget limit and some ideas of things that would be nice to have in a home, but we made it clear that we had no real expectations. Whatever God provided, we would be content. But when they saw this home, there was no doubt that God had picked it. They secured the home and then called us to let us know they found one. The price was almost half what it was worth because the home had been vacant for over a year. There were several items of furniture that were still in the home for us to use, saving us lots of money.
Maybe you are ready… ready to give an answer. If someone asks you why you have this hope or why you believe what you believe, you have an answer, but do you have the answer in the right attitude?
Meekness and fear. Not rude. Not belligerent. Not demanding or prideful.
I remember when I first got saved. I was attending Bible college. Suddenly, I felt I knew everything, had all the right answers and was going to win all my family and friends to the truth.
And much of what I believed and said really was truth. But it was my pride and arrogance that really damaged relationships. It turned their ears and hearts away from truth.
Why meekness? Why should we, if we have truth, answer in meekness? Because we need to remember the grace that was given to us when we didn’t deserve it.
Grace… unmerited favor. Answering people with a kindness even when they are not treating you with kindness.
Why with fear? Not fear as in knees shaking, but respect.
Seasoned with salt… salt makes things taste good. It is also a preservative. Preserving what? Preserving testimony, relationship, emotional control, and NEVER straying from truth.
Speak the truth in love… speak the truth in meekness… Speak the truth with respect… speak the truth in grace… and speak the truth in such a manner that it is not compromised, nor is your testimony or relationship with those you are speaking to damaged.
A reason of the hope…
Hope… confident expectation. Not “maybe it will happen.” A driving, uplifting, without a doubt assurance that pushes me forward even through persecution, trial, circumstance, or disappointments.
Confidence that the moment I finish my last breath here on Earth, I will be in the presence of my Saviour. Assurance that I have eternal life. Knowing that either I will meet Him through the vehicle of death or through the Rapture. Celebrating the victory that has not yet been fully seen with my eyes, but has been fully secured. Fully persuaded.
Hope. Why do I hope? Why am I so confident?
Is it because my church says so? They DO say so, but that isn’t why. Is it because it is the tradition of my ancestors? Nope. Because Mom and Dad were good church going folk? Um… no.
Is it because a biblical apologist made a good argument? No.
Is it because a creation scientist gave scientific evidence? Though I truly enjoy the study of creation… no.
Why do I have this hope?