JESUS IS THE KEY
Our church in Easton, Pa., has been blessed with an amazing pastor, Rev. Blake Heffner, who continually inspires us to grow in our faith as he preaches the Word of God. Pastor Blake loves the Lord with all his heart as you will read in the passage below. He has given me permission to post this segment from his incredible message on Heaven. Be blessed as all glory and honor be unto our Savior, Jesus Christ.
“The only questions you and I will be asked at the pearly gates are: Do you have the Son? Is Jesus Christ your Savior and the Lord of your life? Have you been washed in the blood of the Lamb? Do you have a personal relationship with the Good Shepherd?
Jesus himself prayed: “This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3). To know him is to know that he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world – that he died so that we may live. He came to seek and to save the lost – that includes you and me, friends. On Good Friday, he appeared to tragically lose the struggle with the powers of this world, but on Sunday morning, he rose again in victory over death and sin and evil. And now he is seated at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, just waiting for the right time to come again in ultimate triumph!
My friends, to know Jesus Christ is to love him. Do you love him? To love him is to obey him and serve him. Is that your aim in life? And when we serve him, when we suffer with those around us, we begin to long for him to come again and fix what is broken with this world. And, if we have the Son – that is trust him and love him and serve him, we are assured of sharing in his victory. When he comes, the Bible declares we shall see him and be like him, and we shall reign with him!
Is this your story? Is this your song? I love how it’s expressed in the old gospel hymn: “Blessed assurance Jesus is mine, O what a foretaste of glory divine! Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.” Let’s sing the refrain together: This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, Praising my Savior all the day long.”
Rev. Dr. Blake R. Heffner
St. John’s Church on Morgan Hill
“…we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4 NIV
God’s word always seems to clarify life for me. It seems the older I get, the more I need that clarification! Do you find that when we believe His word as truth, events and journeys begin to make sense? So it is with holding on to our constant hope during times of testing. Perhaps you are in one of those seasons of life right now. I have to say that I have certainly been there and will be again and again. Situations raise questions in our hearts and an emptiness when we realize that the hopes of this world…for a raise, a job, healing…are quite empty when compared to the hope we have in Christ Jesus who has died so that we might live in Eternal Life! It’s a pretty clear message…wonder why we don’t get it all the time. Humanism, perhaps?
When we hit life’s uncertainties, we want them resolved so that we are comfortable and in control again. When we are lost, we want to be found and be secure again. When we are in new and even exciting circumstances, we think about and long for “the old days”…that old pair of slippers. Have you felt lost, uncertain, insecure? Our hope can only lie in the reliability of our God! We know that God’s power and goodness knows no end; His love for us never fails. Are we open to this magnificent source of strength and comfort when we are amidst the sufferings Paul mentions in our Scripture?
I am more and more convinced that through all of life’s transitions and trials, we will only reach an ultimate peace when our hope and trust is so totally in God and the matters of the Spirit that we no longer desire the shallow, fragile things of this world. Obviously, the crucial word here is TRUST…our mantra has to be “Thy will be done.” In the darkest hours, He is with us and He is in control. Hallelujah!
Over the years, I have had those flashes of sheer fright…cold and alone. One such time was when our daughter was in her mid-twenties and received a cancer diagnosis. How could this happen to someone so very precious to me? It took time, but it was only when I was able to truly say, “Thy will be done,” that I could find peace and strength to go on. Thanks be to God, our daughter is healed, but at the time, I had to accept whatever outcome it was God had in store.
This is why Paul says we are to rejoice in our sufferings. These dark moments make us grab onto that Hope in God and Trust in Him so that our faith grows and deepens to the point of knowing our real purpose in life: to grow closer to Him, to become one with Him, to put our hope in Him until we enter His Eternal Home.
In what area of your life do you need God’s hope that never fails? Our God can and will use our hope in His promises to guide us and empower us to live for Him each and every day. I encourage you to live your life in endless Hope as you grower closer and closer to Him. The Word of God is all about the promise of hope in Him. Devotionals share the words of folks whose hope in Jesus powers and drives their lives. Make time for reading, learning and praying about the amazing hope we have been given and receiving the joy of life with Jesus Christ.
Let’s pray together:
Father, we love you. We praise you and adore you. Please strengthen our hope in you so that we might ever grow in your sight. Let us shine with our Hope that Never Fails, thanks to you, Father. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
God Bless You,