Whom Shall I Fear?

Psalm 27 

The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread?

When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell.
Though a host encamp against me, My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me, In spite of this I shall be confident.

One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.
For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle;
In the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.
And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me,
And I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.  
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice, and be gracious to me and answer me.
When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You,
“Your face, O Lord, I shall seek.”  Do not hide Your face from me,
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;  You have been my help;
Do not abandon me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation!   For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
But the Lord will take me up.  Teach me Your way, O Lord,
And lead me in a level path because of my foes.
Do not deliver me over to the 
desire of my adversaries,
For false witnesses have risen against me, and such as breathe out violence.

I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

Heed the Warnings!

Jeremiah Chapter 6 verses 10-19

To whom shall I speak and give warning that they may hear?
Behold, their ears are closed and they cannot listen.
Behold, the word of the Lord has become a reproach to them;
they have no delight in it. But I am full of the wrath of the Lord; I am weary with holding it in.
“Pour it out on the children in the street And on the gathering of young men together; for both husband and wife shall be taken, The aged and the very old.  heir houses shall be turned over to others, Their fields and their wives together;

For I will stretch out My hand against the inhabitants of the land,” declares the Lord. “For from the least of them even to the greatest of them,
Everyone is greedy for gain, and from the prophet even to the priest
Everyone deals falsely.   “They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.
 “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done?
They were not even ashamed at all;  they did not even know how to blush.
Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them,
They shall be cast down,” says the Lord. 

 Thus says the Lord,
“Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’   “And I set watchmen over you, saying,
‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’  But they said, ‘We will not listen.’
“Therefore hear, O nations, and know, O congregation, what is among them.
 “Hear, O earth: behold, I am bringing disaster on this people,
The fruit of their plans, Because they have not listened to My words,
And as for My law, they have rejected it also.

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

The Ant…

Proverbs 6:6-8, NIV84

“Go to the aunt, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!  It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.”

The ant knows that laziness leads to inescapable ruin.  The ant knows that doing nothing will result in having nothing.  Note that the ant is diligent in taking the initiative to secure what is necessary for its sustenance and survival regardless of the fact that it requires WORK and ENERGY.  Excuses are our adversaries.  But this proverb is ancient, isn’t it?  The lesson to be learned from the ant is time honored…and needed more now than ever before, if I may be so bold.  Take a look at the falsehood of entitlement that is plaguing this generation– and don’t even get me started on the subject of the enablement that is fueling it.  Doing nothing will result in having nothing!  Here’s what comes of such laziness: poverty.  Poverty that “come[s] in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man” (Proverbs 6:11, NASB).  Laziness is a process of exploitation.  It takes advantage of indolent (the lazy person) until everything is tapped out (including their independence and dignity) and they’re left with nothing.  Proverbs give us several stern warnings on this subject.  Let us heed and be aware of it as to avoid such ruin!

You’ll find more about the Book of Proverbs on the WithTrueHope blog.  Click here to check it out and subscribe for the summer Bible study on the Book of Proverbs!  Follow @WithTrueHope on Twitter.

In Christ,

Victoria

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries.  Thank you.

The Lord Will…

Psalm 121:1-8, NASB

1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains;
From where shall my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
He will not allow your foot to slip;
He who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, He who keeps Israel
Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;
The Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun will not smite you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all evil;
He will keep your soul.
The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in
From this time forth and forever.

Who will help us…?  The Lord.

Who will not allow our foot to slip…?  The Lord.

Who will keep us…?  The Lord.

Who will be our shade…?  The Lord.

Who will protect us from all evil and keep our soul…?  The Lord.

Who will guard us forever more…?  The Lord.

In Christ,

Victoria

Of With True Hope

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Hope in God

Psalm 42 Verse 5     Why are you in despair, O my soul?  And why have you become disturbed within me?  Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.        (NASB)

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

The Days of Noah

Matthew Chapter 24 Verse 37   For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah. 

Genesis Chapter 6 Verses 11-12         Now the earth was corrupt in the sight of God, and the earth was filled with violence.  God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted their way upon the earth.       (NASB)

A quick look at today’s news and you can see the words of these scriptures coming to life right before our eyes.   We don’t know exactly when Jesus is returning….but we do know that the time for his return is getting close.   The question for you to answer today is…are you ready for Christ’s return?  If not, then now is the time to get ready.   If yes, then now is the time to let others know so that they too can be ready!     JESUS IS COMING SOON!

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

2 Timothy Chapter 3 Verses 1-5      But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.  For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,  unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power . . .

When God Ran

Luke Chapter 15 Verses 18 – 20    I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”

So he got up and came to his father.  But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.    

Luke Chapter 15 Verse 7     I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.     (NASB)

Please click here to hear “When God Ran” by Phillips, Craig, and Dean.

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries

JOY! JOY! JOY!

Isaiah Chapter 12     

Then you will say on that day,
“I will give thanks to You, O Lord;
For although You were angry with me,
Your anger is turned away,
And You comfort me.
“Behold, God is my salvation,
I will trust and not be afraid;
For the Lord God is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.”

Therefore you will joyously draw water
From the springs of salvation.
And in that day you will say,
“Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name.
Make known His deeds among the peoples;
[a]Make them remember that His name is exalted.”
Praise the Lord in song, for He has done [b]excellent things;
Let this be known throughout the earth.
Cry aloud and shout for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.    
 (NASB)

Please click here to hear Christ Tomlin’s “Joy to the World – Unspeakable Joy”.

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

Are You Sick?

Mark Chapter 2 Verse 17     Jesus told them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor – sick people do.  I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”

1 Timothy Chapter 1 Verse 15    (Paul speaking) This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it:  “Christ Jesus came in the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.   (NLT)

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

FLAWLESS

John Chapter 12 Verse 32     “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.”                (NASB)

When I was a young child I remember seeing religious movies about the life of Christ and His crucifixion.  My grandmother and I would both be crying, yet we did not understand why we were crying.  We knew that Jesus was God and yes, all His miracles proved that, but it was the cross that got to us each time.    (You see I did not have a Bible until I was much older, so the movie of Jesus’ life was all that I knew about Jesus.)

BUT . . . It was the cross!   That wonderful cross!   I never understood why Jesus had to die on that cross until I was way into my adulthood.  (The only movie that gave a glimpse of His suffering on and before the cross was the Passion of the Christ.)  In fact, the Scriptures are the only accurate account of how our LORD suffered.

We can never get rid of our sin or anyone else’s sin for that matter.   There is nothing we can do to pay the penalty of it.  ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!  All have sinned and fall short of the glory of GOD. Jesus’ death and shed blood was what it cost to pay the debt of sin.   Jesus did what nobody else could do.   He is the perfect one who took the punishment our sins deserved.  Put your faith, trust and hope in JESUS today – HE alone is the Savior that gave HIS life for yours.

If you have never received HIS forgiveness, let today be the day you cry out to JESUS and ask for Him to be LORD of your life.   No matter what you have done, no matter how you feel, no matter what has happened in your past, know that JESUS loves you and gave HIS life for you.   There is room at the cross for you, today!

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.”   John 1:12 (NASB)

Please don’t miss this video of Mercy Me singing “Flawless”.

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

O Glorious Day

1 Thessalonians Chapter 5 Verses 9-11     For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him.    Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.       (NASB)

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

Ask, Seek, Knock

Matthew Chapter 7 Verses 7-8     Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.        (NASB)

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

God’s Purpose

Romans Chapter 8 Verse 28 –     And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.   

Most of us know the account of Joseph and the coat of many colors in the Bible (Genesis 37-50).  Joseph was a young boy who was hated by his brothers not only because he was his father’s favorite but Joseph was also a bit of a “tattle tale”.    In addition, the LORD gave Joseph prophetic dreams which resulted in Joseph being a bit prideful which added to his brother’s jealousy of him.

One day his brothers conspired to kill him, but they ended up selling him into slavery instead.   Then they lied to their father and told him that Joseph must have been eaten by a wild animal.

Joseph went through many years of hardship, but the LORD was with him and blessed him.    Ultimately, Joseph become second in command to the Pharaoh in Egypt and God used him in a mighty way to save the lives of not only his family but the lives of the Egyptians as well.

Nobody would seek to bear the hardships (hated by family, false accusations, slavery, jail, etc) that Joseph endured, however, in the end, GOD used it to save lives and bring glory to HIS name.   This is exactly what today’s verse reminds us, that “All things work together for good.”    Who does this apply to?  To those who love God and are called according to His purpose.

Maybe you are going through a difficult time today.  You may have trials that you are going through.  If you love the Lord, then rejoice and have hope today even while you are in that tough situation.  Just as GOD was with Joseph, HE is with us!  Be encouraged as you remember that GOD has a plan and that HE works ALL things for the good for those who love HIM and are called according to HIS purpose!

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

Not Gonna Bow

Philippians Chapter 4 Verse 13     I can do all things through Him (Christ) Who strengthens me.       (NASB)

In the Book of Daniel – Chapter 3 in the Old Testament there is the account of three young Hebrew boys – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  These three young men were taken into captivity by the Babylonians to serve King Nebuchadnezzar.

King Nebuchadnezzar made a huge statue of himself and when all the people heard the sound of all kinds of music they were to fall down and worship the golden statue (image).    If anyone did not obey the command to fall in worship, they would be thrown into a furnace of blazing fire.

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not bow and worship the statue because they worshiped the “One True God” and obeyed His commandments.    Because the young boys did not bow down, their action angered certain people.  And these certain people went to King Nebuchadnezzar and snitched on them.    The King became so enraged yet he called the young boys and gave them one more chance to bow to his statue.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king and said, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.  If it be so our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire, and He will deliver us out of your hand, O King.  But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”  

The King commanded that the boys were to be thrown into the fiery furnace and that the furnace was to be made seven times hotter.  It was so hot that the guards who threw them into the furnace died from heat!    The next thing we know, GOD not only delivered the boys out of the fire; He was also in the fire with them, protecting them from all harm!

In the world in which we live in, it is hard to stand up for the truth of the Word of God.   But today remember, we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength.   Whether the LORD delivers us here on this earth or not, let us be like these three young boys who took a stand and would only bow to the One True GOD.

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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 NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

An Urgent Decision

1 Kings Chapter 18 Verse 21    Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?  If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.”    But the people did not answer him a word.   

Joshua Chapter 24:14-15a     “Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.

If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve.            (NASB)

Today’s verses remind us that making this most important decision is nothing new.   The Israelites were challenged by their leaders thousands of years ago, to make a decision to either follow GOD or the enemy.   They knew the truth that there are only two sides and there is no middle ground.   You either need to choose to serve the devil or serve the ONE TRUE GOD, JEHOVAH!

We are challenged to make the same decision today.   Have you decided to follow JESUS and HIM only?   Will you consistently follow HIM all of the days of your life?   What is your decision?    Whom will you serve?

If you have already chosen to follow JESUS…then encourage others to make that same wise choice today!

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

I’d Rather Have . . .

Philippians Chapter 3 Verse 8a      Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. . .                 (NASB)

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries. 

Unity

Psalm 133 Verses 1 and 2      Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!    It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes.     (NASB)

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries.  Thank you.

GRACE

James chapter 4 Verses 6b      GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.               (NASB)

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries.  Thank you.

The Light of the World

Isaiah Chapter 9 Verse 2     The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.

Isaiah Chapter 9 Verse 6     For a Child will be born to us, a Son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.

John Chapter 8 Verse 12    Then Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world;  he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”  (NASB)

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries.  Thank you.

Mark Chapter 6 Verse 50     Immediately He spoke to them and said, “Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”

Today’s verse comes from the well known account of Jesus “walking on the water”.   Scripture tells us that Jesus spoke these words to His disciples as He was walking on the water and about to pass them during the “fourth watch of the night” – sometime between 3am and 6am – the darkest part of the night.   The disciples, many of whom were experienced fisherman, were in a boat struggling to cross the lake and had already been at it for several hours when Jesus showed up.    When they saw Him, they “cried out”, which is when Jesus spoke these awesome words of encouragement:  “Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”!

What is it that you have been struggling with? 

Are you in the “darkest part of your night”?  

Do you feel like you can’t go on?   

If so, follow the example of the disciples and cry out to JESUS (Mark 6:49).    Know that HE won’t pass you by.   Just wait on HIM, listen to HIS Voice and “Take courage”!   The Lord is near those who call on HIM (Psalm 145:18).   Do not be afraid!

In Christ,

Stephen and Mary

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NOTICE: The advertisements on this and referred to sites are neither published by nor subject to True Hope Ministries and as such the content expressed does not necessarily reflect the beliefs of True Hope Ministries.  Thank you.