A Living Hope: A New Hope and Sitting Among Friends #66



When I became a believer as a young girl, I believed the Bible. I believed that Christ died for my sins and without accepting His gift I salvation, I would be lost forever.

My faith changed but didn’t grow very much. For so long I kept hold of only elementary understandings of who God was. Some of that was a God that I had created through my lack of knowing Him.

One thing I didn’t get a real grip on was the hope that Christ alone offers. I held onto the beliefs that it was about the rules and quite honestly, I was doing a very poor job of keeping them.

I didn’t get it.

I didn’t get that I live in Christ, I didn’t need to have the strength to be obedient on my own and that looked quite different than what I had conjured up in my mind or had been taught.  

Thinking I had failed so desperately, sadly, I rebelled against God. It was easier to live for myself.  I didn’t have all those rules. You can read more of my testimony next week during The Testimony Tour.

As I continued through my young adult life, my rules became even more lenient and I found myself literally thinking if I don’t look over my shoulder, I never have to face God.

For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. Hebrews 7:19 (NLT)

What I didn’t know was that the law, the rules, were never intended to make anything or anyone perfect. They were supposed to show me how sinful I was so I could recognize my need for a Savior.

For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. Romans 3:20 (NLT)

As I began to trust Christ with my life, He helped me to understand it was not only necessary for me to believe His Word to be true but I had to believe it was true for me.  Christ took my hand from that pit and pulled me out, renewed my strength, and allowed me to soar.
What it took me so long to realize was that God had forgiven me. The rules or law had pointed me to my need for a Savior.  I remained chained to them not seeing that my hope in Him lead to restoration.

Isaiah 40:31 says But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

My previous choices in life left me weary. They drug me down to a pit of self-loathing.

As I began to trust Christ with my life, He helped me to understand it was not only necessary for me to believe His Word to be true but I had to believe it was true for me.

Christ took my hand from that pit and pulled me out, renewed my strength, and allowed me to soar.

I find my hope in Him.

You may not have made the same decisions I have. Maybe you came to Christ when you were young and have always lived a “pretty good” life for Him. But if we are being honest, I find from the many conversations that I have, living by the rules always leaves us weary and feeling trapped.

Don’t misunderstand me, please. We have to live in obedient surrender to Christ. Should we say we are living under grace and then go on sinning. As Paul, would say, Certainly not!

This new hope that we have in Christ is about freedom. It about chains being broken. It is brokenness being made whole. It is about taking that new hope and using it for God’s Glory. 

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.  Galatians 5:13 (NIV)

So, what shall we do with this new hope?

In Mark 12, one of the teachers of law said to Jesus, of all the commandments, which one is the most important.

To which Jesus replied, "The most important commandment is this: 'Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these." Mark 12:29-31 (NLT)

Love. The greatest commandment. Seems simple. Yet, we find ourselves so weary and without strength to do just that.

Yes, there are some who seem so easy to love, but what credit is that to you? (Luke 6:32)

We must trust this hope we have is truly meant for us. Daily, sometimes, hourly or by the minute we can have restoration in knowing that our hope of being perfected (loving others) rests in the hands of the One who is able to deliver.

Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, who by grace has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good word and deed. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (BSB)

Christ Himself, will encourage our hearts. He will give us strength to serve and love one another for His Glory. Through seeking a relationship with Him, He will give us a New Hope.

Personal Reflection:

Do you find that serving others makes it easier or harder to love them?

What things, rules, or laws do you find yourself tightening the chains that Christ freed you from?

What is the difference between believing God's Word to be true and believing God’s Words to be true for you?

How often so you find yourself praying for the people in your life that are most difficult to love?

I would love to continue this conversation. Meet me in the comments and let me know your reflections on the hope you have in Christ.

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This week's featured friend is Gleniece Lytle from Desert Rain where she helps turn a parched life into a well-watered garden. Gleniece writes about living an abundant life in Christ while living on little. She also shares great recipes. Thanks for joining us, Gleniece. I am glad you are here!

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WOW! Thank you all for coming and for the 45 Amazing posts from last week. This party has been wonderful thanks to you, friends, who link-up with us and those who stop by and read posts. Thank you!

You all are amazing writers who share Family and Faith, DIY's, Recipes, Photos, Giveaways, Homeschool and more. Many of you have amazing journeys of faith and I praise the Lord we are able to connect here!


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17 comments :

  1. Whether it's someone I love, or someone that I'm "supposed to" love, I find that feelings follow actions. I'm responsible for my RESPONSE, and have to trust God for the feelings, whether or not they come.
    Thanks, Jaime, for opening up your home to us today!

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    1. I think you are absolutely right on this one, Michele. Galatians 5:13 says humbly serve one another in love. The two seem to seamlessly go together. Serving really gives us an opportunity to love beyond ourselves. I believe in that God provides the love. We humbly serve He gives us the love because He is our source of true love. Thanks for sharing your amazing insight and joining us here, friend!

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  2. Thanks for featuring Gleniece, she's a keeper! Love her heart and her writing.

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    1. Thank you so much for joining us here. Thanks much for your new study. I am grabbing what I can and it is absolutely lovely. Thanks for sharing with us, Sarah!

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    2. Aww! Thank you, Sarah. Love you, my friend. ❤

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  3. Hi, Jamie:
    This morning I reviewed my pastor’s sermon which touched on your point of reaching out to those difficult to love especially very different in beliefs. I pause at his question: “How does the unbeliever observe my perspective?” God really burns our flesh in refining us. I pray to have confidence to keep my focus on Him as I interact with the “thorns”, especially, trying to remember that they are not obstacles but opportunities. Have a great day and thank you for hosting us.

    Hugs,
    Mary

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    1. You are right. It is difficult to love those who may appear to be unlovable but what an amazing opportunity to ask God for that strength. What an amazing opportunity to show God's love to those who may not otherwise see it. What I see when I see people who may be seen as unlovable is someone God made in His image and whether or not it is easy, it is required. What I have also found to stretch my love muscles is serving others. Through that God has really granted the privilege of seeing the beauty in people.
      So glad for your wisdom, Mary. Thanks so much for sharing!

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  4. What a sweet surprise, to join you today and see who you featured! Thank you, Jaime! I hope your Wednesday is blessed.❤

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    1. Absolutely, friend! I am happy to feature other writers and their work. I certainly could not do this blog party alone. Well, I could, but it would be a really lonely party. ;) We're all better and stronger together. So glad that you join us here, Gleniece! Have a great week!

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  5. I love the balance you brought out here between rules and grace. Can't wait to read the rest of your testimony on the Tour!

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    1. Thanks, Kelly. It really can be a hard balance to find. Rules and grace. One doesn't negate the other. Thanks for joining us here, friend!

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  6. Jamie- can't wait to read your testimony! Thank you for hosting!

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    1. Thanks, Julie. It is pretty exciting to always be joining such amazing people. It is always so uplifting to read other people's testimonies. I excited to be a part of it.

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  7. I always pray for everybody.

    Thanks for hosting and have a wonderful weekend.

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    1. This is so encouraging, Patrick. Prayer is such a special time and amazing opportunity that we have to talk with God. Thanks for joining us here, friend!

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  8. What great, thought-provoking questions, Jaime! It is challenging to serve and pray for those who are difficult to love, but once you do, loving comes much easier. I'm going to be pondering your other questions. Thanks for hosting and have a great week!

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by here today, Donna. I do appreciate your wisdom always. I believe since God is the source of love and He says serve one another in love that love is something he gives us as a gift (in the terms of present). We give and open up our heart and He pours in His love. I am glad you are here,friend!

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Thank You, Lord, for deciding who I am!

Seek Him First! Today's Bible Reading

James 1:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

It is of utmost importance that you know that Christ died for you. He died for all sinners so that our relationship with Him could be restored.

Because of His sacrifice on the cross we can have peace. Are you seeking more peace today? Peace of the soul can only be given through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ.

I hope that you, too, know the saving grace of an amazing God.
If you have questions about how to know more you can email me at youresewtrendy@gmail.com

2 Timothy 1:7

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