Where are you looking? Where are you going? What are you trying to find? What do you think it looks like? How will you know when you have found it? How will you know when you have arrived?
Do you know that hope is? Doing a search online shows…
a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen:
“he looked through her belongings in the hope of coming across some information” ·
want something to happen or be the case:
“he’s hoping for an offer of compensation” ·
But is that the hope the Bible speaks of? Checking, we find…
To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.
A\nother resources puts the Bible’s meaning this way…
“a strong and confident expectation.”
Not a wishy washy thought, but a strong and confident expectation for what is yet to come!
Hope isn’t to be wishful thinking, it is to be confident expectations!
Where does your hope come from? My hope comes from God! In Him I can trust! In Him I can depend! In Him I am confident!
So if you don’t have hope in God? Do you have hope in something that will get you through the storms of life? Do you have hope in something beyond today? Where does your hope come from?
Turn to God! He is loving! He is trustworthy! He is faithful!
Why not start today by inviting Jesus into your life and be transformed forever?
Today’s reading begins in Isaiah…
Sign of Nakedness
1In the year that the Tartan came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it, 2at that time Adonai spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz saying, “Go, remove the sackcloth from your loins and your sandals from your feet.” So he did so, walking naked and barefoot. 3Then Adonai said: “Just as My servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years, as a sign and a wonder against Egypt and Ethiopia, 4so will the king of Assyria lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Ethiopia, young and old, naked and barefoot, with their buttocks uncovered, to Egypt’s shame. 5So they will be dismayed and ashamed, because they hoped in Ethiopia and boasted in Egypt. 6Then the inhabitants of the coastland will say in that day, ‘Look, such is our hope—there we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! Now, how will we escape?’”
–from Isaiah 20
Do you see what is going on? Are you paying attention to what is going one? Do know realize what is taking place? Do you see those who are trying to lower expectations? Do you see those who are going towards the lowest common denominator rather than reaching for the stars? the best? the goal?
Watchman, Pay Attention!
1The burden of the desert by the sea: As windstorms sweep over the South, so it comes from the desert, a terrifying land. 2A harsh vision has been shown to me: “The traitor betrays, and the plunderer plunders. Go up, Elam! Besiege, Media! I have put an end to all her groaning.” 3Therefore my body is filled with pain. Pangs have taken hold of me like the pangs of a woman in labor. I am bewildered by what I hear, terrified by what I see. 4My heart is bewildered, terror overwhelms me. The twilight I longed for has been turned into trembling. 5Set the table, spread out the cloth! Eat! Drink! “Rise up, you princes, oil the shield!” 6For Adonai has said to me. “Go, post a watchman— let him declare what he sees! 7When he sees a chariot with a pair of horsemen, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, let him pay attention— very close attention!” 8Then he cried out like a lion: “Upon the watch tower, Adonai, I stand continually in the daytime, and stay at my post every night. 9Look! Here comes a chariot of men, with a pair of horsemen.” Then one answered and said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon! All the images of her gods are broken on the ground.” 10O my people, crushed on the threshing floor, what I heard from Adonai Tzva’ot, God of Israel, I have declared to you. 11The burden of Dumah: One calls to me from Seir, “Watchman, what is left of the night? Watchman, what is left of the night?” 12The watchman said, “Morning comes, yet also it is night.” If you would inquire, inquire. Come back again.” 13The burden of Arabia: In the desert brush of Arabia you will stay for the night, you caravans of Dedanites. 14To him who is thirsty bring water, inhabitants of the land of Tema, meet the fugitive with food. 15For they fled from swords, from drawn sword, from bent bow and distress of war. 16For thus Adonai said to me, “Within a year (as with the years of a hired worker), all the glory of Kedar will cease, 17and the remainder of the number of the archers, the mighty men of the sons of Kedar, will be few. For Adonai God of Israel has spoken.”
–from Isaiah 21
So will you confess what is taking place? Will you return to God? Will you learn His ways? Will you meditate on His Word daily? Will you take care of your health? Will you expand your mind? Will you open your heart and invite Jesus in? Will you soften your heart? Do you need to have your life shaken up in order to get your attention? Do you need someone to come with a jackhammer to be able to get into your heart? What’s it going to take?
Confess, Return and Learn
1Of David, a contemplative song. Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is pardoned. 2Blessed is the one whose guilt Adonai does not count, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3When I kept silent, my bones became brittle through my groaning all day long. 4For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me. My strength was drained as in the droughts of summer. Selah 5Then I acknowledged my sin to You and did not hide my iniquity. I said: “I confess my transgressions to Adonai,” and You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah 6So let everyone who is godly pray to You in a time when You may be found. When great floodwaters rise, they will not reach him. 7You are my hiding place— You will protect me from distress. You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah 8“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will give counsel—My eye is on you. 9Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding, and must be held in with bit and bridle or they will not come to you.” 10Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but lovingkindness surrounds the one who trusts in Adonai. 11Be glad in Adonai and rejoice, you righteous, and shout for joy, all who are upright in heart.
–from Psalms 32
Will you trust in Jesus? Will your hope be in Him? What would it take to get your attention? What would it take to change your mind? What would it take to open up your heart?
Do you feel that need in your heart? Do you feel that void that you keep trying to fill with things of the world but nothing is working or has worked yet? That is because it is a hole that we are supposed to turn to God and ask Him in to fill it! Is today your day?
Anticipating Hostility at Sukkot
1After these events, Yeshua was walking about in the Galilee. He did not want to walk in Judea, because the Judean leaders wanted to kill Him. 2Now the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near. 3Therefore His brothers said to Him, “Leave here and go to Judea, so Your disciples also may see the works You are doing. 4No one who wants to be well known does everything in secret. If You are doing these things, show Yourself to the world!” 5For not even His brothers were trusting in Him. 6Therefore Yeshua said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always at hand. 7The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify that its works are evil. 8You go on up to the Feast. I’m not going to this feast, because My time hasn’t yet fully come.” 9After saying these things, He stayed in the Galilee. 10But after His brothers went to the Feast, He also went, not openly but secretly. 11Then the Judean leaders were searching for Him at the Feast and kept asking, “Where is that fellow?” 12There was a lot of murmuring about Him in the crowds. Some were saying, “He is good.” But others were saying, “Not so! He leads the people astray.” 13Yet no one spoke openly about Him for fear of the Judean leaders.
Teaching at the Temple
14About halfway through the Feast, Yeshua went up to the Temple and began teaching. 15Then the Judean leaders were amazed, saying, “How does this man know so much, having never been taught?” 16Yeshua answered, “My teaching is not from Me, but from Him who sent Me. 17If anyone wants to do His will, he will know whether My teaching comes from God or it is Myself speaking. 18Whoever speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who seeks the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true and there is no unrighteousness in Him. 19Hasn’t Moses given you the Torah? Yet none of you keeps it. Why are you trying to kill Me?” 20The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who’s trying to kill you?” 21Yeshua answered, “I did one good work, and all of you are amazed. 22Because Moses has given you circumcision (though it is not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a man on Shabbat. 23If a man receives circumcision on Shabbat so that the Torah of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry that I healed a man’s whole body on Shabbat? 24Do not judge by appearance, but judge righteously.” 25Then some of the people from Jerusalem were saying, “Isn’t this the person they’re trying to kill? 26Look, He speaks openly and they’re saying nothing to Him. Can it be that the leaders know He is the Messiah? 27But we know where this person is from. But the Messiah, whenever He may come, no one knows where He is from.” 28Then, while teaching in the Temple courts, Yeshua cried out, “You know both who I am and where I am from! I have not come on My own, but the One who sent Me is true. You do not know Him, 29but I know Him because I am from Him and He sent Me.” 30Then they were trying to seize Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. 31Yet many from the crowd believed in Him and were saying, “When the Messiah comes, He won’t perform more signs than this person has, will He?” 32The Pharisees heard people in the crowd murmuring these things about Him, and the ruling kohanim and Pharisees sent guards to arrest Him. 33Yeshua said, “I am with you only a little while longer, and then I am going to the One who sent Me. 34You will look for Me but will not find Me. Where I am, you cannot come.” 35The Judean leaders then said among themselves, “Where is this person about to go that we shall not find Him? He’s not going to the Diaspora to teach the Greeks, is He? 36What did He mean by saying, ‘You will look for Me but will not find Me. Where I am, you cannot come’?”
Satisfying Spiritual Thirst
37On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Yeshua stood up and cried out loudly, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture says, ‘out of his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’” 39Now He said this about the Ruach, whom those who trusted in Him were going to receive; for the Ruach was not yet given, since Yeshua was not yet glorified. 40When they heard these words, some of the crowd said, “This man really is the Prophet.” 41Others were saying, “This is the Messiah.” Still others were saying, “The Messiah doesn’t come from the Galilee, does He? 42Didn’t the Scripture say that the Messiah comes from the seed of David and from Bethlehem, David’s town?” 43So a division arose in the crowd because of Yeshua. 44Some wanted to capture Him, but no one laid hands on Him.
45Then the guards returned to the ruling kohanim and Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you bring Him?” 46“Never has anyone spoken like this man,” the guards answered. 47The Pharisees responded, “You haven’t been led astray also, have you? 48Have any of the rulers or Pharisees believed in Him? 49No, but this mob that doesn’t know the Torah—they are cursed!” 50Nicodemus, the one who had come to Yeshua before and was one of them, said to them, 51“Our Torah doesn’t judge a man unless it first hears from him and knows what he’s doing, does it?” 52They answered him, “You aren’t from the Galilee too, are you? Search, and see that no prophet comes out of the Galilee!” 53Then everyone went to his own house.
–from John 7
Are you thirsting? Are you wishing you could just fill that hole? Are you wanting to have a spring within you that can fill you to overflowing with joy, peace, hope? Turn to Jesus! Ask Him into your heart! Allow Him to do a work in you! Allow God’s Spirit to lead you and guide you! Be transformed from the inside out! Let’s build our lives on the foundation Jesus has provide with Jesus as the cornerstone to help us build it up straight and strong to last!
Building Together on God’s Foundation
1And I, brothers and sisters, could not speak to you as Spirit-filled but as worldly—as infants in Messiah. 2I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready. Indeed, even now you are not yet ready, 3for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, aren’t you worldly and walking in a human way? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere humans? 5What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to trust—and to each as the Lord gave. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow. 8Now he who plants and he who waters work as one, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. 9For we are God’s co-workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. 10According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and another builds on it. But let each consider carefully how he builds on it. 11For no one can lay any other foundation than what is already laid—which is Yeshua the Messiah. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, 13each one’s work will become clear. For the Day will show it, because it is to be revealed by fire; and the fire itself will test each one’s work—what sort it is. 14If anyone’s work built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss—he himself will be saved, but as through fire. 16Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that the Ruach Elohim dwells among you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 18Let no one deceive himself. If anyone thinks he is wise in this age, let him become a fool so he may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the sight of God. For it is written, “He catches the clever in their craftiness.” 20And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are useless.” 21So let no one boast about men. For all things are yours— 22whether Paul or Apollos or Kefa, or the world or life or death, or things present or things to come. All are yours, 23and you are Messiah’s, and Messiah is God’s.
–from 1 Corinthians 3