Read, Obey and Witness to God’s Word by Charles Stanley

  Read, Obey and Witness to God’s Word by Charles Stanley

The following quotations are from Charles Stanley’s book, “The Reason for my Hope,” published in 1997 by Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Where Will God Lead?

     I don’t know all the details about where God will lead you. Only God knows that, and He rarely gives any of us the complete picture of our future. However, God has at least three things as a destiny for each person who has accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and who is seeking to follow Him as Lord.

1. Your destiny is to know God’s Word.

     Time and again, I hear new believers in Christ say, “I have a great desire to read the Bible.” When people come to know Christ, they have a desire to know Him better, and the best way to know Him is to read about Him and to read what He had to say.

     Those who don’t read their Bibles are subject to what Paul described as “every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Eph. 4:14 NKJV). On the other hand, those who know the Bible reap the benefits described here: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man [or woman] of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16—17 NKJV).

              . . . . .

     Regularly reading the Bible offers several advantages to you:

a) You know what God expects

     You don’t have to wonder about God’s opinion or question whether your behavior is pleasing or displeasing to God.

b) You are available to God so that God can speak to you.

     The foremost way that God communicates with you on a regular basis is through His Word. His Word is as timely and applicable to your life today as it was on the day it was first written into words. God’s opinion hasn’t changed and won’t change. What He said in centuries past is true for you now.

     Sometimes when I read my Bible, certain words, phrases, or verses seem to leap off the page. They stand out as if they are in bold type, with letters two feet high. I find myself saying, “Why didn’t I see that before?” I know God is bringing something to my attention that is important for me to know.

     As many times as I have read my entire Bible, I still have new insights into God’s Word every time I sit down to read it. The Bible is always fresh; it never grows stale. Often I find that God leads me to read a particular passage just when I need it the most. He reminds me of what I already know so that I will be able to use His truth in a very specific way in the hours or days ahead.

     The wonder of God’s Word is that you can never understand it fully. God’s Word holds countless layers of insight and meaning, and it is applicable in unique ways to an infinite number of situations. The more you grow in your relationship with God, the more insights you have into His character and into the way in which God operates. You have a growing understanding of who you are created to be and called to be.

     I heard of a woman who was invited to attend a Sunday school class on the Bible, and she responded by saying, “Oh, I don’t need that. I’ve already read the Bible.” She didn’t know what she was missing! To have read the Bible one time from cover to cover is not enough—far from it. In saying what she did, the woman put herself into that unfortunate category of people who don’t know what they don’t know.

     Although God’s Word is always fresh and timely, and always uniquely applicable to the very situation you are facing, God’s Word is always sure and absolute. It doesn’t change when the cultural norms shift or the traditions of a society change. Neither does the Bible contradict itself. It holds the fundamental truth of life that spans every generation, every culture, every relationship, and every condition of the human heart. You can count on the Bible to be true every moment of the rest of your life.

c) You have a knowledge base that God can tap at any hour of the day or night.

     God brings His Word to your remembrance in very timely ways—right at the moment when you need to make a decision, encourage another person, or solve a problem. Unless you have planted God’s Word in your mind, He can’t bring it to your remembrance.

     There have been times when I have gone to bed with a problem on my mind and God has awakened me in the middle of the night with a verse of Scripture running through my mind. At other times, I awaken in the morning with a particular verse as my first thought of the day. I know God is bringing to my remembrance the Word that I have already planted in my mind; He is speaking to me very directly His advice on the matter that has been troubling me.

    Reading the Bible regularly also gives you a head start on Bible study, particularly study directed toward solving problems and making decisions.

     Countless times when I have faced a particular problem or difficult situation in my life, God has called me to a deeper study of His Word. Such a study is beyond my regular reading of the Bible. I get out reference books and spend hour after hour searching God’s Word for the wisdom and understanding that I need and that I know God desires for me to have. Sometimes this study is completed in one session; sometimes this study spans several days, even weeks.

     As I study, God will bring to mind a passage or verse of Scripture that is critical to the understanding He wants me to have, but that I would not otherwise have thought to look up or read. When we read and study the Bible regularly, it is as if we are giving God a full keyboard of notes on which He can play for us His new song of wisdom.

d) You begin to see the big picture of what God desires for His people to be, say, and do.

     Unless you are reading the Bible regularly, and reading in all sections of the Bible, you will not have a grasp of the whole of God’s Word. The error in not reading all of God’s Word is that you may begin to emphasize one aspect of God’s commandments or promises and become out of balance in doctrine.

     Heresies and false teaching nearly always begin the same way:

a person finds one small segment of God’s Word that he likes, and he pulls that teaching out of context and exalts it as a greater truth than the rest of God’s Word. The things that we like in God’s Word, of course, are the passages that we interpret as meeting our desire for immediate self-gratification or satisfying our emotional and physical appetites. If we are reading only the parts of God’s Word that we like, we are probably missing out on the very aspects of God’s Word that we need. It’s vitally important to a balanced Christian walk that we read the whole of God’s Word.

e) You experience an ongoing renewal of your mind.

     Paul urged, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom. 12:2 NKJV).

     As you read God’s Word regularly, the Holy Spirit uses what you read to change the thought patterns of your mind. You begin to respond to life as Christ Jesus responded. The Scriptures become the foundation for your attitudes and beliefs, which in turn govern your behavior.

     Paul referred to the sanctification (the setting apart) of the believers as occurring “with the washing of water by the word” (Eph. 5:26 NKJV). The more you read God’s Word, the more it cleanses your mind of sinful thoughts and desires. Your thought life is cleaned up. You begin to desire in your mind what God desires for you. You no longer think as the world thinks, and as a result, you no longer talk or act as the world talks and acts.

              . . . .. .

     God’s Word changes us. That’s one thing that separates the Bible from any other book ever written. The more we read it, the more we are transformed as the Holy Spirit takes God’s Word and implants it into our minds and hearts.

     God desires for every believer in Christ Jesus to be changed in this way. His destiny for you personally may not be that you become a Bible teacher or a professor of Bible, but God’s destiny for you is certainly that you know His Word and that you continually grow in your understanding of His Word.

2. Your destiny is to keep God’s commandments.

     Part of your destiny is to live in a godly manner on a day-to-day basis in the culture and locale where God has placed you.

     Knowing God’s Word is a prerequisite to knowing God’s commandments. God’s rules for living are not limited to the Ten Commandments or to the first five books of the Bible called the Law. The entire Bible is a manual for how God desires that we live our lives. It is God’s message to us of what He considers to be right and wrong. It is always God’s desire for His people to keep His commandments—to say, do, and be what is good and right in His sight.

     Once you have accepted Christ as your Savior, you embark on a new way of living. Most people I know say that when they come to know Christ, they feel new inside. There’s a freshness, a cleansing, a good feeling of starting over—just as Jesus said, it is a feeling of being “born again.” From God’s perspective, this newness of life means that you have been cleansed so that you might live in a way that is different from your sinful past. This new way of living is fully in keeping with God’s commandments.

          . . . . .

New Testament Only?

     Many people today call themselves New Testament Christians. Part of what they seem to mean in calling themselves this is that they no longer believe the Old Testament has any application to their lives. Jesus said,

Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one title will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17—20 NKJV)

     Jesus was calling His followers to live according to the spirit of the Law, which transcends the letter of the LawAgain and again in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old.” He then cited a traditional teaching of the Law, but moved on immediately to say, “But I say to you”—and He then gave a teaching that called for compliance with the spirit or the true meaning underlying the statements of the Law.

     For example, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment” (Matt. 5:21—22 NKJV).

     Jesus went beyond the letter of the Old Testament commandments to call His disciples into not only keeping the commandments, but also desiring to keep the commandments. He called upon them to fulfill the spirit of the Law.

     Now, Jesus fulfilled the laws of the Old Testament regarding sacrifices. He became the one complete, substitutionary, and all-sufficient sacrifice for sin when He was crucified on the cross. We are no longer under the old blood covenant; we are under the new blood covenant that was instituted when Jesus’ blood was shed on the cross. Therefore, we no longer are required to sacrifice animals or to make sacrifices of incense, grain, or wine. Rather, we celebrate the fact that Jesus Himself was our sacrifice for sin every time we partake of the Communion elements in the Lord’s Supper.

     The Old Testament laws governing human behavior and human relationships, however, are just as applicable to us today as they were to the Israelites four thousand years ago. The Law as a whole provides a framework for our loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves. (See Matt. 22:37—40.) To be a Christian means to take just as seriously the teachings of the Old Testament as the teachings of the New Testament.

     The wonderful benefit to being a New Testament Christian is that God has added a “want to” to the “have to” regarding His commandments. The Holy Spirit dwelling within us convicts, prompts, leads, and inspires us to want to follow God with all of the heart, mind, and soul. We want to do what is pleasing to God. We want to live in a daily relationship with Him that is not marred by sin. The Holy Spirit compels us to want more of God’s presence operational in and throughout our lives. Our desire is to do what is right.

     Our lives are to become living expressions of the commandments of God. In other words, people should be able to read our behavior and know what God considers to be right and wrong. In 2 Corinthians 3:3 (NKJV), we read, “Clearly you are an epistle of Christ.. . written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.”

     Believers and unbelievers alike should be able to look at us and see the gospel being applied continuously to real-life situations. Our lives should be of such high moral behavior and of such consistency that others should have no difficulty in determining what we believe and whom we follow.

License to Sin?

     Some people seem to think that once they have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, they are immune from any consequences for sin. Some take their salvation as a “license” to sin. The thinking seems to be, I can sin, and since I’ve accepted Christ, I won’t go to hell.

     Salvation is not a license to sin, but a call to righteousness. Those who have been genuinely born again have no desire to sin. They know they have been saved from a nature that is prone to sin, and they have no desire to return to that state. They know they were in darkness and separated from God. Having experienced the light of Christ, they have no desire to return to darkness. When I hear of a person who claims he is immune from sin’s discipline and, therefore, won’t face any consequences for sinful behavior, I question whether that person ever truly experienced salvation. The saved person doesn’t want to sin.

     The Scriptures assure us repeatedly that once a person has turned to God and accepted His forgiveness for her sin nature, she is transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit into a new creature—one who bears a nature like that of Christ Jesus. The saved person has been thoroughly cleansed and, even beyond that, changed spiritually. God’s Holy Spirit indwells that person from the moment of salvation, and the Holy Spirit never departs from her.

     The assurance of our salvation is the steadfastness, trustworthiness, and faithfulness of God Himself. He does not come and go from our lives. Once we invite Him to come into our spirits with His saving, transforming love, He is with us to stay. He never departs from us. We have God’s promise: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrew 13:5 NKJV).

     The presence of the Holy Spirit within us continues to convict us in an ongoing way as a means of leading us away from sin and toward the righteousness of God. We feel His prompting and nudging in our spirits, calling us to make right choices and good decisions—to resist temptation and to stand strong against evil. The Holy Spirit is like an inner antenna that helps us to receive and tune in continually God’s will for our lives.

     When we override the convicting power of the Holy Spirit and harden our consciences against Him, He frequently turns up the volume of His message. Those who continue to choose sin over righteousness sometimes become downright miserable; they are confronted at every turn with what they know to be right. The Holy Spirit acts with increasing power to keep us from sin.

     Why? Because sin always bears evil consequences. We may not experience the consequences immediately, or even in a short-range period, but we will experience them eventually. We cannot sin without experiencing the consequences of sin, which ultimately are deadly. God never winks at sin; He never overlooks it or lets it slide by. Those who persist in sin without seeking God’s forgiveness or turning away from sin in repentance will eventually reap its harvest. The Scriptures tell us very plainly:

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Galatians 6:7—8 NKJV)

     Sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind. (Hosea 8:7 NKJV)

     Anytime you recognize that you are engaging in sin, you need to turn immediately to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness and His help in changing your ways. This is the way to keep the conscience clear and in good working order. The person who continually ignores the whispering of the Holy Spirit in the inner spirit will develop a hard heart, which includes a deadened conscience.

3. Your destiny is to be a witness for Jesus Christ on the earth.

     Every Christian is called to an active ministry. That does not mean that every Christian is called to be a full-time pastor, preacher, or evangelist. It does mean that every Christian is called to share the gospel with other people by what he or she says and does, and to do so under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

     Your destiny as a follower of Jesus Christ is to ask the Lord daily to guide your steps so that you walk precisely where Jesus would walk if He were in your shoes. Your destiny is to be sensitive to His leading and to act when He says to act, and not to act when He calls upon you to wait or to be silent.

     Years ago we were facing a real need at In Touch Ministries to expand. We found a piece of property that seemed to be right—the price of the property was high, but fair. Members of our executive staff were in agreement that the property was right for us.

            Every time I prayed about buying that property, however, I felt God speaking in my spirit, Don’t do that. I told the staff, “We aren’t going to buy that property.” I asked them to pray specifically about the purchase of that property and as they prayed, God revealed the same message to them. In the end, God led us to an even better piece of property, and He sovereignly provided the money with which to buy it.

     The leading of the Holy Spirit is very practical. Throughout the Scriptures, we have examples of the Lord saying to various ones, “Do this, do that. Go here, go there.” The leading of the Holy Spirit is also leading that results in a win-win proposition for everybody involved. The devil is the only one who loses when it comes to matters of God’s will. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit doesn’t reveal His will to only one person. He may start by telling just one person, but ultimately, He’ll confirm His will to anybody who is open to hearing it.

Knowing When to Act

    As you wait upon the Lord daily to receive His marching orders for you, listen especially for God’s timing. Not only will the Lord show you the direction in which you are to move, but He will also reveal to you His timing and His methods. He may not give you all the details you need for the completion of a task or mission, but He will give you the information you need to take the next step in wisdom.

     As you receive a directive from the Lordlook for confirmation that you have heard Him correctly. That word of confirmation may come to you as you read your Bible. It may come through a friend or perhaps in a sermon that you hear on the radio or television. It may come through a teaching that you receive at a Bible study or in a Sunday school class. Ask God to confirm to you what you have heard Him say so that you make no mistake in direction, methodology, or timing.

     Many times in the Scriptures the Lord told His people to take a specific action, but then told them to wait for Him to give them the green light.

     Jesus never showed up too early or too late. He always arrived right on time in keeping with what the Father was doing.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Psalm 62:1—2 (NKJV):

Truly my soul silently waits for God;

From Him comes my salvation.

He only is my rock and my salvation;

He is my defense;

I shall not be greatly moved.

     Learning to wait on God’s timing is a hallmark of the mature Christian life.

     Once you say to the Lord, “I’m trusting You to show me when to move,” it is then the Lord’s responsibility to prompt you to act. He’ll plant an urgency in your heart that the time is at hand. At times the Lord has awakened me in the middle of the night with a deep impression that I was to take action the next day, or He has put such a conviction in my heart about a certain date or time that I wasn’t able to escape it.

     One night a number of years ago, I was on my knees in prayer when I heard God saying in my spirit, I’m going to move you.

     I immediately asked, “When?” And before my eyes, it seemed as if a movie screen appeared, and on the screen appeared a word. It ran diagonally from the lower left-hand corner to the upper right-hand corner. In big, black letters that filled the screen I read


     I was stunned. It was April, and I had been in that particular pastorate less than a year. The following Monday morning, I was sitting at my desk in my study when the phone rang and a friend of mine, someone I hadn’t heard from in some time, called to see if I would be interested in a position at his church. I told him I wasn’t interested, but given the conversation I had just had with the Lord, I felt I needed to at least hear him out.

     A few months later, I found myself moving—in September, right on time according to God’s calendar.

Finding God’s Will

     I have met many people through the years who struggle in their desire to know God’s will for their lives. My advice to them is this:

do what you think God is calling you to do. If it isn’t precisely what He desires for you to do, He’ll open another door for you and move you into the precise position. From my experience, I’ve found that it’s easier for God to position a person who is in motion and willing to move than it is for God to call a person to get up and get moving in the right direction. A man once said, “It’s easier to steer a car that is started and in gear than a car that’s parked.”

     If you are right with God and then you experience a deep restlessness, you can trust God to be at work leading you into His next lesson for you, His next place of service, His next opportunity. He will reveal to you the door that He wants you to move through.

     One of my associates talked with a woman who for more than ten years felt that God was calling her to be a missionary in a foreign land. She said she had felt the call since her teenage years. As a college student, she lived overseas for a couple of years and took several student mission trips. Upon graduation, she tried repeatedly for several years to sign up with various missionary organizations. Again and again, however, she was denied the positions for which she applied. The reasons were varied—some had no openings; some stopped sending missionaries to the nations she was interested in; some were accepting only married couples; some had language requirements she hadn’t fulfilled. No doors opened for her, although she still had a desire to serve God as a full-time missionary.

     She finally took a job working in the United States as a social worker in the inner-city ghetto of a major metropolitan area. One day she was complaining to her pastor at the time that she couldn’t understand why God had called her to be a missionary and then had slammed every door in her face.

     “What door did God open for you?” her pastor asked.

     She thought for a minute and said, “Well, I’m working now as a social worker with inner-city kids and their parents.”

     “Are you trusting God to direct your life?” the pastor asked.

     “Oh, yes!” she said.

     “Have you considered the possibility that the inner-city neighborhood is your mission field?”

     She thought it over for a few moments and then said, “No, frankly, I never thought of my current job as a missionary job. I’ve always thought of missionaries as working overseas. I only thought of my job as a social worker as a means to pay my bills until I could join a missions organization.”

     Her pastor said, “I suggest that you rethink your definition of a missionary. Start to see your current work as your mission until such time as God opens another door for you.”

     “How will I know if another door opens?” she said.

     He replied, “If God wants you to be somewhere else, He’ll make that plain to you. Until then, do the work He has called you to do.”

     She took his advice. She later told her pastor, “My attitude changed completely toward my job. I no longer saw it as a steppingstone to something else, but as the ministry that God had given to me. Things really began to happen. A number of families with whom I had been working began to attend church and became strong witnesses for Christ in their apartment buildings. I could see real change for the good in the lives of several teenagers and their mothers. The more I saw the projects in which I was working as a mission field, the more I was open to sharing Christ with others. The more I shared Him, the more I saw Him work to change lives. These projects are my mission field. I am doing exactly what God wants me to do!”

     I don’t know what God will lead you to do in your life, but I do know that He will put specific people in your path. His desire is for you to share Christ with them, perhaps by something you say, perhaps by something you do. He doesn’t ask you to make things happen nearly as much as He asks that you be obedient to His leading. You can trust Him to bring the right people and circumstances to pass.

Feeling Inadequate to Fulfill God’s Call

     Most people have this response when they feel God calling them to undertake a specific mission or task related to the gospel:

“I can’t do it.”

     If that is your response, you’re in good company. That was the response of Moses when God first called him to return to Pharaoh and demand that Pharaoh let the Israelites leave Egypt! He not only told God that he was unqualified for the job, but he asked God to find somebody else.

     When God first called me to Atlanta, he gave me a vision of the city I saw the skyline of Atlanta with dark clouds hovering over it. I knew I was in for a rough time if I went to Atlanta as a pastor, and I was right. Our first few years in Atlanta were tough ones, spiritually speaking.

     God never seems to call us to tasks that are easy for us. Perhaps if they were easy, we would rely on ourselves and our gifts and abilities to accomplish the tasks. Rather, God wants us to rely solely on Him. He wants us to use our faith and to grow in our ability to trust Him fully.

     The Lord always calls you to positions that have the potential to stretch you, cause you to grow, and cause you to be transformed into the person God desires for you to be. God is never content with your status quo. He wants you to continue to mature until you are exactly like Jesus Christ in your character and your responses to challenges.

     If you believe God has called you to do something for Him that is too great, you’re right! The job is likely to be too great for you to do in your own strength and ability. He is putting you into the same position He had the apostle Paul, who wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13 NKJV).

     The time to question whether you truly are doing everything that God desires for you to do is when everything seems easy and totally under your control. In all likelihood, God has something more for you to undertake for His purposes.

His Purposes, Your Refinement

     The Lord’s specific destiny in your life has a twofold nature:

     1. It will be for the fulfillment of His purposes, not only for your individual life but also for the lives of your family members and those who are close to you and whose lives you touch. God has something for you to do that will further His kingdom on this earth.

     2. It will be for your refinement. The process you face after you accept Christ as your Savior is one of refinement—of transformation, of a growing perfection. God chips away at you to smooth away the rough edges of your self-will and selfish desires. He is always about the job of bringing you to greater wholeness so that you might reflect Him more perfectly to others.

     Whatever God calls you to do as a witness for Him will be for the furtherance of His work on this earth, and it will simultaneously be for the furtherance of your refinement. His destiny for you may be that of a wife and mother. Your home may be your place of ministry. The establishment of a Christian home is a great endeavor—God’s desire for your home is that it be a bastion of faith, a lighthouse to others who are in spiritual danger, a haven for those who are lost and seeking God’s love. Even as God uses you in building a Christian home, He will send people into your life, including your spouse and children, who will give you numerous opportunities to face certain things in your life and to come to grips with them. He will place you in relationships and situations that are opportunities for you to turn with increasing reliance upon the Lord and say, “I don’t have the answer. I’m relying on You to show me what to do and say, and then to give me the courage to obey You.”

            Your destiny as God’s witness may lie in the secular workplace. God may have a particular place of employment for you that will be your platform for sharing Christ with people who wouldn’t hear about Him any other way. A Christian who is involved in the marketplace has the opportunity to witness to others on a daily basis.

     I heard about a man who works as a stockbroker. He estimates that he spends an average of at least three hours a day counseling with, praying for, and encouraging people who come to his office. Some of those who come are coworkers; others are clients; some are referrals from clients or coworkers. His office is a place of active, ongoing spiritual ministry.

     He said, “The more time I spend sharing Christ with others, the more time I seem to have to analyze the market and the greater the wisdom I seem to have in making good financial decisions for my clients. My business has grown by leaps and bounds since I told the Lord, ‘My life and my career are Yours. Use me in any way You want to.’ In fact, the week after I first prayed that prayer, I had the opportunity to lead three people to Christ.”

     This man works in an office building that is very open to the view of others. He has a glass wall with miniblinds. He said, “Not long ago, a client told me that my secretary had said to him, ‘I’ll buzz him as soon as his blinds open. When the blinds are closed, that means he’s doing God’s business. When the blinds are open, that means he’s open for stockbroker business.’ My client wasn’t the least bit offended. He is the chairman of the board of trustees at my church. He had come to see me on church-related business, and before he left, he had also become my client. He said, ‘I like the idea of having a stockbroker who does God’s business.’”

     Is this man in ministry? He certainly is. Is he fulfilling God’s destiny for his life? Most assuredly!

A Joy in the Doing

     Those who find and daily seek to fulfill God’s unique destiny for sharing Christ with others experience much greater joy in life. They can hardly wait to see what God is going to do next in their lives. They are eager to get up in the mornings and to get busy.

     I have this same joy in my work—every day has its own schedule, its own opportunities, its own challenges, and yes, its own problems. Even the problems, however, are exciting because I’m always on the search for how God is going to solve the problems. He comes up with the most creative solutions imaginable.

     When you find your destiny in Christ, you will also find joy. Nobody will even have to talk to you about hope. You’ll feel it welling up in you continually because you’ll know with a certainty that

• there is still more that God wants to teach you about Himself as you read His Word.

• there is still more that God desires to show you about how to live on this earth as Christ would live.

• there is still another person with whom God desires for you to share the love of Christ and the message of the gospel.

     As long as you live, God has a daily blueprint for your life that He is unfolding before you. Nobody else can fulfill what He has for you to do. And as you trust the Holy Spirit to lead you and to empower you, you can and will succeed in fulfilling His mission in your life.

     God is at work in you, and He will use you to accomplish His purposes in the lives of others. At the same time, He is at work in the world around you, and He will use others to accomplish His purpose in your life. You can be assured that until your last breath, God has a purpose and a plan for your life.

     Every day when I awaken I know without a doubt that

• there is more for me to learn.

• there is more for me to do.

• there is one more life for me to influence for Christ.

            That gives me a new reason every day for living, and for living my life to the fullest. In that, there is hope!

     I have hope because God has a blueprint for my life—a personalized plan that is still unfolding. (56-75)

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