Friday, March 18, 2011

Hope in a Jar?

      Faith, Hope, Love, Grace, Purity…we see these words a lot in our society; for sale on plaques, written in calligraphy on walls, on garden rock art, and even on cosmetic jars. They’re good words as words go, but by themselves they’re meaningless. In a sense they have become mystical words, with illusive meanings that any person, company, or religion can attach their own definition to. They have become cheap and without substance.

      Isn’t that just like the enemy’s tactics, to take words with rich meaning from God’s word and water them down to conform to this world? He desires to remove the true substance - Christ - from anything and everything that brings Him glory and take glory for himself. He doesn’t have to change anything else…just remove Christ. All these words: Hope, grace, purity, are rich in meaning when kept in the context of our walk with Him, but taken out of that context they become as useless to transform us as face cream in a jar.

      How many “Christian” songs have been sung without the mention of His name, sermons preached, or books written, somehow thinking the world could be lured in by not offending the listener with the name of the Son of God. In doing so, they have conformed to the worlds standards instead of transforming the listener by the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:1-2). 1 John 5:4 says, whatever is born of God overcomes the world – not becomes like it.

      Christ is the very center of all we do if we are Christians. He is the starting point at which all things begin…he is the heart of everything. Without the heart in a body, the blood cannot beat through the veins. Without Christ there is no life, no power in the words. It is only in Him that life flows through words, and people are transformed by the work of the Holy Spirit.

      Let’s be bold and put His name back in the places it has been removed. Let it forever be present on the tips of our tongues and the end of our pens…ready to flow forth with power and life to the listener (1 Peter 4:11).

What did Paul mean in 1 Corinthians 13:13 when he said, “…these three remain - faith, hope, love…?”

If our faith is in Christ, then He becomes the very definition of it. He is the substance of all we hope for, and the evidence in our lives not only of things we see, but also of the things we can’t see. (Hebrews 11:1)

He is also our hope…For it is the God of hope who fills us with all joy and peace in believing that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)

And He is our love…”Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:5)

We know Paul did not mean these three remain apart from Christ, because to Paul, to live was Christ. It may be a little disappointing to the world to know they can’t purchase hope in a jar, but the good news is - God sent us hope in His Son. He even paid the price for us to receive it, so that we could have an endless supply through Jesus…free of charge.


  1. All I can say is..........."AMEN!!!"

  2. How important to remember that it is only through Christ that words such as faith, hope and love have true power. We are the branches, he is the vine.

  3. AMEN! Such a powerful post you share with us this week. Thank you, and God bless.

  4. This is an amazing post! I woke up early 4 am to read some post before I go to work because it's going to be a busy weekend for me and I'm so blessed that I did and by reading this wonderful post,thank-you.
    God Bless,

  5. I'm with you Charlotte...your words are right on...and so encouraging. ☺☺☺

  6. Good explanation of this important subject. Certainly Christ is at the center of all that is good and we always need to remember that. There are so many distractions in the world. Thank you for this reminder.

  7. Hi Charlotte,

    Thank you for sharing a sobering and honest post regarding meaning of spiritual words. Like you, I believe these words go beyond the meaning and intent of human understanding because they come from the mouth of God.

    We live in a country where references to Christ are edited from our institutions and culture. I've asked myself, can these actions defeat the purpose and plans of God? I do not believe they can.

    Nations have risen and fallen throughout our world's civilization, but the word of God remains eternal and transcendent.

    You're right, each of us who call upon the name of the Lord, must represent him by the life we live. I'm reminded of what Paul wrote in Philippians 1:15-18, "Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from good will; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking to cause me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in this I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice..."

    I suppose what I'm groping to say is that even though public schools no longer allow prayer or discussions on the topic of salvation, God has the ability to reach and touch a child who faces a crisis, a teacher who suffers from burnout, or an administrator who's marriage is failing.

    I love the fact that God is not limited or defined by human reasoning or words, He exceeds my capacity to understand.

    I read a post last week that talked about the odds being stacked against God, and how through Elijah God demonstrated that, "The Lord, He is God."

    May we all prove worthy of the sacrifice of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    Blessings and peace.


  8. It IS just like Satan to water down the rich truths of the Word. I never thought of it in that light before but that is one of his tactics. I think this was an important post because so much has taken the place of the meaning of Easter. I want to "take back" the new life the old rugged cross, tomb and resurrection gives to us.

  9. There is so much power in the name of Jesus and centering Him in all we do. The enemy of our souls knows that and tempts us. Have a good weekend.

  10. This is a beautiful, heartwarming and encouraging post. Thank you so much.

  11. That was a beautiful post and so inspiring.


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