Jesus is Our Living Hope

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Hallelujah, Jesus Christ is our Living Hope.

The Lion of Judah roared mightily that Resurrection Day so long ago, and his victorious voice continues to speak to all with ears to hear.

He set us free. He broke every chain that bound us to the evil one.

Jesus is the Victor. The Mighty Warrior. The Conqueror. He defeated Satan, hell, sin, and death.

Jesus Christ is the One in whom our hope is found.

He sits at the right hand of his Father in heaven, waiting for the day he returns for his Bride, the Church. On that day, Christ will take those who confess their hope, trust, and allegiance to the King of kings and LORD of Lords with him to their eternal home in heaven.

Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.

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Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.” Matthew 28:5-7 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Don’t Ignore the Prompt

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Have there been times in your life where out of the blue someone’s name flashes across your mind?

What about situations where you find yourself in a conversation with a stranger, and feel it wasn’t a coincidence?

Some might call situations like those Divine Promptings.

So let’s say a friend’s name does cross our mind unexpectedly. What should we do about it? We can ignore it, send up a prayer for them, call and check up on them …

We can do a lot of things, but in situations like that, my default is to send up a prayer, whether I have any idea what’s going on in that person’s life at that particular point in time, or not.

God knows, and he just might have put that prompt into our brains for a definite reason.

What about times where we have a conversation we weren’t intending to have?

This happens to me often. More times than not, it’s with a stranger. Don’t know what it is about me. Maybe I appear approachable, or maybe it’s another God prompt.

For those of you reading this who may not know me personally, I am not overly outgoing. Quite the opposite. I’m a shy introvert. I’m more of an observer than a conversationalist.

Go figure how I ended up a teacher.

I know I’ve been on the receiving end of others’ prayers on my behalf when they had no idea what was going on in my life, but prayed for me or my family anyway.

I imagine you have to, even if you don’t know it.

Prayer is a privilege allowing us to go before the very throne of God with petitions and request not just for ourselves, but for others.

How amazing is that?

Because we have this amazing privilege, I believe we should take advantage of it, especially when we feel God’s prompt, and bring our requests daily. Don’t you?

Especially those prayers that seem to come to us out of the blue.

At those times when a friend’s name comes to mind, don’t ignore the nudge. It just might be God prompting us to pray.

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Then the religious leaders and Levites stood and prayed that good would come to the people. And their voice was heard. Their prayer came to the Lord’s holy place in heaven. 2 Chronicles 30:27 (NLV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”At those times when a friend’s name comes to mind, don’t ignore the nudge. It just might be God’s prompt to pray for them. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Mercy and Grace

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Mercy and grace. We hear those words often. They are quite similar, yet different.

Miriam-Webster dictionary defines mercy as:

1a : compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one’s power also : lenient or compassionate treatment

b : imprisonment rather than death imposed as penalty for first-degree murder

2a : a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion

b : a fortunate circumstance

3 : compassionate treatment of those in distress

It defines grace as:

1a : unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification

b : a virtue coming from God

c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine assistance

Years ago one of my ministers explained mercy and grace this way.

We’re speeding down the road and get pulled over by a police officer. We deserve a ticket, but instead, the officer gives us a warning.

That’s mercy.

Not getting what we deserve.

Before the officer leaves the side of our car, however, the officer pulls out two sought-after tickets to our favorite event.

That’s grace.

Getting something we don’t deserve.

Jesus told a parable on mercy and grace in his story about the unforgiving servant.

The servant owed a great deal of money to the king, but begged for mercy when the king ordered the man, his wife, his children, and all he had be sold to repay the debt. The servant fell on his knees begging for mercy, promising to pay back all he owed.

The king in his mercy and grace took pity on the servant and forgave him his debt.

But when the servant left the king’s presence, he came upon an acquaintance who owed him a mere pittance. He demanded the friend pay back the money right away.

The friend begged for mercy, asked for patience, and said he would pay back the debt. The ungrateful servant who had been forgiven much, refused. He had his friend who owed him little thrown into debtor’s prison until the debt was paid.

When the king heard of this, he called the wicked servant to appear before him. He reminded the servant, he expected him to give mercy as he’d been given mercy.

In anger the king turned the servant over to the jailers to be tortured until the servant could repay the enormous debt he owed.

God poured his mercy and his grace upon us when he allowed his son, Jesus, to take on the sins of the world and die in our place. Jesus paid the debt we owed but could never pay.

Just like the king in Christ’s parable, because God has shown us mercy and grace, he expects us to be merciful and gracious to others in return.

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Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.” Matthew 18:32-35 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”God poured his mercy and his grace upon us when he allowed his son, Jesus, to take on the sins of the world and die in our place. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Further Upstream

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

Last year I wrote a post about the Israelites crossing the Jordan into the Promised Land. There’s a significant aspect of that crossing I believe worth discussing today.

Four days after the Israelites camped for the night at the banks of the Jordan River, Joshua went through the camp telling the people to prepare, because the Lord was about to do a great miracle.

God would drive out all the people who opposed him from the land the Israelites were about to enter. The Lord would lead them across the river.

At the time of the river crossing, the Jordan overflowed its banks. The moment the priests stepped into the water, the river began piling up further upstream as though blocked by a dam.

The people couldn’t see God working on their behalf further upstream.

All they knew was a flooded river, which they were supposed to cross, stood between them and the Promised Land.

They didn’t know the water in front of them would drain to the Dead Sea.

The only thing they knew was what they saw in front of them at that moment in time.

They didn’t realize all they had to do was wait for the river in front of them to flow past. Then they could walk across a dry riverbed to their new home.

If you are like me, perhaps there are times in our lives when we stand at a swollen riverbank, waiting for the waters in front of us to flow downstream so we can cross on dry land.

We wait for health issues, wayward children, financial concerns, jobs, relationship problems, less strife more peace to all drain away so crossing whatever this moment in time holds will be easier.

Like the Israelites we oftentimes don’t see God’s hand working on our behalf further upstream.

We might wonder why he delays. We might doubt we heard him correctly — is this the river he intends for us to cross?

And if so, has he heard our cries for help in the crossing?

And when is he going to step in and save us from the rising waters?

While God works upstream out of sight, we stand on the riverbank and wait. We wait fro him to intervene, to hold back the river, and lead us across on dry land.

It may take awhile, longer than we would like, but we can trust he is working.

Anything you are waiting for right now while God is at work further upstream?

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It was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river’s edge, the water above that point began backing up a great distance away at a town called Adam, which is near Zarethan. And the water below that point flowed on to the Dead Sea until the riverbed was dry. Then all the people crossed over near the town of Jericho. Joshua 3:15-16 (NLT)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=”Like the Israelites we oftentimes don’t see God’s hand working on our behalf further upstream. It may take awhile, but we can trust he is working. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]

Drop It

Author Tosca Lee’s puppy, Timber, devouring her book, FIRSTBORN.

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

One of the first commands many dog owners teach their pet is, Drop it!

Much like babies, puppies have a strong tendency to snatch whatever they find and chew on it. Doesn’t matter what it is.

Sometimes what they pick up could harm them. Sometimes what they pick up could harm another creature. Sometimes what they pick up they have no business carrying around and it flat-out needs to be dropped.

I was reminded of that last sentence as not-so-pleasant thoughts about a person I know flooded into my brain recently.

I fussed, fumed, and pretty much allowed Satan to take over and make me miserable.

Then it was as if I heard myself telling one of our dogs, Drop it! Did you hear me? I. Said. Drop. It!

I’d picked up something that was not beneficial, could do harm not only to me, but the person I thought of, and I had absolutely no business whatsoever carrying around the attitude and thoughts that slammed through my brain.

I paused. Took a breath. Quit ranting and giving reasons why I had every right in the world to feel the way I felt about the person. Confessed I shouldn’t have snarled like a dog who refused to give up the bone they gnawed on, and waited for Satan to slink off.

Like me, have there been times in your life when the great deceiver dredged up your hurt, pain, abuse, mistreatment, loneliness …

Things we believed we let go of and moved past, only to be pulled back into those places all over again?

Those are the times when we need to remember who we belong to, the price paid for our adoption into God’s family, and tell ourselves to Drop it!

Satan is defeated. He’s been crushed. He has no power except what he is given. Christ alone is our strength. He is our victory.

So when the father of lies comes around next time, let’s agree to tell him Drop it. Drop the accusations, and move on.

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Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Hebrews 2:14 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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[bctt tweet=” Satan is defeated. He’s been crushed. He has no power except what we give him. Christ alone is our strength. He is our victory. So when the father of lies comes around next time, let’s agree to tell him to Drop it. ” username=”SandyKQuandt”]