But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. 1 Peter 3:15a
Hope has been on my mind and heart for months. And yes, it is the subject of our Watchful Waiting Joy Bible Journaling focus for week #1 of Advent.
More and more I feel the hopelessness of the people in my neighborhood. This past fall an older man shot his wife and then killed himself. Over the time we have lived here two others have been murdered, families curse and fight, the police are often on our street. And it breaks my heart.
I have been commanded to love the Lord my God with all my heart, and all my soul, and all my mind and then to love my neighbor as myself. (Matthew 22:36-40) A former pastor used to say, “All is all that all means and that is all that all means.” All is a very small three letter word packing a powerful punch. I have to conclude that to love God with ALL my heart soul and mind requires full surrender as does loving my neighbor as myself.
It’s a love for God and for others that should stick out all over the place on me. And if it doesn’t, I have to ask myself if I really do obey. I know that I am learning how to obey and I can’t do that without the help of the Holy Spirit.
Does my heart look any different than the heart of a person without hope? Does my life display my love for Jesus Christ? If it doesn’t, why would anyone want what I have? If my life does look different, then my hope will be obvious and I will be hope in skin for hurting people.
My little world needs hope. They need to know Jesus and maybe their only contact with Jesus today will be His hope in me. It’s kind of squeezing my heart this week. I want my hope to be obvious. I want to be ready to tell people where my hope comes from when they ask.
How about you?
Does your life reflect your certain Hope? No matter who you are or where you live, people all around you, including those closest to you, need to know the One who IS hope.
Together we can be the skin that Hope wears. Let’s live out loud. Share our hope. God will use our stories to bring hope to your world.
The Bible pages in my post were created using the free printable images available through my Advent Bible Journaling Focus – Watchful Waiting Joy. Download the wreath image and others here and receive a second download which includes the purple candle image by subscribing to my mailing list here.
I printed the candle on vellum, stenciled an all-over pattern in gold on the back of the vellum, and embellished it with washi and a couple of other images from the Watchful Waiting Joy collection. I used it as a tip in because there was already journaling on another verse in 1 Peter 3.