Hope …

Paul ended his beautiful exhortation about love in I Cor 13 with a declaration of life’s most precious things. He listed the three great remaining attributes of life: Faith, Hope, and Love. Love was the greatest among the three as the apostle gave a descriptive discourse, but I offer this word today: Don’t discount hope.

Job saw his life as a tree cut down, and yet, he said that there is hope of a tree, that if it is cut down, it can grow again. The patriarchs of old hoped for something and it drove them to pursue the Lord. Peter wrote in

1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. Peter said, “When they ask, be ready to tell them of the reason you have hope.” The ability to witness comes from the expectation of something beyond this world.

Even in regards to believing, Hebrews declared that hope is one of the necessary ingredients of Faith: Heb 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

While the world invests in things that rust and fade, our hope is in the Lord and in His coming. John said as much: 1 John 3:2-3 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

The hope in the rapture keeps us from an impure world. It drives the believer to live according to the scripture and abandon the world.

We are looking forward to seeing Him as He is! Our expectation does not rest in government, education, health, or money. Our hope is that there is a Heaven and in our Father’s House are many mansions. We are seeking for a city whose builder and maker is God; a city where the Lamb is the light. Our hope is literally out of this world. Love? Yes. Faith? It is a must; but I’m still holding on to hope.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Who’s In Charge?

Prov 20:7 The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.

Among the myriad of complexities that attend our times, there has been a detrimental role reversal among fathers and children. As one author asked, “Who’s In Charge?” The glaring issue is the increased gap between fathers and their children. Instead of the father, children are now leading the family in thought and ideology; a place that the father once occupied. Adding to the problem has been the rapid technological advances that seem to separate the family, especially in communication. The core problem has been the dismantling and “giving away” of the father’s authority. He has been diminished in the public square; belittled in the entertainment sector; and warred against in the spirit world for his spiritual role in the family structure. Surely these are perilous times, but these issues also reveal the coming of the Lord. Malachi raised his voice to say, Mal 4:5-6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. Luke reiterated the prophetic word in his opening address:

Luke 1:17 And he (Jesus) shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

The last days will feature both a departure of respect and a reunion of the same. The Lord is going to turn the hearts of the children back to their fathers. The mother is not mentioned here for a specific reason. Fathers were commissioned to be the priest and leader of the family. Though they have been separated, Jesus is going to mend what has been broken. I am thankful for physical healings and miracles, but there is nothing like a mended family where a father finds honor and children see his integrity. The result of this spiritually and emotionally healthy relationship is a blessing on the lives of his children, “…his children are blessed after him.” His children find strength in that he is the leader in prayer, giving, worship, and work. His family is whole in that he speaks wisdom and correction in love.

Father’s Day must be more than a yearly recognition of Dad. We need to lift him up and offer him the place that God desired him to hold. Dad, you’re the head of the family. You are the leader and you are pivotal to the blessings of your sons and daughters. We honor you today because God has ordered it so. We honor you because we love you.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

God knows where I am …

Job 23:8-10 Behold, I go forward, but he is not there; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand, where he doth work, but I cannot behold him: he hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him: But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

The above text leads to a myriad of questions. Could it be that God purposely hides His plan from our eyes in order to develop our necessary trust in Him? Could it be that our trials and difficulties of life are created by Him for the benefit of our eternal future? I submit that while we cannot see the path, the Lord always knows the way and He is in control.

It took some time before Job came to this reality. He looked for the Lord, but could not find Him. God and His purpose was hidden to this great man. Yet Job knew enough about the Lord that he boldly proclaimed, “But He knoweth the way that I take…” Who could say such a thing? Perhaps there was no greater trial than what Job faced. He lost everything in a single day. His life’s work was wiped out. His family was gone and his wife offered a bitter reply, “why don’t you just curse God and die?” Job’s friends turned out to be judge and jury, without a single ounce of wisdom or compassion in their collective voice. However, Job said, “God knows where I am. God hasn’t left me. He knows right where I am and when I get through this, I will come forth as gold.”

This is the word that whatever issues you might face in this life, God still knows where you are. Even if you cannot find Him; even if He “hideth himself” from you, God is working a perfect plan in your life. You might be deterred but that does not mean you have been denied. You will experience loss and suffering but that does not mean that the Lord has left you. There is an end to the thing and Job gave the answer: He knows the way that I take and when this is over I will come forth as gold.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Three months…

Summer is finally upon us for which I am thankful.  In relation to the school season and the many vacations that are planned, I offer this word to you.  Three months is the traditional time between the school season which often dictates our year.  It’s also just enough time to change the course of your life.  Three months out of church can leave lasting scars from which many never recover.  However, three months of devotion is the right amount of time to birth a powerful, life-long change for the good.  It only takes a small time heading in the right direction for you to rewrite your destiny.  To this end, I offer the Word:   2 Sam 6:11  And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.

The resident Ark of the Covenant in the home of Obededom not only changed him, but it also changed his family.  In fact, everything was blessed.  His fields and family were changed.  Even those around him were blessed by the Ark of the Covenant. The Bible simple says, “…and all his household.”  Throughout the scripture, “household” literally meant all things associated with or having to do with the principle person.  A Jewish man/father desired the blessing on his household, meaning all things that he touched or were associated with him.  Cornelius was baptized and his household which included his servants and all those who were connected with him.  Judgment came to Pharaoh and all his household which referred to the entirety of Egypt.  Obededom had three months with the Ark and it changed the generations that came after him.  Everyone was blessed, even those he had not yet met.  

I submit that this summer:  three months of intense prayer and Bible reading, mixed with fasting and faithful church attendance will change your life.  If you can retain the Spirit of God in your home it will spill out in the worship service.  When you allow the Lord access to your living room and you turn off the media devices that often clouds the mind, I promise that something powerful will change. Three months… it’s a challenge that will last a lifetime. 

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole