JOHN TRANTHAM: HOPE IN SOLID FOUNDATION

During the last century sounds so long ago, but today’s blog post comes from a time more than three decades ago. However it is said it still seems a long time ago, but the message is timeless.

My family knew an old retired pastor, B. John Trantham, who loved God and sharing the gospel of hope in Christ. He did those things well with the helper God had given him when he was a young man, the sweet and (in my memories) always smiling Mrs. Trantham.

Even at an advanced age this Christian brother still had powerful thoughts and messages to share. I remember one in particular that he called Fourfold Foundation of Faith. It neatly presents John 3:16, a summary of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If any one verse could be the foundation of Christian faith, then surely it could be this one.

John 3:16 offers four important aspects: God’s Love, God’s Gift, God’s Gracious Condition, and God’s Great Salvation. This Bible verse says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

“For God so loved the world” presents the first foundation part of GOD’S LOVE. “That He gave His only begotten Son” shows the second foundation part of GOD’S GIFT. “That whoever believes in Him” is the third foundation part of GOD’S GRACIOUS CONDITION. “Shall not perish but have eternal life” offers the fourth foundation part of GOD’S GREAT SALVATION.

Together these four aspects of faith are one firm foundation upon which the Christian faith can be built. Together they explain enough of the gospel for one who believes to know the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

One doesn’t have to know it as Fourfold Foundation of Faith. Know that trusting John 3:16 as the foundation of faith makes an eternal difference. Ponder that verse, and trust God’s Love, Gift, Gracious Condition, and Great Salvation. Do it today!

BIRTHDAY BLESSING: HOPE FOR BELLA’S FUTURE

Ciao, Bella!!!

Happy birthday with love to my precious granddaughter! How perfect that Bella in Italian means “beautiful.” I totally agree that you are — even if we’re not Italian!

Remember that it’s more important to be beautiful on the inside than on the outside. It’s better to be kind and good and loving than just to look pretty. Follow God everyday to become truly beautiful in your heart!

Remember that it’s more important to be wise than just smart. It’s better to be wise enough to make right choices and think good thoughts than to be smart enough to be a clever fool. Learn God’s ways to grow in His wisdom to live right!

God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. He will be with you ALWAYS! Remember one of our favorite verses: “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me!” (Phillipians 4:13)

I remember your birth brought hope for your future, prayers, and excitement! The first time I met you as a beautiful bundle of baby I unleashed a load of love and released tears of joy. It was a moment I will always cherish and never forget.

You, granddaughter, are a gift from heaven, and I am blessed beyond measure to be your grandparent! To your parents: THANK YOU for your part in the Beautiful Bella miracle!

To God, the Creator of Life: Thank You for this amazing gift of a granddaughter! May her life be filled with Faith, Hope, and Love. May she walk Your Way, believe Your Truth, and live Life according to Your plan. Thank You for her time now on earth, and thank You even more for her eternal life to come in heaven that will never end, because her name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord.” Psalm 127:3

HOPEFUL or HOPELESS: HOPE RIGHTLY PLACED

Hope is a good thing. Hope is a needed thing, but it matters in whom or what my hope is placed. I believe it makes all the difference in the world.

Hope misplaced is, well, hopeless. Hope rightly placed results in whatever — or Whomever — hoped for being reached or received.

If my hope lies in something or someone false or even non-existent, will I receive that for which I hope? Of course not! My hope must lie in that which has the ability or capability to fulfill my hope. My hope must be rightly placed.

Perhaps the saddest thing in life is being hopeless. To live without hope is hardly living at all. Hopelessness may be the reason for many suicidal deaths.

How different is the life promised to believers who have chosen to place our hope in Jesus Christ. The difference is abundant living versus hopelessness. (That’s only in this life on earth. It gets even more important in the  afterlife, because the difference is eternal life versus eternal death.)

Jesus said, “…I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Why would anyone choose less when it is so freely offered?

Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, so in Him hope is rightly placed. Hope will not be disappointed when placed in the One whom God gave for that purpose.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son (Jesus) that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) That’s reason for hope!

As Edward Mote, the author of the beloved hymn, “The Solid Rock,” professed in 1834: “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness….” Amen!

PRAYER: NEW HEART… NEW HOPE… NEW FUTURE

Dear Lord, You know I’ve prayed for her… for her grandparents… for her mother… for her children… for her to have a future and a hope. I realize You love her and patiently waited for her. You created her, knew her so well… knew even the number of hairs on her head. You saw her pain… and the pain of those who love her.

You understood her need for Your redemption… for Your power to change her direction… for Your joy in her life… for Your wisdom to trust You… for Your peace that passes all understanding… for Your faithfulness… even when she felt hopeless.

The dark night was real, but Your Word says joy comes in the morning! Tuesday morning brought that joy when she called her grandmother from rehab. It was the call long awaited. She at last had reached the end of herself… and the beginning of new life in Christ!

May she choose to be filled daily with Your Spirit… to find strength in Your joy… to walk in Your Way, Truth, and Life. May she experience Your hope… to pray, to grow, to share Your love. May she model godliness… as a woman… mother… daughter… granddaughter… friend….

Thank You, Lord, for the miracle of a new heart… a new hope… and a new future. Amen.

(The above prayer was inspired by true events in the life of a real person. Her recent decision brings hope to me, so I’m sharing.)