Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23 NRSV)

A pastor tells of leading a group of children in a scavenger hunt around a lake. The children divided into teams, boys versus girls, in order to be first to gather the objects on the list. The hardest item to find was a bird feather. The girls stayed close to home base and quickly finished their list, including finding a feather.

The boys, not knowing the game was already over, decided to race all the way around the lake. The pastor heard one of the boys yell. He looked to see all the boys, as a team, running toward the finish line. As they got close, he could see what they were carrying and could hear what they were yelling. The young man in the lead was holding in one hand a dead prairie chicken by its feet. The young man screamed as he ran, "We struck it rich!" The pastor commenting on this incident says, "How easy it is to mistake for treasure a mere handful of feathers!"

And that is true. The next time you hear someone talk about being spiritual, ask them if they are talking about living under the rule of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And we could add, the God of Sarah, Rebekah and Rachel. Ask them if they are talking about the God who said, "Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not commit adultery." Ask them if they are talking about the God who became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Ask them if it is the God who says, "You shall love Me with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." For only when THAT God reigns in our lives is there true hope.

Dear God, thank you for giving me hope and reminding me of the hope I have in you. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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