Hope Fellowship Blog

Posts by Pastor Eric Channing

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The Future is in God’s Hands

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It is difficult to find those who will always tell us the truth, even when it's hard to do so. There are far more people who would rather not rock the boat, or who fear the relational consequences of communicating hard truths. There is Someone who can always be trusted to tell us the truth, and that One is God. As the Babylonian exile was ending, God's people were likely ...

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Worries of the Future & The Sovereignty of God

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Do you ever wonder what is happening in our present day? How should we make sense of the ideologies, the political instability, and the wars (and rumors of wars) that dominate our world? Daniel's original audience was likely wondering similar things. During such times of difficulty, God often uses apocalyptic writing to communicate to His people throughout His Word. This ...

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The Lion's Den

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Dear Hope Fellowship, It's one of the most familiar stories in the Bible. Kids and adults alike know it well. Daniel and the lion's den. The leaders of Babylon are jealous of Daniel, so they plot to bring him down. The only potential area of vulnerability is in relation to his God. But Daniel fears God, not man. He will not compromise, no matter the cost. This famous st...

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Understanding the Writing on the Wall

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In its modern usage, understanding the "writing on the wall" means to perceive danger or bad news ahead. For example, when a college football coach endures a losing season, the "writing on the wall" is often that his job is in jeopardy. This common phrase originated from Daniel chapter 5, which is Sunday's preaching passage. In the story, King Belshazzar sees a human hand...

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God Reigns

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Do you know people whose pride has blinded them to God's work in their lives? King Nebuchadnezzar was such a man. He seemingly had it all, and he mistakenly thought his vast prosperity was due to his own effort. In Daniel 4, God used another bad dream and a humbling experience to open his eyes. This example helps us to see that God can reach anyone, no matter how far away...

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A Mysterious Dream

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When was the last time you were awakened by a troubling dream? It's not a good feeling. If you think that's bad, now imagine being a ruler during a time where dreams give insight into your reign. In that scenario, troubling dreams become even more troublesome. That's where Nebuchadnezzar finds himself as we pick up the story in Daniel chapter 2. The most powerful man on t...

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God is in Control

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When life feels out of control, we must never forget that God is in control. Be encouraged today that if you love Him and are called according to His purpose, He always works all things together for good (Rom. 8:28). No matter how impossible that may seem at the moment. Viewing our life under the control of God changes the way we process our deepest trials, and it even ch...

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Good Friday and Easter: Remembering the Gospel

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Over the next few days we get the opportunity to reflect upon the Gospel and recalibrate our lives accordingly. There are many important truths to believe in this life, but only one is of foremost importance. That is the truth of the gospel. In 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Paul summarizes this life-changing message in succinct form:"that Christ died for our sins in accordance wit...

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Ordination

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On Sunday we have the privilege of celebrating Pastor Jared's ordination to gospel ministry. You may be wondering, "What is ordination and why is it important?" Let me briefly explain. Ordination is the church's way of testing and approving those who are called by God to serve in pastoral ministry (2 Tim. 2:15). Essentially, through ordination the church is saying, "We wh...

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The Posture for A Lifetime of Prayer

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How do we obey the command to "Pray without ceasing?" (1 Thess. 5:17) Examining the commands that come before and after will move us closer to the answer. Paul says, "Rejoice always" in verse 16 and "give thanks in all circumstances" in verse 18. Even so, if you're like me, the absolutes of these commands can make them seem daunting, if not impossible. Friends, our Savio...

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Supplication

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When you pray, what do you find yourself asking God for most often? For many of us, that is an easy answer. Current life circumstances dominate our conversation with God: Health issues. Relational difficulties. Stressors at work or at home. While these are important (and valid) issues to bring to our Heavenly Father, we must pay attention to the fact that the Apos...

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Jesus Our High Priest

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When was the last time you felt unworthy to come before God? Do you have a nagging sense that you must "clean up" before entering his presence? If so, Jesus fully understands your struggle. If you are a follower of Jesus, dwell upon this glorious truth about your Savior today: "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who i...

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Thanksgiving

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If we want to flourish, we must make a habit of giving thanks. More specifically, we must make a habit of giving thanks to God. That's how God has wired every human being. Bad things happen when we deny God the thanks that He is due. We lose perspective. We naturally turn inward, and we forget the big picture. Long-term, neglecting thanksgiving leads down a perilous path ...

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Confession

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Whenever we do something wrong, our natural tendency is to minimize, cover up, or ignore the wrongdoing. This is foolish and unwise. Why? It's because you cannot prosper without confessing your sins. Does that sound a bit extreme? If so, listen to what God says in Proverbs 28:13: "Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes the...

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Adoration

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When we typically talk about adoring someone (or something), it means we hold whatever it is in high esteem. We adore newborn babies. We adore our favorite pets. We adore our special friends and loved ones. However, the word "adore" means much more. According to Webster's Dictionary, to "adore" primarily means, "to worship or honor as a deity or as divine." That means that...

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What to Do about the Lord’s Prayer

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"Our Father in heaven, hallowed by your name." What is your relationship to the Lord's prayer? If you've been in any Christian context throughout your life, you have almost certainly been exposed to it. Some of you recited this prayer each week, without much thought about the actual words. Others of you know the prayer, but it hasn't affected your life. Still others of yo...

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What Jesus Says about Prayer

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If you are like many Christians, there's a good chance that talking about your personal prayer life fills you with guilt and/or shame. You have a sense that you "should" be praying more, butyou aren't. You wish you had more of a desire to pray, butyou don't. What is the way forward? A good place to start is Jesus' teaching on prayer from the Sermon on the Mount. This Sund...

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The Essential Nature of The Word and Prayer

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If we want to function as a Christ-centered community, we need His Word dwelling within us and we need to pray. These God-given means of grace help us worship Him, and God uses them to grow, sustain, and protect us, and to transform us into His likeness. So I ask you today: are you regularly using these means of the Bible and prayer in your personal walk with Jesus? Often...

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Rejoice: The Redeemer Has Come!

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As we are nearing Christmas, I hope your excitement is building. We get to celebrate the coming of our King! It is fitting for those of us who believe in Jesus to pull out all the stops for him. He is worthy of all the honor and attention that we will give Him this Christmas. That's because theOne who was born in Bethlehem thousands of years ago is the light of the world. ...

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The Life-Changing Reality of the Resurrection

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How does Jesus' resurrection affect you each day? May it never become "normal" or routine information for those of us who follow Christ. Because the resurrection changes everything. It proves that there is hope beyond the grave, and it gives us incredible power to live as God intends. Without the resurrection, our faith is futile and we are people to be pitied (1 Cor. 15:1...

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Can I get a Witness?

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In a court room, being a witness means testifying to what you know and what you have seen and experienced. In life, being a witness for Jesus is much the same. One main difference is that we don't need to wait until we're asked a question to witness about Jesus' work in our lives. Instead Jesus calls us to "go" and tell others the good news: "The King has come! There is ho...

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Competing Kingdoms

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Dear Hope Fellowship, The Christmas season is upon us, which means the battle for our hearts has begun. The question is: whose kingdom is going to win- the world's or God's? Over the next month, the world will fight relentlessly to focus our attention upon the stuff we can give (and get!), and it will try to make us feel incomplete without these things. Conversely, God w...

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Thankfulness

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As the turkey settles in your stomach, don't let thankfulness slip away from your mind. God commands us to be a thankful people; in fact, it's His will for us (1 Thess. 5:18). When we take time to thank the Lord, He transforms us, and He shifts our perspective to where it needs to be. What am I thankful for, on this day after Thanksgiving? Too many things to list, but one...

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Facing Life's Trials with Courage

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Do you ever wonder why this world is so broken? Why bad things happen to "good" people? Undoubtedly, we can all agree that our world is not as it should be. Often, it's hard to make sense of the troubles in the big world "out there," let alone those trials "in here," which come to us without warning. God's Word always speaks to the reality of the world. He never hides the...

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Finding Joy

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In John 15 Jesus presents an extended metaphor to describe our relationship with Him: He is the vine and we (believers) are the branches. His goal? That we might experience fullness of joy. Come on Sunday as we learn what it means to abide in Christ and find lasting joy. In Christ, Pastor Eric...

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Receiving Power to Obey Jesus

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Do you ever find it challenging to obey the Lord? Like there are so many areas left undone in your walk with Jesus? If so, you are not alone. That's why, when Jesus says "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15), it can feel like just another heavy weight that you are unable to carry. Here's the secret- you are unable to carry that weight on your own. T...

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Why Should You Believe in Jesus?

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The unbelieving world could not be more wrong about Jesus. The prevailing narrative says that it's narrow and old fashioned to follow Him. Or, that it's all about following rules, what you're against, and what you cannot do. What is the truth? The truth is that following Jesus is the most exciting life imaginable. It is a life that enables you to live as you were intended,...

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Love and Betrayal

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To love is to be vulnerable. When you love deeply, there's always a risk of getting hurt. For some, this aversion to being hurt prevents them from being willing to give (or receive) love. Not Jesus. He loves us so lavishly, at a great cost to himself. He serves his enemies, even those who will reject and betray him. When he knew it was time to go to the cross and depart t...

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Unbelief

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Do you ever wonder why people don't believe in Jesus? It doesn't seem rational when you consider the facts. The Bible presents the world as one covered in darkness. This external darkness is mirrored by the internal darkness of our own hearts, which means we do not naturally see and perceive these realities. Cue Jesus. The Bible presents Jesus as the Light of the world, t...

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Competing Glory

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The world tells us that our best life is "now." Therefore, we are told, we must seize the day. Tick off those items from our bucket list. Stand out. Promote yourself. Fulfill your destiny. Every day we are bombarded with a form of the message that says, "Today is all you've got, so love life and make the most of it." Enter Jesus. His way is different, and His message is o...

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