Welcome to the Thriving Hope Podcast from Southern California, where we preach the word, teach the word and discuss important topics. This podcast exists to encourage the younger generation to thrive in their relationship with God through bible studies, biblical exposition and life counseling. Our mission is to help our listeners grow deep roots in the word of God, while teaching them how to live their life walking in The Spirit and finally, our goal is to strengthen and solidify their hope in the Lord Jesus Christ through edifying Christ-centered content. www.thrivinghopeministries.org
Episode 13: "Am I wasting my life?"
King Solomon said in the Book of Ecclesiastes chapter 1 verse 2, " Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher (himself), vanity of vanities! All is vanity." ESV.
The word Ecclesiastes comes from the Hebrew word "Qoheleth", meaning, "a collector (of sentences)", "a Preacher"; which is a rare term found only in this book of the Bible. This word comes from the Hebrew word "Qahal" which means too "convoke an assembly to assemble". Essentially, the word means "a preacher" and the English word that we use comes from the Greek word 'Ekklesiastes", that derives from the word "Ekklesia": "assembly", "congregation" or "church", and it means "A Preacher". The title of the book of Ecclesiastes literally means "One Who Addresses an Assembly" or "Speaker Before an Assembly".
Though this episode is not about the book of Ecclesiastes, it's amazing how the speaker of this book was the wisest, richest, and most influential king in Israel's history, but in the latter years of his life would write this book as "a preacher" of God to the World; to every person that would ever read this book, warning them of the vanities of living a life without knowing God or living for Him.
From the humanistic perspective, King Solomon declares that life is completely vain; from the pursuits of wisdom, to extreme wealth, luxury and lavish living. King Solomon reiterates the reality that life is completely vain with all of its pursuits without God. But, his entire perspective changes when life becomes about loving God and obeying Him.
On today's episode, we will explore the reality of the vanities of a life lived apart from the Lord and ask the difficult question, "Am I wasting my life?"
Episode 12: "Confidence in the day of judgement."
After a long break, we are finally back with a new episode!
On Today's episode, we will cover what is known as the scariest passage of Scripture in the Bible, Matthew 7:21-23 which says:
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ - (NKJV)
These are the words of the Lord, Jesus Christ, from the Sermon on the mount.
Many Christians are terrified of these verses and it's a cause of much anxiety and fear. But, my question is this: Doesn't Jesus know His sheep and they know Him?
“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.””
John 10:14-16, 27-30 NKJV
Why should someone known by Christ fear the words from Matthew 7:23, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!"?
What did Jesus literally say in the greek there? What is the context of those words? What does it mean to know and be known by God and abide in the love of God through Jesus Christ and not walk in fear of Judgement?
The one who knows God and is known by God abides in His love and has confidence in the day of judgement.
"By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.”
I John 4:13-19 NKJV
The purpose of this episode is to bring greater understanding to what this verse means to the one who is walking in the light vs the one who is walking in darkness; to the disciple, the person who's walking with God and the one who loves darkness and has no relationship with God.
This message is a journey of freedom from fear for the believer and a message of sobriety for the hearts and minds that wrestle with this verse as followers of Christ. Please open your Bibles with me in this journey and read for yourselves. There's a lot of scripture and comfort in this message. But at the end of the day, this scripture is still sobering and will be a terrifying reality for many. Hopefully, after listening to this message, you will either grow in your confidence in where you stand in your walk with Christ, or make the changes necessary to repent and seek the Lord according to truth and righteousness, and see the beauty of the Gospel manifested in the love and grace of God upon your life.
Episode 11: "Unrealistic expectations and unnecessary complications in Christian dating."
In today's episode, we will be covering the issues associated with unrealistic expectations in dating, and the unnecessary complications that often befall Christian relationships.
For the younger generation, the church has over-spiritualized the concept of Christian dating/courting, without really emphasizing the significance behind the principles of biblical marriage and the function of the relationship itself after two people have already gotten married.
Something the Lord spoke to my heart regarding this was, “Forget your expectations. This is My will and I want you to operate within this reality."
Setting unrealistic expectations for dating and marriage is a major issue that creates problems in Christian dating. Sometimes what kills relationships is when unrealistic expectations are made before individuals (potential mates) are known. We have preconceived expectations of how someone is supposed to be before we even meet them or even get a chance to know who the person is. Then we judge and rate the person that we're dating based on a scale of what we want in a potential spouse. Which often is not in alignment with what God wants for us to look for in a spouse, and it's often completely different than the person He has prepared for us.
In this podcast we will be covering 3 main points:
1: Addressing the societal problem:
Selfishness in our pursuits.
2: Marriage is an option, not a prerequisite to advancing your spirituality:
Importance of being Biblically and rationally selective.
3: Prioritize the things that matter in a potential spouse:
Avoid praying selfishly according to the flesh.
And lastly, we will talk about being the right spouse for someone else:
- Why it's also important to pray and work intentionally towards being a good spouse for the person we marry, rather than just bringing a selfish list of what we want in a spouse to God and having Him deliver us a wife/husband thats exactly what we want.
Episode 10: "The truth behind the lies of Porn."
In today's episode, we will be discussing porn, my personal testimony of porn addiction, the root of the reason behind why we use porn as a coping mechanism for the real issues in our lives, and overcoming the unbelief that leaves us in a state of bondage to what Christ has already freed us from.
Believe it or not, finding freedom from porn is easier than we think.
If you've struggled with porn in your life like I have, you've probably felt hopeless and like you've exhausted all your options and yet, still go back to it.
Maybe you've prayed for God to take porn away and its still not gone... Maybe you've thought, why hasn't God "taken it away" yet?
Well, here's the truth.... Porn isn't actually the problem. I'm not saying watching porn isn't a problem, because it is. But what I am saying is that porn is just one of many vices we use to cope with the real problem or problems in our lives! See, the real issue isn't porn, it's why we go to it... Insert any other drug, and the question remains the same. Why do we go to it?
In this podcast, we will get under the truth behind the lies of porn, and uproot the real issues that lead to substance abuse disorders (or addictions) related to sex and pornography.
Long story short, the answer is Jesus, knowing who we are in the eyes of the Father and surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit; Who is working and willing in us to live in freedom. We must learn to know God in this area of our hearts, invite Him in and allow God to heal the real issues in our lives and let Him fill the voids in our lives that we try to fill with porn.
Episode 9: “The Blessings Of Singleness!”
In this episode, we will be talking about the benefits and the blessings of Singleness from a Biblical perspective. For both men and women when it comes to singleness, culturally and socially there is this indoctrination that begins when we are very young that teaches us that singleness is something that we shouldn’t embrace or desire, and that if you’re single that means that you have to get out of being single as soon as possible! Or that you are perhaps unattractive, unsuitable or unworthy of long-term happiness. Which is not true at all. Cultural normalities that are imposed and taught to us when we are young, generate these cultural mores that in most cases lead people to believe that singleness is a curse! And being single is something bad and that if you’re single for a prolonged period of time, somehow that means something is wrong with you or your appearance, and now your capacity to ever be loved by someone is diminished, or even nonexistent. But the Bible tells a much different story about Singleness!
Singleness to the Christian is an enablement to grow a lot as a person and to serve The Lord in a much greater capacity, because you only have to worry about God and yourself. During the years that you’re single as a believer, your priority and pursuit should be Christ and His kingdom above everything else. In your singleness, you will find joy and contentment as you grow in Christ, grow as a person, get rooted in His Word and empowered by His Spirit to do the things that He’s called you to do prior to getting married (if marriage is even a desire for you). Jesus is the greatest Love that life offers! Focusing on Him will empower you to find great joys and satisfaction in your time as a single person. And remember, you’re never alone! As a Child of God, you’re filled with the Spirit of God and you’re always surrounded by love Himself no matter where you are in life.
Episode 8: "Why does God allow bad things to happen?"
On today's episode, we will discuss a question that many people throughout history have pondered on and struggled with, including believers and followers of Christ. As a preface to this topic, please understand that I am not God and therefore I cannot give you a perfect answer to this question. However, as His child, I will attempt to answer this question Biblically, that's in alignment with His heart towards humanity, and in a way that is consistent with who He is, who He has always been and who He will always be.