“The Story of HOPE” has been Hillsdale’s theme for December, and I hope that word has resonated in your heart as much as it has in mine. We have considered the nature of HOPE, and asserted that HOPE is lively, living, expecting, encouraging, rejoicing, inspiring, enduring, confident, and tenacious.

In 2008, a little-known freshman Senator named Barak Obama ran on the slogan, “Yes, We Can” and won the presidency of the United States. Reviving his campaign for a second term in 2012, then President Obama ran on the slogan, “Hope and Change.”

Setting politics aside, we stand at the threshold of a New Year, and I invite you to embrace a fundamental truth: “HOPE IN CHANGE!” In contrast to political slogans that carry lofty ideas, but are intentionally low on details; “HOPE IN CHANGE” is established upon a sure foundation, God’s immutable Word (2 Peter 1:19-21).

Writing to first century believers, Peter listed seven “things” that we are to pursue that not only give an assurance of salvation, but also come with the promise: “If ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:10). The “doing” of those seven “things” does not earn one’s salvation, but they are evidences and assurances that one’s faith in Christ is genuine. Virtue (moral excellence) and spiritual knowledge are the first two of the seven virtues (2 Peter 1:5). While “virtue” is committed to Do Right, “knowledge” is acquired through the study of God’s Word (2 Timothy 2:15).01 – Introduction – Hope In Change – 1 Peter 1.1-10, December 27, 2020 AM student blank

To the end that you might grow in knowledge, you are invited to join me on January 1, 2021, and begin a Two-Year Chronological Bible Reading Schedule that will take you from Genesis to Revelation. 2_year_chronological_Bible_schedule_2021

I hope to continue writing, and publishing daily, devotional commentaries at www.HeartofAShepherd.com. It is a long journey, but it is well worth the effort, on both our parts.

COVID-19 Guidelines: 1) You are encouraged to sit together in family units. Children and teens should sit with their parents. 2) Please observe “social distancing” in the building. 3) Please limit fellowship in the Lobby.

With the heart of a shepherd,

Travis D. Smith

Senior Pastor