In the last three months I’ve won a whole set of tools from a top brand company, a set of carving knives, a weekend away at an island retreat, a high-tech cordless patio light, several free lunches, a coupon for free dentures, a lifetime supply of support stockings, along with a few others too indiscreet to print here. And these are daily miracles! They keep repeating the good news every day! Plus, they are sent to me from people and companies I’ve not heard of before. Now, my response to this bounty could be surprise or curiosity. Or maybe I’m reminded of the expression, ‘If it sounds too good to be true . . .’ Or I could, in my continuous, daily spam reportings, be poisoned by deepening cynicism. It is possible that I’ve been so seduced by the joy-filled, smiling faces and happy-happy atmosphere presented in a TV advertisement that I’ve visited the establishment, filled to overflowing with my lifelong naivete, only to be brusquely awakened by the reality of the in-person experience which was a ‘fail’ in living up to the hype.

And speaking of hype, have you noticed its ever-presence in our lives? It might be my bounding optimism that causes these repeats, but I’ve endured a series of disillusionments, responding to what sounded like friendly invitations. Once, I was invited for lunch only to be soundly dressed down for a list of grievances this church member had been nursing. Worse, the one-sided, non-appetizing, conversation came to an end by being informed that this individual was leaving the church. The icing on the cake? I was asked to leave the tip (FYI: Please know that I’m not a fan of bait and switch tactics).

Here’s where I want to go today: the promises of God’s Kingdom, admittedly, are not dissimilar, at first blush, to the hyped-up claims of spin doctors and marketing departments (God bless them, one and all). Mankind’s deliberate inclusion in any plan of the Creator God of the Universe is nothing short of stunning. King David, painfully aware of the fallenness of his humanity, asked: “Compared to all this cosmic glory, why would you bother with puny, mortal man or be infatuated with Adam’s sons? Yet what honor you have given to men . . .” (Ps. 8:4,5, TPT)

Question: Is it hype if it is true? If a sports match is touted to be a thrilling nailbiter, and it proves to be so, was it hype? If a concert advertiser sings the praises of the coming performer, and the event is wildly successful, was that hype? If that much-lauded cruise is promoted as being the vacation of a lifetime, and turns out that it exceeded all expectations, was that hype? If Jesus’ promise to us is that we will do greater things than he did while here on earth, and multiple millions of disciples gone before us so testify, was it hype? How then shall we live?  PD

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