Posts Tagged ‘Hope

15
Sep
17

The Hope We Have

As children of God, we have hope in Christ that when Jesus appears, we will not only see Him, but we will be taken to our heavenly home to be with Him forever. John wrote:

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. – 1 John 3:2-3 (NIV)

What is your hope that you have? Is it the hope of Heaven?  Or is it merely a hope that things may get better in this life? Do you know where you’re going when you die? If you are a child of God who has been saved and forgiven through Jesus, your hope is in Heaven. Don’t forget that today! When you face trials and tests, remember that there is so much more waiting for you beyond this life. These things will pass, but your hope will remain.
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07
Aug
17

We Have Hope

Followers of Jesus are living for more than this life. We have a hope beyond the seventy or eighty years we get on this planet. We are living for the billions of years we will live in Heaven with Christ. Proverbs says that we should neither be afraid of those who seek to do us harm nor should we be jealous of those on whom God’s judgment will fall. Proverbs 24 says:

Do not fret because of evildoers
or be envious of the wicked,

20 for the evildoer has no future hope,
    and the lamp of the wicked will be snuffed out. – Proverbs 24:19-20 (NIV)

There’s no reason to be afraid because we’ve got nothing to lose. No matter what persecution may come, our hope is in Heaven. No matter how the wicked may prosper in this life, they have no hope of eternity. Don’t worry about the temporary pain or difficult circumstances of this life. Instead, keep your eyes on Heaven. Heaven awaits and the One who waits for us there keeps His promises.
02
Jan
17

Thankful For Another Year

The first message of 2017 from Griffith First Christian Church in Griffith, Indiana.  This talk is based on Psalm 65.

06
Dec
16

Come Back To The Manger

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.  When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.  But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. — Luke 2:16-20 (NIV)

I love that the shepherds returned to the manger after telling everyone about the baby that was born there.  It’s almost as if they had to go back to see it with their own eyes again.  I think that this is why we celebrate Christmas every year.  We need to return to the place where it all began.  We need to journey back to Bethlehem and visit the manger once again.  We need to be reminded of how God put on flesh and became like us.  That God took on human form in the person of Jesus Christ.  He felt what we feel.  He breathed the air we breathe.  He wept like we weep and He laughed like we laugh.  Jesus was real and it all started the same way we all started out: as a tiny baby.  The gift of that tiny baby is the greatest gift we could ever hope to receive.  May our lives be lived in gratitude and thanksgiving for the manger of Bethlehem and for the baby that the shepherds found there.  The journey to Calvary and our forgiveness began there and that is why we need to go back there this year.

PRAYER: Thank You, Lord Jesus, for becoming like one of us. Thank You for the hope that You brought to earth. Thank You for the peace that You bring into my life. Amen.

28
Sep
16

No Disappointment In Hope

…we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. — Romans 5:2b-5 (NIV)
I’ve spent this morning talking with several people who are having a tough time of things.  There’s the woman whose sister has cancer.  There’s the family that is facing hard times on two different fronts.  There’s the young man whose baby has a mysterious illness.  There’s the woman facing a possible surgery soon.  All of them sound broken and beat up by life.  They are facing times of hopelessness and disappointment.
It is so hard to focus on the positive aspects of trials and tribulations when we are in the midst of them.  When we are in the thick of the frustrations and disappointments of life, it is so difficult to say, “This is making me stronger!  This is helping my faith grow!”  No!  We get angry and we weep and we sigh and we cry some more.  We want answers and we don’t want to wait for them.  We want things to go our way for once!  We don’t want easy Sunday school answers.  We want real hope in a time of hopelessness.  We want stability in an unstable world.  We want things to stay the same when everything is changing all around us.
The good news is that God doesn’t change.  His love doesn’t change.  His character never changes.  His Word never changes.  Hope doesn’t change.  He is there, loving us with a fierce, compassionate love as a father loves his child.  He is merciful and He is kind.  He gives peace in the midst of the storm.  He gives hope, even in the midst of the disappointments of life.  He showers us with blessings even when we can’t see them.  May He pour out His love on you and give you hope today.
PRAYER: Father God, we are in need of hope in our country and in our lives. We know that You are the source of hope. Help me to not feel discouraged and disappointed by the difficult circumstances of my life and to know that You will work everything out for the best possible good. In Jesus’ name, amen.
02
Sep
16

Against All Hope

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.  Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. — Romans 4:18-21 (NIV)

We are living in hopeless times.  Our confidence in our economy and in our leaders is wavering.  Promises have been made by politicians (on both sides of the aisle) and while some have come to fruition, for the most part they have not been kept.  It seems as though companies are laying off more and more employees every day.  ISIS is on the rampage.   The threat of terrorist attacks is still very real.  Nations like North Korea are working on nuclear missile programs.  There is gun violence in the streets of Chicago where hundreds have been killed in what seems like a war zone.   Is there any hope?  Is our situation truly hopeless?  Not at all.

All Abraham had was God’s promise to be the father of many nations.  As the years passed, hope, like a burning candle, seemed to grow smaller and smaller.  Yet, hope continued to flicker.  Paul wrote that Abraham’s faith did not weaken.  He did not waver in unbelief.  In human comprehension, hope was gone.  But with God, there is always hope.  God has the power to do what He promises to do.  Do you believe that?  Where is your hope today?  Is it in an economic forecast or a politician?  Or is your faith and hope in the power of the God who does the impossible?  He is the God who provides and the God who loves and the God who, by His Son, forgives and gives real hope.

PRAYER: Father in Heaven, I need hope today. I need hope that things will get better. I need hope that this life isn’t all there is. I need hope that You are still in control. I need the hope of Jesus. Help me to trust in You. Amen.

31
Aug
16

The Scandal Of Living Water

John 4:7-14 (NIV)

When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Jesus, in His encounter with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, speaks of living water. This was quite a scandalous scene. Jesus, a Jew, was speaking with a Samaritan, which as John points out, was unacceptable. Not only that, but Jesus was a man and He had approached a woman, which also was socially unacceptable. Samaritan women were seen as “unclean from birth” and Jesus asking her for water may have been misconstrued as flirting with her (IVP Bible Background Commentary). Jesus wasn’t concerned about social customs or appearances. He was more concerned with His mission – to seek and to save the lost.

What if we, as followers of Jesus, could be more devoted to our mission than to keeping up appearances? What if we could be more devoted to Jesus than we are to worrying about what others may think? What if we could be more devoted to Jesus than to man-made legalistic rules about the people we interact with? What if we could be more devoted to the cause of Christ than we are to being free from the charge of guilt by association? We’d meet people where they are, wouldn’t we? We’d be in the bars talking about living water to those sipping on gin and tonics or nursing drinks to escape their pain. We’d be dispensing grace like water on a hot day to people dying of thirst in places we don’t normally go to. Let’s stop worrying about what others think and break through some barriers to do what Jesus did – take the living water of hope to those who are very thirsty.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I want to be like You and to take Your message of love, hope and grace to a world in desperate need of it. Help me to be more concerned with what You think than with what others may think of me. In Your name, amen.



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