|Posted by Lorraine Serra on December 7, 2011 at 1:00 PM|
It is Advent. This is called the Season of Hope.
Do you have some of that? What is it you hope for? Health, wealth, love, success, growth, unity, peace, safety, reconciliation, healed relationships?
What exactly is “hope” and how does that integrate with our faith in Jesus Christ, the “Hope of Nations”? Matthew 12:15-21
Oh my, I can already tell this discussion will get too lengthy for one article!
Let me just pluck out a priceless treasure or two for you to ponder this season. This is the season of signs, wonders and miracles….the greatest wonder of all time, Emanuel, God with us.
I truly appreciate this from Clark’s Commentary on Matthew 12:21
“And in his name shall the Gentiles trust and they shall hope. Jesus Christ is the sole hope and trust of mankind; to trust and hope in his name, Jesus, is to expect salvation and all things necessary, from him alone; to despise, comparatively, all earthly promises, to esteem, love, and desire heavenly things only, and to bear with patience and tranquility all the losses and evils of this life, upon the prospect and hope of that felicity which he has purchased for us.” (Felicity=joy and happiness)
Ah, we have lost the depth and beauty of language in the 21st century!
To hope in Jesus is to know we can trust Him for salvation and for all our needs, because He is the revealed nature of God the Father, Our Creator in the flesh: He is Light, Love and Power, and has purchased all of those attributes for us to experience as His living temples in which His Holy Spirit dwells. We are Citizens of His kingdom with access to all rights and privileges because of Jesus.
But, here is the rub….we need to believe it. We need to become fully persuaded just as Abraham was when God promised him a son in his old age. We need to grasp and plant deeply into our nerves and sinews that God makes all things possible to those who believe. Mark 9:23
We need to know who we are in Christ according to Ephesians 1. You know, it is not the truth that sets us free, but what we know of the truth that sets us free. How would you measure your knowledge of the truth? Well, here is a portion for our supply today.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrew 11:1
Another translation says “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
We can have certain hope in this: John 3:16 “God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
We can have certain hope in this: Colossians 1:13 “For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, whom he loves.”
We can have certain hope in this: Ephesians 1:3 “ All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.”
We can have certain hope in this: Romans 6:4 “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
We can have certain hope in this: John 10:10 “The thief comes not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
We can have certain hope in this: 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;"
We can have certain hope in this: Ephesians 3:12 “ In Jesus, and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.”
We can have certain hope in this: Titus 3:5 “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
We can have certain hope in this: James 4:7 “Submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil and he will flee.“
With so much certain hope, so much grace and promise poured out for us in pure, holy love, we need only respond in faith. Remember, faith is our positive, exuberant response to this grace. Believing God activates His wondrous activity in our lives to demolish the enemy, and sets us to walking in God’s strength with purpose for His glory.
Fear not, doubt not. As the song about the little town of Bethlehem so beautifully states, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Confidence, courage and victory are found in Jesus.
This Christmas, may we all receive deeply the rich gift of Jesus and submit to His Lordship with a fresh love and understanding of His value. Receive His Word which is life; honor the Giver by allowing that life to percolate within and renew our minds, and transform our thoughts, words and actions to be in agreement with Him.
The power of the Holy Spirit is already resident in us. The seeds of Holy Spirit life and power are given to all who confess that Jesus is Lord. It is left to us only to nurture those seeds, watering them daily with prayer and meditation on the Word of Truth until they bear abundant fruit.
God’s best for us is the fruit of the Spirit, Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self- control. This is the abundance Christ provides. We listen to His Word and plant it, and we reap the benefits: health, provision, wisdom, and strength, in addition to all the fruit of the Spirit. We walk in the Spirit, in newness of life, and stand firm in the freedom of Christ’s gift of grace.
So, what are you hoping for this Christmas? A new life! A vibrant, victorious life! A life befitting a Citizen of the Kingdom of God! We reign because Christ reigns! He has made all things new.
Blessed Lord. Praise to You, My King, My Redeemer,
I am thankful, Lord, that Your truth has strengthened us to walk in faith this year. For my family, despite unemployment we have seen You meet all our needs and we lack for nothing. You led us to go deeper with You, and brought us into a new ministry to prisoners and it is an awesome blessing! We have learned to trust You more, and witnessed Your faithfulness again. Lord, You are so good!
In the lives of friends, we have seen Your healing touch for all kinds of illnesses, and jobs for those who had not. You have brought students to success in their studies, and perseverance to those who study and minister Your Word. You are comfort to the afflicted and grieving, you continue to bind up the broken hearted. You have received faithful servants to their rest in Your eternal kingdom.
You stir us up to speak of Your goodness and Your grace, and grant us courage to stand against the world's systems, to shut the mouth of the enemy who seeks to tears us down, steal, kill and destroy in the area of marriages, addictions, and health.
You send out Your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth. Teach us to cling to You all the more, and stand confidently in Your righteousness, healing power and grace, In You there is life and peace.
Glorious, Lord. You reign. You alone are worthy of all our praise.
Thank you, Jesus.
Please feel free to celebrate Christ's presence in your life. Share with us an event, a revelation, a praise, a transformation. Bless His Holy Name!
Categories: Reigning in Christ: Kingdom Living