Thursday, February 25, 2016

living with extreme hope


Remember that Christ came as a servant to the Jews to show that God is true to the promises he made to their ancestors. 9 He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote: “For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing praises to your name.” 10 And in another place it is written, “Rejoice with his people, you Gentiles.” 11 And yet again, “Praise the lord, all you Gentiles.  Praise him, all you people of the earth.” 12 And in another place Isaiah said, “The heir to David’s throne will come, and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hope on him.” 13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Have you ever discounted the work of God because you didn’t like or understand what God was doing?  That is a hard question to answer.  If we are honest, there are many times in the past that we realized we were awful foolish and even missed what God was doing,

At the point where war with words and battles of the heart begin there is hatred between people because of racism or the lines we humans draw.  It might be the lines between economic differences of the rich and poor.  On the other side of town it might be the problem of skin color or origin of birth.  No matter the problem we have to admit that God changes the definitions of accepting people and showing love.

I believe with all my heart that the grace of God is intended for every person, and every person who accepts the gift of God is fully loved by God.  As the verses above responded to humanity, Christ came for the Jew and Gentile.  Yet we know that the Jew and the Gentile didn’t like each other.  The fought each other, talked about each other and did much to see that the other couldn’t excel.

Christ gives life to all.  Salvation is for anyone.  It is time for the church and for each of us to seek to share that truth as much as we can.  I am grateful for the grace of God that embraced my life, and I love to hear stories from people of how God gave them His incredible grace.

In the last verse above there is truth that might change us even more.  I ask you to take another look at last verse from above:

Romans 8:13  NLT
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We must pray that people around us completely experience the joy and peace of God.  Joy and peace is firmly planted in and a gift from our God who is the source.  He is source of hope and of everything else.

When we show that we have experienced God and extend that grace to others, we help others live with confidence and hope.  Because you stand strong, speak about God and live by faith, others will live by faith.

Thank God for the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, who gives us real and lasting hope.  Pray that our source of hope, God Himself, will allow our confidence to influence and impact the people we come in contact with on a regular basis.  May we and others be forever changed because we choose to life with confident hope!

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