Have you ever been dehydrated?
Like, truly dehydrated?
It’s a terrible feeling. It’s also a little humbling. It doesn’t matter how strong you are, how much you exercise, without liquid, it won’t be very long until you can barely get off the couch.
When it comes to living the Christian life, you might say hope is a little like liquid. If you take away a person’s hope, they will quickly become spiritually dehydrated, and as a result, very weak.
It’s not too surprising then, our hope is constantly coming under attack. On the one hand, we are being tempted to stop putting our hope in God. On the other, we are being tempted to start putting our hope in other things.
If we are going to be hopeful people, we are going to need to work at it.
Peter puts it like this,
Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13)
Did you catch the word fix? Not let your hope drift to the grace to be brought to you. Put it there. Deliberately.
But how? How can we work on hoping in our hope?
There are a number of ideas that come to mind:
And that’s just a start. But let me quickly highlight one main way God’s given us to help us hope.
The Old Testament!
Paul says in Romans 15:4,
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scripture we might have hope.
Over the past several Sundays I have been praying God would increase your hope as we dive into the Old Testament in order to better understand it. Initially the plan was for this to be a four week series, but now it is six. Though, I think this Sunday should be our last in this particular Old Testament overview. I know it’s been a bit different as we have been looking at a number of passages and having to consider a lot of information, but I hope it has been helpful, and especially that God’s using it to enable you to enjoy the Old Testament more and grow in ability to fix your hope on God and His great redemptive plan.
Come praying! Come expectant! Come ready to grow and change!
You are doing great. I am so impressed by the notes the children bring to Marda. So many of you have really creative ideas for helping your children benefit from the messages. I am so encouraged!
This Sunday we are going to be looking at a number of Scriptures once again! I am hoping once we dive into the gospel of Luke a bit it will be a little easier for the children, but they are going to perhaps have to come ready to do a little work this Sunday as we consider what we mean when we say that Jesus is the Messiah.
And, that would be the word the little ones could listen for. At the end of this letter, I’ve given a short sermon “fill in the blank” worksheet that may help them follow along. Here is the link to the powerpoint which you might print out for them. Additionally, here are some questions you can ask them afterward. (These probably will be more helpful for the older children. But you can always try even with the younger ones!) You might even give them these questions before the service and encourage them to be listening for the answers.
Welcome, Announcements and Call to Worship
Worship in Song:
Scripture Reading (Psalm 110) and Pastoral Prayer
Preaching of God’s Word: Selected Scriptures
Response Song: Thy Mercy, My God