Hope of Christmas

 
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Key Text: Matthew 2:1-2 Romans 8:18-25

There are times in life when we fall down and we don’t feel as though we have the strength to get back up. Fear and anxiety comes in, doubt enters into our lives. Maybe you are someone uncertain about the future and it scares you.Life can be difficult and harsh and there are times we live with the hope things will get better. But there is a true hope, to be found in Christ Jesus and is found nowhere else.

Do you have true and living hope entering this Christmas season?’ The Magi in that first Christmas account, went looking for Jesus the messiah with the intent of worshipping Him.

Christian writer J. J Packer Quote: The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity–hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory because at the Father’s will Jesus became poor and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross.

What exactly is hope? One definition states, ‘Hope is, desire, with the expectation of getting what is desired.’ - We cannot hope for that which we neither desire or expect to receive. Sometimes our hope can be misplaced. There are those who hope to receive eternal life in heaven without acknowledging Jesus the Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.

C. Sproul - Quote: Hope is called the anchor of the soul Hebrews 6:19, because it gives stability to the Christian life. But hope is not simply a ‘wish’ (I wish that such-and-such would take place); rather, it is that which latches on to the certainty of the promises of the future that God has made. Hope is as necessary to the human spirit as oxygen is to the physical body. When we lose all hope we are overcome with feelings of senselessness, purposelessness and despair. Lack of hope destroys lives. If we take the time to look it up, we will find that hope is ALWAYS connected in some way to God. God is the author of hope, Romans 15:13 tells us "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Our God is the God of hope and in the text is a prayer that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Colossians it states that Christ dwelling in us is our ‘hope of glory’. Over and over again we see that our hope is connected with our relationship with Jesus Christ. Charles Spurgeon went as for to say: ‘Without Jesus there is no hope.’ Sin has caused the world to fall from the perfect state in which God created it. The world is in bondage to death and decay and so cannot fulfil its intended purpose. But one day, creation will be liberated and transformed. Romans 8:21 We may see the world as it is but we do not need to be pessimistic because we have a hope for future glory. Hope connects us with our future just as memories connected us with our past. How do we know what has happened to us in the past? We know through our memories, we can think back at what happened. That is what hope does for our future. How do we know what will happen in the future? We have hope, in the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes it may take longer than we expect to come to pass. But instead of acting like impatient children we wait patiently 25 for God’s will to unfold in our life. We can have confidence in Him. The hope that we have tells us that our salvation is past present and future. Past because we are saved the moment we believed in Jesus as saviour our new life, eternal life begins at that moment. It’s present because we are being saved in the process of sanctification, being made holy. Whilst we can be confident in our salvation, we can look ahead with hope and trust toward the complete transformation of body and soul beyond this life.
  1. Word of God Gives Hope. Romans 15:4 ‘For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."
  • The scriptures give to us hope. The stories of those who have gone before us in faith, give us hope.
  1. Cross of Jesus Christ gives us Hope The cross reminds us that someone loves us and that someone is master of the universe, He is Lord of all, King of kings. There is no greater love then the love Jesus has for the saints of God. A love by which He came to earth in human form, lived and died for our sins, paid the price of our sins with His own blood.
  1. The Empty Tomb gives us hope. The resurrection of Christ assures us that we can change. Jesus was born to die true but He was also born to give life. Many times we wallow in our sin thinking we cannot change, that there is no hope. We just resign ourselves saying that is just the way things are, that is just who I am. That is not the truth, there is hope. If God can take a body that had been dead for three days and give life, then we can be confident He can and will change us.
Romans 6:3-11 (Msg) Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. We know that when Jesus was raised from the dead it was a signal of the end of death-as-the-end. Never again will death have the last word. When Jesus died, he took sin down with him, but alive he brings God down to us. From now on, think of it this way: Sin speaks a dead language that means nothing to you; God speaks your mother tongue, and you hang on every word. You are dead to sin and alive to God. That’s what Jesus did. Without Christ there is no hope. Without God in our lives, there is no true hope. "Life with Christ is an endless hope, life without Christ is a hopeless end." The Magi’s in the Christmas story invite us to search for Jesus ourselves, to find this living hope and having found this hope in Jesus, to worship Him.

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