I'm going to post a series of things on hope and encouragement as a Mother.
This one is from Pastor Mark Nysewander (the auther of No More Spectators, Spiritual DNA, and several other titles).
What is something in your personal life you hope will be different a year
Pastor Mark’s message this week about hope was taken from I Cor. 15: 20-28. In this massage,Paul gives us a picture of hope – a hope for the present as well as a hope for the future. No other religion has this kind of hope. How does hope (or the lack thereof) affect how we live? This passage is not the easiest chapter in the Bible to understand;so read through it, and then discuss these three statements about our hope.
1. We hope in a God of ever-increasing transformation.God is taking what we see now and in waves of transformation is making something new.Some people are hoping in escape–looking at creation and its problems and wanting to get away from it. However, God is not finished with this creation. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is testimony that God wants to bring heaven and earth together.Are you hoping for escape, or are you believing in transformation? How do your beliefs affect your actions, your marriage, your family, etc.? God wants us to believe Him for more.
2. We hope in a God of ever-increasing breakthrough. In v. 22-24,we see a series of resurrections.First is the resurrection of Jesus. Next is the resurrection of believers when Jesus returns.Then, there is the resurrection of the earth at the end of this age. Many Christians want to rely on themselves (through education, technology, etc.) for change in their own lives and in their communities.What do you rely on for change in your life? Are you depending on your education,accomplishments, or other people?
3. We hope in a God of ever-increasing partnership.God still wants people to have authority over creation.Some Christians want to let God do everything because they believe we’re not worthy to be involved (fatalism).But, God wants us to partner with Him. We must partner with God for our families, our church, our community, etc.This partnership gives us incredible hope! Do you see this kind of partnership in other religions? Why does God want to partner with us – why does He even bother? We have a God who deeply loves us – there is none like our God!
If you click the title of this post it will take you to an audio podcast of the sermon.