December 4, 2016
The Greatest Gift of All – Week 1 – Jesus is our Hope
Advent: The Greatest Gift of All – Week 1 – Jesus is our Hope
What does the word Advent mean? Coming! This points to the fact that Jesus came into the world, but also that HE is coming again.
This week the theme of advent is HOPE.
Hope is elusive these days
Our world does not seem to be getting any better.
What do we hope for? PEACE, true peace
Isaiah 2:1-5 (NLT)
This is a vision that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
2 In the last days, the mountain of the Lord’s house will be the highest of all – the most important place on earth.
It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.
3 People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of Jacob’s God.
There he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths.”
For the Lord’s teaching will go out from Zion; his word will go out from Jerusalem.
4 The Lord will mediate between nations and will settle international disputes.
They will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will no longer fight against nation, nor train for war anymore.
5 Come… let us walk in the light of the Lord!
How do we measure hope? Circumstance?
Faith and Hope
Faith : Believing in And acting on what God has promised
Any promise upon which you can act and bring a result requires faith.
Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.”
Hope is something that is certain to happen because God said it would happen.
Any promise upon which I cannot act but only wait requires hope.
Marriage, Lost Spouse, Wayward child, Difficult Job
What is hope?
Rom 8:22-25 (NLT)
22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies He has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)
Hope is all about the Gospel!
What is the Gospel?
Jesus did it all, he is doing it all, and will continue to do it all until it is Complete
So how do we define Hope?
A confident expectation that God is completing His Good News.
It is all about Jesus and what He has done!
Jesus is our hope
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope.
A number of years ago, Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman wrote a book entitled Science Speaks. The book was based on the science of probability and vouched for by the American Scientific Affiliation.
It set out the odds of any one man in all of history fulfilling even only eight of the 60 major prophecies (and 270 ramifications) fulfilled by the life of Christ. The probability that Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled even eight such prophecies would be only 1 in 10 to the 17th power . That’s 1 in 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000.
Stoner claims that that many silver dollars would be enough to cover the face of the entire state of Texas two feet deep. Now I’ve been to Texas. I’ve driven for days to get across Texas. Texas is a very big state. Who in his right mind would suppose that a blindfolded man, heading out of Dallas by foot in any direction, would be able, on his very first attempt, to pick up one specifically marked silver dollar out of 100, 000, 000, 000, 000, 000?
But here is the amazing part Jesus didn’t fulfill 8 of the 60. He fulfilled 60 of the 60.
It is statistically impossible, But with God all things are possible.
And if He did that once He will do it again. Today I want you to walk away knowing this truth. No matter what it looks like out there God is still keeping His promises. Our God is faithful. He is coming again.