Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Week 1 Hope

Isaiah 2:4-5

We are a people of hope living in the world with anticipation of how God would desire for it to be.   Our participation in this desire of God always draws us closer to Him and brings it closer each day.

The scripture points out that He will settle disputes between nations and people.  Not the power of our armies, or the strength of our weapons.  The true judge will render that unnecessary, for both his judgement and justice will be true and final.

The repurposing of time, energy, and resources will move us from death to life.  Swords used for killing will now be turned into plows for tilling the earth to plant crops and sustain life.  Spears turned into a means to provide life.

Nation will not need to train and study war anymore.  Training for what is no longer necessary.  Not need to become efficient in the art of death, destruction, power, and might.

Come people of God, let us walk in the light of the Lord.  We have walked in a way for so long it seems like it is just “the” way of the world.  Nations must be prepared to fight and defend.  While other nations carry that on to conquering and expanding their borders and influence.  When the righteous judge of nations comes to us it will no longer be necessary to study war anymore.

When the Lord comes, we will walk in the light of the Lord.  Yes, come quickly Lord that we may walk in your light.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 1 Hope

1 Thessalonians 2:8

“We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us.”

Does our love for people go beyond just a sense that we need to share the gospel with them?  Too often we have sought for people know about Christ by the sharing of the gospel.  It is powerful and can change hearts and lives.  We go from learning about Christ to knowing Christ and the power of his resurrection alive and at work in the world today because it is alive in us.

For years, we reported numbers and information to our denominational bodies as a tool for gauging our effectiveness in sharing the gospel.  This may not seem bad, but is too narrow view of the life changing transformation that comes from each of these encounters with Christ.  We run the risk of seeing people as a number, a commodity, rather than seeing them.

The sharing of the gospel should always include the sharing of our lives.  It is not my life any longer but Christ living in me.  The love of a gospel devoid of relationship is a flawed understanding of the gospel.  We are saved “from” our sins and “for” a purpose.  The purpose that we share the life changing gospel of Christ with others as we share our lives with them.

This is the hope we have, that in the doing and sharing of life and the gospel together we become the presence of Christ in the world today.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 1 Hope

Isaiah 1:18-20

“Whiter Than Snow”

Dingy streets filled with the dirt and clutter of life

The noise of life overpowers the screams of our souls

Then a single pure flake captures our attention

Almost impossible to focus on, but hard to ignore

Then…just as the first appeared

A rush of snowflakes falling into the dingy intersections of our lives

Blanketing the worn and weary comings and goings of our lives

The screams of our souls are heard and honored

By the dizzying snowflakes, clapping silently together as they fall

Their presence, not their sound drowns out the noise that fills our lives

Changing the landscape to something almost unrecognizable to its former self

No longer dingy, worn, and weary

But beautiful, pure, and gleaming

Reflecting the light of the sun.