Monday, March 23, 2015

A Living Hope Never Dies

- According to God's abundant/ infinite mercy (and grace), He has given us new birth (spiritual birth/regeneration which includes an adoption into His family), a living hope (of eternal life) through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead , and an imperishable inheritance (true riches that never fade, decay, or are defiled by sin, kept in Heaven for us). Let us rejoice in the Lord always and bless/praise/glorify and thank Him! "Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy Name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits." (Psalm 103:1-2)
- "Mercy is kindness and good-will toward the miserable and afflicted, joined with a desire to relieve them." (Marvin Vincent) "Grace meets man’s need in respect to his guilt and lost condition; mercy, with reference to his suffering as a result of that sin." (K. S. Wuest)  Grace = we get what we do not deserve. Mercy = we do not get what we deserve.
- "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God." (1 Peter 1:23) "At your first birth, you were born in sin; but now you have been born again, through grace, by the almighty power of God. Notice, also, unto what you are born,--unto a hope that is full of life, a lively hope, a hope of immortality a hope whose root is in the grave of Christ, the empty grave from which He has risen, and which is the assurance that because He has risen, you also shall rise." (Charles Spurgeon) By God's grace and mercy, we are made new (born of the Spirit) and we live a new life (Romans 6:4), conformed to the will of God.

- Biblical hope is alive and certain because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Because He lives, so does our hope! Biblical hope is confident expectancy. Life without Christ is a hopeless end; life in Christ is an endless hope. This hope is living, lively, active, breathing, vigorous, powerful, efficacious, glorious, secure, guaranteed, and unextinguishable. "This is our living hope--the expectation of being taken home to heaven to be with Christ and to be like Him forever." (MacDonald) Our hope in Christ lifts up our soul, strengthens our heart, inspires confidence & courage, gives us joy, makes us patient, stabilizes us in the storms of life, reminds us of our eternal home & victory, sustains us through our grief, and keeps us persevering/ enduring.  Our living hope never dies because it is rooted in the Living Christ and His Living Word. The blessed hope/assurance of our resurrection, glorification, and eternal life with Christ should motivate us to stand firm, be "steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58). The opposite of hope is despair (hopelessness). "It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent." (Jeremy Taylor) Most suicides result from despair/lack of hope. May we be artisans of hope in this world and draw others to Christ, our Unchanging Hope!
- Our living hope includes this incorruptible, undefiled (pure & perfect), unfading inheritance (free gift of God) reserved in Heaven for us, God's children & heirs and fellow heirs with Christ.

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