Keep on Swimming. . .

everyday life inside the fishbowl

Monday Meditations: Hope

on November 4, 2013

rainbow-1388746-mIn the midst of strife–within oneself, at work, at home, in the nation, in the world–where do we find hope? In the midst of sin–both our own and that everywhere around us–where do we find hope? Is there hope?

Dave preached his third message in his series “The Glory of God in the Story of God,” and it was so good. It’s one of those messages where you just watch to jump out of the pew and shout, “Hallelujah!” {Thankfully, in heaven all of my selfish pride will be removed and I will be doing this constantly anyway! 🙂 }

His sermon had two simple points:

1.  The nations have no hope when they act apart from God.

  • We looked in Genesis 9 at Ham’s sinfulness in shaming his father when Noah was drunk and naked. As a result, Noah (speaking God’s own words) cursed Ham’s son, Canaan. Canaan became the father of the Canaanites, the people of wicked cities like Sodom and Gomorrah, burned for their excessive wickedness.
  • We then looked at Noah’s descendants who built a tower in order to worship their own way and to make their own names great. They intended this tower to unite them, so they would not be dispersed, expressly disobeying God’s command to fill the earth in Gen 9:1, 7. Despite their best efforts to reach God their own way, God came down to them, confusing their languages and dispersing the people (Genesis 11).

2.  The nations are given hope through the promises of God.

  • In Genesis 12, God chose one man–Abram–to give special promises, promises of descendents, blessing, and land.
  • These promises, though given to Abram (and his descendents, the nation of Israel), in part affect the entire world for all time.

 Genesis 12:3: In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.

Did you know that Paul considers this promise to bless all the families of the earth the Gospel? Listen to what God promises as a blessing to all the earth through Abram:

Galatians 3:7-9 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”  So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Wow! Part of God’s promise to Abram and the nation of Israel is for me, for all people everywhere for all time whom God justifies by faith!!

  • We closed by taking a sneak peek into the future, into heaven where we see the result of God’s promise to Abram and to us, an innumerable multitude justified by faith:

Revelation 7:9-10 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

Then, we looked at the response of heaven when they praise the God who has ransomed a people from every tribe, language, people and nation:

Revelation 5:11-14 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,

            “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and                               might forever and ever!”

And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.

This is hope. We who have hope have great cause to worship now, and even more so in heaven one day. I am looking forward to joining the heavenly throng–free of sin–around the throne, worshiping forever the Lamb who was slain for me.

{On Mondays, I would like to share some thoughts from my pastor’s (husband’s 🙂 ) sermon on Sunday. This will be good for me, as it will help cement God’s truths in my head and heart. I hope these truths will encourage and challenge you! If you’re interested in hearing a particular sermon, you can head here to listen.}

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