I’ve so been enjoying these sermon snippet posts. It really gives me the chance to go over my notes and really digest Sunday’s sermon. It also gives me time to just let the Lord speak to me through the message and the scriptures taught. And this week’s was encouraging us in the hope that comes from true faith.
As we are continuing the series on The Next Chapter: Living By Faith in the Son of God, it’s been great looking at various aspects of faith and how it affects our lives as well as how we are to live it out in our lives.
Do we live in hope?
This week our worship pastor gave the message entitled: The End? There were a couple of points that the Spirit really camped on for me. The focus was who we are in Christ and how should this change us.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Has Jesus provided us hope? Why do we live like we don’t have any? ~Pastor Aaron Meeks” quote=”Has Jesus provided us hope? Why do we live like we don’t have any? ~Pastor Aaron”]
This question above is so vital to our lives, to our faith, yet we seldom (if ever) think about it. What can keep us from living as if our lives were hopeless and filled with despair?
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. Jas 1:23-24
A teacher on the radio said something about this verse that I thought was fascinating. The word “man” in this passage means a male human. He was saying that God chose that word because (generally) a man looks in the mirror if and when he has to and then walks away completely forgetting what he saw. A woman, again generally, will stare intently and memorize every line and blemish and wrinkle that is there, and she’ll carry it with her all day.
When we live our lives as if we have no hope, we have completely forgotten what kind of person we are! We have forgotten:
- that we are in the process of transformation
- that we are new creatures
- that we have a new nature
- that we are redeemed and being made new
- that we are now children of God
- that we are filled with His Holy Spirit
We are not perfect yet, here on earth. We are transforming, changing into the likeness of Jesus. That’s why the Hall of Fame in Hebrews 11 is there, to show us men and women of faith. They had major flaws in their lives but they are honored by God because of their faith, and how that faith pointed them to the Father and ahead to Messiah. And that faith gave them hope!
Faith leads to hope.
This faith, this hope gives us guidance in living our lives today and tomorrow – not just jumping ahead to eternity; it gives us hope in the here-and-now. This life is not the end. That is our continuing hope… that every day, lived by faith in the Son of God, takes us closer to the fulfillment of our faith. That we walk day-by-day in deeper surrender and joy, knowing that the perfection of our faith is being worked out! The keys are in Heb 12:1-2
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
First: look to those who have gone before us in the faith and remember their faith.
Second: trust the Holy Spirit for the ability to lay aside whatever holds us back or gets us tangled in sin.
Third: keep on going and not stop; this is a race of endurance so we just keep on going, resting in His strength to keep us continuing on.
Last: keep our eyes on Jesus! He is the Author and Finisher of our faith – that means He came up with the idea and He will see it through to completion as we follow Him!
We become who we look at. If we are constantly looking at a bad parent, saying, “I’ll never be like So-and-So,” that is exactly who we become like, because that is who we keep our eyes on.
We follow where our eyes go. Our pastor shared thoughts from his motorcycle driving class. “If you see a pothole in the road and keep your eyes on the pothole hoping to avoid it, you will drive right into it because that is where you are looking. Look ahead to the place you want to go to, keeping the pothole in your peripheral sight, and you’ll avoid it”
Are we looking at Jesus? Are we keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus? What are you fixing your eyes on?
What snippets from YOUR recent sermon can you share?