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A Hope that Doesnt Disappoint

Written by Chips Blog on . Posted in Chip Ingram

<p><span style="font-size: 11pt;"><br /> This Christmas, people from all around the world will celebrate the birth of a baby named Jesus who was born in a manger. Yet there&rsquo;s still a lot of debate about who this Jesus really is. Is he a prophet? A teacher? Or is he really God? And if he is God, then </span><em style="font-size: 11pt;">why did he come down to the world to live among us?</em></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">The Bible says that Jesus is the very physical revelation of the invisible God and the creator of all. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">In his letter to the Colossians, the Apostle Paul wrote to believers in the city of Colossae where many false teachers and beliefs were circulating in the church. One of the beliefs was a form of<em> </em><em><span style="font-style: normal;">Gnosticism,</span></em><em> </em>which taught that anything that is spiritual is pure and anything physical is evil. Based on this, there was no way that God &ndash; who is spiritual and pure&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 15px;">&ndash;</span><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;could have created the world &ndash; which is evil.</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Paul reminds the believers in Colossae that Jesus is the one and only God, the creator of all. <strong><em>&ldquo;For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.&rdquo; </em>(Colossians 1:16)</strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Paul also reminds them about who they are in light of their relationship with Jesus and the hope they have because of this. </span><span class="textcol-1-5"><sup style="font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;</sup><span style="font-size: 11pt;">He tells them: your faith and love springs out of &ldquo;</span><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">the hope stored up for you in heaven</span><span style="font-size: 11pt;"> and about which you have already heard in </span><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><span style="font-size: 11pt;">the true message of the gospel</span><span style="font-size: 12px;">&nbsp;</span></span></em></strong></span><span class="textcol-1-6" style="font-size: 11pt;"><strong><em>that has come to you.&rdquo; (v. 5-6)</em></strong><sup></sup></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">The word &ldquo;hope&rdquo; here isn&rsquo;t being used the same way we use it in our 21<sup>st</sup> century language. It&rsquo;s not simply a desire or wishful thinking such as, &ldquo;I <em>hope</em> one day I&rsquo;ll get married&rdquo; or &ldquo;I <em>hope</em> I get a better job.&rdquo; </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">The Apostle Paul uses this word &ldquo;hope&rdquo; to mean <em>that which is absolutely certain, definite and true about a future event.</em> </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Everyone has hope in something or someone. For some of us, our hope is in our marriages, our money, or kids. But the things and people of this world will always disappoint us. Even if we put our hope only in ourselves&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 15px;">&ndash;</span><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;our skills and abilities&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 15px;">&ndash;</span><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;at some point, we will let ourselves down, too! </span></p> <p><strong><span style="font-size: 11pt;">But God wanted to give each one of us a <em>hope that never disappoints</em>!</span></strong><span style="font-size: 11pt;"> And that hope is in Jesus. No matter what we&rsquo;re going through, we can have this certain hope!</span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">Before Jesus left to go back to heaven, he told his disciples then and now, <strong><em>&ldquo;Do not let your heart not be troubled &hellip; <span class="woj">My Father&rsquo;s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?</span> <span class="woj">And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.</span>&rdquo;</em></strong> &nbsp;<strong><em>(John 14:1-3)</em></strong></span></p> <p><span class="textcol-1-6" style="font-size: 11pt;">In other words, <strong>we have a hope of heaven and that some day Christ is going to return</strong>. </span><span style="font-size: 11pt;">This is a hope that&nbsp;<em>can&rsquo;t change</em>! It&rsquo;s stored up for us in heaven because this is where Christ is. </span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">How do we know this? It&rsquo;s in the Gospel, which means &ldquo;good news.&rdquo; And the good news is this: <strong>God loves us and wants to have a personal, intimate relationship with us forever. </strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">To make this relationship possible, God came in the form of a little baby&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 15px;">&ndash;</span><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;fully man and fully God. He grew up and lived a perfect, sinless life. He revealed what the Father looked like. And then for no crime he committed, he hung on a cross and died to pay for the sins of all people for all time. &nbsp;<strong><em>&ldquo;&hellip;That whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.&rdquo; (John 3:16)</em></strong></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 11pt;">So as we celebrate Christmas this year, let&rsquo;s meditate on this truth &ndash; that we have an eternal hope that doesn&rsquo;t disappoint and a new life because of Christ our Lord. </span><br /> <br /> <span style="font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">This</span><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;week, we begin a series entitled <strong><em>"What Child Is This: The Baby That Changed the World."</em></strong> In it, we will get a snapshot of Christmas from heaven's perspective. We'll discover why Jesus came to the world, who He really is, and what He really wants us to receive this Christmas. It's my prayer that as we enter&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 15px; line-height: 22px;">this</span><span style="font-size: 11pt;">&nbsp;Christmas season, we'll remember the hope and eternal gift we have in Christ - the light of the world!<br /> <br /> Keep Pressin' Ahead,<br /> Chip Ingram, Teaching Pastor<br /> Living on the Edge</span></p>

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