Our church service opened with baptism of 8 young people from 18 to 6. It was lovely as parents participated in the brief ‘dunking’.
We also had a personal testimony of hope shared for the first candle of Advent which signifies Hope and prophecy of God’s promise. This was followed by Pastor’s sermon on “A Hope laid up in heaven”. Colossians 1:3-5.
Give thanks...and pray. Sometimes it seems that all people can do is complain. We need to be aware that we can overcome complaints by giving thanks for good things and praying for the remaining needs or concerns. In the Bible text, Paul tells the Colossians “…we have heard of your faith … and of the love you have….” Paul told the believers in Corinth to remember: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13.
We are to be counter culture to the negativism and critical nature of the world. Paul encourages believers to recognize their faith as an anchor that holds us fast to Jesus Christ. Our faith leads to good deeds, because faith without works is dead. Paul reminds us that the men and women of the Old Testament were commended for their faith. Hebrews 11.
How we love others is a proof of our salvation. Do we love unconditionally as God does? God set the example of hating the sin but loving the sinner. We should love each other unconditionally, even loving those with issues. This shows the Spirit of God working through us.
Why did Paul give thanks and pray for the Colossians? “Because he heard of their faith and love that spring from the hope stored up in heaven…”
God is good all the time. Believers tend to be happy in anticipation of hope to come, even when we are in times of trouble. Romans 5:1-5. We have hope in eternal promises. Put your hope in God. Psalm 43:5. We can have confidence that every promise of God will come true.
If we lose hope, then we lose love. But we have hope there is more. Guard your hope. If we do not have eternal hope, then we are miserable. 1 Corinthians 15:19.
Hope is eternal. Abraham had hope against hope. Romans 4:18. Job, in the midst of his sorrow, still said: “Blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:20-22.
Stay faithful and hold tight the hope of God’s promises.
I found this song which is perfect for Advent and Hope! There’s Hope for Everyone.
Colossians 1:3-5 NIV
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people— 5 the faith and love that spring from the hope stored up for you in heaven and about which you have already heard in the true message of the gospel…
I thank you, Heavenly Father, for providing Hope for everyone!