Christmas through the “Eyes of HOPE”
This is not a typical Advent study. It does not focus on the manger, wisemen, angels, or shepherds. These are great studies, but this one is different. It was inspired by several merging factors.
First, it was inspired by Arthur Hinds’ book, “The Complete Sayings of Jesus Christ”. It is an amazing chronological compilation of the words of Jesus, arranged from his first words in the Temple to his last after his resurrection. It sparked the questions, “What was so important for God to tell us that He had to do it in person?”, “What were his key messages?”, and “What was so urgent?” The answers are continuingly changing my theology and my life. They awoke in me a new hunger to have “a closer walk” with Jesus. They instilled a “sober awareness” that it was my responsibility not to be deceived by the father of lies in my walk of faith.
Second, knowing that I often felt distant from God, I had always been searching to establish a life of “confident HOPE”. The website hope-24-7.com, partially motivated by a men’s Fight Club (i.e., Fight for your families – Nehemiah 4:14), was written as an attempt to convey the path to, and the elements of, HOPE found in obedience to God’s love. The journey to righteousness has many enemies. I have always needed, wanted, and pursued HOPE.
Finally, knowing my own struggles to maintain an intimate relationship with Jesus, I worried about how my children and grandchildren would find their way to heaven. The world and culture seemed harsher and more deceptive to me now than when I was growing up. What will it take to help them see that connecting to their Creator as early as possible will give them the best life now, and celebration forever? What could I say to them so they would “never give up HOPE”?
Thus, the theme “Christmas is Hope” was born. It centers around the “Urgent Messages of Jesus” that he came to share with us. They were not popular then, and are not “politically correct” nor “woke” today. In contrast, they contain powerful TRUTHS about life and HOPE. Indeed, the H.O.P.E. Formula steps, derived from these messages of Jesus, express the urgency of repentance, forgiveness, surrender, spiritual warfare, and celebrating light in darkness.
The bulbs grow brighter: As a result, these 25 Advent studies start with the TRUTHS of man’s separation from a loving Creator. They reveal the resulting destructive horrors of sin on all relationships. They address the fact that entire generations have chosen “darkness” rather than “light”. Many just do not want God’s way of HOPE. There will be an accounting for choices that no one will escape. As the studies progress, we see that God has always reached out with solutions. Finally, in His time, He sent His Son Jesus to show us the way of HOPE back to His loving arms. Christ paid for our HOPE with his sinless life. After looking at the four lights of TRUTH, the lights get brighter fast and we see Jesus’ strategy in the Lord’s Prayer. The last three lights grow brilliant with the amazing resources we have to “get connected” and ‘”stay connected” to God’s will for our lives.
Guiding the studies are four steps in a H.O.P.E. Formula. These are exampled by and taught by Jesus. They are all about our relationships to ourselves, others, and most importantly, our Savior and God. Simply put, they are 1) Hook-Up to Him through Jesus, 2) Obey His Words to stay connected, 3) Praise Him for His help, and 4) Enjoy a full life in the protections and blessings of His promises. Together, they give the peace and joy for our life that can only come from His HOPE.
This is what I pray my generation, and the generations to come, will have: Persistent Victory of their souls in spiritual warfare. Consistent Choices for “light”, not “darkness”. Amazing HOPE in a trusting relationship with the Creator. Eternal Life, together with me, in God’s “Forever Family”.
“Message of HOPE”
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?”
Mark 8:36 NLT
Christmas with a Capital C
The Hope of Christmas
People Need the Lord
"People Need The Lord
Empty people filled with care Headed who knows where
On they go through private pain Living fear to fear
Laughter hides the silent cries Only Jesus hears
People need the Lord People need the Lord
At the end of broken dreams He's the open door
People need the Lord People need the Lord
When will we realize People need the Lord
We are called to take His light To a world where wrong seems right
What could be too great a cost For sharing life with one who's lost
Through His love our hearts can feel All the grief they bear
They must hear the words of life Only we can share
The Fall Of LUCIFER
(Biblical Stories Explained) 13 MINUTES
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