Hope

I wrote an article on hope for our church’s Advent devotional, and I thought I’d share it here on Eternal Outlook on the same day that it is being shared with our church body….

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus.” (Titus 2:11-13)

If ever there is a passage of Scripture that captures and summarizes what it means to live as one who has hope, this is it.  I know as well as anyone that the pressures and the temptations of this life are enough to make a person short-sighted.  In America, where life is easy and comfort is king, we so often fail to look past the present.  We succumb to choosing an earthly and instant gratification instead of stopping to consider eternity; and in doing so, we have forgotten to consider Jesus–and the hope that we have in Him.  Jesus, in His life, death, and resurrection–Jesus, in His anticipated return–is our only hope for salvation and eternal life.  1 Peter 1:3-4a says,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away.”

Because of what Jesus did in His first coming–died and rose again–salvation has been made available to all who will believe.  Although we are saved the instant we put our faith in Jesus Christ, our salvation will not be fully realized until the appearing of Jesus at His Second Coming.  This, the completion of our salvation at the return of our great God and Savior, is our “inheritance” and our “blessed hope.”

Since Jesus is coming again at an hour you do not know, “what sort of [person] ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (2 Peter 3:11b)?  Are you living in such a way that reflects the hope that you have in Jesus Christ?

God, thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to die that I might live; and thank You for the hope that I have as I look for His return.  Please continue to work in me as I strive to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age while looking to the age to come.

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