Colossians 1:25-29 “Of this church, I was made a minister according to the stewardship from God bestowed on me for your benefit, so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, 26 that is,  the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, 27 to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. 29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.”  NASB

In my years of Christian ministry, I have observed people becoming what I would call bored in their experience.  They go through the same ritual every Sunday.  Someone said, “You could leave most churches and be gone for months or even years and come back knowing exactly what they would do and what would be preached.”  I hope that is inaccurate.  I hope we have not become Always the Same!  I hope it is not the same song, hymn, prayer, testimony, and sermon.  I hope we are not people who are ever trying to recapture or recreate that Blessed Experience, trying to remember what it was like, how it felt, etc. 

The Hope we have in Christ is the consummation of the whole Kingdom of God.  It is not simply the Great Escape it is Life in the Fullest.  I believe in the Coming of Jesus for His church and believe that will be a Glorious Day when we finally enter into that Eternal Rest in Heaven.  But, what about now? 

I am not living to escape but to enforce the victory that Jesus won at Calvary and see the Harvest of God gathered into His barn.  When Jesus comes that will be the grand finale of what we are to be already enjoying in His Covenant.  We have a past and a future, so we dare not get caught up living in a vacuum in the middle of those two realities.  It is Christ in you, the Hope of Glory – Now!  It is now not in the sweet by and by.  We have God’s Promises for Now!  The Pardon we received, the fellowship, and interaction with the Holy Spirit is Now!

Remember the Prodigal Son?  When he finally came to his senses and began his trek home, he prepared his speech.  He was going to tell his father, “Father, I have sinned against you.  Make me as one of your hired servants.”  Do you realize that a ‘hired servant’ is not just a servant?  The servants live on the property all the time. The hired servant came in at harvest time and lined up in the market Hoping for a job.  He was the odd job laborer and hired by the day. 

The Prodigal was saying to his father, “Dad, forgive me. I’ll go live in the village, and at harvest time, do me a favor and give me a job.”  That is All He Expected!  But his father saw him a great way off and embraced him in Forgiveness.  The son got out his speech and began but everything suddenly changed.  Why?  The father would not let him finish. He reinstates him as a son.  He said, “This is my Son!  He was lost but now is found.  He was dead but is now alive.”  That opened a whole new life for the prodigal.

That’s the picture I hope you see.  When we came to Christ, pardon would have been sufficient.  But as we studied and learned the Word of God, we discovered that there was more!  We discovered that everything God has promised is ours.  But when we came to Him, we did not know that.  It is as we learn, grow, and develop that we find that God gives, and gives, and gives, and gives…

Believers, we need to move past the past and live in the present in God.  We need to learn to live in Hope and Expectation that His Promises are ours and we can expect them and enjoy them.  Don’t pitch your spiritual tent around Forgiveness as vital and wonderful as that is.  Don’t settle for what God has done but focus your eyes on Him and look forward to what He is and will do.  Live in Hope!  Remember the words of Jesus in Luke 12:32, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom.”  God Wants to Bless You!

That is where we are to live in Hope!  It is Christ in us that is the Hope of Glory.  We, as believers, are people of Hope!  We are those who have a positive, unshakable, confidence that what God said He will do, He will do!  We live in a state of Excited Expectancy and are filled with Eager Desire.  We Are the People of Hope!  Not as the world gives but Hope that God gives!

God, bless you as you embark on today’s journey in Jesus!

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