Our Hope - God is at Work
25 Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 ”Your brother has come,” he replied, “and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.”
28 The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, “Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!” 31 "My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." Luke 15:25-32 NIV
The younger brother was wild…but the elder brother was blind.
How God’s grace is still working on me
1. God’s grace contends for my love.
28 The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. Luke 15:28 NIV
2. God’s grace confronts my faithlessness.
31 "My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” Luke 15:31 NIV
3. God’s grace challenges my gracelessness.
32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found. Luke 15:32 NIV
There is a true elder brother…His name is Jesus.
He looks for me when I lose my way.
He pays the price for my return.
He celebrates with me once I come back home.
HOW DO I RESPOND TO THIS GRACE?
Ask God for what I need today.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7 NIV
For a more complete treatment of this story, make sure to get a copy of Pastor Brett Rickey’s book, Boomerang:The Return of the Prodigal Son, available at Amazon or NPH.Com
Our Hope - God's Grace Is Always At Work, Part 1
1. Gives ME SPACE.
The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. - Luke 15:12-13
2. ALLOWS me to see my OWN BROKENNESS.
He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! - Luke 15:16-17
3. AWAKENS MY DESIRE for home.
I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father. - Luke 15:18-20
4. EMBRACES ME BEFORE I actually get my stuff together.
So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. -Luke 15:20-21
5. THROWS A PARTY when I see the light.
“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. - Luke 15:22-24
Our Hope - God Will Provide
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 NIV
Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:14-19 NIV
Understanding the Process of How God Provides
Jesus himself said, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35b NIV
Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us. Hebrews 12:1b NIV
Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Galatians 6:7 NLT
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38 NIV
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 NIV
How to live in this hope
-Be HONEST AND OBJECTIVE about what you are currently reaping.
-Be GENEROUS TOWARD GOD to build His Church.
-Be GENEROUS TO OTHERS to bring them hope and help.
OUR HOPE - A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP TO A LOVING GOD
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84:1-2 NIV
When my heart is awakened to God
1. I see the beauty in worship.
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord Almighty! Psalm 84:1 NIV
2. I look forward to being with the God’s people.
3. My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord. Psalm 84:2a NIV
4. I open my mouth with maximum praise.
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Psalm 84:2b NIV
A pattern for daily praise
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11 NIV
I praise Him for PROTECTION
For the Lord God is a sun and shield. Psalm 84:11a NIV
I praise Him for ELEVATION
The Lord bestows favor and honor. Psalm 84:11b NIV
I praise Him for PROVISION.
"No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." Psalm 84:11c NIV
So how does a relationship with God work?
1. Trust in Jesus as your Savior.
2. Spend time with HIm, every day, and His people every week.
3. Do what He asks you to do.
OUR HOPE - GOD IS HEALING OUR DIVIDED WORLD
Key thought-God is bringing healing to a divided world through a united group of people we call The Church.
7 Links of Christian Unity
United through THE RESURRECTION.
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. --Colossians 3:1-2 NIV
2. United by BAPTISM.
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. - Colossians 3:3 NIV
3. United by our FUTURE.
When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. - Colossians 3:4 NIV
4. United by our HOLY CONDUCT.
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from our lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. - Colossians 3:5-10 NIV
5. United RACIALLY IN CHRIST.
Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. - Colossians 3:11 NIV
6. United in LOVE for each other.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. - Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
7. United as ONE BODY.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. - Colossians 3:15-17 NIV
"Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus. Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’? Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. - John 12:20-36 NIV
GOD IS AT WORK
1. In the Brokenness of Life.
"Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." - John 12:24 NIV
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." - Romans 8:28 NASB
2. When I’m Working with Him.
"Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me." - John 12:26 NIV
3. In the Miracle of the Cross.
"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." John 12:32 NIV
HOW CAN I LIVE THIS HOPE TODAY?
1. Put your Trust in Jesus Today.
"Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light." - John 12:35b-36a
2. Find a Place to Serve Others.
"My Father will honor the one who serves me." - John 12:26b
3. Surrender Yourself, and Your Pain, to the Soil of God’s Love.
Baptism= a declaration of transformation
1.Our Hope- God's Grace Is Always At Work, Part 2
2.Our Hope - God's Grace Is Always At Work, Part 1
3.Our Hope - God Will Provide
4.Our Hope - A Personal Relationship To A Loving God
5.God is Healing our Divided World
6.Our Hope - God is at Work