Sunday, September 18, 2016

Our Living Hope

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3

What does new birth mean? That's a tricky one for anyone who is not familiar with the concept. No, you obviously can't be born again of your parents. This "new birth" refers to accepting that Jesus Christ is God, came to earth as a man, died on the cross to forgive sins for you and then arose from the dead three days later. The new birth is renouncing our old ways - the habits, hurts, hang-ups, addictions and saying "NO MORE!" Then living a new life free from those devices.  Once you have accepted your sins and asked Jesus to forgive you and that you believe in Him, your have been saved. 

Yes, there is a lot of work to be done from that point on. Jesus doesn't just say "Poof - Problems be gone!" Nope, the consequences of our actions will play out. But how we deal with life will be different because we have that "Hope" mentioned in the verse. When we hope in something, we have strong desires for that to come true. Because I believe in the resurrection of Jesus, I believe in his promises of eternal life - and that life is not plagued with the problems of this world. 

And so that living hope is the change in attitude that we have when we take that leap of faith and follow Jesus. We are living it out each day doing his good works through the Holy Spirit. And by good works I don't mean we are all called to do something spectacular. It really could just mean living a daily sober life. I don't know God's calling for you. I don't know what He has planned for you in terms of good works...but as you grow in relationship with Him you will begin to figure it out.  Since we have that living hope, our outlook on the life we have right now changes from the negative to it's possible and then it will grow to it will happen. You will become sober with the help of Jesus. Our living hope is based upon Jesus resurrecting from the dead - he was and is our living hope.

Today, have the change in attitude that comes from knowing what your living hope is all about!