We have great hope in Christ

Good morning everyone,
 
Our theme for this month: “The power of hope”
 
Our Bible verse for today: “Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2 (CSB)
 
Our thought for today: “Our hope is in Christ”
 
The dictionary defines “nostalgia” as “a bittersweet longing for the past.” It’s a longing for the past because our memories of it are sweet. But nostalgia is also often a bitter sentiment because we miss those times and find ourselves wishing we could relive them, or that the present was more like the past.
 
And so, we have classic car shows, and 60’s music on the radio, and the Andy Griffith Bible Study series, and antique shops in every town. Reruns of the television shows we watched as kids are popular, and so are High School reunions. There is often much about the past that we would like to carry with us into the future. There’s also much to be found in history that we would like to reproduce for ourselves and others in the present and in the future.
 
In his letter to the Hebrews the writer meant to encourage and exhort his readers. In chapter 11 he took them on a tour of the “Faith Hall of Fame”. In that chapter he reminded his readers of some the great saints of the past. He wrote of their exploits and their profound examples of faithfulness in trying times. Basically, he was being nostalgic. He was recalling the past for his readers and holding it up as something admirable.
 
But then, once he has helped us to thoughtfully ponder those memories from the past, in chapter 12 he launches right into soaring exhortation by urging us to use those memories and examples from the past as a catalyst for our own current and future faithfulness. He urges his readers to run their own race with perseverance, keeping their eyes on the goal of attaining Christlikeness. The successes of the past provide hope for the present and for the future.
 
Reliving the past can be good or bad depending on what memories from the past we dwell on, and the impact they have on us. As Christians we have a rich history. Christianity from ages past is filled with examples of great faithfulness and personal victories. Whether those were your own successes and victories or those of others, the point is that the Holy Spirit did it then, can do it now, and will do it again in the future.
 
Just fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith. Then keep moving forward because there is great hope in Christ.
 
God Bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2021 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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